Book Review: Shut Out by Kelly Jamieson

Funny story about this one. Sometimes ARCs have weird typos that (hopefully) don’t show up in the final copy. I happened to look at the cover page and noticed that the author was there as Kelly Jammiest instead of Kelly Jamieson. Jammiest is such a fun word, and ever since then, anytime I want to talk about something I like, I want to call it “the jammiest.”

On a more serious note, date rape and sexual assault is a huge theme in this book, so consider this a trigger warning.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
After being accused of date rape, a Canadian college student is sent to a college in the states where he can still pursue a hockey career. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

When Life Hands You Lemons, Change Countries
Jacob is accused of rape at his college in Canada, and even though he’s a favorite for the NHL, he’s now being kicked off his college hockey team. Jacob is actually a good guy who didn’t have anything to do with the rape and at the time, perceived the situation as one where consent was being given.

One option offered to Jacob is that he go to a college in the U.S. to finish out his college hockey career. However, he has to keep keeps his GPA up, not get into trouble, and attend a class about sexual assault. He’s not happy about the situation, but he wants to play hockey, so he rolls with it.

Shot Down
Skylar is into Jacob the first time she meets him at a party, and though he seems to be interested in her, he turns her down when she asks him if he wants to “go upstairs.” Not realizing he has a good reason not to go upstairs with anyone, she feels dejected. But as luck would have it, she helps teach the sexual assault classes he has to take, so they find themselves thrown together again and Jacob is able to explain his side of things…minus the date rape thing, which he decides not to disclose for various reasons.

Faking It
Since Jacob wants to focus on school…which means avoiding the women throwing themselves at him…he enlists decide to have a “fake relationship” to help his cause. Skylar goes along with it because she has no intention of dating anyone. She’s in the same boat. A tragedy with a friend of hers caused her to fail out the previous semester, and now she needs to do well if she wants to stay in school.

Fake relationships rarely work out in romance novels because that stuff doesn’t stay fake for long, and Skylar and Jacob spend a lot of time pretending it’s not serious when it really is. Their relationship quickly becomes a close friendship with a lot of sex on the side.


Sensitive Issues
I thought the topic of date rape was handled really well, with levity and complexity. Skylar and Jacob have several discussions about it, and through these conversations, Jacob realizes how he could have handled the situation he was involved in differently. This gives him some guilt, but Skylar plays devil’s advocate, and the result is a situation that reminds you that things aren’t always black and white.

Side Stories
College hockey plays a big part in the book, and I loved the personal nostalgia. There’s also a side story involving Skylar’s best friend who’s going through a rough time and adds to the issue of consent while intoxicated that’s part of the date rape discussions.

The Romance Factor
One of my favorite parts of Jacob and Skylar’s relationship was how much he supported her. Skylar is going to school to be a doctor, but she’s doing it because her parents expect it of her, not because she wants to. Jacob stands behind her and encourages her to pursue what she wants to do. I also loved the angst caused by the whole “We’re supposed to be faking this relationship but I’m falling in love” thing both of them had going on…and of course didn’t communicate to the other. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The first sex scene doesn’t even involve them touching each other, and it’s still hot. The scenes are frequent enough to make the book feel racy without taking away from the serious points of the novel. 5/5


Final Thoughts
I’m really excited about this new hockey series, and I hope we get to know some of the other characters we caught a glimpse of in this first book. It was well written without being preachy or offensive, and it was overall a great romance.

Book Review: Interference by Sophia Henry

The Pilots Hockey novels are another example of a series that started out a little shaky for me but continues to get better with each story. Even though the characters irked me a bit in this one, I still enjoyed the story and I like all the social and family connections between the characters.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A cop falls for a single mother and starts a relationship even though he knows he won’t stay in the area. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Teen Mistakes
Indie is a single mother who got pregnant in high school and had to give up her dreams because the father of her baby refused to give up on his and help her with the child. Now he’s back in the picture, but he’s still not helpful and causes more harm than good on most days. Still, she has her younger brother and her mom to help her with her son, and since she’s going to college part time, she knows she’ll eventually reach her goals.

