As a fan of sports-themed romances I'm thrilled to introduce you to the first installment in a new hockey-based series. Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Alex by Sawyer Bennett, along with my impressions of it. You can also learn about this book through Ms. Bennett's words and by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win an awesome prize of an Alex Crossman/Carolina Cold Fury Hockey Jersey too!
Five Things You Need To Know About This Book....Courtesy of Ms. Bennett.....
1. The story is set in Raleigh, North Carolina and focuses on professional athlete, Alex Crossman, who is the most valuable player (or prick according to some) on the Carolina Cold Fury Hockey team.
2. Alex is a damaged man. He can be an ass, but he does it to protect himself. His history is complicated and the man he is today has been twisted by it.
3. Ironically, the heroine, Sutton Price, has a very similar and tragic past to Alex’s. Yet how she handled it has shaped her into a very different person than Alex.
4. While this book has some lovely romance and really steamy, sexy times, there are also important issues that are addressed. Redemption and forgiveness tie it all together.
5. You may not want to read this book in public, especially when you get to those really steamy, sexy times I mentioned above.
Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.
As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
As a fan of sports-themed romances I gobbled this one up as it presented us with two very likable and compelling characters undertaking an intensely emotional journey to HEA full of internal strife. With a storyline full of pain from past incidents that has molded each character differently, theirs is a journey both heartbreaking and heartwarming that kept me enthralled until the last page was turned. Throw in the vividly depicted hockey scenes and this is a story, and a world, that I look forward to revisiting.
Alex Crossman is the bad boy of hockey who ignores the fans while devoting himself to casual hook-ups off the ice and being the best player on the ice. He's coolly confident but also slightly detached when it comes to the game that's made him famous courtesy of a past that's made him the unrepentant jerk he is today. With a father who's mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive has left Alex full of anger and self-hatred that comes out in his surly attitude. It's left him alone with no one on his side, especially the father whose presence keeps haunting him. To clean up his image he's forced into working with addiction counselor Sutton Price to help kids which is life-altering for Alex as Sutton is like no woman he's known before. He's attracted to her but their relationship starts out as friends and slowly morphs into more as she digs deep into the man he really is and reminds him how to enjoy life. Alex is someone you're rooting for even when he's being his worst. He knows from the start that he has issues but it's not until he meets Sutton that he starts making changes. She makes him feel worthwhile and gives him the support that's always been missing in his life. Theirs is a love that's emotional as well as physical and made for an intensely emotional journey.
Sutton too came from a background of abuse. After leaving an abusive husband her mother and her became homeless until a remarkable man changed their lives and made them into a family. With a younger brother she dotes on she's learned about unconditional love and support. From the moment she meets Alex she sees the lost little boy behind the angry man and sets out to peel away his layers of rage. Along the way she falls for him completely and finally discovers the meaning of real love that has left her conflicted since being dumped a year ago. Sutton is a strong-willed yet caring woman who takes her job home with her as she wears her heart on her sleeve. She's an immensely likable heroine who never felt sorry for what befell her early in life and has become a stronger and more caring person because of it.
Her and Alex are delightful to watch as they each get the other to do things they never expected which forms the basis for their friendship. When they're together their scenes crackle with sexual tension which ultimately evolved into steamy sexual interludes. Their journey to HEA is one of internal struggles rather than from outside forces which made for a more impactful story and an ultimately richer conclusion. The hockey scenes are vividly and accurately depicted which draws you into Alex's life and his struggles with what the sport means to him. Amongst the action-packed sequences we get introduced to some of the players, especially the charming and sexy Garrett Samuelson, who was the only one brave enough to befriend Alex. Garrett left a lasting impression on me and I look forward to his story being told in a future Cold Fury Hockey series installment. Fans of sports-themed romances with find this a wonderful addition to the genre and Ms. Bennett a guiding force.
My rating for this is an A-
*I got this book from NatGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett is a snarky Southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.Website: http://www.
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