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.
Holy hockey puck, Batman!!! Alex is the first book in Sawyer Bennett’s new Cold Fury Hockey series and it is one smonkin’ hot read that has me seriously considering becoming a HUGE hockey fan. This character-driven read is full of action, drama, lust and, some ice-melting (yeah, I went there J) naughty bits.
Alex: Super-asshole Alex Crossman is hands-down this is my favorite character!! From the minute I met Alex I knew I wanted to both punch him and lick him. Alex’s past, and in particular his childhood is one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Alex’s father was – and still is – a drunk bastard with little to no regard for his son’s well-being. The only interest Alex’s father has ever had in him relates to how good of a hockey player he is. In the years since he left his father’s house, Alex has hardened himself against any and all attachments. He is painfully clear about his feelings toward humanity and, everyone, including his long-time teammates know to steer clear. Alex is a self-described asshole with absolutely no desire to change until the second he meets Sutton Price.
Sutton: Sutton Price is the kind of character you either absolutely love or absolutely hate. She is pure sunshine with an effervescent personality that is hard to tame. Sutton works as a drug counselor and though she sees a lot of back sliding and falling off the wagon, she is optimistic and determined to stay positive and help where she is able. Like Alex, Sutton had a pretty terrible childhood but unlike Alex, she didn’t let it define her. Given what she has overcome in her life and what she faces on a regular basis with her job, Alex Crossman is nothing she can’t handle. In fact, Sutton makes it very clear the day she meets Alex that his asshole attitude is not only completely unintimidating but less awful than what she faces on a regular basis.
Alex is difficult and testy while Sutton is optimistic and able to give as good as she gets. Sutton refuses to let Alex shirk his responsibilities where their project is concerned and Alex refuses to allow Sutton to go one more day knowing nothing about hockey. Though Sutton is not at all confused about she feels for Alex and what she wants with him, Alex is definitely confused. Sutton opens Alex’s world and before he knows it, he is experiencing life in a way he never knew possible. On a purely physical level, Alex and Sutton are volcanic in their hotness. Once those two decide the time is right, there is no stopping them and it is some damn good reading. Of course, it wouldn’t be a truly good (dare I say great?) read without some drama and Bennett certainly heaps it on her characters.
The Bottom Line: I’m not afraid to say this twice – HOLY HOCKEY PUCK, BATMAN!! Alex is a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish. While I don’t generally care for assholes, Alex owns his attitude and more importantly, when he meets Sutton, he proves to everyone that he can be a better man, he can change. Alex’s struggle with his past and his future plays a heavy role in this read and I liked watching his evolution. Bennett doesn’t make Alex perfect and she doesn’t give him an easy road filled with roses, bunnies and, chocolate. Alex’s road is hard and he screws up, a lot!! Sutton is completely delightful and yes, I fall on the side of loving her. She doesn’t take any sh*t off Alex and more importantly, she is patient and willing to help Alex. Sutton’s optimism is infectious and she has a wonderful impact on Alex and his world. If you haven’t already figured it out, I sort of really, really, really enjoyed this read. In fact, I actually squeaked a few times while reading this one 🙂
P.S. I don’t often comment on the covers of the books I read but I feel compelled to in this instance. The cover of Alex is so completely tied to the read and I love it. The model and the pose both describe the character perfectly and I really do like it when a cover synchs up so perfectly with the read.
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. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two 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.