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I’ve got another review today – and I want to wish a happy book day to Sawyer Bennett’s Alex!

*****

cover50199-mediumHockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.
 
As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people—like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries—and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy façade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.

I love the bad-boy turned good story line and Alex definitely delivers … I just wish that he’d gotten just a little more professional help in fighting his demons.  He does have some on-the-side help from Sutton.  She is a professional and deals every day with a lot of the issues that Alex experiences, but he’s had many years of trouble built up and I think that he needs a little more help than what she’s able to give him.  I do like how she makes him take another look at so many things – hockey, people, life … he’s lived in a cold ball of hate for so long that it is a beautiful thing to watch it change.  Just a little bit of follow up with an impartial someone dedicated to helping him would have made the story.

And it’s important to remember that the book is called Alex for a reason.  It’s all about him and that is perfectly fine.  We do get both Sutton and Alex’s POV throughout but it is his growth that is the centerpiece of the story.  He’s troubled and difficult and beautiful underneath.  Buried under all of that negativity and pain, there is someone who can be so much more – a leader and a giver – he just needed a way out and Bennett gives him a great one.

If you are looking for a hard read with a great ending, then Alex is for you.  It isn’t all roses and sunshine, but it is definitely worth taking the journey with him as he learns to let go of so many bad things and let the good things in.

*****

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*****

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