Author: Sawyer Bennett
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cold Fury #1
Main Characters: Alex and Sutton
Release Date: October 2014
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
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.
What an amazing start to this new series. I'll be honest, I'm debating between an A+ and A rating on this book. I cried during the climactic scene which usually means an automatic A+ for me, but I'm not really comfortable giving that high of a rating...i.e. perfection...to the first book in a series when more are coming that might be better. So, needless to say...this book is really good.
Alex and Sutton have one major factor in common that make them perfect for each other. They both grew up with abusive, addicted fathers. But the way they've responded in life to that challenge is completely opposite. For Alex, he's not a happy person. He keeps people at arms length, is a jerk to anyone and everyone, and goes through life as a numb, hollow shell of a person. Sutton has used her challenge as a way to actually connect with other people. She works as an addiction counselor for troubled youth and spends most her hours of the day trying to help others.
Alex absolutely starts out this book as a jerk...and he's not a lovable one...at all. He is definitely a character that undergoes a huge personal growth arc throughout the course of the story, but as his story unfolds, I couldn't help but feel empathy for him. He hates hockey...with a passion. A passion that his father relentless drove into him by making him the pro player he is. It made him so good, but it's such a tragic thing because he hates the game so much for it. I love that through Sutton he was able to find joy in the game again. Honestly, that was such a magical aspect of the story...to see him develop a love for hockey again.
And Sutton is not a hockey girl. She has no clue, but slowly her knowledge and love of the game grows and develops as her relationship with Alex does the same. The hockey aspect of this book was wonderful and I loved the way that the author interwove it through all the aspects of the story. This is a book that is a romance with the game of hockey as well as a romance between two people and that made me happy. In fact, everything about this book made me happy.
It's definitely one that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
The depth of the main characters was phenomenal in this book, but there are some great side-characters too in both of Alex and Sutton's families esp with their difficult dynamics and histories. But I am most excited about Garrett, Alex's teammate. He was a great person and the only other one besides Sutton to see the man below the grumpy mask that Alex always presented to the world. His book is next in this series and I'm very excited about that.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.