A Review by Wendy
3.5 The Journey Can Be A Bumpy Road Stars
* * * 1/2
Sawyer Brown has created this world of Hockey players and I have fallen for it. I have read all of the books and like life, loved some more than other. Yet saying that, all of the books approach situations head on. She takes things which could happen in the Real World and puts them front and center in our Romance one. I think that is why I appreciate her talent so much.
In this book of Hawk and Val, she takes these two characters and creates one of the most common issues in our day to day lives...Miscommunication. Oh, there are other issues too, but this is the most telling.
One of the biggest things which frustrates me in life is miscommunication. It can be ignoring a rumor or sticking your head in the sand when you need to go to the source and ask specifically what the hell is going on. Unfortunately, when we are young....is seems to be a reoccurring issue. I may have been in the minority, maybe my life experiences were such where I had my voice early...because I would try to figure out the whys of people's actions if they were involving me and I didn't understand. That didn't mean I would always get the answers I wanted to hear or everything would be resolved and wouldn't be hurt......but at least I would make the effort to fix things and then be able to move forward.
So, we have young Hawk and Val... both wild, both living to the fullest with Val being the one who loves to go over that risk line every once in a while.... She is this free spirit and is able to hold her own with Hawk...drinking and partying with him. Hawk has been dreaming of playing professional Hockey forever and Val knows that is his destiny.
It is the day of his leaving to go to a Pro Team training and be away from Val for a while. In Hawk's head, he has figured out how it will play out; he will be gone for a bit but will come back to his woman... for that is what Val is...she is the one of his dreams, just like Hockey.
They are both at his going away party. They have a pattern of getting seriously drunk together...or if the other one is not feeling it, then it is ok to leave and meet up later the next day... no worries, no issues of it being bad form, nothing like that. They both were always tight ... knowing they could trust each other. Hawk is there with his guys he will not see for a long time, plus they are celebrating his start of being a Professional of the Ice... Val is there and then she says she is leaving... and in that moment Hawk, slightly drunk looks at her for the ok to stay...she seems ok with it and then she is gone.
Hawk wakes up dazed and trying to remember what the hell happened... with bodies all around but no Val. He get's himself together, has to be at the team's take off point but goes to Val to see what happened and why she isn't answering his texts or her phone...
At Val's house, she finally comes down and basically says they are done. Hawk is devastated. He is stunned. Val will not give him any reasons and Hawk is trying to explain nothing happened at the party, you are for me, etc...and Val just is having none of it. It is done; she has cut him loose.
He can't continue this conversation because he has to leave...so it is left there.
Over the next days, Hawk calls, texts, tries everything with no results. Finally, he has to move on...but this has left an imprint on his heart...Never again will he allow himself to feel this way... the pain is too hard. He will party, enjoy the Puck Bunnies and play the best Hockey he can.
Val took her life lessons in, she realized too late the mistakes of youth and decided to clean up her act. Her Dad was a man who molded Hockey Players and she loved being around all of it. She decided to become involved on the healing side, becoming a Sports physical therapist and succeeding working her way up the ladder and becoming a credible professional.
These two people, years later are on their paths... carrying the scars of youth. They are thrown back together when Hawk is traded to Cold Fury and Val becomes an assistant PT Trainer for the team. Val knows what she will have to deal with at the first meeting; she has prepared herself as best she can for the first sight of Hawk. Hawk, however, had no idea and when Val is introduced to the team, waves of emotions pour off of him as he pretends to his new teammates there is nothing to discuss. He is sidelined...he will have to figure out how to deal... for all these years there has been one burning question which haunts him at night when he allows himself to feel...
This story is a tale of maturing, working through things of the past and true forgiveness. There are very real moments between these two... trying to work out how to be friends with the type of past they have. It is a journey and both have to come to terms with many things.
In this book we also have the Cold Fury team for our characters; they give support and humor.
If you like the series, then this read will fall into place for you. I did have some personal issues; miscommunication in books can sometimes cause me to talk out loud to the characters in frustration. BUT, I also then step back and remind myself, when we are young...we tend to do obviously stupid things...which we can see in hind sight.
I am sure there will be more Cold Fury...as Ms. Bennett seems to like the ice...lucky for me, I do to.
A gifted copy was provided for an honest review
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.
Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series, the Last Call Series and the Wicked Horse Series. She also writes the Cold Fury Series for Random House.