Cop With Issues
Jason moved to the small town to get experience as a cop, but his end goal is to return to Detroit. When he meets Indie, he knows he shouldn’t get attached because he’s not staying, but he can’t help himself. They start dating and the relationship ends up getting more serious. Jason falls for Indie and her son, but he has is own issues. He was given up for adoption when he was a baby, and it’s bothered him all his life, regardless of the fact that he grew up with a wonderful family and siblings.

The Conflict is Real
For the most part, Indie and Jason’s relationship seems normal, and I liked the realism of it. The conflict often comes when Jason wallows in his issues and Indie tries to make him see how selfish he’s being, seeing his issues as a reflection (sort of) of her own choices. They have some good conversations about it, and while I was never really sure where I stood on the issue, it made for some interesting conflict.


The Douchie Ex
There’s also the wrench of Indie’s child’s father in the picture, a real douche who wants time with his son when it’s convenient for him. When he threatens Jason and tells him to leave Indie alone, Jason actually thinks the idiot might be right, that maybe he shouldn’t be in a relationship with her and maybe he can’t ask her to move back to Detroit with him. Jason isn’t always on point with how he thinks about things.

The Good Side
The story itself was entertaining, and of course the hockey references made me happy. But these characters…I don’t even know. There were things I liked about them. Jason is a really nice guy who puts Indie first when they’re together. He bends over backwards to make her happy and to smooth things over if they have an argument. Indie is determined to reach her goals, and she says a few times that when she makes a decision, she does it with her son in mind, always trying to make the best decision for him. I liked them together and I liked them trying to overcome things that happened in their past, including Indie being seen as a slut for getting pregnant in high school thanks to small town views.

The Not-So-Good Side
But there were also things that drove me nuts about them. Even getting Indie’s point of view and understanding her motivations didn’t help the fact that I found her super passive-aggressive. Also, she’s under 21 and when she reveals this to Jason…a cop…as they’re drinking beer…he doesn’t really seem to care. She makes the argument that if someone has a kid before 21 they should be allowed to drink, and that line of reasoning bugged me. I’d be fine with them lowering the drinking age, sure, but generally speaking, having a kid doesn’t make you a responsible adult (to be fair, that goes for anyone of any age). Also, I would expect a cop to be a little more upset about the situation than Jason was. And, you know, maybe stop her from drinking.


The Romance Factor
Jason treats Indie well, and I enjoyed how he brought her into his family and supported everything she did. Which made it all the better when they have their big conflict…more angst, more feels. 4/5

The Steam Factor
This story is pretty light on the details of the sexy times, focusing more on the dynamic of Jason and Indie’s relationship rather than the steaminess of their bedroom interactions. 2/5

Final Thoughts
Though the characters were flawed and sometimes annoying, I liked that I could relate to them and see both sides of the story. I enjoyed the cameos from past characters and, of course, all the fun Michigan references. If there are more in this series, it’ll be interesting to see who the next set of characters are.

Book Review: Icing by Kelly Jamieson

I’ve been waiting for this novel since I read the first Aces Hockey book. It was a given that Duncan would have his own story, I just had to be patient and wait for it.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A model and waitress who’s sworn off professional athletes for personal reasons finds herself attracted to a hockey player who’s decided he needs to stay away from models. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

More Than a Wallet
Duncan and Amber are both cute, sweet characters who’ve been burned in different ways. Duncan has always dated hot women who’ve used him, and with his latest model girlfriend, he finally realized that being used for his money wasn’t something he wanted.  He swears off dating models (which seems to be his modus operandi), which means he’s free to take interest in the pretty, down-to-earth waitress who works at the bar he and his teammates frequent. But then he finds out she’s a model, which throws a wrench in things.

