Book 3 in the Cold Fury Hockey series
by Sawyer Bennett
Narrated by Cris Dukehart, Graham Halstead
Publication date Oct 7, 2015
Running time 9 hrs 3 min
Also available as an e-book from Loveswept (June 9, 2015)
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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 that 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.
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/zack-awyer-bennett.html
As this is a erotic romantic fiction, we know the main characters are going to end up hooking up. Additionally we know that at least one of the characters is not quite ready to get on board with a real relationship.
There are things I liked a lot in this book and things I did not. Let’s get the thing I did not enjoy out of the way.
Beyond Billionaires, I think even more than Billionaires, one of the most common tropes in erotic romance is the concept of “no strings attached,” friends-with-benefits, sex. It has been explored in so many stories you would thin it was dead, or that it had a chance of working out with no one getting hurt.
I have yet to see a book, or a real life instance, where someone did not end up with a broken heart. I am not talking about your casual one night stand. Sometimes that works. But seriously, in my whole life, in any book I have read where the people weren’t robots, it has not.
Inevitably, in the books I have read the woman ends up being the injured party, sometimes the guy gets hurt in the end though as well.
But, like they say, Love forgives all.
What I don’t like about this part of the book is not how she wrote it; it’s more that it is over used and creates an inevitable series of events and outcomes, and it limits twists and surprises. She does handle it well and it is not contrived. I did keep thinking “sexual harassment suit!” as I read.
What I did like about this book ad the other in the series I have read, was how the writer tackles, tough relationship issues. In GARRETT it was cancer, and she did a great job keeping it sexy while looking at that as a relationship problem and developing fully blown characters who struggled with the issues.
In this, Zack is dealing with feelings of guilt both over his late partner’s death and the lack of full commitment he had towards her even though they had a child together. In this way Kate, a newly minted child psychology graduate, is the perfect choice for his first foray into love. She is also the perfect choice for a nanny for his son. She’s kind of a super-dorky Mary Poppins (except for the whole banging her employer part). If anyone can help Zack move on, it is Kate.
Of course, in the story it didn’t seem like Gina had passed away so long ago that he really should be moving on. Funny, how it used to be people gave themselves a good year to mourn before they thought of moving on. This book starts four months after her death — of course he wouldn’t have processed it all much less be ready for a new relationship.
But, then again he doesn’t dive right into one, first he has to learn not to resent Kate as his son’s caretaker. Then learn to respect her.
Then he has to stop being a total asshat. At one point he treats her like she is part of the downstairs staff at Downton Abbey.
It is a good thing Kate is such a mature young person, or she would maybe have stayed a while taking care of the child, but she would never have been able to handle the issues Zack allows ot complicate their relationship. Nor, could Zack have ever made it through the guilt swamp he was living in.
For the exploration of the hard things that happen to people in stressful circumstances, as well as some pretty hot hook ups, this is a good bet.
The narrators also do a great job with the accents and the parts they read. I especially liked how Cris Dukehart voices Kate – very sweetly, with a bubbly voice that well represents Kate’s effervescent personality.
Tantor Audio: https://tantor.com/garrett-awyer-bennett.html