Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Zack by Sawyer Bennett Blog Tour

New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett goes for a hat trick with the latest romance in a sexy series about cool-as-ice hockey players and the women heating up their lives.

Warning: The following contains spoilers from a cliffhanger in Garrett.

Rising star Zack Grantham has been stuck in a downward spiral of grief that has put his career on hold. Back on the road with the Carolina Cold Fury, still crippled by emotional baggage, and now a single dad, he’s in need of some serious help with his son. But while the nerdy new nanny wins his son’s heart, Zack isn’t sure he’s ready for a woman’s touch—even after getting a glimpse of the killer curves she’s hiding under those baggy clothes.

Kate Francis usually keeps men like Zack at a distance. Though his athlete’s body is honed to perfection, he refuses to move on with his life—and besides, he’s her boss. Still, the sparks between them are undeniable, tempting Kate to turn their professional relationship into a personal one. But before she makes a power play for Zack’s wounded heart, Kate will have to open him up again and show him that love is worth the fight.

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Book 3
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My heart feels like it’s going to leap out of my chest as I stand at the sink and wash the griddle clean. It’s actually kind of a pleasure to clean up in a kitchen like this. I’ve never been in a home this nice, and it’s hard not to stare around in wonder at all the shiny. His kitchen is übermodern, with sleek blond-oak cabinets and stainless-steel handles. The counters are done in black granite with flecks of gray throughout and the sink is a massive single bin made of some type of stone.

Zack sits at the table on the opposite side of the L-shaped kitchen counter with Ben as they eat their breakfast. His eyes remain pinned on me, a mixture of anger and confusion.

He clearly doesn’t like me and I have no clue why. I expect him at any moment to just fire me. I can see it in his eyes…That’s what he wants.

There was a moment when Ben hurtled his little body at me that I cut a glance at Zack, and I saw fury wash over him. It scared me so bad, I almost ran out of the house right then. But I didn’t because I really, really, really need this job. Without it, I’m just one bus ticket away from being forced to return home to live with Daddy in our dingy tin can of a trailer in the backwoods of eastern North Carolina. And I promised myself when I left home five years ago, as much as I adore my daddy, I would never let that happen.

So I pulled on all of my available confidence that I’ve built up over the years along with my sheer will to survive and promptly ignored Zack and his dirty looks and started to clean his kitchen. He didn’t say a word, just watched me as I worked and sometimes would make conversation with Ben.

I’m just wiping down the counters when Zack picks up the empty plates and walks over to put them in the dishwasher. When he’s finished, he turns to Ben and says, “Why don’t you go upstairs and play in your room a bit? I need to talk to Kate about a few things.”

“Can I watch TV?” Ben asks.

“Sure,” Zack says, and Ben jets from the table and pounds his way upstairs.

I rinse out the dishcloth in my hand, wring it, and then fold it over the faucet. Turning to Zack, I find him leaning a hip against the counter with his arms crossed defensively over his chest. His gaze is frosty when he says, “What exactly did Delaney tell you the job would consist of?”

Man, he intimidates the hell out of me. He towers over me, and even though he has the face of an angel with dark brown hair and whiskey-colored eyes perfectly supported by a strong jaw, so much animosity is radiating off him that I think he may be the devil.

I know all about Zack Grantham. That’s because I love sports. All kinds of sports, but in particular, Cold Fury hockey. When North Carolina got its first professional ice hockey team, I had just started sixth grade. But I remember sitting on the ratty green corduroy-covered couch in our trailer, and Daddy and I rooting for the Cold Fury. Of course, often he’d be drunk and passed out by the third period, but at least for two periods we’d have a good time bonding over our mutual love of the sport.

I’ve followed the team closely ever since. Of course, I’ve never been to a live game, that being an absolute luxury I could have never afforded, but because every game is broadcast locally, I rarely miss one unless I’m studying for an important test or something. And because I follow the team so well, I know exactly who Zack Grantham is.

He’s an amazing player and, truth be told, if I could afford a jersey, I’d probably get one with his name on it. Or maybe Alex Crossman’s. Or even Garrett Samuelson’s. About four months ago, Zack was in a terrible car accident that killed Ben’s mom, Gina, and caused him to be kept out of the first half of the season with a fractured wrist. That has apparently healed enough that he’s ready to return to the team, and thus the need for a nanny for Ben.

