Friday, June 19, 2015

BLOG TOUR, 5 STAR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Zack (Cold Fury #3) by Sawyer Bennett

Cold Fury Hockey #3 
By: Sawyer Bennett
Releasing June 9, 2015

New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett goes for a hat trick with the latest romance in a sexy series about cool-as-ice hockey players and the women heating up their lives.

Warning: The following contains spoilers from a cliffhanger in Garrett.

Rising star Zack Grantham has been stuck in a downward spiral of grief that has put his career on hold. Back on the road with the Carolina Cold Fury, still crippled by emotional baggage, and now a single dad, he’s in need of some serious help with his son. But while the nerdy new nanny wins his son’s heart, Zack isn’t sure he’s ready for a woman’s touch—even after getting a glimpse of the killer curves she’s hiding under those baggy clothes.

Kate Francis usually keeps men like Zack at a distance. Though his athlete’s body is honed to perfection, he refuses to move on with his life—and besides, he’s her boss. Still, the sparks between them are undeniable, tempting Kate to turn their professional relationship into a personal one. But before she makes a power play for Zack’s wounded heart, Kate will have to open him up again and show him that love is worth the fight.

Link to Follow Tour: Tasty Book Tours

My Review

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I LOVE this series and I couldn't wait to read this book. We found out in the previous book Garrett that Zack suffers a terrible loss. It is months later and Zack is almost fully recovered and is ready to rejoin the team. He is need of a nanny for his son, Ben, and Kate is the girl for the job. 

Ben immediately takes to Kate. Zack...not so much. He accepts her as Ben's nanny, but he is a bit standoffish and very short with her. He is taken aback by how quickly she settles into his home and and personal life and it rattles him. It makes him think about things he doesn't want to think about, which makes him very moody. 

I loved Kate. She was quirky. Kind of awkward. She was great with Ben and was not intimidated by Zack. He wasn't very welcoming at first, but she took it in stride and did the job she was there to do. She knew exactly what she was dealing with and how to handle his grumpiness. 

I really liked Zack, but that doesn't mean that I wanted to smack him upside the head numerous times throughout the book. I get that he was struggling with his feelings towards Kate and felt that he didn't really have the right to be happy, but at the same time he didn't have to be such an ass at times. He sent Kate so many mixed signals and that's when I wanted to smack him upside the head. Yes, when Kate & Zack started sleeping together he was very upfront about the fact that it was just sex and nothing else, but it was obvious that he had feelings for her. It was obvious to everyone around them that he had feelings for her. Even he knew he did, but he couldn't admit it to himself. 

When Zack and Kate were together, it was very easy to forget they had "sex only" arrangement. They had fantastic chemistry and the sex between them was ridiculously hot. The thing I liked best about the situation was that I felt like we were seeing the real Zack when he was with Kate. He would get lost in the moment and let himself feel, but as soon as he would realize what was happening, he would go back to his cranky, detached old self. But Kate made him happy and she seemed to complete his little family, so all I wanted was for them to be happy...together.  

We get to see the whole gang in this book. Alex and Garrett are there to support Zack as he comes back into the Cold Fury fold and Sutton and Olivia befriend Kate. I loved the guys' banter and I was happy that Kate had girl friends that should could talk to. There is also the addition of the next book's subject, Ryker. He's a fellow hockey hockey player who is in the late stages of his career. Like Zack, he is raising his children on his own so the two of them form a fast friendship. I can't wait to read his story and learning more about him.  


The doorbell rings just as I’m trying to simultaneously flip a pancake with one hand and pull bacon off the griddle with another. The pancake ends up sticking, then folding in half, and my forearm hits the edge of the griddle. I swear I can hear my skin sizzle from the contact.

“Fuck!” I jerk backward, dropping both the fork in one hand and the spatula in the other, thankful that Ben is in his room playing and didn’t hear me say that. It’s a constant battle sometimes to watch my language around the kid.

Slapping at the control knobs, I turn the heat completely off the large electric griddle I had been struggling with and rub gently the burn on my arm as I head toward the front door. As I round the corner from the kitchen into the living room, I slam my bare foot into Ben’s large dump-truck toy, causing a string of curses to come out of my mouth now as I hobble onward to the door.

