Surprisingly Sweet With Some Angsty Moments! Eden Might Have An Elite Background ...
Commenté aux États-Unis 🇺🇸 le 30 mars 2021
But That Doesn’t Insulate Her From Heartbreak. She Meets Two Men At Sutton University – One On An Athletic Scholarship & The Other On An Academic One. Alex Will Be An NHL Star, And Holt Is The Loner Bad Boy Who Patiently Sat By Her Side. She Later Learns That Choices Have Consequences.
This is book one of the Looking to Score series. It is a standalone. Note that the series prequel, One Night with the Rebel, makes up the first quarter of this book. This story opens as the hockey season is about to begin.
Eden Wynn, roughly twenty-seven, is from Massachusetts royalty. Her grandfather – Grandpa Pete – had been owner of the Boston Titans since she was small, and her father had been governor while she was in high school. Her family was connected. But not everything is perfect behind the scenes of the elite, and to her horror the entire world knew some of her family’s baggage when her father was caught in a compromising position while still in office. That scandal only brought more pressure to bear on her shoulders. She would need to prove herself, and she was determined to make that happen. She was intelligent and did well in school, though hadn’t known what she wanted to major in. She was also driven, even more so after her parents’ divorce. She knew she needed to challenge herself to step out of her comfort zone. She needed to be a little reckless, a little less boring. And she didn’t hesitate to do things once she made up her mind. Her family mantra: Wynn at all costs.
Alex Braun was on a hockey scholarship, and rumor had it he would be signing with the NHL and skipping his senior year at Sutton. He was going to be a star. When a dare at a party led to a kiss, Eden set her sights on him. He would be her reckless fun. Certainly he was rumored to have the coeds at his beck and call, but all she wanted was some fun. Some other ideas slipped into her consciousness, too – like the idea that together they would make a great power couple.
Holt Rossi might not play hockey, but he is a bear of a man. He and Eden had taken some classes together during freshman and sophomore year, before he declared his major in criminal justice. They had even worked on a project together. He couldn’t help but fall a little for her, though he knew she was out of his league. Abandoned at a young age by his father and raised by his drunk mother, he never had much of a childhood. His older brother landed in prison, and Holt decided as a teen he needed to escape that life. His academic scholarship to Sutton University was too good to be true, just like the notion that someone like Eden might choose someone like him. When they somehow crossed paths at a party during junior year, he knew she was interested in meeting Braun there. He couldn’t believe she ended up in his bedroom with him instead. That she talked and opened up, and he did the same. And then what followed….
Eden had chosen one man. Six years later, Eden is once again with both men before her, wondering if she made the wrong decision. Wondering where she might be now if she had chosen differently. Even Alex was surprised when he put his playing days behind to have a relationship with Eden. They spent five years together, with her following his career. But eventually the novelty wore off and Alex withdrew. With rumors of cheating in the tabloids, who eagerly gobbled up stories about the couple, it was hard to know what to believe. When their relationship blew up six months ago, Eden was thankful that she had begun spending her spare time with her Grandpa Pete for the last three years. He had begun to groom her to take over running the Titans herself one day, so she was able to throw herself into her career when Alex left.
But her grandfather’s sudden death put everything in question. A battle ensued, but Eden finally won the right to keep the team. If only the public had supported her victory it would have been a real celebration. As it is, she is hated by the fans, not respected by the team, and the target of much mean-spirited speculation in the tabloids. As a woman and the youngest owner in the league, the consensus is that she should sell the team. Nobody believes the team will be successful under her leadership. And to make matters worse, during her legal battle, Alex got traded to the Titans. She is now his boss.
When protests break out and the online chatter gets too negative, Eden’s manager, Les, decides extra security is needed. He brings in an independent contractor to be head of security for the team and ensure Eden’s personal safety. Holt Rossi started his company four years ago. It is a small operation but they are the best. When Eden comes face to face with Holt six years after bolting from his room, leaving only a note telling him it had been a mistake, she is surprised to find that she still feels that same chemistry. And she soon begins to wonder what would have happened if she had chosen differently, had she not run away from the confusing feelings she felt when with Holt. As tempting as Holt becomes, though, the last thing Eden wants or needs is another scandal to feed the public’s hatred of her. But the more time they spend together, the more unsteady her resolve becomes. They face numerous challenges on their journey, but the couple eventually earns a happy ending.
Though sometimes angsty, this story is surprisingly sweet! Holt steals the show with his devotion, discipline, and protective instincts. That he has pined over losing Eden makes him a sympathetic character. As the couple contemplates revisiting their old connection, they each face personal battles. Holt may be a broody bad boy who enjoys his music with an edge of rage, but there was once a tender side to him. The hardship he faced growing up left him with the burden of being the only responsible member of his family, and that burden weighs him down even today. He is content to be a loner. He knows people like Eden will never end up with someone like him. They are from different sides of the track. It would never work. But that one night with her had been everything for him. He opened up to her like no other. They were naturally comfortable with one another, and he had never found that connection with another person – before or after their night together. The loss he felt in her leaving, and the rejection at calling him a mistake, had left scars. He had taken a chance on her and had hoped for more, but learned the hard way never to put himself out there like that again. Holt’s story is heartbreaking. He is stoic yet broody. He seems hard, but he is tender and soft. When it comes to Eden, no detail escapes him.
Eden’s difficulties over the years were largely laid out for public consumption. She might not have lacked for material things, but the strain of being in the public eye, which amplifies every horrible mistake it captures, has a way of eating at her self-confidence. She is an only child, and her family’s public spectacle probably had something to do with her very small list of friends. Though she is kind and should easily make friends, she is often lonely. Especially after the breakup with Alex. And though she might be overly sensitive of the tabloids, the media coverage requires a thick skin, something that she hasn’t yet quite mastered. It is a work in progress. Perhaps if her self-confidence hadn’t suffered, she would have handled the pressure better rather than cowering from it.
Both Holt and Eden have led lonely lives. Holt is weary of letting people in; Eden cannot seem to make friends. They have both been disappointed by their parents. And they have both had their hearts crushed. But six years after their night together at Sutton University, their paths cross a second time, like fate intends for them to be together. Their second chance is complicated by business and media considerations, as well as family issues. Eden’s new career is riding on a smooth transition as she takes the reigns and the team struggles with its identity in the face of change. Holt’s lessons about teamwork serve to help open her eyes, and her patience eventually pays off.
Book two of the series, The Rival, follows. It is Alex Braun and Aspen Ford’s story. Alex is one of the league’s best forwards and happens to be Eden’s playboy ex-boyfriend. Aspen is Eden’s hard-working assistant. There are hints of their upcoming story in this book. It leaves off at Thanksgiving. Glimpses of Alex dealing with some personal issues will leave readers eager to see him get his own happy ending.
Eden might have an elite background, but that doesn’t insulate her from heartbreak. She meets two men at Sutton University – one on an athletic scholarship and the other on an academic one. Alex Braun will be an NHL star, and Holt Rossi is the loner bad boy who patiently sat by her side. She later learns that choices have consequences. This story is well-written. The plot is somewhat complex early on; it later focuses more on the couple’s developing relationship, which is tentative and slow to build. The drama is more in the background as the couple finally begins to move forward. There is no cheating, but a few challenges do sneak their way in later in the story. It sets up book two of the series (though both are standalones). The characters are well-developed, particularly Eden. The history and background add more depth. Holt maintains a little more mystery. The story is written in first person. The POV alternates between Holt and Eden. I rate this story 4.5 stars.
I received an advance copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
20 personnes ont trouvé cela utile