Book Review

ARC Book Review: Desire or Defense (Hooked on a Feeling #1) by Leah Brunner

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Sports Romance
Length: 275 pages
Author: Leah Brunner
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 18th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


I’m not the hero in this story.

I’m the villain…

The notoriously angry, grouchy, D.C. Eagles defenseman that just can’t keep his temper in check. The temper that leads to a fifteen game suspension from the NHL.

As if that’s not bad enough, I’m forced into a short term youth-hockey coaching gig. Which my manager swears will “rebuild my image.”

But what I didn’t expect was for a gorgeous, spunky blonde to stomp onto the ice on day one and lecture me about being rude to her little brother.

Something about this spitfire of a woman, and the boy she’s so protective of, has my defenses melting.

And if I’m not careful, I’ll burst into flames, forever melting the ice I’ve carefully kept around my heart.

Thank you to the author for an eARC!


This book has my whole heart and is Leah Brunner’s best book yet.

I LOVED Mitch. I loved his grumpy nature and his cinnamon roll center. The positive mental health conversations and therapy discussions were amazing and one of my favorite aspects. I also loved Andie. She was a wonderful FMC who did her best to look for things to be grateful for and was just someone I really wanted to be friends with.

All of the hockey dynamics were woven just right and I couldn’t get enough. Alongside the games was the best cast of side characters and teammates. I love them all and I loved every time they popped up. I’m already excited for the next book.

Noah was one of the sweetest kids I’ve read. I loved him too (see a theme?). He added so much to the story and I loved his placed between Andie and Mitch.

I need to address the third act too!!! It was PERFECT. Instead of a breakup that wouldn’t make sense it was more of a *take a breath* moment. I could rave all day just about this scene and the follow through. GAH THIS WHOLE BOOK WAS MAGNIFICENT.

Read and love it with me!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Sports Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents, scenes involving therapy, parental abandonment, an incarcerated parent, brief physical altercations, bullying

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