February 18, 2015

REVIEW: Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey #2)

Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey #2), by Sawyer Bennett
Published February 17, 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Format: e-ARC, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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.

As if this series couldn't get any better... then along came GARRETT.

You remember Garrett, right? He's the newest member of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team, resident wiseass, and Alex's best friend. Garrett's a total ladies man, never to make any meaningful connections with any one woman. Until he meets Olivia at a party. That moment changed everything for him. He didn't know it, but Olivia's life changed earlier that day with some bad news from her doctor. Despite the attraction she and Garrett feel toward each other, she just can't allow herself to fully be with him and saddle him with that kind of baggage. Garrett isn't the kind of guy to take that lying down though.

Garrett is my favorite kind of guy. He's a fun-loving free spirit with a good heart. He's not a "bad boy" in the typical sense of the phrase. He really is a very good person. He spends time with Sutton's little brother. He has guy time with Alex. He attends all the team events and chats up his team mates and their families. And, he's a really good hockey player who loves the game. But, he's never been keen to settle down with one woman like Alex did. 

Olivia is creative and happy and content. She has good friends and family who care about her. And then she gets the news that rocks her world. She has to undergo treatment for a potentially life-threatening illness. And, the day she finds out, her cousin Sutton invites her to a hockey party to take her mind off of things. It's there that she meets Garrett, who, of course, hits on her. She makes quite an impression on him because, even though she turns him down, he presses Sutton for information about her and seeks her out the next day. 

The thing I liked most about Olivia is that she just got this awful news and still seems determined to live as much as she can. Sure, she doesn't tell Garrett the whole truth. She doesn't want him to coddle her or, worse yet, reject her because of her illness. But, she doesn't dismiss the idea of being with him at all. She knows he doesn't do relationships and figures that's perfect for her situation anyway.

Famous last words, right? How many times do we read about two people entering into a "no-strings" relationship, and then 100 pages later, real feelings start to surface? The thing about Garrett is, though, unlike most guys like him, he doesn't shy away from those feelings. And, when Olivia's whole situation becomes clear (because, really, you can't hide that kind of thing forever), he doesn't shy away from that, either. In fact, just the opposite. He makes it his life's mission to do whatever Olivia needs. And, in the process, he drives her completely nuts.

Garrett was unbelievable. I never figured him to be one of those stand-up guys who stares responsibility and grown-up problems in the face and doesn't back down. But, he really was. When he realizes how he feels, he owns it. And, when he realizes everything that comes with being with Olivia, he owns that too. This man - GAH. He was just so incredibly perfect. 

People, the epilogue... I just can't. It was so perfect. I couldn't have imagined a better ending to this story. 

Sawyer Bennett has me hooked on these Cold Fury hockey players. Both Alex and now Garrett completely rocked my world. And, events in Garrett set the stage for the third book in the series, Zack. It's a heartbreaker, too. Since the books keep getting better and better, I expect nothing less than something amazing.

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