As a big sports fan, I know the level of dedication and mental fortitude it takes for the athletes that reach higher levels. I’m trying to read more sports romances because I find I have been really enjoying the element it adds to the story. Alex is the first book in a new contemporary series about the men of a fictional NHL team. ALERT- this book has a tortured hero.
Alex Crossman may be one of the best players in the entire league but that doesn’t negate the fact that he is a gigantic jerk. His teammates have learned to steer clear of him and the fans regularly taunt him. None of it matters to Alex, not even the game, because his alcoholic father killed any feelings inside him a long time ago. The only reason he continues to play is because he doesn’t know how to do anything else. Alex never had any friends or lovers because his father demanded that hockey be his sole focus. The tipping point comes when the team owners demand an attitude adjustment by participating in a community outreach program.
Social work is not only a labor of love for Sutton Price, but her life’s mission. She loves working with teens that have parents with substance abuse problems because Sutton knows exactly what they are going through. Thankfully, Sutton’s mother left Sutton’s junkie dad when she was 9 and remarried a wonderfully kind man who gave them the love they needed to heal from the abuse they suffered.
From their very first meeting, Alex and Sutton sensed a connection, a familiarity. Alex began to thaw almost immediately. Sutton saw right through Alex’s abrasive demeanor to the lonely man inside. They quickly decide that pants must come off and they engage in some down and dirty loving, but Sutton can’t leave well enough alone. She pokes and prods at Alex’s finely honed defenses until he is one confused mess of a man (as if he wasn’t already). The path to their HEA is very much a case of go-away-come-closer as Alex owns up to his past and tries to move forward in life.
Overall, I liked the book. Alex was a suitably grumpy hero but Sutton was a great heroine. She was patient and kind but not patronizing. My biggest issue with the story was that BIG problems were tied up too quickly and neatly. Given that Alex is emotionally unstable for nearly half the book, the resolution of some of his problems just rang false and that was unfortunate.
Bennett sets up the next book with Alex’s lone friend on the hockey team – Garrett, manwhore extraordinaire. I hope we get more time with more Cold Fury teammates because I’m a sucker for male banter.
*ARC provided by Loveswept
Click to purchase: Amazon
Alex (A Cold Fury Hockey Novel)
by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: October 14, 2014