Review: Virgin Territory by Lia Riley

May Contain Spoilers

I picked this up because I enjoyed Head Coach, and I have a weakness for sports stories. I was interested in finding out what made volatile Patch tick, and what the deal was with his bar brawl. While he seemed like an out of control freight train in the previous book, his reasons for his short temper were presented so well that I felt a pang of empathy for him.

Margot Kowalski is asked by her BFF’s main squeeze, coach Tor, to help Patch Donnelly learn to control his temper before he’s thrown out of the NFL. Margot’s not thrilled with this assignment, but she wants to open her own yoga studio and the PR, if she’s successful, could go a long way to helping her venture become profitable. Her first meeting with Patch doesn’t go as expected, and she thinks she’s doomed to failure. Her determination to help him goes a long way, and before she knows it, she’s gotten to know him a little too well. Can she keep business and pleasure separate?

Margot is a woman with just as many issues as Patch. She’ been slut shamed since high school, and because of an unpleasant relationship, she can’t stand gingers. Patch, bless his heart, is a red-headed god, and Margot is quickly reconsidering her opinion of auburn haired males. Margot’s ex runs an MMA studio, and he also stalks her in his spare time. Possessive and verbally abusive, he belittles her for having relationships prior to meeting him. He’s a douche, and despite my wishes for Patch to get his temper under control, I wanted him to rip the ex’s arm off.

Patch is the product of a childhood filled with neglect.  His mother was an addict, and he watched as one abusive male after another used and abused her. He swore that he would never treat a woman badly. Instead, he kept himself as far away from them as possible, concentrating first on hockey, and then a brief stint studying to be a priest. He couldn’t deal with the rules, and oh, his temper keep popping up, so he went back to hockey, where he was picked up by the Hellions. A gifted goalie, Patch’s uncertain flashes of rage have been the cause of much grief for him. Almost as much grief as keeping his deepest, darkest secret – he’s a virgin.

I really enjoyed this story, but I wish it has been longer so that the relationship could have developed a bit more slowly. I thought that aspects of the story were glossed over too quickly, but that’s really nit-picking. I liked Patch and how he accepted Margot as the gift she was. She helped him learn to control himself and not go off when he got angry, and she taught him that he was deserving of love. Both Margot and Patch had a difficult time accepting that they were capable and deserving of a loving partner, and they were perfect for each other, propping up each other’s weaknesses.

I have enjoyed the two Hellions books that I read (I did pick up the 1st during an Amazon sale, but I haven’t read it yet). I hope that this isn’t the last book because I liked the setting so much. Regardless, I will keep my eyes open for more books by the author.

Grade: 3.5 – 3.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Practice Makes Perfect
Patrick “Patch” Donnelly has what it takes to be the best goalie in the NHL…if only he could learn to control his temper. When Coach orders him to get his head in the game with private yoga classes, Patch isn’t having it. There’s no way this tough Boston guy would be caught dead downward dog-ing his way to inner peace. But if he refuses, he risks his starting position and the dream he sacrificed everything for, including joining the priesthood.
Yoga instructor Margot Kowalski is over men. After yet another toxic relationship, she’s eager to forget love and focus on growing her business. Doing the Hellions head coach a favor by helping out a troubled player can’t hurt, and it might give her career a high-profile boost. But free-spirited Margot is soon charming the pants off Patch. Literally. Her sassy combination of sweet and sexy proves irresistible to the goalie. Before Patch can give into temptation though, he’ll have to confess his biggest secret:
He’s a virgin.
But Patch is hiding more than sexual inexperience, and his dark past soon threatens to destroy his shot at true love.