Title: Game Changer
Author: Melissa Cutler
My Rating: A+
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bomb Squad #3
Main Characters: Brandon and Harper
Release Date: May 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has the team captain packing his bags for greener pastures, but saying good-bye to the woman who’d captured his heart is easier said than done…
After being wounded in combat, Brandon Theroux lives every day like it’s his last. He never could have imagined that the sleek mechanics of his prosthetic leg would open so many doors, including minor celebrity status as a fitness model and a well-earned reputation as a rakish playboy. The only door it hasn’t opened is the one to Harper Johnson’s bedroom.
Harper has too much self-respect to join the ranks of Brandon’s “carpe diem” conquests, but when she needs someone to keep the peace in the tavern she owns, Brandon offers his help—as long as she agrees to a very tempting trade. It isn’t long before the two realize that a deal struck between friends who can’t keep their hands off each other has the potential to be a whole lot hotter than either of them is prepared to handle…
This book...wow. At the 30% point, I tweeted to the author, because she created a situation that I had no idea how she was going to get her hero and heroine to a happy place. But she did it and she did it so incredibly well. I laughed throughout this book, but I cried, too. Seriously, did I cry...during at least four different scenes. I've been a fan of Melissa Cutler's writing for a couple of years, but this, hands down, is her best book to date. I bow to her writing skills...because this book is STELLAR!
Brandon and Harper have been playing a sexual game for 5 years. They went on a single date 5 years ago. Brandon is a player and told her then that he would never even consider a serious relationship. Harper has had too much loss in her life to play at anything. If it doesn't even have a chance, it's not worth her time to play the game. Harper is a carrier for a cancer gene which makes a shortened life VERY likely. (She really should have a double mastectomy and Brandon is the only person in her life that knows about that.)
When the story starts, Brandon is about to move to Miami to a bachelor reality show. He has one last chance to get Harper in his bed. He's determined. He's chased her for 5 years. The timing just happens to coincide with a devastating diagnosis for Harper. I don't want to give any spoilers, but things happen between the two of them that changes things and they truly begin to develop a friendship rather than this weird sexual competition they've had going on. Instead of going against one another, they become one another's support system. They're friends...just friends...no chance of anything else happening.
I don't even know how to explain the magic that is this book. Brandon has a past which makes it so that he can connect with Harper at this point in her life better than anyone. The scenes between them late at night are so heartbreakingly honest and beautiful and sweet. I literally spent pages of this book wiping away tears. It's just so beautifully written. Melissa Cutler has taken some really difficult subject matter and approached it wonderfully. My heart hurt through so much of the book, but in the very best way...just because of how deeply these two connect at the most important point in their lives.
I'm a huge sucker for friends to lovers stories and this one is absolutely one of the best I've ever read. It's the third in this series, but every single one of these books can be read as a stand-alone. (Although the entire series has been really, really good.) I just hope that someday they come out in print, because I really want copies of all of them to put onto my keeper shelves. In the meantime, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS ONE!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.