Early Review: Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

Hawke by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Cold Fury Hockey #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 15th 2016
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Carolina Cold Fury hockey team proves that love is a power play. As Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling series continues, the league’s most notorious party animal gets blindsided by the one that got away.

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.

Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.

Second chance romances are favorite kinds of romances to read, so when I heard Sawyer Bennett was going to have one in her Cold Fury Hockey series, I couldn’t wait! I adore this series – sexy hockey players get me every time. Hawke is the fifth book in the series, though it can be read as a standalone. Though this isn’t my favorite of the series, it’s still got that sweetness and sexiness that Sawyer Bennett excels at writing. If you enjoyed the previous books in the series, you’re sure to enjoy Hawke too.

I’m not prepared to see her at all because I’m not sure I can behave myself around her. I want her and yet I don’t want to want her.
And I mean I want her viciously.

Seven years ago, Hawke and Vale were twenty, volatile, and head over heels in love with each other. But when Vale breaks up with Hawke out of the blue right before he’s set to leave to play professional hockey, he’s understandably devastated and confused. The both of them move on and never once look back, until their lives collide again, now that Hawke is part of the Cold Fury team and Vale is working for the team as the assistant athletic trainer.

I wonder, had this one horrific event not occurred, would we have grown together over the years, or apart?
I’d like to think together, because despite the fact we were young and probably clueless as to what real commitment was like, there was something we had that I’ve never found again, and I’m pretty sure Vale hasn’t either.
And that was a tethering of our souls.

Hawke is… predictable. A fun predictable, but still, there just wasn’t anything about this story that popped out to me. I didn’t connect all that well with Vale or Hawke so I didn’t love this like I hoped to. I hate when miscommunication is the reason for a breakup, so I was a little disappointed that that was the reason for this couple’s fallout. Plus, I didn’t like that Hawke kept blaming everything that went wrong with their relationship on Vale. Yes, she has most of the blame, but he has some part in it too for not fighting for her. He got on my nerves more than a few times, honestly. But while I wasn’t a fan of Hawke’s character, I absolutely adored Vale. She’s so much more mature now than she was at twenty and she’s been working to the bone to help with her father’s sickness. It sucks when you like one main character over another, but sadly this was the case for me, so it was hard to fully love the story because of this.

This is definitely my least favorite of the series, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it at all, because there were still some fun, entertaining parts to this. Hawke is frustrating at times, but also sweet at others. And since it’s Sawyer Bennett, it’s also sexy as hell. I’m definitely looking forward to Max’s story now, and I hope it won’t be the last of the series!

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Cold Fury Hockey series

Alex by Sawyer Bennett Garrett by Sawyer Bennett
Zack by Sawyer Bennett Ryker by Sawyer Bennett Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

#1 ~ Alex: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Garrett: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Zack: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Ryker: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Hawke: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Max: Ebook • Goodreads (Dec. 13, 2016)


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAM • GOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Best Books of 2015 + Giveaway!

Can you believe it’s already the end of 2015!? It went by SO fast, and yet it’s been an amazing year filled with so many incredible books. I read over 300 books this year (what!?) and I STILL have a never-ending TBR, which I’m sure will last me my lifetime. So to celebrate the end of the year, I’ve compiled my list of my top 15 books of the year, PLUS a fantastic giveaway to win one of the books below and a $15 gift card! It was so hard to narrow down to 15, but I really tried. So here they are alphabetical order (except for one)! Let me know in the comments what your favorite books of 2015 are!


1. Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

KULTI!!!!! Hands down, Kulti is my absolute FAVORITE book of the year!!! This book is the only one out of order because it’s seriously the BEST book I’ve read this year. It was just so easy to choose my all-time favorite, because Kulti is that amazing and more. This was my first read from Mariana Zapata, but I know it won’t be my last. I adored EVERY single word of Kulti – the hilarious, sassy heroine, the moody, sexy hero, the friends to lovers romance between them, even soccer. This is simply romance at its finest.

“Every single thing that has ever happened in my life has led me here, Sal. Destiny is a ladder, a series of steps that takes you where you’re supposed to go. I am the man that I am, and I have done the things that I’ve done, to get me to you.”


