Series: Cold Fury Hockey,
Published by Random House Publishing Group on June 9th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Sports, Contemporary Women, Erotica
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
“[Sawyer] Bennett has scored a hat trick with the third installment in the Cold Fury Hockey series. It reads well as a stand-alone, and sports fans who love the players as much as the game will be very satisfied with the intense action both on and off the ice.”—Library Journal
Warning: The following contains spoilers from a cliffhanger in Garrett.
Rising star Zack Grantham has been stuck in a downward spiral of grief that has put his career on hold. Back on the road with the Carolina Cold Fury, still crippled by emotional baggage, and now a single dad, he’s in need of some serious help with his son. But while the nerdy new nanny wins his son’s heart, Zack isn’t sure he’s ready for a woman’s touch—even after getting a glimpse of the killer curves she’s hiding under those baggy clothes.
Kate Francis usually keeps men like Zack at a distance. Though his athlete’s body is honed to perfection, he refuses to move on with his life—and besides, he’s her boss. Still, the sparks between them are undeniable, tempting Kate to turn their professional relationship into a personal one. But before she makes a power play for Zack’s wounded heart, Kate will have to open him up again and show him that love is worth the fight.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM BOOKS 1 & 2!!
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
Sawyer Bennett’s third Cold Fury Hockey novel, Zack, picks up three months after Garrett ended. Zack Grantham is still reeling from the death of his girlfriend Gina, and struggling with his new role as a single father. His sister advises he get a live-in nanny to tend to his son Ben while he’s on the road with the Cold Fury, the NHL team Zack plays for. This is how he meets nerdy college grad Kate Francis. Kate is an impoverished college student looking for a steady job to help her save for graduate school so she can be a child psychologist. When she gets the opportunity to work as a nanny for one of the players on her favorite hockey team, Katie jumps at the chance.
What I really enjoy about this series is the continuity between books. Zack and Gina were secondary characters in the series until book two when tragedy struck. Before then, Zack was a good guy on the team with a loving woman and cute little boy. The kind of man Alex and Garrett wanted to be. When we meet him in his own novel he’s grappling with grief and guilt. Alex, Garrett, and their women make an appearance in the novel, and we see how these men consider themselves to be more than teammates. They see themselves as family. This really helps make the world they inhabit feel very realistic.
I also really enjoyed Zack and Katie’s relationship, and how it grew over time. If they had fallen in love at first sight, I would have been very upset. Gina may not have had a lot of page time in the previous books, but she was well-developed a character that I came to care about her. Her death was really sad, and if Zack had moved on like it was no big deal, I would have been devastated. Instead Bennett gives fans a realistic portrayal of a man dealing with his grief, but also wanting to move on enough to be a stable influence on his child.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the introduction of Ryker Evans, the main character of book 4. He fit in well with his new team, and I enjoyed his budding friendship with Zack. I hope it continues in Ryker. As I stated above, the strength of this series is the relationships between the characters and the world-building. Not only that, but the characters are very dynamic and well-developed.
Do I Recommend?
Very much so! Sawyer Bennett hooks me from the very first page, and I actually look forward to the next one. Luckily, Ryker comes out September 8th, so I don’t have to wait long. While I do enjoy this series, I do recommend the books are read in order. Yes, they each provide information on main events that will help new readers, but it’s better to read them sequentially to best understand the relationships.