ALEX (Cold Fury Hockey #1) by Sawyer Bennett-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: October 14, 2014
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.
REVIEW: ALEX is the first installment in Sawyer Bennett’s adult, contemporary Cold Fury Hockey romance series focusing on the members of the Carolina Cold Fury professional hockey team. This is star player Alexander Crossman and social worker/counsellor Sutton Prices’s storyline.
Alex Crossman is one of the most hated players in professional hockey. His cold demeanor and attitude leaves waves of frosty ice in his wake-even the fans have nothing good to say about one of the most valuable players of the game. But Alex hides a secret-a painful past –that continues to plague Alex every time his puts on his skates and picks up his stick. He knows he is difficult and appears to thrive on the animosity towards the game; he doesn’t care about anyone or the game, and his attitude has not gone unnoticed by management. Alex is given an ultimatum-clean up his image or say good bye to his career. Enter Sutton Price, a social worker who is tasked with ‘babysitting’ the bad boy of professional hockey.
The relationship between Sutton and Alex is one of immediate attraction but one that begins under the guise of a professional assignment. Alex must participate and help Sutton with her program for at-risk youth but his demeanor and attitude leave much to be desired. He is a man whose own childhood held nothing but bad memories and in this everything about Sutton hits too close to home. As their relationship builds, so too does Alex’s need for Sutton but then someone from his past comes barreling back and reminds Alex that it is all about the game and nothing else.
The secondary characters include Sutton’s very supportive family, as well as Alex’s teammates. Both Alex and Sutton come from dysfunctional family roots where abuse and addiction have formed the people they are today-but not always in a positive manner. Alex will begin to reevaluate the choices he has made in his life and with it will come the desire to move forward and let go of the past-if only the past will let go of him. Alex believes himself unworthy of love and will sabotage any chance at happiness with Sutton when his father comes back into the picture.
The world building pulls the reader into the arenas, the stands and behind the scenes of one of the world’s most prolific sports. From ‘puck-bunnies’ to ardent fans of the game, we get an up close and personal look at the social commentary both on and off the ice.
ALEX is a heartbreaking storyline about the emotional and psychological affects of addiction and abuse. It is an intimate story about two people, coming from similar backgrounds, but how those backgrounds have led Alex and Sutton down differing paths. Sawyer Bennett pulls the reader into a passionate and intense story of love and hate; betrayal and trust; moving forward and letting go.
Copy supplied by the author through Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy