I find myself this year in less of a holiday mood than usual. As the years have passed and my boys have grown from sweet little guys into big, hulking, hairy men, Christmas has definitely lost some of its magic. I try not to feel that way, but it’s true that Christmas is more fun and way more magical through the eyes of a child. Being sick hasn’t improved my mood any.
As an adult, Thanksgiving was never really all that much fun. It was a lot of hard work. From my very first one as a wife when the turkey wasn’t defrosted and I stood at the sink, running a cold, dead, frozen turkey carcass under the hot water trying to thaw it out and gagging the entire time, and my Gramma, honest to a fault, declaring my very first from scratch pie crust to be “tough” and inedible (yes, and making me cry), it’s always been WORK. I always had my mother and grandmother over, and I rushed around and tried to make it all perfect like it had always been when I was little. After Gramma passed, I had my mother over and the stress there was always wondering if she’d stay or if her social anxiety would get to her and she’d ask to go home as soon as she’d arrived. I understood her issues. Hell, half the time, I shared them. When I’d worked so hard to make it nice for her, and she wouldn’t even sit down and eat with us I was so very hurt. I never told her because that just wasn’t done with my mom. She’d have gotten angry and the solution to her would have been no more visits ever. So I tried every year. I hoped she appreciated the effort. She’s been gone thirteen years so I’ll never know now.
Thanksgiving here this year was me sick as a dog.
I watched the parade on TV – one tradition kept. My hubby and boys were here. I believe my hubby made himself a Hormel microwave turkey and dressing meal.
I had chicken bouillon and toast and slept a lot. I’m not sure what my adult sons fixed themselves. There was no way I was touching food for anyone else to eat. I was nauseous, and I didn’t want to share the bacterial GI infection.
So now I look forward to Christmas. I know I should decorate inside the house (we always have a tree) and outside (I always put up lights). I drove to the grocery store last night. First time I’d driven since November 15 and my first lengthy outing (other than a doctor visit). I walked the entire store. I pushed the cart; my sons did all the fetching and carrying. I finish the antibiotic this Wednesday. I am supposed to return to work on Thursday if the blood work I go for Monday or Tuesday is clear and shows no infection/inflammation.
So, yeah, Christmas. Maybe our fake tree this year, but who cares about outside. Right? It’s the people inside who count. I’ll work on psyching myself up.
Zack Grantham is a single father to a little boy, Ben. He’s a hockey player who lost his girlfriend, his son’s mother in a car crash where he was driving. Although it wasn’t his fault, he’s wracked with guilt. He feels bad because she died, but he’s also got all kinds of guilt about how he really felt for her and why he never married her. He’s been on the disabled list while he gets physical therapy and rehabs a broken wrist. He’s also seeing a psychiatrist at the team’s direction. His older sister has been helping him out with his son, but she needs to return home to her own life while he gets ready to return to the ice. His sister hires him a nanny.
Kate Thomas is quirky. She’s an older college student from a dirt-poor family. She’s spent years caring for her alcoholic father and then her sister’s three babies. Kate has a sense of humor, and she’s strong and great with kids. Ben takes to her immediately. Zack does not. He resents her being there although even he can see how good she is for Ben.
When things change between Zack and Kate, he still doesn’t let her in. He sets stupid ground rules to try to keep her out. She agrees to all of his ridiculous conditions because she is beginning to care for him. He’s just plain rude, obnoxious and mean to her several times.
Two things about this book bothered me a little. 1. Zack was a jerk. He didn’t want her associating with his friends or their wives but she was good enough to raise his kid AND fool around with. He was constantly reminding her of her social status. She was an employee. I didn’t like that at all. 2. The timing was ‘off’. He’d just lost his girlfriend a few months in the past after they’d been together for years. It was too soon for a new relationship. Then after weeks of telling Kate they could never be anything more then suddenly overnight he’s all in, he loves her, and he wants to get married. What? That didn’t ring true either. It didn’t fit. The ending seemed way too rushed.
This one was just okay for me. 3.5 stars.
Bishop Scott, star hockey player, has joined his new team, the new expansion team in the league, the Arizona Vengeance. He meets a sexy, interesting girl at a bar, and they have an amazing one night stand. He forgets to get her last name or phone number, and he can’t stop thinking about her.
When he arrives at his team’s brand new, state-of-the-art arena, he’s walking through the complex when he spots the same sexy girl in one of the executive offices. She’s just as glad to see him as he is to see her. They are passionately kissing when her father walks in. Brooke Perron is Bishop’s new coach’s daughter, and his new coach is furious at finding Bishop wrapped around his daughter.
Thinking fast on her feet, Brooke blurts out that she and Bishop have been secretly dating when they both lived in New York and they are engaged. Bishop soon discovers that his coach is a recent widower who has been having a rough time adjusting to the loss of his wife. The coach has come to Arizona hoping to start over, and his daughter will do anything to keep her father happy.
Bishop and Brooke’s fake relationship gets interesting when it starts to become very real to the two of them.
I enjoyed this sports romance. I’ve read the first two books in the author’s Carolina Cold Fury hockey series, and I’m reading the third one there. I really liked both Bishop and Brooke in this book. Sawyer Bennett writes interesting characters in cute story lines with a lot of sex tossed in. There’s not a lot of angst, which I appreciate and like. I read through this book in one day.