Not Open for Athletes
Amber makes ends meet by waitressing and modeling. Though initially interested in Duncan, she’s turned off when she finds out that he’s a hockey player. She doesn’t have a thing against hockey players specifically, but she doesn’t want to go near a professional athlete, the reasons for which are eventually revealed, so I won’t spoil them.


Getting What They Don’t Want
The fact that they don’t want date the other because of who they represent goes up against their attraction to each other. They attempt friendship, but eventually they give in to the screaming of their loins. I liked that they start out doing normal things. The simple diner that Duncan takes Amber to charms her, and Amber finds herself drawn to Duncan’s farm boyishness. Even when they finally do give in and start letting their guards down, they face the issue of Amber being the only model who doesn’t want Duncan’s money as well as the only one Duncan wants to buy stuff for.

Shoots & Scores
Not all hockey romances bring the hockey action, but this one did. We got a lot of game scenes and hockey talk, which made my heart happy and reaffirmed that I really need to get to more hockey games this year.


The Romance Factor
Amber and Duncan are good people who are sweet to each other and who’s relationship evolves at a realistic but emotional pace. There’s a sense of normalcy about how they date that I enjoyed, and when misunderstandings come up between them, there’s a lot of emotion. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The sexy times are erotic and satisfying, yet happen naturally as part of the story. I did have to laugh at the instances where they wanted to be alone but had to endure the company of Lovey and Marc (from the first novel). It was like forced foreplay. 4/5

Final Thoughts
Though the tropes are standard, this book was a really fun read and I wasn’t at all disappointed in Duncan’s story. There is some sad parts in the book regarding another team member, and hints at possible future stories, so I’m hopeful that I’ll get more Aces hockey goodness in the future.

Book Review: Power Play by Sophia Henry

I’d had some issues with the first book, but it had enough redeeming qualities that I wanted to continue the series. This book was actually a more enjoyable read for me in general, and though there were a few things that gave me “meh” moments, I connected more with the characters and liked the way everything played out.

Trigger warning: Rape is a prevalent theme in this one, so proceed with caution.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A young woman trying to help her family run a business finds that her long time crush is not as unrequited as she thought it was, but past trauma threatens her chance at happiness. For a full synopsis see this book’s Goodreads page.

Hockey 4Eva
I’m always drawn to books that center around hockey, and like the first one in the series, this one takes us back to Detroit and the minor league hockey team, the Pilots (though there are enough Red Wings references to keep me happy).

ice hockey falling

Italian “Princess”
Gabriella helps run her family’s store, so when her father has a heart attack, she’s determined to do what she can to market the store and bring in more business, despite the fact her father hasn’t trusted her to run the store and has given the job to Gabriella’s loser brother who can’t even run a credit card the right way.

Not Your Typical Player
Landon is a hockey player who’s had a crush on Gabriella for years. She’s had one on him too, but in her mind, he’s a hockey player  and way too good for her. So when he helps her the day her father goes the hospital, he uses this as his gateway to finally telling her how he feels about her. He’s kind of cute in a nerdy way that one doesn’t normally associate with hockey players.

Playing Out the Relationship
I prefer that romance build in the stories I read, so the fact that Landon tells Gabriella he’s had a crush on her before the book is even halfway done took away from the foreplay factor. Once the feelings are in the open, most stories just play out the dynamics of the relationship. In this case, though, Gabriella can’t seem to come to terms with the fact that the man she’s been infatuated with for years would actually return her feelings.

Past Trauma
There’s a lot of back and forth with Gabriella saying she’s not beautiful and Landon telling her she is. At first, I found this annoying, but then the story unfolds and it becomes understandable where this comes from. Even though we find out right at the beginning that Gabriella was raped, it’s not until later when she’s trying to make a relationship work with Landon that we see how it’s affected her life. Even though, as a reader, we have a general idea, it definitely makes an impact when the details are revealed.

