Carolina Cold Fury star Garrett Samuelson never wants to miss out on a single minute of fun. Whether he’s playing hockey, hanging out with friends, or walking the red carpet with a new date on his arm, he lives every day to the fullest. When he meets Olivia Case, he sees someone who’s exactly his type—confident, sexy, smart . . . his next fling. But the more he pursues her, the more Garrett shares a side of himself that other women don’t normally get to see.
Olivia has been keeping a secret. While Garrett lives for the next thrill, Olivia’s not sure she’ll live to see the next day. She’s undergoing treatment for some serious medical issues, and she doesn’t have time for a relationship with no guarantees—especially one with a hot-as-sin womanizer who won’t take no for an answer. But as she gets to know the real Garrett, Olivia can’t help falling for him . . . hard. To reveal the truth would mean risking everything—but you can’t score without taking the tough shots.
Of all of the books I have read from the author, this is by far the most emotional one. Once you understand what the main female character, Olivia, is going thru you will understand. But through all of that emotion, this is a story about hope, and not giving up. Who would have thought a hockey playboy would be the difference maker?
“We don’t know what tomorrow holds, or the day after, or the day after that. And besides . . . whether we go on a second or third date, we’re going to end up fucking eventually. And I’m very much wanting that right now. No, wait . . . that’s not right. I need it right now.”
If you like insta-love books, than look no further. Ok, to be fair, it starts out like an inst-lust book, but as Garrett and Olivia spend more time together, it is apparently this relationship goes far beyond the bedroom. So what makes Olivia so special that Garrett literally changes his game on a dime? Part of it is how she treats him. Part of it is her vulnerability. I think he wants to be needed for more than his fame and wealth. Given that Olivia views her life as a timetable, neither of those things mean anything to her.
“Conversation, humor, silence. I don’t feel like I’m putting on a performance with you, and I know you don’t need me to.”
I was probably more emotional with Olivia’s story because someone very close to me has been thru something similar, only it was of the Mario Lemieux variety, interestingly enough (this will make more sense when you read the book). So I found myself wiping away tears often throughout this book. BUT, my connection and feelings for Olivia changed as her outlook on life did. I seemed to support her more when she was positive, with the mind-set to live life to the fullest. And she lost some of my support when she started to self-pity herself. Which leads me to Zack, Garrett’s teammate.
One thing that bothered me while reading this, was that the synopsis of Zack, the next book in this series, has already been revealed. In my mind, that was a HUGE mistake. Like the curious person I am, I read it, and it unfortunately give out a HUGE spoiler from this book. If you haven’t read that synopsis, I’d HIGHLY recommend you don’t do so. It takes away from this story. But I will say, even knowing ahead of time what was going to happen, didn’t take away from the emotional weight of that revelation. And I feel like Zack’s story is going to be as emotional as this one, for very different reasons.
So, why am I focusing so much on Zack, when this is Garrett and Olivia’s story? Because what he goes thru greatly impacts the couple’s storyline. In a negative way.
“Please don’t punish me for caring about you.”
I get that authors have to interject drama or angst into a story to keep it interesting, but I dislike when they do so at the expense of the character. Olivia’s decisions and actions were heartless in my opinion. And I like how her friends stood behind him rather than her, only proving what a dumb decision she made for both of them.
As a hockey fan, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sport’s aspects within this book. As you may already know, the author is a big hockey fan, and it shows. I thought she did a great job of capturing moments of the game and the pressures an athlete in the sport might face.
Despite the emotional weight of this book, we do get a HEA, an it’s an interesting one. I won’t give it away, you’ll know what I mean when I read it. The author has a great message about hope, not giving up, relying on others for support, and fighting the tough fight that will warm your heart.
*An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.
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