2. Risking it All by Tessa Bailey

Risking it All by Tessa Bailey

Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I went on a Tessa Bailey reading marathon this year and literally read every single one of her books, and Risking it All is seriously my FAVORITE of them all! BOWEN!!!! I’m obsessed with this alpha bad boy. The love he has for his heroine, the way he’ll do anything for her and to protect her, his dirty mouth… it takes my breath away. Risking it All was the perfect bad boy-good girl read!

“Ah, sweetheart, I don’t fuck around with virgins.” His head dipped, teeth closing around her ear and tugging. “But I’ll get down on my knees and eat that untouched pussy like a motherfucker.”


3. Zack by Sawyer Bennett

Zack by Sawyer Bennett

My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads

Zack is my faaavorite Sawyer Bennett book to date! This was the perfect forbidden love story between a widowed single father and his son’s babysitter. It was sweet, charming, emotional, surprisingly funny, and seriously hot as hell. It’s also a hockey romance (who doesn’t love those!?), so for fans of sports romances, you definitely need to read this book (and series). Each of the books in the Cold Fury Hockey series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend read them in order.

“You were what has been missing all my life.”


4. The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I still cannot get over how freaking HOT that cover is. Just look. at. it. I adore every one of the books in the Game On series, but The Friend Zone is without a doubt my favorite of the series so far. It’s a friends to lovers book, which is my all-time favorite trope, so how could I not love it!? It’s a fantastic NA sports romance with hilarious characters and the sweetest, most heart-warming romance there is. Gray just makes me SWOON!

“The fact is, Ivy, for me, there is one absolute truth. The sum of my existence equals you.”


5. The Master by Kresley Cole

The Master by Kresley Cole

Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

I have to admit, I’ve already reread The Master at least five times over the course of the year. I wasn’t a big fan of the first book in The Game Maker series, but when I read this second one, it blew me away. I was seriously addicted to Cat and Maksim’s story! Cat is one of my favorite heroines ever, because she’s just so hilarious and sassy and doesn’t hold back from Maksim. And holy god, Maksim!!! He is sex on a stick. If you’re looking for a fantastic erotic romance, you absolutely NEED to read The Master!

“You aren’t done with me yet?” He pinned my gaze with his own. With a surprisingly smooth accent, he told me, “Nunca voy a terminar contigo.” I’ll never be done with you.”


6. Aflame and Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Aflame by Penelope Douglas Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Aflame: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Corrupt: Character Q&A • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I’m cheating here a little, including two Penelope Douglas books, but I had to! Aflame and Corrupt are my two favorite reads from Penelope this year. First off, I am so, so happy she decided to write Aflame. Even though I was hesitant to read it, it really did feel like the right direction for Tate and Jared, and I couldn’t be happier with the way their story continued in Aflame. This book is the perfect ending to one of my all-time favorite couples, but mainly, I just LOVED reading about Tate and Jared again.

“For better or worse, you’ve been my other half since I was ten years old, and I can’t imagine a future I’d want without you in it. You’re the love of my life.”

As for Corrupt, this book totally messed with my mind. It left me speechless in the best way possible – I had such high expectations since the second this book was announced, and I wasn’t disappointed. Rika and Michael’s story consumed me, and I honestly still can’t get it out of my mind. It’s an unforgettable, gritty, thrilling read, and if you like dark erotic romances, you absolutely MUST read this book.

“Our scrapes and bruises, tattoos, scars, smiles, and wrinkles told our stories, and I didn’t want a pristine piece of wallpaper. I wanted her and everything she was.”


7. Manwhore series by Katy Evans

Manwhore by Katy Evans Manwhore +1 by Katy Evans Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans

#1 ~ Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Manwhore +1: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Ms. Manwhore: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Malcolm. Freaking. Saint!!! AHHH!!! This gorgeous billionaire stole my heart and took my breath away! Katy Evans knows how to write alpha-males, and she hit it out of the ball park with Malcolm Saint. If you love heroes who will sweep you away, you absolutely must read the Manwhore series. I am obsessed with this series!!