Family Probs
This is another book with family that can be classified as pains in the asses. While Gabriella’s mother and one of her brother’s is okay and supportive of Gabriella, the loser brother and her father are so highly unlikable. I wasn’t a fan of Gabriella being treated less than because she was a young woman when she obviously kicked ass at working. There were a couple redeeming moments for her family, but overall, I really didn’t like them.

Tough Subjects
The subject of rape was handled well.  Because Gabriella was raped by someone she knew, and because the family had ties with the family of the boy who raped her, she was basically ignored in favor of keeping business relations with the family of the rapist (her grandfather was an ass). I liked that the author also included things that come along with rape, such as depression and anxiety, and the stigma that Gabriella felt about having to take medications to handle what she thought was her “crazy.”

The Romance Factor
Landon is sweet and treats Gabriella with respect, support, and kindness. Though not super angsty, there’s a bit of conflict towards the end that I enjoyed. 4/5


The Steam Factor 
Sex isn’t prevalent, but the few scenes that do happen are steamy and detailed, with respect towards Gabriella’s rape. There’s an especially good one of bathroom floor sex that leads to a cameo of the couple from the first book. 4/5

Final Thoughts
This is a hockey novel with very little hockey, so readers looking for a lot of ice action may be disappointed. The story is sweet, and even though the family and some other side characters are annoying, Landon and Gabriella are likeable enough to make up for it.

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett

Since I discovered the Cold Fury series a few months back with my introduction to Zack, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Ryker’s story. I mean…he’s the goalie! I love the goalie! And his intro in the previous book was definitely enough to rev me up for his romance.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A seasoned goalie and his team’s first female general manager give in to their mutual lust, determined to keep it a secret in order to keep their jobs and their integrity. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
This book had a lot of great stuff, and I had a hard time putting it down. Ryker is a nice guy trying to do right by his daughter, be nice to his cheating ex, and making sure that Gray knows she has his full support. He’s a strong hero that doesn’t go overboard with the alpha.

The element of Gray being the team’s first woman general manager gave the story something deeper to mull over than just the relationship. She’s a strong, smart woman, given a position that is usually given to men, and there is a wide range of opinions from the other players. This, in turn, flows into the question of career vs. love for both of them, but how it’s slightly different for men and women.

Leslie Knope - Make out

I ended up enjoying Gray and loving that even though she was strong, she still allowed herself some vulnerability and acknowledged that there was more to her than her education and professional position.

The Romance Factor
It was hard for the romance in this to beat the one in Zack, at least for me. Still, it definitely gave it a try with the developing relationship between Gray and Ryker and how they navigated their relationship around professional constraints. It does get a bonus for a damsel-in-distress moment and a heavy dose of angst. 4/5

The Steam Factor
Bennett continues to bring the hotness. While this one wasn’t as risque as some of her others, it was definitely enough to make a reader blush. 5/5

Hot Hiddleston

Final Thoughts
I’m guessing this is the last book in the series (though I’d be okay with being wrong), and I loved the high hockey note it went out on. It was also fun to see cameos from past characters. This is the series that introduced me to hockey romance and is thus far, the best that I’ve read.

Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry

The Chicago Blackhawks took the Stanley Cup this year. And yes, I realize that was several months ago, but I thought mentioning it would be appropriate for a book that centers around a hockey player. I’m kind of ambivalent towards the Blackhawks. My team is the Detroit Red Wings, and even when they have a rough season, they’re still my favorite. For this reason, I was happy to see that the author of this book, Sophia Henry, is a fellow Wings fan.

Delayed Penalty

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A college student takes a job tutoring and translating for a Russian hockey player, and though she finds herself insanely attracted to him, she’s held back by her fear of abandonment. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
I will pretty much give any hockey book a chance, because hockey. I enjoyed that the heroine, Auden, was a hockey fan. There was a lot of college nostalgia for me in this book, including Canadian bar trips and all Michigan mentions (since Michigan will always be my first home).

