Series: Cold Fury Hockey #5
Published by Loveswept on March 15th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
The Carolina Cold Fury hockey team proves that love is a power play. As Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling series continues, the league’s most notorious party animal gets blindsided by the one that got away.
Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.
Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.
Hawke combines two of my favorite tropes: sports romance and second chance romance. It definitely hits the right notes in regards to the sports angle, even though it’s not a romantic comedy – which I tend to gravitate towards.
I loved Hawke as the Cold Fury’s up-and-coming hockey star who’s been burned by love after opening his heart to his high school sweetheart. His ability to push Vale out of his mind, move on, and focus on his career feels genuine – exactly how I’d imagine a secure man would react if rejected. There’s no romanticizing the breakup. Hawke doesn’t spend years pining over Vale, or feeling like his life is incomplete.
** I need to take a time out here. The cover seems very wrong for this book. The cover model is definitely handsome, but Hawke is supposed to be a carefree, hot 25 year-old hockey player – not a brooding 30-something graying man with slight wrinkles. Also, nothing about the cover remotely indicates sports romance. It’s a disservice to the book. Okay, back to the review. **
It’s the second chance romance aspect that makes it fall short of 4 stars for me, and the reason is the heroine. Vale becomes an Athletic Trainer for Hawke’s hockey team. When the two finally come face to face after seven years, she offers Hawke no explanation for breaking things off. The fact is I guessed the cause of their split, but the author could have handled the resolution better. Their mutual anger and misunderstandings could have easily been avoided if only Vale have come clean with Hawke when given multiple opportunities to do so. The two of them are so good together – supportive and loving, with great chemistry. Her silence paints her as taking the high road, but Vale’s unwillingness to communicate just made me morn all the wasted years.
In the end though, I was still able to enjoy this sweet romance about two strong individuals trying to move on from past hurts to forge a different – and maybe even better – type of love.
Recommended for fans of:
Second chance romance
**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.**