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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Delayed Penalty: A Pilots Hockey Novel is a contemporary sports fiction novel written by Sophia Henry. Auden’s working off the hurt of being cut from the women’s soccer team at Central State in the tried and true manner that her best friend has suggested -- a few drinks at a familiar bar where the music rocks. Auden and Kristen had been enjoying the scene at the karaoke bar they frequented when Auden’s attention was riveted on the well-built man with the crazy Mohawk who seemed to be approaching her. He was just a bit too lovely for words, but then he blew any attraction Auden may have been feeling away with a rather crude joke: one at which an onlooker protested, saying she was too hot to be treated that way. Auden was rather taken by surprise at the hotness comment, as she had never thought of herself as particularly hot, or anything other than normal. When she finds out soon after that evening that her grandfather has already arranged a translation job for her winter break, Auden wants to argue but knows it will be useless, and she resigns herself to the situation. It was a new and different type of job from the usual transcription work, however, for her grandfather had set her up to be the translator for a Russian superstar hockey player, who just happened to be the crazy-haired man she knew to stay away from.
Sophia Henry’s romantic sports fiction novel, Delayed Penalty: A Pilots Hockey Novel, features two very memorable main characters, Auden and Aleksandr who seem at first destined to be unwilling partners as she is his interpreter, but the plot thickens when Auden realizes that the Russian hockey player is much more comfortable speaking English than he lets on, and is more than just the sports bunny chaser she’s convinced he is. This well-written and superbly plotted story juxtaposes two people who seem at first from very different lifestyles, but soon the similarities and the attraction begin as each learns how to place their trust in another human being. I especially enjoyed the sports that play so large a part in Delayed Penalty, and reading about the Center Clubs that are Auden’s creation and contribution to Detroit. Henry’s Detroit setting is inspired: while we see the destruction and desolation that is present in so much of that once-proud and bustling city, the reader can’t help but be inspired by the youth clubs, the pockets of beauty, and the life that still flourishes despite the urban blight. Delayed Penalty is an absorbing tale that covers a lot of ground, and it does so in a beautifully flowing and very entertaining way. It’s highly recommended.