My front door is honey-colored oak and has a large oval glass inset with a beveled flower design. Gina had picked it out and had it installed, claiming that it allowed more light into the front entranceway. I thought it was a little too girly, but I didn’t argue with her. The house was her domain.

The glass lets me see my visitor on the other side, but provides no details because of the beveled cuts and partial frosting, which distort the person. But I know who it is.

Ben’s new nanny.

Roberta Francis.

She was Delaney’s top choice, and after I briefly scanned her application I had to sit and listen to my sister rave about her. Delaney felt she was perfect for the job in all respects. She was fantastic with children, having helped raise her three nephews for a period of time. She was also a student with a flexible schedule. Delaney actually droned on and on about this particular situation, but I tuned her out and started thinking about everything I’d need to do to get the house ready to put on the market. I was seriously considering selling it. Maybe move farther out into the country, where we could have some land and Ben could have a dog.

Finally, I just cut Delaney off and said, “She sounds perfect. Let’s go with her.”

And now, as I’m about to open the door to let a woman into my house who will have the most important of responsibilities in helping me care for my son, I’m suddenly realizing I don’t know anything about her other than her name and a vague recollection that she’s a student who helped raise her nephews.

Just fucking great. Way to be an involved and responsible parent, Zack.

The only saving grace at this moment is that Delaney thoroughly interviewed this girl, checked out her references, and was absolutely enchanted with her. I trust Delaney, so this will be fine. She’ll be great, in fact.

I wish I believed myself.

I swing the door open and get my first look at the woman who will be moving into my house and caring for my son. I’m not sure what I expected, but this wasn’t it.

Based on Delaney’s assessment, I expected her to have a superhero’s cape on, or at the very least a shiny gold halo and massive angel wings sprouting out of her back.

Instead…she’s sort of unremarkable.

She stares up at me with round, crystal-blue eyes that are devoid of any makeup and surrounded by brown plastic-framed glasses. Her hair is dark, held back with a headband and twisted up behind her so I have no clue how long it is. She’s small, barely coming up to my shoulder, and swimming in an oversized, extremely faded red NC State sweatshirt and baggy jeans that look about two sizes too big for her. An old backpack slung over her shoulder and a pair of well-worn tennis shoes complete her outfit.

“Roberta?” I ask hesitantly, because suddenly I’m thinking this may be someone soliciting something…or maybe even a homeless person looking for a meal. The way those clothes completely swallow her makes me think she’s starving underneath all that material.

She gives me an outwardly bright smile and sticks a delicate hand out toward me. Her sweatshirt is so big, her sleeves are rolled up around her wrists. “Actually…I go by Kate. Roberta’s my first name, which I was named after my daddy, Robert, but seriously…who wouldn’t hate that name? So I go by my middle name, which is Kathryn, actually. So I shorted it down to Kate, because Kathryn sounds just so…I don’t know…like a Catholic saint or something, and I’m not Catholic. I was raised Southern Baptist, but I really don’t go to church anymore, so—”

She pauses …finally, and takes a deep breath. Her smile goes from politely earnest to a sheepish grin, and she gives an apologetic shrug. “Sorry…I’m nervous and I tend to prattle when I’m nervous.”

I just blink at her, completely shocked silent. I have no clue what to think about this strange woman…no, girl, I think, because she looks so fucking young.

“How old are you?” I ask, my eyes glancing suspiciously at her hand still extended toward me.

“Twenty-three,” she says. “Didn’t Delaney tell you about me? You knew I was coming today, right?”

“Um…yeah, she did. I guess I didn’t hear her mention your age,” I mutter.

Kate takes a small step forward and pushes her hand farther toward me, giving me a pointed look. “It’s nice to meet you.”

Her voice is soft, with a moderate southern twang. I can’t remember if Delaney told me where she was from or not. Fuck…I can’t remember anything she said.

I reach out hesitantly and shake her hand. It’s tiny and her bones feel small, but she grips me surely. “Yeah…uh, nice to meet you too,” I say absently.

Our hands break apart and we just stare at each other.

USA Today Best-Selling 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 three 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 and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her second book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, February 2015.

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