Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Tour for Zack by Sawyer Bennett (Review & GIVEAWAY)

The drool-worthy men of the Cold Fury Hockey series return in this intensely emotional read that you can't help but get caught up in.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing glimpse of Zack by Sawyer Bennett, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about it by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  We'll also talk about social media with Ms. Bennett herself!  To celebrate this book being released yesterday make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a Loveswept mug, a Flirt mug, and a select eBook bundle too!

Social media. We love it, right?
It connects us to our friends near and far. It puts the latest happenings at our fingertips. It makes it so we don’t miss a single meal, vacation, high, or low of our friend’s lives.
It also helps connect readers and authors in a way that wasn’t possible before, even five years ago. The industry has changed, and we, as the book community, are constantly looking for new ways to share, promote, connect and interact.
Let’s talk about some ways that you can interact and help your favorite authors:
1) Give ‘em a follow: The first step to interaction is to follow your favorite authors on the social media platform(s) of your choice. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, tsu, Pinterest….just to name a few! This is also the best way to stay up to date on releases, news and all the day-to-day happenings in your favorite author’s world.
2) Give posts a like and/or leave a comment: Want to help an author be visible on social media? Interact on posts! Giving a like and/or leaving a comment on a post helps social media platforms understand what content is popular and should be seen. By giving posts a little love, there is a better chance of your favorite author’s information showing up in newsfeeds and content searches.
3) Share, share, share! If you see a post you like, share it! If you see a giveaway from your favorite author or blogger, share it! If your favorite author has a new release (or if you just discovered a new book or author that you love), share it! Noticing a theme? Bottom line, if you like it and think others might too, share the love! After all, sharing is caring.
4) Send a message: Authors are people too! I won’t speak for anyone else, but I love to hear from my readers. I love hearing what readers enjoyed about a book, and what they did or did not connect with. Your feedback helps me understand what my readers are looking for, and what I should write more of, or avoid altogether.
5) Join their groups: Many authors are trying to combat the evil Facebook powers that be by starting their own promo groups. This allows more personal interaction and prevents Facebook from limiting the reach on posts. Join, interact, and promote when you can.
Why are these things so important? First and foremost, they give readers and authors a way to connect. Signings are not always feasible for readers due to cost, distance, and life in general. Not to mention that one-on-one interaction can be tough in a room full of people. These platforms allow interaction on your own schedule, from the comfort of your own home.
Next, social media is crazy and getting the word out about new releases, etc. can be hard. Facebook has crazy algorithms that determine what is and is not seen by the masses, and posts that get little interaction are shoved into the dark corners of cyberspace, never to be seen again. Think I’m over exaggerating? I have 16k+ followers on Facebook. In a 7-day period, I posted on my Facebook page 31 times. 5 of those posts were seen by over 1,000 people. FIVE. How freaking depressing is that?
So while you may click the like button on a post because you thought something was funny, awesome, cool, etc., your like means so much more. It means that post stands a chance at Facebook greatness (okay, now THAT might have been over exaggerating).
Finally, your interaction will help ensure that you are seeing the information you want to see. The little internet trolls that keep tabs on what you like and don’t like (those pesky little trolls), will help make sure you get updates on your favorite books, authors and events if you are liking and commenting on the things that you want to see. Help make those trolls lives easier by interacting as much as possible!
Now go forth and click, comment, like and make your presence known! See you there!

New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett goes for a hat trick with the latest romance in a sexy series about cool-as-ice hockey players and the women heating up their lives.
Warning: The following contains spoilers from a cliffhanger in Garrett.

Rising star Zack Grantham has been stuck in a downward spiral of grief that has put his career on hold. Back on the road with the Carolina Cold Fury, still crippled by emotional baggage, and now a single dad, he’s in need of some serious help with his son. But while the nerdy new nanny wins his son’s heart, Zack isn’t sure he’s ready for a woman’s touch—even after getting a glimpse of the killer curves she’s hiding under those baggy clothes.
Kate Francis usually keeps men like Zack at a distance. Though his athlete’s body is honed to perfection, he refuses to move on with his life—and besides, he’s her boss. Still, the sparks between them are undeniable, tempting Kate to turn their professional relationship into a personal one. But before she makes a power play for Zack’s wounded heart, Kate will have to open him up again and show him that love is worth the fight.


