Sunday Spotlight is a new feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release that we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
I’m going to be honest with you guys. I haven’t read anything by Sawyer Bennett but she’s one of the authors that I’ve been meaning to read, an author that I know that I’m going to enjoy but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I hear nothing but good things about her books and I am frothing at the mouth to read them.
This book is one of the reasons that I want to read this series. I’m always up for a blast from the past story and this is one of those. Yay!
Hawke (Cold Fury Hockey #5) by Sawyer Bennett
Releases on March 15, 2016 by Loveswept
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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.
Oh man, I can already tell this book is going to be filled up with angst. Yasssss!
A knock on the door doesn’t quite disturb me from my reading, but the voice that says, “Hey, man . . . I need my knee taped,” does, and my head swings up.
Hawke stands in the open doorway in full gear minus his helmet, his forehead sweat slicked and his long hair sticking to his temples. He stares straight at Goose and I use the moment to try to still my beating heart, which started running away from me the minute I saw him.
But damn . . . why does the man have to look so freaking good?
I just saw him but a few hours ago in my early morning dream, and yet even that memory of what we had was dull and faded next to him up close and personal. Dark brown hair that he still wears long. It curls just above his shoulders with a heavy wave and his blue eyes set deep above darkly slashed eyebrows. The one thing that’s different in this man just seven years later is that he now sports a beard. While we are well out of playoff season, Hawke apparently liked the look and decided to keep it. Its full but well trimmed; dark with some subtle lighter strands woven in.
I have to say, it does him justice, only serving to highlight his high cheekbones and strong jawline.
He’s perfection, and I while I want to tear my eyes away, I just can’t. Besides, he hasn’t spared me a glance, and while we were over years ago, I can’t say it’s a chore staring at him like this. What woman in her right mind wouldn’t stare at that?
“Be just a few minutes,” Goose says with good nature as he pulls another piece of tape from Kip’s lower back, who in turn groans dramatically. “Then I need to get him in an ice bath.”
“Why can’t she do it?” Hawke asks, and his eyes slide lazily over to me.
My body stiffens and I stand upright from the way I was leaning on the table as I read from the laptop. My heart skitters out of control as I realize Hawke was very much aware of me.
He stares at me now with those mesmerizing eyes that don’t speak a single word to me. There was a time in our lives when he could communicate to me just with those irises. I could read want and need. Anger and love. Pain and happiness. Hell, I could tell if he was hungry for a steak or a chicken by the way he stared at me.
Now I get nothing. Not even a hint of welcome or even curiosity about me.
I have to wonder what he’s feeling, because we did not part on good terms. In fact, we parted on very bad terms. I shut him down and out, and refused to even let him know my thinking.
Of course, I was operating on pain, loss, guilt, and anger myself, so I felt I was justified back then.
I’m not so sure I did things right, but I can’t change the past. I was ruled by emotion, and I acted in the only way I knew my conscience would let me at that exact moment in time.
“Vale’s still reading the procedural manual,” Goose says. “I can get you in a few.”
“Or she can tape me now,” Hawke suggests with what borders on an imperious tone. “I need to get back on the ice.”
“Suit yourself,” Goose says with a shrug of his shoulders. “She fucks it up, not on my shoulders.”
My body jerks and my gaze swings over to Goose. Now why would the asshole say that?
“She fucks it up, it’s on her shoulders,” Hawke clarifies, and my head snaps back to him. He’s got a challenging glint in his eyes and I realize in this moment, that I much preferred the blank, uninterested look he gave me earlier. This look right here says there’s still some bitter feelings toward me, and that’s just an unnecessary complication I don’t need in my life right now.
With a sigh, I tip my head toward the table next to the one that holds the laptop. “Skates, socks, shin pads and pants off.”
Hawke lumbers toward me, his skate guards clacking dully on the industrial tile floor. “Jock strap too?” he asks without a trace of humor.
“No,” I tell him coolly as I grab a towel and toss it at him before turning to the supply cabinet. “You can put that over your lap though.”
He’s only half a foot away when he catches the towel and murmurs so low I barely hear him, “Why? Seen one dick, you seen ’em all.”
I freeze with my hand on the cabinet handle and a sudden wave of longing and sadness crashes through me. Anguish over what we had, which was still so fresh in my mind from my dream of him and me and that stupid stone wall along the Sydney River. Wondering through the years, and more so now with him standing just a few feet away, what would have happened had things just been a little different.
“Vale?” Hawke says softly, and I jerk into action. I pull the cabinet open and gather adhesive, gauze, and tape, knocking it closed with my shoulder.
I turn to face him, squaring my shoulders and sliding a neutral expression on my face. I tip my head toward the table. “Let’s go, Therrien. Thought you wanted back on the ice?”
His eyes flick back and forth between mine, his jaw muscle ticking. He studies me, appears to want to say something else, but then silently bends down to start unlacing his skates.
I take a deep breath but blow it out silently.
This should be fun.
…and I was right! Bring on the angst…
Cold Fury Hockey Series
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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re excited for this year!
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.