I thought the writing flowed well, and Auden’s voice as a 20-something felt genuine, as did the dialogue and banter between her and Alexsandr. Alexsandr’s Russian dialect and accent came across to my reader’s ear, and not every author can do that well. Also, and this is going to sound like a really silly thing to like, but it’s mentioned that Alexsandr has false teeth, and while that’s not necessarily a sexy thing to talk about, it’s a great detail considering that hockey is a rough sport and most players have lost teeth to the ice.

ice hockey falling

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
I wanted to like Auden, I really did. Even though she sometimes had a selfish, “all about me” attitude, I wanted to give her a chance, especially because I remember my own “all about me” phases in college. Unfortunately, she just didn’t do it for me, and there were a few reasons. Sure, she was angsty about things, all of which her understandable, but there were aspects of her life that didn’t jive for me.

For instance, she’d been cut from the soccer team, but she talks in a few sections about how good she is at soccer. When someone is cut from a team, I automatically think it was because they weren’t good enough, so when she talked about being good, it left me wondering what the story behind that was. Because not knowing just made me think she was too full of herself to understand that she wasn’t as great as she thought she was.

There was also a lot of things going for Auden, and while it’s fine for a character to have several aspects, talents, hobbies, etc.,it’s hard to keep track when they all come to the forefront. Besides the soccer thing, Auden was also asked to join a band who heard her singing karaoke (though there’s a whole section where the band isn’t even talked about, and I sort of forgot about them until they showed up later). Then you find out that she started a foundation to help underprivileged kids. Then you find out a weird secret about her family. Multiple guys want her. She treads the line of “all about me” so much that at points, I forgot she even had a tragic backstory.

ice hockey reaction

The Romance Factor
This one gets an RF of 3/5. While there were some parts that were sweet, and I liked the parallel angst Alexsandr and Auden had going for them, I felt the leap from antagonizing each other to suddenly adoring each other was too quick. I wanted more conflict between them, hence more foreplay. There was a heavy dose of conflict that showed up later that brought about some delicious angst, but it also gave Alexsandr a hint of douche.

The Steam Factor
This book was tame. There was a lot of sweet kissing and the hint of some heavy petting, but there was very little sex. And in the sex there was, I’m not sure if I was reading too quickly or what, but I’m not entirely sure Auden finished. Kudos for the portrayal of first time sex as awkward and uncomfortable, but the SF was only at about a 1/5 for me.

Final Thoughts
Though I can’t list this book on my favorites, I don’t think it’s a bad novel. I would have liked to see some tighter, more focused characterization of Auden, but even with the douchie bits, I really liked Alexsandr. I believe that had I read this when I was in college, I would have had the opposite opinion. Also, I like a little more sex in my romance, but I know that’s not for everyone, so tamer readers will likely love the sweet relationship between Auden and Alexsandr.

Blog Tour: Zack by Sawyer Bennett


Cold Fury Hockey # 3
By: Sawyer Bennett
Releasing June 9, 2015

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.

Link to Follow Tour
Goodreads Link | Goodreads Series Link

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

My happy little hockey heart was so happy read this book. Those hockey scenes gave me some major nostalgia (Go Lakers!). As a romance novel, this one had everything I like: good story, cute trope, fun characters, some hot scenes, and those moments that gave me all the feels.


Needless to say, I was happy to join in on the book tour for this one to help spread the word. Seriously, fellow romance readers. This is a good one. You can read my full review at Goodreads.

Keep reading for an excerpt of this book, an awesome giveaway, and more info on the author (who has made my short list of must-read romance writers).


Author Info

USA Today 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 second book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, February 2015.

 Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter  | GoodReads

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Loveswept & FLIRT Mugs and Select Ebook Bundle)


My heart feels like it’s going to leap out of my chest as I stand at the sink and wash the griddle clean. It’s actually kind of a pleasure to clean up in a kitchen like this. I’ve never been in a home this nice, and it’s hard not to stare around in wonder at all the shiny. His kitchen is übermodern, with sleek blond-oak cabinets and stainless-steel handles. The counters are done in black granite with flecks of gray throughout and the sink is a massive single bin made of some type of stone.