I was utterly stunned when I got a call from his sister, Delaney, for an interview. I had posted my résumé and qualifications on a website for nanny services, knowing it would be a long shot because most of my experience came from helping my sister, Kelly, with her three kids, and other various babysitting jobs. But at this point, I needed work, so I was applying to every place I could think of.

“Now you seem to have nothing to say,” Zack growls, and my body jerks over the derision in his voice.

“Sorry,” I mutter. “Um…Delaney said you needed a live-in nanny for Ben. That the position would be full-time until he started school in the fall, and then part-time after that. She said I’d be responsible for his care when you weren’t here and that I’d have to do basic household chores and stuff.”

Zack nods at me, unfurls his arms from across his chest, and rubs his chin thoughtfully. “Delaney thinks you’re right for this job. I’m going to have to trust her on that.”

“I am,” I tell him earnestly. “I’ll take very good care of Ben.”

“You’d better,” he growls at me so menacingly, I take an involuntary step backward. “If you harm one hair on my child’s head, I will make you regret it. Do you understand?”

The scared country girl inside me wants to curl into the fetal position and just shrink away from the threat in his voice. But I’m not that young girl anymore. I’ve pulled myself out of crappy circumstances and made a new life for myself. I’ve worked hard over the years to build up my self-esteem, and I’m not about to let this man tear it down.

Squaring my shoulders at him, I give him a stern look. “I appreciate your protectiveness of Ben, and I’d feel the same way about my own child. I can assure you, you have nothing to worry about. But I have to insist that you treat me with some type of respect for the position I hold. At the very least, you don’t want to teach your son it’s okay to threaten and intimidate women, do you?”

Zack stares at me, his amber-colored eyes turning almost a dark brown. He blinks a few times and shakes his head. “Are you always this blunt?”

“I’m always this honest,” I clarify for him.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Zack is the third book in the Cold Fury Hockey series and it is an emotional roller coaster ride. In the second book, Garrett, we learn that Gina, Zack's girlfriend was killed in an automobile accident and left Zack with a broken wrist and raising his son alone. It has been four long months since the accident and all Zack wants it to feel something, anything except the guilt. When his sister hires a nanny for Ben, Zack doesn't like her from the start. Kate walks into his life in clothes that are a few sizes too big for her and she is a total nerd. But Zack seems to be drawn to her. All Kate wants is to help him heal and care for Ben. When she realizes that she is drawn to him, it has to be her concern for his well-being. Then when Zack offers her a sex only relationship, she knows it won't be easy but she can give him that. When he begins care for her, he pulls back. So can Kate help him to live again without losing her heart? Can Zack see that she can help him live again and she is good for Ben too? If you haven't started this series yet, you should because you will love it. This story will rip your heart to pieces but Sawyer Bennett will put it back together and fill it with love for Zack. I can't wait to see what she has in store for Ryker, which will be book 4. I love this series and hope you do too.

Just when I think this series couldn't get any better, the author wows me with this insanely hot read. Amazing read! Amazing writing! I was so engrossed into the story that I felt immersed in this book. It combines two of my favorite past times....hockey and reading! Kate was soooo good for Zack. I was so upset when he lost Gina in the last book, thinking he was going to have a hard time with losing the mother to his child. Now the battle was still the same but Kate did it in such a way that even I was okay with it. She was honestly great for him and the author did a wonderful job with exploring this relationship. It generated a type of healing that was soothing and allowed Zack his time to heal. Kate was a five star character! Zack however had his moments when he was surly and ahole-ish. The chemistry was nuclear! Love this series and its entertainment! Five stars!

At the end of Garrett, Zack and his girlfriend Gina were in a car accident. Gina dies and Zack is left to take care of their three year old son. Zack is out of his element. He is buried in his own guilt. He doesn't know how to move on without Gina. His sister comes to stay with him and help, before she leaves she hires Kate. Kate is awkward and nerdy, not Zack's typical type. Falling for her is the last thing he is thinking of doing. Kate knows she is the right person to help care for Ben and help Zack, but can she hold her heart at a distance?

Zack is definitely an emotional ride, sexy and sweet. I am really enjoying the series. Each book feels completely different than the last but all go together so well.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Heartbreak and guilt. That's what Zack has been living with for the past four months, since Gina, the mother of his son, was killed in a car accident. Needing help with Ben, he asks his sister to help him find a nanny. When Delaney (his sister) recommends Kate, Zack agrees without really listening to Kate's qualification.