The doorbell rings just as I’m trying to simultaneously flip a pancake with one hand and pull bacon off the griddle with another. The pancake ends up sticking, then folding in half, and my forearm hits the edge of the griddle. I swear I can hear my skin sizzle from the contact.
“Fuck!” I jerk backward, dropping both the fork in one hand and the spatula in the other, thankful that Ben is in his room playing and didn’t hear me say that. It’s a constant battle sometimes to watch my language around the kid.
Slapping at the control knobs, I turn the heat completely off the large electric griddle I had been struggling with and rub gently the burn on my arm as I head toward the front door. As I round the corner from the kitchen into the living room, I slam my bare foot into Ben’s large dump-truck toy, causing a string of curses to come out of my mouth now as I hobble onward to the door.
My front door is honey-colored oak and has a large oval glass inset with a beveled flower design. Gina had picked it out and had it installed, claiming that it allowed more light into the front entranceway. I thought it was a little too girly, but I didn’t argue with her. The house was her domain.
The glass lets me see my visitor on the other side, but provides no details because of the beveled cuts and partial frosting, which distort the person. But I know who it is.
Ben’s new nanny.
Roberta Francis.
She was Delaney’s top choice, and after I briefly scanned her application I had to sit and listen to my sister rave about her. Delaney felt she was perfect for the job in all respects. She was fantastic with children, having helped raise her three nephews for a period of time. She was also a student with a flexible schedule. Delaney actually droned on and on about this particular situation, but I tuned her out and started thinking about everything I’d need to do to get the house ready to put on the market. I was seriously considering selling it. Maybe move farther out into the country, where we could have some land and Ben could have a dog.
Finally, I just cut Delaney off and said, “She sounds perfect. Let’s go with her.”
And now, as I’m about to open the door to let a woman into my house who will have the most important of responsibilities in helping me care for my son, I’m suddenly realizing I don’t know anything about her other than her name and a vague recollection that she’s a student who helped raise her nephews.
Just fucking great. Way to be an involved and responsible parent, Zack.
The only saving grace at this moment is that Delaney thoroughly interviewed this girl, checked out her references, and was absolutely enchanted with her. I trust Delaney, so this will be fine. She’ll be great, in fact.
I wish I believed myself.
I swing the door open and get my first look at the woman who will be moving into my house and caring for my son. I’m not sure what I expected, but this wasn’t it.
Based on Delaney’s assessment, I expected her to have a superhero’s cape on, or at the very least a shiny gold halo and massive angel wings sprouting out of her back.
Instead…she’s sort of unremarkable.
She stares up at me with round, crystal-blue eyes that are devoid of any makeup and surrounded by brown plastic-framed glasses. Her hair is dark, held back with a headband and twisted up behind her so I have no clue how long it is. She’s small, barely coming up to my shoulder, and swimming in an oversized, extremely faded red NC State sweatshirt and baggy jeans that look about two sizes too big for her. An old backpack slung over her shoulder and a pair of well-worn tennis shoes complete her outfit.
“Roberta?” I ask hesitantly, because suddenly I’m thinking this may be someone soliciting something…or maybe even a homeless person looking for a meal. The way those clothes completely swallow her makes me think she’s starving underneath all that material.
She gives me an outwardly bright smile and sticks a delicate hand out toward me. Her sweatshirt is so big, her sleeves are rolled up around her wrists. “Actually…I go by Kate. Roberta’s my first name, which I was named after my daddy, Robert, but seriously…who wouldn’t hate that name? So I go by my middle name, which is Kathryn, actually. So I shorted it down to Kate, because Kathryn sounds just so…I don’t know…like a Catholic saint or something, and I’m not Catholic. I was raised Southern Baptist, but I really don’t go to church anymore, so—”
She pauses …finally, and takes a deep breath. Her smile goes from politely earnest to a sheepish grin, and she gives an apologetic shrug. “Sorry…I’m nervous and I tend to prattle when I’m nervous.”
I just blink at her, completely shocked silent. I have no clue what to think about this strange woman…no, girl, I think, because she looks so fucking young.
“How old are you?” I ask, my eyes glancing suspiciously at her hand still extended toward me.
“Twenty-three,” she says. “Didn’t Delaney tell you about me? You knew I was coming today, right?”
“Um…yeah, she did. I guess I didn’t hear her mention your age,” I mutter.
Kate takes a small step forward and pushes her hand farther toward me, giving me a pointed look. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Her voice is soft, with a moderate southern twang. I can’t remember if Delaney told me where she was from or not. Fuck…I can’t remember anything she said.
I reach out hesitantly and shake her hand. It’s tiny and her bones feel small, but she grips me surely. “Yeah…uh, nice to meet you too,” I say absently.
Our hands break apart and we just stare at each other.





Through three books Ms. Bennett has crafted an incredibly entertaining and emotionally intense series set in the hockey world and featuring one delectable hero after another.  After a traumatic car accident in the previous installment of the Cold Fury series leaves Zack injured and his girlfriend, and mother of his child, dead he's left to pick up the pieces and make a new life for himself and his son Ben.  It's not an easy journey though, and sometimes his guilt and anger come to the forefront, but through it all he's surrounded by a supportive and immensely likable cast of characters who add to this story's enjoyment.

After spending the last few months physically recovering, Zack's ready to get back on the ice, the only place he feels comfortable from the emotions weighing on him.  In anticipation of that he's got to find someone to take care of his son while he's on the road which has the nerdy yet perpetually positive Kate showing up on his doorstep.  Since the accident he's felt numb with his only focus on his son, but Kate quickly engenders something else in him....  First it's guilt over seeing another woman care for his son and then he feels unfaithful as Kate's sweet yet sensual nature has him finally feeling desire for another.  He has no intention of committing to her though as he doesn't want to again open his heart and mind to the pain.  Her kindheartedness, honesty, and intriguing personality challenge him to keep things just about sex in a subtle tug of war he wages with himself that has him lashing out occasionally.  Throughout his journey I was drawn to Zack as his feelings of guilt and loss were understandable.  He hated that Gina wasn't the woman he wanted to marry but he felt like he owed it to her.  Kate seemed to be a great match for him and I was sad that he couldn't totally embrace what she was offering without big heartache.  I loved seeing him interact with Ben as it showed a truly kind and loving person and it gave me hope that he'd finally open his heart to Kate.

Kate was a delightful heroine, perhaps my favorite in the series thus far.  She was a bit nerdy, a bit plain in her appearance, but humorous and always positive and forgiving.  She had a hard life growing up with no money and an alcoholic father who she still loved wholeheartedly.  Money may have been tight but she's a survivor making her way on her own which made her admirable and deserving of a HEA.  She blossomed early which garnered her attention she didn't want which has her continuing to hide behind baggy clothes, thick framed glasses, and wearing her hair in a bun.  Zack is one of the first men to truly see her which has her seeing herself in a new way that made her even more strong-willed.  While she wants to be the one to save Zack she'll have to save her heart as their connection becomes even more complicated.  Will Kate finally break through Zack's emotional walls or will he forever wallow in guilt?  From the first moment we see Kate she's fun-loving and full of life and embraces living wholeheartedly that you can't help but smile when she's on the scene.  Her interactions with Ben are loving, playful, and immensely endearing.  When with Zack their sexual tension is off-the-charts, playful and sexy, and worth the emotional battle Zack's going through.

From start to finish this was a story that easily immerses you.  From the immensely likable main characters to the secondary characters who we'e come to know through the previous installments.  I loved revisiting the old characters, especially Olivia as we find out how her cancer treatment's going.  I don't normally like children in romances but Ben was adorable and realistic in his words and deeds too.  Along with strong emotions at play, we see vividly detailed hockey scenes that were exciting and showed Zack at his most carefree.  I also enjoyed getting to know the new addition to the Cold Fury, Ryker, the aging hockey star who's been betrayed by love too.  It all made for a great read that was both sexy and heartwarming and that has me excited for the next installment!

My rating for this is an A.

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling 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.
Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.


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