Zack sits at the table on the opposite side of the L-shaped kitchen counter with Ben as they eat their breakfast. His eyes remain pinned on me, a mixture of anger and confusion.

He clearly doesn’t like me and I have no clue why. I expect him at any moment to just fire me. I can see it in his eyes…That’s what he wants.

There was a moment when Ben hurtled his little body at me that I cut a glance at Zack, and I saw fury wash over him. It scared me so bad, I almost ran out of the house right then. But I didn’t because I really, really, really need this job. Without it, I’m just one bus ticket away from being forced to return home to live with Daddy in our dingy tin can of a trailer in the backwoods of eastern North Carolina. And I promised myself when I left home five years ago, as much as I adore my daddy, I would never let that happen.

So I pulled on all of my available confidence that I’ve built up over the years along with my sheer will to survive and promptly ignored Zack and his dirty looks and started to clean his kitchen. He didn’t say a word, just watched me as I worked and sometimes would make conversation with Ben.

I’m just wiping down the counters when Zack picks up the empty plates and walks over to put them in the dishwasher. When he’s finished, he turns to Ben and says, “Why don’t you go upstairs and play in your room a bit? I need to talk to Kate about a few things.”

“Can I watch TV?” Ben asks.

“Sure,” Zack says, and Ben jets from the table and pounds his way upstairs.

I rinse out the dishcloth in my hand, wring it, and then fold it over the faucet. Turning to Zack, I find him leaning a hip against the counter with his arms crossed defensively over his chest. His gaze is frosty when he says, “What exactly did Delaney tell you the job would consist of?”

Man, he intimidates the hell out of me. He towers over me, and even though he has the face of an angel with dark brown hair and whiskey-colored eyes perfectly supported by a strong jaw, so much animosity is radiating off him that I think he may be the devil.

I know all about Zack Grantham. That’s because I love sports. All kinds of sports, but in particular, Cold Fury hockey. When North Carolina got its first professional ice hockey team, I had just started sixth grade. But I remember sitting on the ratty green corduroy-covered couch in our trailer, and Daddy and I rooting for the Cold Fury. Of course, often he’d be drunk and passed out by the third period, but at least for two periods we’d have a good time bonding over our mutual love of the sport.

I’ve followed the team closely ever since. Of course, I’ve never been to a live game, that being an absolute luxury I could have never afforded, but because every game is broadcast locally, I rarely miss one unless I’m studying for an important test or something. And because I follow the team so well, I know exactly who Zack Grantham is.

He’s an amazing player and, truth be told, if I could afford a jersey, I’d probably get one with his name on it. Or maybe Alex Crossman’s. Or even Garrett Samuelson’s. About four months ago, Zack was in a terrible car accident that killed Ben’s mom, Gina, and caused him to be kept out of the first half of the season with a fractured wrist. That has apparently healed enough that he’s ready to return to the team, and thus the need for a nanny for Ben.

I was utterly stunned when I got a call from his sister, Delaney, for an interview. I had posted my résumé and qualifications on a website for nanny services, knowing it would be a long shot because most of my experience came from helping my sister, Kelly, with her three kids, and other various babysitting jobs. But at this point, I needed work, so I was applying to every place I could think of.

“Now you seem to have nothing to say,” Zack growls, and my body jerks over the derision in his voice.

“Sorry,” I mutter. “Um…Delaney said you needed a live-in nanny for Ben. That the position would be full-time until he started school in the fall, and then part-time after that. She said I’d be responsible for his care when you weren’t here and that I’d have to do basic household chores and stuff.”

Zack nods at me, unfurls his arms from across his chest, and rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Delaney thinks you’re right for this job. I’m going to have to trust her on that.”

“I am,” I tell him earnestly. “I’ll take very good care of Ben.”

“You’d better,” he growls at me so menacingly, I take an involuntary step backward. “If you harm one hair on my child’s head, I will make you regret it. Do you understand?”

