Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Undefeated by Melissa Cutler

Title: Undefeated 
Author: Melissa Cutler
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Bomb Squad #2
Main Characters: Marlena and Liam
Release Date: November 2014
Publisher: InterMix
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. The team’s battling a losing streak, but the season’s biggest game changer is one player’s second chance with the one who got away…

Yoga instructor Marlena Brodie is always up for a challenge, and her new job of snapping Bomb Squad out of their rut is definitely that, even though it means being in close contact with Liam McAllister, her high school crush gone bad. She can feel the damage pouring off of him—but also a wild and sexy strength that calls to her.

The Army turned Liam McAllister into a man, but as a combat medic, he saw far too much to ever be whole again. He’s not interested in the civilian world beyond his job as a carpenter, but he never stopped wondering what might have been with Marlena—and it isn’t long before she’s crashed through his carefully constructed walls. He longs for a new beginning with her, but to be the man she deserves, he’ll have to step out of his defensive zone and score the most important play of his life…

Books in the Bomb Squad hockey series:
Risky Business (Bomb Squad #1)- August 2014
Undefeated (Bomb Squad #2) - November 2014
Game Changer (Bomb Squad #3) - April 2015

My Review:
Wow...I love wounded heroes and I love sports themed novels. Melissa Cutler has done an amazing job combining two of my favorites into an incredible series. The Bomb Squad is a hockey team made up of wounded vets, but not all wounds are visible.

Liam is one of those vets with hidden wounds. He was a medic who served in Afghanistan for three tours and now suffers horrible PTSD. He's haunted by not only the soldiers he didn't save, but also by the woman and children civilians that died on his watch. Liam is a mess of triggers and issues and is well aware of that so he avoids people, even his twin sister. 

Marlena understand PTSD as she has her own version of it. She was attacked and hospitalized at the age of ten. She's adopted a wholesome, somewhat new age lifestyle, to deal with that lack of control. She also owns and teaches yoga at her studio. 

This couple is explosive together. They are both very self-aware. They have to be with their issues and Melissa Cutler did an exceptional job of explaining these through the initial scenes between the two where everything went wrong because of their triggers. This is an emotional book, but it is so well-done. Liam can be a jerk, but he has such amazing reasons for that. Marlena sees it even though her friends, including his twin sister, don't understand. I loved how she stood by him because she knew the man he truly was, despite the evidence to the contrary. 

There are also a lot of family issues in this book. Liam and heart hurt that he wouldn't just talk to her so she could understand. If there was one issue I had with this book, I wish things could have been better resolved between the two of them....maybe that will come in a later book. But then there's also Marlena's entire family dynamic which just hurt to watch. Her brother is mentally ill and no one is willing to face up to the detriment of Marlena. I loved how Liam fought to put his issues aside when it came to helping her and putting her needs first...the sign of a true hero. 

This is book #2 in this series and I highly recommend it...if you like military heroes, if you like sports books, or if you like angst. These are definitely good ones!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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