October 15, 2014
BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Alex (Cold Fury #1)
Sawyer Bennett is one of my one-click authors. It doesn't really matter what she writes. If it has her name on it, I'll buy it. Welcome to the blog tour for ALEX, the first book in her newest Cold Fury series, organized by AToMR Tours. Read on for my review, and enter the incredibly cool giveaway at the end!
Published October 14, 2014
Format: e-ARC, provided by NetGalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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.
I loved ALEX. Alexander Crossman was definitely a jerk, which is one of my favorite sorts of heroes. Their upbringing shaped them into the asshats they are now, and all it takes is one woman to change everything. That's my kind of story.
Alex Crossman is the Carolina Cold Fury's star player. The MVP - Most Valuable Prick. He might be an amazing player, but he hates the game, and it shows. He's nasty to fans, his team mates, and the bossmen. When he pisses off one too many people, those who sign his checks decide Alex needs an attitude adjustment. So, they assign him community service under the guidance of Sutton Price. At first he thinks she'll be an easy conquest, but it doesn't take long for Alex to realize that there's much more to Sutton than what he originally thought.
Alex really was pretty awful in the beginning. His father abused him as a child, and that contributes to his feelings about the game of hockey. It's so sad, because you could tell he loved to play once upon a time, but he's come to associate hockey with pain and misery, so it's just not fun for him. Alex is searching for something he thinks doesn't exist - someone who would love and care for him unconditionally and completely. So, he fills his time off the ice with meaningless things, and on the ice, he's so miserable, it manifests in his reactions to both praise and criticism.
Despite Alex's awful attitude, it doesn't actually take much for him to start to soften. It's like, he was just waiting for the right people to come along and take a genuine interest in him. And once those people came along, he opened up and became a different guy. Sutton was the first person to have an affect on Alex. She didn't take his crap, and she didn't get offended very easily by his rough demeanor. She presses him for details about his childhood, and while he hates that at first, it turns out to be exactly what he needs.
Garrett, the newest Cold Fury team member, is the other person to come into Alex's life at just the right moment. He doesn't know that Alex prefers to be left alone, and Garrett is a force to be reckoned with, so he just blows in and gets in Alex's space whether he wants him to or not. Between Sutton and Garrett, Alex is taken far outside of his comfort zone, and that is what begins the remaking of Alexander Crossman.
It doesn't seem to take him long to fall in love with Sutton, but it does take him a long time to admit that to himself. Despite Alex's crankiness, the man is actually quite sweet and romantic. There's this part at the end... well, you'll have to read it for yourself, but trust me when I say, it may be one of the sweetest, most romantic book scenes I've ever read. I actually read it three times, it was that perfect.
There's a lot about redemption in ALEX. Alex, his brother, his father, and even Sutton all have a lot to feel guilty about, even though some of that guilt is sorely misplaced. Knowing when it's time to let that go so that you can really start to live is hard for Alex, but with Sutton's influence, he starts to get it all figured out. Not without a few false starts, though, of course.
I'm so excited for this series. If the second book - Garrett - is anything like Alex, I'm sure to love it. Alex was sweet and steamy and angsty and frustrating. All good things. I can't wait to read more.
About the Author
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.
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