“Do you know what I’d do for you?” A huskiness enters his voice as he circles my chin with his thumb. “You’re the only heaven I will ever know, Rachel”–He looks into my eyes–“and if you were a hell, I’d sin my whole life just to stay with you.”


8. Bad Habits series by Staci Hart

With a Twist by Staci Hart Chaser by Staci Hart

#1 ~ With a Twist: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Chaser: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I’m so happy to have discovered Staci Hart this year. She’s a new-to-me author and I LOVED her Bad Habits series. Each of the books in the series can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend reading them in order, because each is very closely connected to each other. With a Twist is a charming friends to lover romance and Chase is the sexy older brother’s best friend trope. All of the characters in the series are written so well that they felt real to me, and I can’t wait for the third and final book!

“I’ve been around the world, and I thought I’d seen everything it had to offer until that night, until I saw you. In all my life, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful, not standing in the Blue Mosque or the Taj Mahal. Not in the streets of rome or canals of Venice. Making you smile gives me life. Making you laugh gives me hope. Making you happy is all I want, other than to keep you.”


9. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November Nine by Colleen Hoover

My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

What’s a top favorite list on Booklovers For Life without Colleen freaking Hoover!? And it just so happens that November 9 is #9 on my list! You guys, I loved this book. It was such a unique, addicting read. CoHo’s writing is flawless as always, and the fascinating storyline (the main characters meet once a year) kept me riveted to the pages. If you haven’t read Colleen Hoover’s books yet, you really need to get on that. Her books are NA at its finest!

It took four years for me to fall in love with him.
It only took four pages to stop.


10. Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy

The Deal by Elle Kennedy The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

#1 ~ The Deal: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Mistake: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The Off-Campus series just might be my favorite sports romance series of the year. I LOVED The Deal – this is a must-read NA book. I didn’t think Elle Kennedy could top it, but I was so wrong. The Mistake, Logan’s story, is definitely my favorite of the series so far. Logan is hilarious and so adorable, and the way he makes his mistake up to Grace makes for an incredibly entertaining read. This book – and series – is well-written, funny, heartwarming, so freaking sweet… You absolutely need to read it if you haven’t already. (And btw, The Score is SOOOO GOOD!)

“I need you. I can’t stand the thought of being without you.” He releases a shaky breath. “You’re the last person I think about before I go to sleep, and the first person I think about when I open my eyes in the morning. You’re it for me, baby.”


11. Elements of Chemistry series by Penny Reid

Attraction by Penny Reid Capture by Penny Reid Heat by Penny Reid

#1 ~ Attraction: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Heat: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Capture: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#1-3 ~ Elements of Chemistry Bundle: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

I’m so ashamed to say that I only started reading Penny Reid this year. I have seriously been missing out! She writes the best, SMART romances with witty characters and fantastic stories. The Elements of Chemistry series is my favorite of hers yet – I loved Katy and Martin’s journey of a romance. I loved the way their characters developed and grew over the course of the series. Their story is funny, sweet, addicting, and so much fun to read.

“Why do people care about each other? What is attraction? I can’t give you a list of reasons why I react to you like I do. This isn’t an equation to balance. You’re the one I’m always thinking about. It’s you. It just is.”


12. Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Rose and Connor make up my all-time favorite power couple!!! I adored them in Kiss the Sky and fell in love with them even more in Fuel the Fire. This book was… phenomenal. I’m so glad Rose and Connor got a second book, but I’m going to miss them so much! They are unique and endlessly fascinating and I could honestly read about them forever. And just for the record, the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series is my FAVORITE NA series of all time, so if you haven’t started it yet, I can’t recommend it enough!

There are rare people who will fuel the fire inside of you, who will awaken a dormant passion, who will challenge you, who will push you and better you. She alone is my rarity.


13. The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

The Hotter You Burn by Gena Showalter

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

I had no idea what I was in for when I started The Hotter You Burn – I found myself utterly charmed by this book. Gena Showalter has written an absolutely delightful, feel-good, heartwarming romance that I can’t recommend enough! It’s equal parts wickedly sexy and heartwarmingly sweet. The humor in this book had me giggling so hard, and it was just so easy to fall in love with the characters and story. I can’t wait to read the other books in The Original Heartbreakers series after reading this gem of a novel!

“There is nothing I won’t do for you, and nothing I won’t do to keep you. You’re it for me. My one. My only.”


14. Archangel’s Enigma by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

Naasir’s book was a long time coming, and Nalini Singh did NOT disappoint. This book was captivating, sensual, heart-pounding, and unputdownable. I don’t read paranormal romances much these days, but reading Archangel’s Enigma reminded me of all the reasons why I love that genre. Naasir stole my heart and I was swept away by his and Andromeda’s romance. The romance is truly one of the best I’ve read from Nalini Singh, which is saying something, because her romances are top-notch.

“If you’re mine, you’re mine. And I’m yours. Today, tomorrow, always.”


15. Untamed by S.C. Stephens

Untamed by S.C. Stephens

My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads

Untamed is the book that surprised me the most this year. I didn’t like Kiera and Kellan in Thoughtless, and I honestly thought I’d never pick up another book in that series again. But Untamed had me curious since it was Griffin’s story… and it simply blew me away. It took me a while to get into it, since Griffin is just so crass, but by the end of it, I nearly wanted to cry, I was so emotional. This book was surprisingly so much more meaningful and heart-wrenching than I’d expected, and I applaud S.C. Stephens for the incredible way she wrote Griffin’s character development. I’ve never felt more proud of a character than I had when I with Griffin when I finished his story.

I’d been handed fame on a platter and hadn’t appreciated it until it was too late.


giveaway button

2 winners (open internationally):
Your choice of TWO of the listed favorite books (paperback or ebook) + $15 GC!
Your choice of ONE of the listed favorite books (paperback or ebook) + $15 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

lacey


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTER • INSTAGRAM • GOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Early Review: Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Cold Fury Hockey #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 8th 2015
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

I’m a huge fan of the Cold Fury Hockey series, so I had high expectations for Ryker, and it didn’t disappoint! Ryker is another fantastic addition to this sports romance series I’ve come to love so much. I’d been eagerly awaiting Ryker’s story ever since meeting him in Zack (which will forever be my favorite Cold Fury Hockey book) and I loved – LOVED – that Ryker’s book was a forbidden office romance. With a female boss! Sawyer Bennett totally rocked Ryker and Gray’s book – fans of the series won’t want to miss it!

Gray Brannon is Cold Fury’s newest general manager – and she’s made sports history by being the first female GM for a hockey team. Gray is tough, smart, kickass, and a complete take-charge woman – but not everyone likes the idea of having a female GM. There are some very misogynistic people in the Cold Fury team, but she finds an ally in Ryker Evans. The sexy single father is incredibly supportive and respectful of her job… but there’s an underlying chemistry between the two of them they can’t ignore.

I. Cannot. Be. Involved. With. Him.
It’s that simple.
Except . . . I’m the type of person who’s known for bending the rules.
Hell, throwing the rules out the door.
I’m a pioneer. A risk taker. A box breaker.
I answer to no one but my self.

Ryker is the single father of two adorable little girls and the goalie for Carolina Cold Fury. These are two very tough jobs, but Ryker gives nothing less than 100% of his time and effort for the things he cares about most: his family and hockey. But when Gray Brannon became the new GM, he knows he’s met an incredible woman who he might want to spend the rest of his life with, so he goes after her, regardless of the consequences.

I adored Ryker! Seriously. He’s a wonderful dad and a wonderful person. I do wish that there could’ve been more scenes between Ryker and his daughters. I swoon so hard for loving single fathers! And I absolutely LOVED how much Ryker respected, appreciated, and admired Gray – he made the perfect hero. Even when they start their relationship, Ryker respects her enough to keep their affair a secret, though he’s very adamant that it’s not a fling. Their romance was a bit slow, but genuine, and I just really appreciated the way Sawyer Bennett wrote this forbidden romance.

