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 didn’t have too many expectations when I picked up this one, other than hoping that I would enjoy it just as much as Uncivilized, which was my first ever book by the author, and all I can say is that I was totally captivated by this story, and cover because it is pretty damn hot. From the first chapter I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down, in fact I kept pulling out my Kindle at work and strategically placing it out of my coworkers line of sight so I could keep reading.
I loved both Sutton and Alex, in fact Alex is now on my book boyfriend laminated list. Alex is the MVP, Most Valuable Prick, of the hockey world and in some cases just life itself, but he is unapologetic about it and as crazy as it may sound, that’s what I loved about him. He just puts it out there and you can either accept it or not, but he has his reasons and as the story progresses and he spends more time with Sutton you come to see that there is so much more to him. Sutton is a woman with quiet unassuming strength who has an open and understanding heart, but also a quick wit and doesn’t get intimidated easily by anyone. There were moments where I did think she was too good to be true, but with what she been through in her past and what she has overcome, and as I thought about who she is I realized that I know a few people like her, so they do exist. And the thing is, as far as her story goes, you have to give her props for choosing to life her life the way she was. She choose to see the good, even though she knew all too well how much bad there was in the world and she wanted to make a difference, not on a mass scale nor in a preachy-I’ve been through it so you must listen way, but by showing people she cares, even if it’s the tough love kind and her outlook is realistic, as Sutton says herself “All I need to do is reach one...that is all”
Sutton and Alex together just worked for me. From their first meeting and as their relationship progresses, you can feel how good they are together. I actually loved Alex’s confusion over what he was feeling for Sutton, it made him real for me as did his brutal honesty. I did want to smack him a few times for some of the things he said and did, but he was who he was. And I loved that while Sutton understood and accepted that Alex was a hockey god, that aspect of his life was just one part of him. She was with Alex for Alex. The bantering, the sweet moments between them, Love Actually anyone? and the sexy ones, and let me tell you there are some great sexy ones, my favorite one is actually the one that takes place at the front door.
The private moments between Sutton and Alex combined with the ones they shared with her family, LOVE Glenn ~ if I had a baby brother I’d want him to be just like him, and the other hockey players, Garrett anyone? anyone? just sucked me in even more. And since hockey is the backdrop for this book, there is a good amount in it but it doesn’t overwhelm the story at any point and even a person who isn’t familiar with the sport, like yours truly, won’t feel totally lost.
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