Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see. Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.
There are hot men with skills and then there is Garrett Samuelson. As Garrett’s story opens, he is still indulging in his man whorish ways but knows the party is about to come to an end as the next Cold Fury is about to begin. Sure, Garrett loves the ladies and they certainly love him but hockey is everything and getting back into a season takes a back seat to nothing!
Olivia Case is bright, beautiful and, very sick. She is devoted to her friends and family, loves her job, has always been a committed relationship kind of girl but, cancerous is an indiscriminate bitch and doesn’t care that Olivia is far from done living her life. With an uncertain future ahead of her and with the encouragement of her best-friend, Olivia decides it is now or never and she is going to break some of her own rules and experience a little bit of life. Garrett Samuelson seems like an excellent place to start and given his reputation, scoring a one-night stand shouldn’t be all that difficult.
When Garrett meets Olivia he experiences something he long thought he lost the capacity to feel, the desire to see a woman more than once and in an upright position and fully clothed. Olivia is like a breath of fresh air and with her intelligence, beauty and, willingness to go with the flow, Garrett is interested in more than just sex. For what may be the first time in his life, Garrett is ready to take things slowly and see what the future holds with one and only one woman. Though Olivia is pleased that Garrett is respectful of her and her feelings, she feels like there is a timer counting down on both her relationship with Garrett and her life. Olivia is well aware of Garrett’s “dating” habits and after a few brief discussions and some very heated kisses, Olivia convinces Garrett that she is more than ready to get horizontal. What neither counts on is how extremely good together they are and the feelings that one sexual encounter awakens in each.
Olivia does not, under any circumstances want Garrett to know about her condition and all Garrett wants is to be closer to her. At odds with their desires and unwilling to open up fully to the other, Olivia and Garrett stumble around a lot in an effort to protect one another. Olivia doesn’t want Garrett to feel responsible or obligated to her in any way and can’t believe that the one-time playboy is so willing to change his ways for a sick and potentially dying woman. Garrett is true in both his actions and his words and once the truth comes out, he does everything within his power to support Olivia and convince her that no matter what her situation is, he wants to be with her. In fact, it takes Garrett about a nanosecond to realize that there really is something in his life that is far, far more important than hockey.
For a time, Olivia and Garrett make things work but Olivia is so very fearful of hurting Garrett in any way that she allows her fears to not only consume her but to rule her. In a moment of shear panic, Olivia leaves Garrett with little to no explanation and shatters his world. To make matters far, far worse, Olivia refuses to answer her phone and/or respond to texts. Not only does she shut Garrett out but also her family and best friend. With no way to actually talk to her, Garrett reaches out to her family and friends and each and every one comes to his aid. Sure, everyone gets that the cancer is scary and potentially life-threatening but Olivia’s actions are those of a coward and everyone, including her knows it!
The Bottom Line: Through and through Garrett is one of the hottest and best books I have read! From the moment she finds out about her cancer, Olivia pisses me off. She has love and support surrounding her at every turn yet she allows her fears to dominate her thinking and her actions. In the moments when she is free and happy, Olivia is endearing and fun but the dark moments have a tendency to overshadow everything. From the first page, I fell for Garrett and rooted for him right up to the very end!! I love a bad boy gone good and Garrett certainly epitomizes that. Garrett may have a man whore reputation but at his core, he is a good man with a huge capacity for love and caring. Olivia takes up residence in his heart almost immediately and Garrett is more than happy to put away his past dalliances and focus all of his attention on Olivia. Sure, Garrett is scared for Olivia and wants her to be happy and healthy but he never lets his fear overshadow his love for her and his every action speaks to that. In all, Garrett is both a heartbreaking and completely uplifting read. Bennett delves into some serious darkness with the cancer diagnosis but she beautifully balances that darkness with a message of hope, support and, love. Garrett is as sexy as he is caring and make no mistake about it, the naughty bits are all kinds of sexy as hell and totally appropriate for this read. The cherry on top of the sexy sundae is the epilogue and though I won’t spoil it for you here, I will say that is one of the most satisfying parts of the entire read. Even better? Zack, book three of the Cold Fury Hockey series is already available for pre-order and I have already one-clicked!!
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.