For the first time in my life, I feel interest in something other than my career.
I feel needed.
I feel happy.
I. Feel. Everything.
And I don’t want to let it go.
For the first time in my life, I feel love for a man other than my father.

What I liked about Ryker was how little drama there was WITHIN the relationship. There are lots of outside forces that won’t let Ryker and Gray be together, including Ryker’s ex-wife, but the two of them are just so mature and steady in their feelings for each other. As long as the two of them have confidence in each other, which they do, they’ll come out on top.

This book is also very much about the Cold Fury team as a whole. Gray has a lot of work to do in order to win over her team and to get them to work together, but she’s a woman who gets the job done. Also? We get to see a lot of Alex and Sutton, Garrett and Olivia, and Zack and Kate. Especially Zack and Kate, which made me so incredibly happy. Fans of Zack are going to LOVE what happens in Ryker!

I seriously adore Sawyer Bennett’s Cold Fury Hockey series, and not just for the hot the covers – if you’re a fan of sports romances, these books are absolute MUST READS! They’re full of heart, humor, and sexy-as-hell hockey men. And one last reason you should read Ryker? Because Ryker’s character was inspired by this guy. 😉

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Cold Fury Hockey series

Alex by Sawyer Bennett Garrett by Sawyer Bennett
Zack by Sawyer Bennett Ryker by Sawyer Bennett Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

#1 ~ Alex: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Garrett: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Zack: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Ryker: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Hawke: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Max: Ebook • Goodreads (Dec. 13, 2016)


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog Tour + Excerpt & Giveaway: Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker tour banner
Click the banner to follow the tour.

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Ryker by Sawyer Bennett! We have an exclusive first look at Ryker as well as a fantastic giveaway!

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Cold Fury Hockey #4 (full reading order below)
Release Date: September 8th 2015
Loveswept
Add to Goodreads

The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.

The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.

As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure is on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from Ryker! ❤

excerpt button

“D-a-a-a-d,” Ruby shrieks from upstairs.

It’s a sound that once used to cause all the hair to stand up on my arms and on more than one occasion caused me to go tearing after the call of my youngest daughter thinking she was being murdered by an intruder. I’ve since come to recognize that particular shrill cry as one of excitement and wonder, and I can’t help but grin over what Ruby is possibly into now. At almost five years old, she refuses to accept the concept of a well-mannered, indoor voice and goes balls to the wall in everything she does.

“Is the house on fire, Rubes?” I call out.

Her little voice shouts back to me in a squawk. “No.”

“Have aliens landed?” I keep my voice just loud enough to carry up the stairs but stilldecibels below her own.

“No,” she yells, and there . . . right there . . . that’s a little giggle from her.

“Did Timmy fall down the well?”

“No, Dad . . . but you have to come here,” she yells, and, to give her credit, it’s toned down just a bit. When I don’t answer her right away, she calls down in a sweet voice that makes my heart pitter-patter. “Please, Dad.”

Brilliant, little brat. Throwing in some manners to throw me off my game.

“I’ll be right there,” I tell her as I finish the last of Violet’s braid and manage to efficiently bind it with a hair elastic. Leaning over, I place a kiss on her head. “All done, dreamy dwarf.”

Violet leans her head back and gives me an upside-down grin. I love the sprinkle of freckles on her nose and it compels me to kiss her again.

“Do me a favor,” I tell her as I turn toward the living room. “Get the cereal and milk out for me while I go see what your sister needs?”

I don’t bother waiting to see what she does, because Violet has become my metaphorical right hand over the last few months. While she still loves for me to braid her hair and help with her homework, she’s also relished taking on a bit of a caretaker role since the girls moved in with me permanently this past summer.

They’ve been here almost six months and I actually feel like I know what the hell I’m doing now. It wasn’t always like that, and thank God for Kate’s help or I would have gone insane in those first few months of becoming a single parent of two little girls. Kate patiently helped me establish a routine and taught me how to braid hair, distinguish excited shrieks from cries of pain, and most important . . . how to conduct the perfect princess tea party.