When Zack meets Kate for the first time, he's not impressed with her character or demeanor. She's quirky, flakey and nerdy, but she's good with kids.

Kate has had a hard life, working hard for everything she has and paying for her education herself. Landing the job with Zack as a live-in nanny is a god-send. Having finished all of her coursework, she's no longer eligible to live in the dorms and she doesn't feel right flopping on her friends' couches.

Both Zack and Kate have lots of baggage to work through and Zack is hard pressed to find someone with a more understanding heart and patience with broken adults and grieving children.

What hurts Zack the most is the fact that he finds Kate attractive in ways he didn't find Gina and he must deal with the guilt he feels now.

Heat Level: scorching

Given the ending of Garrett, this was inevitably going to be an emotional read. I had a few tissues to hand, but actually my heart strings were pulled more than my tears, if that makes sense! Read it, and maybe you will see what I mean.

Even though it is a good few months since I read Garrett, the characters and the news of Gina's death were still very vivid in my mind when I started reading. I so loved the advice that both Zack and Gina had given, that they were firm favourites – and surely favourites aren't supposed to die. But Ms. Bennett has brought us a new character to solve the imbalance, and the way that this story unfolds allows us to shift allegiance without guilt! It is emotional, loving, sexy and fulfilling. Perfect reading in my opinion.

I hope that the next book is coming on, because this group of sportsmen are so beguiling, I'm keen to have more.

Having read Garrett, I knew that Zack was going to be an emotional read as it was going to focus on Zack’s recovery from the car accident in which Gina, his long-time girlfriend and the mother of his child, died. From chapter one, it’s easy to figure out where the ending is headed, but that does not mean that the story is predictable or unenjoyable because I freaking loved this book. Ms. Bennett has created a seriously sexy but broken hockey player who is suffering from a huge case of survivor’s guilt with Zack. But her true talent shines with Kate. I never would have believed it possible to create a dorky and socially awkward young woman who doesn’t seem to possess a shy bone in her body that is completely believable, and yet she did – even better, she made me love Kate completely.

Kate has a rather sad past that would have left most people emotionally crippled and bitter, but she’s not and her past gives her an unusual understanding of some of what Zack is dealing with. It also gives her the ability to accept him as he is, know that almost all of his lashing out comes from a place of guilt (even if it is not until much later in the book that she learns the full depth of his guilt), the ability to forgive him when needed because of that, and the wherewithal to call him out on his skewed thinking and BS when he needs it. She does all of this while taking on the role of his son Ben’s nanny – a job she does wonderfully thanks to her experience with her nephews. Not surprisingly, when Zack realizes that Kate is hiding a stellar body under her too baggy clothes the level of comfort he has obtained with her grudgingly during her employment quickly becomes more until he can no longer deny that she has done what no trip to a strip club has done since Gina’s death – ignited a fire inside and making him feel again. Despite dancing around it, the sexual attraction becomes too much for him to fight and when he gives in, it is WOW! And it just gets better and better with each encounter that occurs in the book. I have to give it to Kate with her willingness to give a strictly sexual relationship a go even knowing that she was likely setting herself up for heartbreak. Now THAT scene broke my ever-loving heart because the author made me hurt for BOTH Kate and Zack.

Beyond the not-the-least-bit-simple relationship between Zack and Kate, there is so much about this book that I enjoyed. The interactions between Kate and Ben were absolutely lovely and I got a kick out of her solution to his tantrums. I found Zack and Ben’s interactions to be just as touching because it was clear how much Zack loved his son. Other than the supremely hot sex scenes, my favorite scene was when Kate kicked Michelle out of the house. Kate is one mama bear you do NOT want to rile because as sweet and innocent as she seems, you do not want to piss off a southern woman. I laughed my butt off at that scene. I loved how Sutton and Ryker involved themselves in Kate’s life and how Zack FINALLY showed Kate that he had his act together. I loved Zack and cannot wait to read Ryker (which I already have marked off on my schedule) and hopefully I’ll find some free time on my reading schedule to work Alex in first as I still have to back and read it.

Also Available in the Cold Fury Hockey Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Garrett Blog Tour.

USA Today Bestselling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her second book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, February 2015.

Connect with Sawyer

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Google+  ~  Pinterest  ~  tsū

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Zack (Cold Fury Hockey #3) by Sawyer Bennett to read and review for this tour. Mary and Johanna obtained their copies of Zack via their personal NetGalley accounts.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you ALL for hosting ZACK and so happy that everyone enjoyed!


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