But never once did he come across as a complete manwhore, and when he found out his one-night stand was pregnant, he stepped right up to the plate, took responsibility, and never once lamented the loss of his carefree bachelor days. Like a breath of fresh air in my reading room, it was.
The only commitment phobe in this story was the heroine, Stephanie. That’s not something you see too much of in romance novels, folks. And that, too, was a refreshing change from the norm.
Now, I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t want to smack the crap out of Stephanie at about 73% of the story when she let her insecurities get in the way of what could have been a beautiful relationship with a GREAT guy (who just happened to be crazy hot), because I did. But even while my bitch slapping hand was itchy and poised for a smackdown, I wasn’t completely without empathy, given Stephanie’s upbringing and somewhat tragic backstory. So, because Stephanie’s motivations made complete sense to me, I didn’t let my desire to smack her ruin my enjoyment of the story.
If you haven’t read the rest of the series (which if not...seriously, why not??), this one works quite nicely as a standalone. There’s a full cast of awesome secondary characters, but they never overwhelm the story. They won’t make you feel like you’ve missed anything if you haven’t read their stories. (But you’ve TOTALLY missed something if you haven’t read their stories. Really. You should go 1-click. I’ll wait here…)
(Side note: I’ll be 1-clicking the CRAP out of Van)
So, long-story-short, this is a sexy, sweet, funny read about a crazy-hot hockey God who falls hard and fast for a smart-but-emotionally-compromised heroine. You’ll wonder at times how the author is going to pull this off and make these two wise up, but if there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, it’s that Sawyer Bennett is NOT to be doubted.
Full disclosure: We received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Crushes it! This one is clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
Duh! Read the Sawyer Bennett backlist.