The ice is a cold mistress. As the league’s most eligible goalie, Max Fournier has access to his fair share of willing puck bunnies, but right now he’s more interested in bringing home another championship than a one-night stand. A romantic at heart, Max believes in love; he’s just not great at relationships. So when he finally meets a nice girl who’s not blinded by his celebrity, he’s feeling the heat—and the pressure to save her from herself.
Between working two jobs and raising her sister’s kids, Julianne Bradley doesn’t have time for sports—or men. All she knows about Max is that he’s the sexiest customer to ever grace her gas-station counter. And he sees past her tired eyes and makes Jules yearn for things she can’t have: a glamorous fling, a passionate lover, and the time to enjoy both. Max makes her feel like Cinderella, even though Jules has enough baggage to crush a glass slipper. Luckily, he’s no prince—only a fierce competitor determined to win her heart.
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
This one got me on characters all the way, specifically Max. I don’t even care that Max was probably a bit too good to be true, I just couldn’t help but adore him. He was sweet, kind, understanding, kind of a force of nature that you really can’t (and don’t want to) stop! And I loved how he and Jules worked out their problems, and how Max really tried so hard to see things from her perspective and rein himself in when she made good points. But I also liked how at the end, when she wouldn’t work with him, he didn’t let her walk all over him. He knew when to take a step back, even if it killed him.
And I really loved Jules too, don’t get me wrong. She had so many of the kinds of insecurities that I can understand. And she really tried so hard on many occasions, so that when she blunders in the end I can accept how she got there and have faith that she would see her way back. Normally her blunder might have bothered me on another character, but I got her I guess. I saw her need for time. And throughout the story we saw some amazingly real emotions from Jules…I really felt her grief and loss and her overwhelmed state. The feels from her side of the story were so genuine and evocative.
The simultaneous Hawke story was odd for me since I haven’t read it… I’m not sure it added so much as seemed tacked on. But perhaps I’d feel differently if I’d read his story first. And since this is my first Cold Fury story, I probably didn’t get quite as much from all the cameos of other players from previous books in the series as fans might. But it does make me curious about their stories and want to go back and read them. Totally putting them on the wishlist! As such I can say that I enjoyed the secondary characters, though we didn’t get a lot of time with any one of them so much as little bits of time with a lot of different ones. I kind of would have liked more focus if that makes sense.
As a weird aside, I don’t get the weird name changing of all the teams…does anyone know why authors do that? Is it a copyright thing?
Occasionally some of the transitions between scenes were more abrupt, and matter of fact than I was expecting. It made for strange reading. Not my favourite, but it’s a personal taste thing (and I’m shit at explaining what I mean, so sorry about that). But the characters and romance made up for it, hence why this was still a solid 4 star book despite this style not being my favourite.
The kids weren’t bad. Sometimes I find kids in books can be more plot device and less genuine, and it was almost that way in this one, but with a step in the right direction. There were some good moments with them, so they didn’t *completely* feel thrown in.
So yeah. Jules was great, but in the end my love is all for Max. Max Max Max. Damn people, just swoon. Will definitely check out some more Cold Fury novels in the future.