Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Date of publication: November 28th, 2017
Genre: Romance, Sports
Number of pages: 224
Series: Cold Fury Hockey
Alex – Book 1
Garrett – Book 2
Zack – Book 3
Ryker – Book 4
Hawke – Book 5
Max – Book 6
Roman – Book 7
Van – Book 9
Reed – Book 10 (expected publication date: February 6th, 2018)
Marek – Book 11 (expected publication date: May 22nd, 2018)
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
Score one for the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team as a stone-cold badass melts for a woman who makes his blood run hot.
As one of the league’s toughest enforcers, Van Turner is ruthless on the ice. He plays hard because it’s the only way to channel the rage boiling inside, and a reputation as an A-hole is better than everyone knowing the truth. Van has spent his entire life running from a secret that’s kept him from getting involved in relationships—or accepting lucrative deals with East Coast teams. Then the Carolina Cold Fury makes him an offer he can’t refuse . . . and Van meets a woman he can’t resist.
Simone Fournier is the stubborn one in her family—and that’s saying something, considering her brothers are two of the Cold Fury’s biggest stars. Simone gets what she wants, and what she wants is Van. Still, there’s a part of him Simone can’t reach, no matter how hard she tries. In private, he’s all fire and passion. In public, he freezes her out. Van may want to push her away, but Simone won’t let him go that easily. Because this time, she’s playing for keeps.
Trigger Warning: none
I was so excited when I saw that Van was the next book in the Cold Fury Hockey series. When I reviewed Lucas, Van, and Simone made a huge impression on me. I could not wait to read his story. I wanted to know what his deal was. Why he was so grumpy and standoffish with everyone. Well, all that and more was explained in this book. I gotta say, Van has to be one of the best romances that I have read this year.
The author did something awesome in this book. She had it coinciding with Lucas’s story. The author was kind enough to put up a warning at the beginning of the book. I will make this clear, this is a separate story from Lucas. It follows the same timeline until Lucas and Stephanie have their happy ending. But the main focus of the book is Van and Simone. Lucas and Stephanie’s issues are there but not much attention is focused on them.
The plot of Van was straightforward. Van meets Simone, is attracted to her but vows to keep her at arm’s length. Simone attracted to Van, is determined to break through the walls that he has up. They start sleeping together but agree to keep it only sexual. But, as those things tend to go, feelings start to get involved and Van’s walls start to come down. Simone learns why Van is the way he is. When his secret is revealed to the public, their relationship is tested. The question is: will their relationship survive the revelations?
I wanted to reach through the book and hug Van when he started reminiscing about his childhood. I will admit, I did jump to conclusions about what happened to him up to when he went to the prison. The author then threw in a twist that shocked me to the core. I was not expecting what was revealed. It shook me up. It also made me understand why Van was the way he was. Also why he treated Simone the way he did. He was trying to protect himself from being hurt. He knew he wasn’t good relationship material and tried to tell Simone that. Not that she listened. When his secret came out, my heart broke for him. He was so afraid of it happening and pushed Simone away.
Simone was a spitfire and she had me laughing for most of the book. She was a tad over the top but considering who she was trying to seduce, I didn’t blame her. It did make for a very amusing read. I liked that she was trying to be self-reliant. She did not want to depend on her parents for money after dropping out of med school. But she went to extremes to prove them wrong. I also classed her as stubborn. Very stubborn.
The end of Van was very typical of a romance novel. A breakup, a makeup and then happily ever after. But, the breakup was awful even for a romance novel and the makeup was one of a kind. The happily ever after brought tears to my eyes.
Van is a hot, erotic romance that got me right in the feels. With main characters who have some serious issues, I got pulled into a very well written plot. Like I said at the beginning of this post, this book is one of the best romances that I have read this year.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Explicit sex, explicit language, and mild violence
I would like to thank Loveswept, Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Van
All opinions stated in Van are mine
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**