I skirt my way through the living room, bending over to pick up one of Ruby’s dolls from the floor, and bound up the stairs taking two at a time. I find Ruby in the bathroom that she and Violet share, bent over the toilet and peering at something.

She shares the same dark hair and gray eyes as Violet, except her locks spring out everywhere in a mass of tiny curls. I have no idea where that came from, but assume it’s a rogue strand of ancestral DNA from either me or my soon-to-be ex-wife, Hensley. Both of us, as well as Violet, have fairly straight hair, so Ruby is definitely dipping into the family gene pool with her wild curls, but damn . . . they totally fit with her personality.

“What’s up?” I ask as I walk over to the toilet.

She straightens up, shoots me a grin, and points. “Look . . . a spider.”

I cautiously take a step forward and lean over, grimacing as I look into the bowl.

And holy shit . . . a spider the size of a T rex is floating on the surface, all eight legs spread out, bent and poised to look as if it’s ready to leap out and attach itself to my face. I suppress a full spinal shudder and reach a tentative hand toward the handle to flush it.

Two things happen almost simultaneously that take at least three years off my life.

The spider somehow manages to skitter across the water, the beast so large it actually creates waves, and Ruby shrieks at me, “No! Don’t kill it, Dad!”

It is with a major blow to my pride—as a man, as a dad, as a six-foot, six-inch professional hockey player nicknamed the Brick because I’m as big and tough as a brick wall—that I jump backward at least two feet from the monster-infested toilet and banshee-crying sprite, causing my hip to slam into the corner of the sink.

“Shit,” I curse loudly, and Ruby’s eyes go round, followed by her lips.

“Oh, Dad . . . that’s a bad word.”

No shit.

I smile at her as I rub my hip. That’s definitely going to leave a bruise. “Sorry, Rubes. I’ll put a dollar in the swear jar.”

She merely nods her acceptance of my apology and turns worried eyes back to the toilet.

“You have to save it,” she implores.

Yeah . . . that’s not going to happen. Not now. Not ever.

“Sure, baby,” I tell her as I take her by the shoulder and turn her toward the bathroom door. I swear the spider glares at me with a million red, evil eyes. “Go on down and get breakfast. Violet’s fixing your cereal. I’ll get the spider out.”

“Okay,” Ruby says as she pulls away from me, but continues to give me instructions. “But let it out the front door and I’ll bring it some food later.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I assure her as she disappears down the stairs. When I hear her feet hit the bottom landing, I turn toward the toilet, intent on a quick flush to put me out of my misery.

Except when I look in the bowl, the fucking thing is gone.

I’ll just go ahead and admit it. Spiders scare the living hell out of me. I have no clue why, and while I would battle the biggest, baddest monster to the death for my daughters, I’d much rather flush a little spider down the toilet.

I immediately scramble backward out of the bathroom, grabbing the doorknob and shutting it quickly behind me. My heart is racing a million miles an hour, the thought of that furry hell beast now loose in my house.

Just one more thing on the list of things I still need to do today.

Get the girls dressed and ready for school.

Take the girls to school.

Clean up the spilled laundry detergent.

Finish the laundry.

Arm myself with a can of hairspray and a lighter to torch the rogue spider in the bathroom.

Pick up my dry cleaning.

Work out.

Team practice.

Pick up the girls from Kate and Zack’s house.

Dinner.

Baths.

Story time and cuddling.

Go to bed because I’ll be exhausted.

Easy as fucking pie, and I’ll get up and do it all over again the next day with a smile on my face. I’m finding life as a single parent isn’t as daunting as I thought it would be and I’ve finally found my groove.

Reading Order: Cold Fury Hockey series

Alex by Sawyer Bennett Garrett by Sawyer Bennett Zack by Sawyer Bennett Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

#1 ~ Alex: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Garrett: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Zack: My Review • EbookGoodreads
#4 ~ Ryker: Ebook • Goodreads (Sept. 8, 2015)

about the author button

Sawyer BennettUSA 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.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Pinterest

giveaway button

Select Loveswept Ebook Bundle

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Early Review: Zack by Sawyer Bennett

Zack by Sawyer Bennett

Zack by Sawyer Bennett
Series: Cold Fury Hockey #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 9th 2015
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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.

