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“I’m so afraid of hurting you that I think it’s safe to say my heart is definitely involved.” Alex
“So try not to hurt me. “
Sutton
“I’ll try.”
Alex

I’m a sucker for Hockey themed romances so when I saw the cover and the synopsis for Alex I knew I had to add this book to my TBR immediately.

I expected to open this book and lose myself in a sexy romp with a hot hockey hunk and while, yes I did get my romp and gorgeous Hockey player, I also gained so much more from this story that I didn’t anticipate.  The first few pages drew me in immediately as the author planted me in the moment as we freeze frame Alex’s movements on the ice. I really did feel as though I was making that play right alongside Alex and applaud Sawyer Bennett for bringing me right into that moment.

The emotion of this story and the heavy issues it dealt with completely threw me and there were a few times my heart ached for Sutton. To say I was completely unprepared for the emotional aspect of Alex is an understatement.

Alex was a complete arsehole who I unashamedly loved from the outset.  Blessed with a natural ability that has seen him perform at the top of his game in a sport he loathes, he’s the player the fans and his teammates love to hate. They don’t call him the ‘MVP : Most Valuable Prick’ for nothing. He performs flawlessly on the ice but has a prickly demeanor, isn’t one for schmoozing, keeps people at a distance and is closed off emotionally.  I was dying to find out the cause of Alex’s animosity and what I discovered broke my heart. No wonder he had issues!

“You made me hate this game. You and you alone.”

Sutton was a sweetheart. She’s unimpressed with Alex’s success and only concerned in Alex’s ability to assist her with her Drug Outreach program, though of course she does fancy him something rotton!  Sutton was so compassionate and had such empathy for people, a beautiful soul and a perfect counterbalance for the closed off Alex.

“We all have days when our monsters come out, Alex. You’re not going to scare me off if I see yours.”

Sutton and Alex both had both carried baggage from their pasts but dealt with it in vastly different ways. Alex built walls and didn’t let people in. Sutton on the other hand had used her experiences to reach out, help and encouraging others in situations similar to hers. Sutton didn’t dwell. She was exactly what Alex needed, but would she be able to break down Alex’s carefully constructed walls and let her in?

“She brought color into my otherwise gray existence, and for that I owe her everything.”

The relationship between Alex and Sutton never felt rushed. Whilst there was no doubting the instant lust between them, the author allowed their feelings to progress naturally, giving me a chance to experience the progression and growth of their relationship right along with them. Theirs was a bumpy road with obstacles to overcome and there were times I found myself shedding a few tears for them as I experienced the intensity of their feelings.

‘She’s precariously close to becoming my everything, a thought that scares the daylights out of me’

A time or two the over descriptive nature of the prose did tend to slow the momentum of the story and I would have liked a little more dialogue but these issues in no way altered my overall enjoyment of the story.

Alex  by Sawyer Bennett was witty, emotional and scorching hot; I really experienced the sports theme of the story and romantic Alex….well….saaawoooon! I was in fear of my romantic heart beating out of my chest. I LOVED ‘THAT’ SCENEYou’ll know what I’m talking about when you read the book…sigh. The characters complimented one another beautifully and I loved Alex’s story. Here was a sports themed book that put me in those Hockey moments! This was a real winner for me and now I’ll eagerly wait for Garrett’s book after falling for him in Alex.

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley with thanks**

Synopsis

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 façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

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