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Alex - Sawyer Bennett ALEX is a captivating, intense story about an emotionally damaged hockey player. Alex Crossman has played professional hockey with the Cold Fury in Raleigh, North Carolina for six years. Alex is the bad boy of the team, he’s a loner and he knows he isn’t liked by his teammates or the fans, but he doesn’t care. His bosses are tired of his bad attitude and want to clean up his image, so they insist he become the spokesman for an anti drug abuse program to improve his reputation.

Sutton loves her job working as a counselor for the Wake County Drug Crisis Center. She’s delighted when she learns the Cold Fury want to help her build an outreach program and one of the players will be the spokesman. When Sutton first meets Alex she has no idea who he is, but knows he’s the most gorgeous man she has ever met. Alex isn’t happy about being there and is arrogant and self absorbed, but Sutton is used to dealing with difficult people, so a smug hockey player is easy for her handle. Even though he doesn’t want to be there, Alex is instantly attracted to Sutton and asks her out. Sutton refuses his offer, which surprises Alex, because he is used to women throwing themselves at him and when Sutton doesn’t, he’s intrigued and he can’t seem to get her out of his head.

I was immediately pulled into Sawyer Bennett’s absorbing story and connected with the characters, even though they are flawed and vulnerable. In the beginning of the story Alex is a jerk, but as the reasons for his behavior are uncovered, he slowly stole my heart. Alex is a big, tough guy but also a broken man. He has never had a relationship and has no idea how to show his feelings and I found it sad and touching. I admired Sutton, because she’s strong, straight talking and doesn’t let Alex intimidate her. She’s always patient and understanding with Alex, but never judgmental. There is a strong sexual chemistry that simmers between Alex and Sutton and because Alex has never met anyone like Sutton, he finds her exhilarating and scary.

Reviewed by Karen for Cocktails and Books