The scared country girl inside me wants to curl into the fetal position and just shrink away from the threat in his voice. But I’m not that young girl anymore. I’ve pulled myself out of crappy circumstances and made a new life for myself. I’ve worked hard over the years to build up my self-esteem, and I’m not about to let this man tear it down.

Squaring my shoulders at him, I give him a stern look. “I appreciate your protectiveness of Ben, and I’d feel the same way about my own child. I can assure you, you have nothing to worry about. But I have to insist that you treat me with some type of respect for the position I hold. At the very least, you don’t want to teach your son it’s okay to threaten and intimidate women, do you?”

Zack stares at me, his amber-colored eyes turning almost a dark brown. He blinks a few times and shakes his head. “Are you always this blunt?”

“I’m always this honest,” I clarify for him.

Goodreads Review: Garrett by Sawyer Bennett

I got an email today from Kobo saying that the next two books in this series are available for preorder. Happy day! Granted, I have to wait until September to read the 4th book, but I have a ton of other reading to do in the meantime since a couple book blogs have turned me on to all sorts of things I feel I need to read and a bunch of things I’ve been meaning to read for awhile anyway. Watch out for the minor spoiler below.

Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey, #2)Garrett by Sawyer Bennett

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This review contains spoilers.

Garrett is a ladies man, happy with his life but not interested in forming any sort of long term relationship with a woman. That is until he meets Olivia and finds that he wants to only be with her. Olivia wants to be with him too, but she has a much bigger problem to worry about: she has stage 4 cancer and she wonders if she’s not hurting him more by possibly dying on him too soon.

I’m conflicted about this book. I still love the hockey aspect of the Cold Fury books and I still love my formulaic romances, but this one seemed to hit the insta-lust/insta-love button way too quickly. Garrett is supposed to be a complete man-whore, so the fact that he changed his ways so quickly seemed weird. I believe the point was to showcase the possible death of Olivia and bring about a “life is too short” theme, but I think it would have worked so much better with a different character. Some of it was also a little boring, and I felt there was no real conflict.

Other than his quick fall from Ladies Man, I enjoyed Garrett as a character. He’s a sweet guy (mostly). Olivia on the other hand? Not so much. Okay, I get we’re supposed to feel sorry for her and that she’s supposed to be quirky, but her whole “I don’t want to die on him” angst got very old, very fast. Having said that, it was interesting having the character roles change, since in the other books in this series, the guy is the one doing the dumping. Sadly, Olivia’s alpha female just doesn’t do it for me. What saves the characters for me is Stevie, Olivia’s flamboyant best friend and owner of the flower shop where he works. He’s a fun character and offered comic relief when Olivia was driving me nuts.

If I can leave behind the insta-feelings, the Romance Factor is high, with Garrett being a model boyfriend (no Heart Feels though). The Sex Factor is also high. I feel like the author gets a little racier with each new book in the series (which means the 4th one is going to be super hot). However, I think the sexy times filled in gaps where plot was weak, and I would have rather have had a stronger plot and more interesting conflict.

Here’s that spoiler I was telling you about, so stop here if you don’t want to know (though it’s a romance novel, so it’s probably not that much of a spoiler, right?)***

There was one other thing about the book that I really didn’t like, and that was the ending. I understand a flash forward is supposed to assure the reader that the couple have a happy ending, but I don’t think it was needed. I think just knowing they got back together and having the hope that things would be okay would have been enough. The FF also felt weird amidst a series where the other characters are connected with these two, because it put them on a different level. Now I know their future, and I feel I should know everyone else’s, but I really don’t want to because I’m not a fan of the device in this instance.

As critical as this review is, I still enjoyed the book and how it tied in with the 3rd book in the series. The vibe felt alot different in this one. Sure, it was sexy and lovey, but there was also a lot of depressing aspects. I think tackling some of this heavy material was kind of a risk, and while I’m not entirely sold on some of the book’s aspects, I still respect it and love the world it’s set in.

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