RELEASE DAY REVIEW: Lucas by Sawyer Bennett

Lucas (Cold Fury, Book #8)
Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: September 19, 2017

The Carolina Cold Fury hockey team is stacked with hotshots. But when a new player joins their ranks, he learns that even superstars can’t go it alone when it comes to love.

Lucas Fournier is only serious about one thing: hockey. The league’s fun-loving charmer, Luc is always up for a good prank or a great lay, and he has no intention of settling down. But being traded to the Carolina Cold Fury—and to play alongside his big brother, Max—is no joke. With another title in sight, the last thing Luc wants is to let his new teammates down. To succeed, Luc will need to keep his head in the game and the most . . . er, demanding member of his anatomy in check. But when temptation hits, Luc hits back harder.

Museum curator Stephanie Frazier has always put business before pleasure, which just about explains her nonexistent sex life. But when Stephanie meets Luc at a champagne-fueled gala, she finds herself flirting like crazy—and going home with the uninhibited athlete. For one night, she learns what passion is all about. She just never counted on the little surprise Luc leaves behind. And that’s when things really start to get . . . interesting.

Sawyer Bennett’s New York Times bestselling Carolina Cold Fury series can be read together or separately.

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On paper, there are not many similarities between Lucas Fournier and Stephanie Frazier; he’s the life of the party and she would rather be a party of one; he’s an easy going kind of guy and she’s strung so tight it’s difficult to get her to relax. But somehow these two opposites find themselves flirting and ultimately giving in to their sexual attraction and while the outcome of their night together is definitely not what either person would have wanted or even predicted, now that it’s done, determining how to move forward with someone who was supposed to be a one night stand…someone who is more of a stranger than a friend creates an array of issues that could be the start of a new adventure or the cause for Stephanie to be even more unapproachable.

Some readers will immediately be turned off by Stephanie’s “Ice Queen” demeanor, but in order to understand why Stephanie lives such a solitary life, readers need to give her the benefit of the doubt, at least at the beginning of the story, and witness the ways she changes when Lucas enters her life and becomes a permanent fixture due to an unexpected bond between them. There are reasons for Stephanie’s standoffish personality and Sawyer Bennett does a great job of illustrating how she became the closed-off woman that she is and why it’s so difficult for her to shed the layers of security/protection that she’s built up to shield herself from any further disappointment or pain at the hands of another person. Did I want Stephanie to wake up and acknowledge what Lucas means to her and why she needs to allow him to break through her fortified walls? Absolutely, but for someone so entrenched in guarding herself from everyone and everything, it’s not easy to open herself up, but somehow, Lucas uses his easy going charm to his advantage and ends up having a relationship with Stephanie that could potentially turn into something more than just friends with benefits.

Lucas is quite the swoonworthy hero. He works his butt off to show Stephanie who he is in hopes that she’ll let him in and share her burdens. There’s just something about a rough and tough guy who puts himself out there in unchartered territory despite the risks, and while Lucas knows there’s work to be done, he’s up for the challenge and through his own words and his actions, readers understand just how much he wants to show Stephanie how a true family acts and what they’re willing to do for one another, even when life changes their game plan.

What I like most about Lucas and Stephanie’s story is how Sawyer Bennett forces them to work on their relationship outside of sex in order to determine exactly how they’ll tackle the circumstances that they face. A physical connection is not what needs to be addressed when it comes to them trying to build something out of what was supposed to be a one-night stand or even friends with benefits, so giving them the time and the push they need to work through Stephanie’s issues as well as determining exactly what they mean to one another helps to illustrate exactly what Lucas and Stephanie would be possibly giving up by turning away from one another instead of towards each other.

Sawyer Bennett’s Cold Fury Hockey series is by far one of my absolute favorites of all time, and while the heroes may have some similarities, their uniqueness shines through, not only in the hockey positions they play but also in the kind of woman who brings them to their knees.

4.5 Poison Apples

About the Author
Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.

Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.

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