OH MY GOD. YES. I. Loved. Zack! I’d been seriously SO excited for Zack’s book after reading what happened to him in Garrett. My heart was devastated for him… But I knew that his tragedy would make for an even better book. And yes, Zack absolutely did not disappoint! It’s currently my favorite of the Cold Fury Hockey series, which I highly recommend! It’s a fantastic series about hot, sexy hockey players who fall hard for their women… what’s not to love!?

Zack is a lot different than the two previous books in the series. It has a more serious tone to it, and at the same time, I laughed the hardest in this book. An odd combination, but Sawyer Bennett rocked it. I was a bit worried about how Zack would play out, but I should’ve trusted the author from the beginning. I absolutely adored Zack and Kate’s story – I loved the angst, the forbidden-ness, the sweet moments… it really was a fantastic book.

My insides feel dead, my capacity to care for much of anything seems lost, but there are two things that still keep me functioning. It’s the prospect of playing hockey again, and, most important, my son, Ben.

Zack Grantham is grief-stricken and devastated over the accident that led to the death of Gina, the mother of his son, Ben. Even though he never married Gina, he still loved her, and his heart is still in mourning over her. But life moves on, and when Zack is finally able to get back into hockey, he needs to hire a nanny to take care of Ben when he’s away.

Enter Kate Francis. A dorky, nerdy, hilarious twenty-three year old woman working her way through college. Kate is seriously the most endearing, adorkable heroine ever. I honestly love Kate more than Zack, because she’s just so funny, heartwarming, and incredible. I love Zack too, but he got frustrating sometimes… But Kate is pure heart and gold. I adored the way she took care of Ben and grew to actually love him. She’s so great with him, and she’s fantastic with dealing with a grieving Zack. She’s the only person to have been able to make him smile and laugh since Gina died.

Zack may not have thought much about Kate when she first starts working, but one glimpse of Kate in her short, revealing pajamas and Zack is hooked. The tension between Kate and Zack is out of this world… this book is hot, hot, hot!!! I was fanning myself like crazy once they start a sex-only relationship. Some scenes, like the one in Zack’s man cave… hot. damn. Of course, Zack doesn’t want feelings involved between them because he thinks he’s no longer capable of love after Gina. Which I get, but Zack is stubbornly oblivious to his own growing feelings for Kate.

There’s a part of me that wants to show her everything.
To show here all about exploration and intimacy and all of the different ways I could make her come. I want to learn her body and have her get to know mine. I want her wild with abandon, and every time I take her I want it to be in a way that completely possesses her.

Zack was frustrating in this book, with his refusal to accept his loving Kate, yes, but it was the kind of frustrating that I could understand. Sawyer Bennett did an excellent job in writing and explaining Zack’s character – we can appreciate how he loved Gina, but we can firmly see that Zack grows to be IN LOVE with Kate. His love for the mother of his son doesn’t at all diminish his love for Kate.

“You were what has been missing all my life.”

What was so unexpected about this book was how funny it was. I was expecting the angst, what with the guilt and forbidden aspect to Kate and Zack’s relationship, but I had no idea I would be cracking up so much throughout this book! Kate is so, SO funny. She says the most hilarious, crazy, adorkable things… she’s a complete dork! And Ben was absolutely adorable too – Ben and Zack together totally melted my heart.

If you’re a fan of the series, Zack is a must read! It wrung so many feelings out of me, but by the end I was smiling like a goofball. It was the perfect combination of sexy, angsty, and emotional. Aside from Zack’s frustrations, this book was nearly perfect!

4.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Cold Fury Hockey series

Alex by Sawyer Bennett Garrett by Sawyer Bennett
Zack by Sawyer Bennett Ryker by Sawyer Bennett Hawke by Sawyer Bennett

#1 ~ Alex: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Garrett: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Zack: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Ryker: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Hawke: My Review • Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#6 ~ Max: Ebook • Goodreads (Dec. 13, 2016)

Check out a special guest post with Sawyer Bennett, in which she interviews the Cold Fury players!


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.