Zack (Cold Fury Hockey Series, Book #3)
BXTCHES Gotta Warn: Usually when there are books in a series, I will always recommend that you read the books in order. That way you get the full experience of the series the way that the author intended. Well, with this book, I broke my own rule. I came across this book and was intrigued enough by it to go ahead and read without reading the first two books first. I can say with complete certainty, that I was not at all left wondering at any point during this book about the happenings in the first two books. However, you should be told that there is some spoilers in this book with regards to the cliffhanger in the second book.
This book will be told through both the female and male POV’s.
I’m gonna kick this off with Zack, mainly because this is really his journey. This story is going to begin 4 months after Zack Grantham was involved in a car accident that tragically took the life of his girlfriend and mother of his son. Being the driver of the vehicle and only escaping with a broken wrist, Zack is living with a ton of guilt. Zack is a member of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team and needing to get back on the ice, now more than ever, he is forced to hire a nanny to help him care for his three year old son, Ben. Enter Kate.
Kate Francis is a twenty-three year old college graduate trying to pay her way through grad school. She is a huge hockey fan and is couldn’t be more thrilled about being hired to be the nanny for Zack. The problem is Zack isn’t actually the one who hires Kate, his sister Delaney did. So, upon meeting, Zack is very close to firing Kate based on the initial impression alone. But, Kate is definitely a go-getter who is going to say whatever it is she is thinking and is able to talk her way out of getting fired.
Kate’s appearance is not one that usually gets a double take. She wears clothes that are sizes too big, her hair is always pinned back, and her glasses are almost bigger than her face. So, one would think that because of this, there is no concern that temptation is going to be lurking between her and Zack, well on Zack’s end anyway. That is, until Zack catches her one night sending up a prayer of thanks for Ben & Jerry, wearing nothing but her very curve loving PJ’s. This is the image that Zack cannot get out of his head.
Now that the image has been planted, Zack has dirty on the mind and since it shouldn’t be any sort of secret that a relationship is going to develop between Zack and Kate, it’s safe to tell you that with lust on both ends, they both decide to forge ahead with a sexual relationship. Zack knows mentally, he is in no place to push past and try to achieve something other than sexual encounters. Kate agrees.
So, that’s the jest of the development of their relationship, but it’s so much more that makes this book so wonderful. First, Kate. She didn’t have the greatest upbringing in life, but she is someone who always looks at the bright side. She is hilariously written, super witty, and recognizes her limits with Zack. She never tries to diminish the memory of Gina, in fact, she holds her is a very high regard, even though had she not passed, ideally there would be no room for her in Zack’s life.
As easy as it would be to become frustrated with Zack, it was somewhat difficult to. There were moments that I thought he emerged from the scene as “The #1 Asshole”, but I also think that during those moments, Kate holds her own. With the story being told from Zack’s POV as well, you do grow to sympathize, because knowing how his true feelings are regarding the death of Gina, you’re almost forced to cut the man some slack.
I think that the supporting cast is well written, it’s definitely not an ensemble type of book, but there are some pivotal co-stars here. I think that the most important one is Ryker and once you read, you will certainly understand. I appreciated the friendship that Kate develops with Sutton and Olivia, which are the leading ladies from the first two installments of this series.
Let’s get to the dirty. The sexual tension here is almost as hot as the sex. For me, the tension between Zack and Kate did it’s job. It encouraged the wanting. There is of course, attraction between the two, I personally thought a lot of the sex between Zack and Kate, was more of a need for him and a want for her. Not to say that he didn’t want it, there’s just so much happening in his head, that it seemed to be almost primal. The one thing that did irritate me, while I understood, is his wishy washiness. I think it left Kate feeling unsure too often. But, overall, it was very passionate.
The author here does a really good job of connecting her audience to a character that really doesn’t exist, except in the memory of Zack, and that’s Gina. I think given the circumstances, the author could’ve went an easier route by making Gina somewhat of a bitch, but she didn’t. She made her likable and put the burden on Zack to figure out a way to overcome his grief. She was able to write it to where even Kate had admiration and respect for Gina, so as the reader, you had no choice but to like her.
I really liked this book and that’s without reading the first two. However, I will read the next one, which is Ryker’s story. I just felt overall, it was a really well told story of loss and love and trying to figure out how to deal with grief and guilt. So, lots of emotions, but so well written. And you know what, if you’re sitting on the fence, just look at the cover.