{ARC Review} Alex by Sawyer Bennett

Title: Alex
Series: Cold Fury Hockey #1
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: 14th Oct 2014
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: eARC provided via Netgalley for fair & honest review
Rating: 4.5/5

USA Today bestselling author Sawyer Bennett scores big-time with the first novel in a sexy new series hot enough to melt the ice.

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 fa├žade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

Alex kicks off what is sure to be an explosive new sporty romance saga!

The story:
From the very beginning we are told that Alex Crossman is asshole, or MVP: Most Valuable Prick. But Alex is kidding himself if he thinks that's all there is to him. After being raised by an uncaring and abusive father, who pushed him to be 'perfect' at hockey, Alex has lost the passion for the sport he once loved. It's that lack of passion that makes him hate his life and take it out on the people around him, including his teammates and fans. But when he's team management force him to work on a drug awareness campaign with social worker Sutton Price, he starts to see the world with fresh eyes. Despite Alex not wanting a relationship, and Sutton not wanting to mix business with pleasure, their mutual attraction is undeniable. It's not long before their professional relationship starts to cross the line into something more, but the question is can Alex leave behind his childhood trauma and open up to a future with Sutton.

The characters:
Alex can be a bit of a douche, but for the most part he's actually a really decent guy. He's negative view of the world is challenged by Sutton and from then on we see the real man underneath the cold hearted exterior. He wants to be a man worthy of Sutton's love, and he most certainly accomplished that.

Sutton was a fabulous heroine, and I absolutely loved that she doesn't take any crap from Alex. She didn't have it easy growing up either, with a drug addicted father, but she didn't let it ruin her future, instead it inspired her. She's determined to make a difference in the lives of children affected by drugs. Her positive attitude was incredibly inspiring.

We also get to meet Alex's teammate, Garrett, a confidant, fun loving womaniser. He seems like a genuinely happy man, but I just know that there is so much more going on under the surface and I'm so glad he's book is next!

The romance:
These two are like the yin and yang of romance. The closed off attitude of Alex and the vibrant energy of Sutton complement each other perfectly and creates such a dynamic relationship. Sutton shows Alex how to enjoy life again, and he brings out a sultry seductive side that Sutton never knew she had. There were some seriously hot scenes and also a couple a sweet tender moments, creating a perfectly balanced romantic story.

The writing:
For me I don't think Sawyer can do no wrong. She writes incredible heroines, swoon worthy heroes and gives her characters powerful story lines to work through. The variety in love scenes is always impressive, never becoming repetitive or boring!

Alex kicks off what is sure to be an explosive new sporty romance saga! I can't wait for Garrett, the next book in the Cold Fury Hockey series.

Sexuality: medium-strong / several sex scenes
Violence: mild
Language: medium-strong / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium / mention of overdoes etc, drug use is a common theme throughout (but not overly detailed discussions)

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