Walk of Shame
Grade : C-

If you love smart hockey romances with leads that act like grownups and writing that shows a commitment to excellence, you, like me, will not enjoy this book.

Our heroine, Astrid, is yet another romance heroine with zero interest in romance. Five years ago, she was left at the altar by a hockey star and now she's the poster child for commitment-phobia. She's a one-night stands only type--she even has rules against eating food with the guys she screws. Whatever.

Her food resolution, however, is tested when Cal, the very hot and very unsmiley hockey-coach-with-a-heart-of-gold walks into the bar she's working at. Not only can she not stop staring at his thighs (he's equally obsessed with her deliciously thick ass), he wins her let me bang you as soon as possible favors when he physically puts down a guy who is arguing aggressively with Astrid about her rule that no one in the bar is allowed to discuss hockey. (This ban, in a bar in a hockey city, seemed absurd to me.) After a tiny bit of trite banter, the two agree to meet later in Cal's apartment (this breaks another Astrid rule--don't bang anyone in her building) for JUST SEX.

Astrid shows up, Cal talks extremely dirty, the two have sex and, shocker, it's the best they've ever had, and now they want MOAR. But it's complicated because Cal is in town to work with Astrid's asshat ex who now plays for Astrid's dad and Astrid is against love and hockey. What on earth will they do? I couldn't have cared less.

Astrid and Cal are less like fully-fleshed characters and more like cardboard cutouts. Astrid's whole "I hate hockey because my ex played it" shtick gets old real fast, and Cal's relentless pursuit of her feels more cringeworthy than swoon-worthy. Both leads feel like early 20-somethings bumbling through life--it's hard to take either of them or their manufactured angst at all seriously. I was especially irked that, though Astrid has a job, we learn nothing about her life outside her relationships. Oh, and the endless dampness of her panties.

And don't even get me started on the writing. The plot's predictable and the dialogue as subtle as a Chevy truck ad. And while the sex is copious and detailed, it's not sexy nor does it reveal anything about the leads. Flynn has crammed in as much steaminess as possible without bothering with those little things like an interesting plot or believable character development.

Walk of Shame is less of a romantic journey and more of a stumble through a minefield of tired tropes and lackluster writing. To be honest, I skimmed the last half because I was so bored. I've not read Flynn before but we've given her Bs on two other books. So, either this one is much worse than her earlier stuff, she's just not for me, or this book just sucks. Whatever the issue, this is gets a low C.

Reviewed by Dabney Grinnan
Grade : C-

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : March 18, 2024

Publication Date: 03/2024

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Dabney Grinnan

Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day. Publisher at AAR.
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