Donna Reads: Zack (A Cold Fury Hockey novel) by Sawyer Bennett

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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. 

Donna Reads: Bishop (Arizona Vengeance) by Sawyer Bennett

B9B57EE1-7AD3-43AB-A5F3-91985EE2B93DBishop 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. 

Donna Reads: Garrett (Cold Fury Hockey, #2) by Sawyer Bennett

Garrett Samuelson is a hockey player who enjoys a good time. He doesn’t take much besides hockey seriously. Olivia Case is a bit of a free spirit. She works for a flamboyantly gay florist who happens to be her best friend. Olivia is artistic and funny. She meets Garrett at a party, having been invited there by her cousin who happens to be engaged to Garrett’s teammate. Garrett hits on Olivia and doesn’t want to take no for an answer when she turns him down. Olivia has a secret that she doesn’t want to share. When Garrett pursues her, he wears her down, and they go out. Garrett is not known for longevity in dating, and Olivia is not sure she will be around long-term. She decides to live in the moment and grab all the happiness she can. 

I wasn’t sure I would care for this one given the main character’s less than hopeful cancer diagnosis. I also wasn’t wild about the opening scene with Garrett involved in a ménage a trois. Garrett does a rather fast about-face in terms of how he views relationships when he decides to pursue Olivia. When he walks in on her throwing up from her chemotherapy, she is forced to tell him about her illness. I liked how he was there for her and didn’t waver in his support. I didn’t like how she tried to push him away. I liked how characters from the first book in the series (Sutton and Alex) continued on in this one. I also enjoyed her best friend, Stevie. I especially liked the epilogue.

Donna Reads: Sexy Lies and Rock & Roll by Sawyer Bennett

liesEvan Scott is an up and coming rock star, new to life on stage and life on the road. He’s been sued over song rights by ex-band mates, he’s being pressured by his friend/manager to sign with a record label, and he’s been arrested for questioning in the death of an ex-bandmate. His life is a bit of a mess. Emma Peterson is a prim and proper attorney, more at home studying contracts and legal details than she is at dealing with people. When one of the name partners at her law firm sends her to get Evan out of jail, she has no idea that Evan is the partner’s nephew or that she and Evan will become far more than attorney and client. Evan hires Emma to untangle some of the legal mess he’s in and needs her to travel on the road with him.

This one was just okay for me. I never really connected with either one of the lead characters. It was the type of book I had to force myself to finish. Emma was very childish and stubborn. I liked Evan, but he was a bit naive. I knew who the “bad” guy was right at the start, and I couldn’t understand why either one of the lead characters trusted him or anything he said. I could tell at the 75% mark what was going to happen. It was pretty much telegraphed that the bad guy was going to try to split the two lead characters up, and he succeeded. That was a bit annoying. Then Emma became extremely irritating when she refused to even let Evan explain what had happened. It was a little unbelievable that she’d be so foolish. The cover image doesn’t fit the book. That guy doesn’t look like a rock star to me. I did like the epilogue a lot.