Marek (Cold Fury Hockey: Book 11) by Sawyer Bennett

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: May 22nd, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

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

Lucas – Book 8 (review here)

Van – Book 9 (review here)

Reed – Book 10

Marek – Book 11

Where you can find Marek: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When the Carolina Cold Fury’s hottest young star gets blindsided by an ex with a scandalous secret, it’s game on.

“One of the best voices in contemporary romance.”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne

Marek Fabritis is used to delivering blows, not receiving them. But when he gets tipped off by an anonymous email about his ex-girlfriend, the news leaves him ice cold—and it’s not because Gracen Moore is getting married to a total jerk. It’s the fact that Marek has a three-year-old daughter he never knew about. Now he’s going back home, not to play knight in shining armor but to make damn sure that no man takes what’s his. For the first time, there might be something more important than hockey.

Gracen Moore has always loved Marek. That’s why she let him go so he could pursue a career in the NHL. And that’s why she never told him about Lilly. Only now does Gracen realize that she made an unforgivable mistake. But is that any reason for Marek to crash her wedding and make an epic scene? If the spark that still smolders between them is to be trusted, maybe. Still, Gracen’s not getting her hopes up. Because she knows better than anyone that appearances aren’t always what they seem. . . .

My review:

I was excited to see that Marek’s story was finally being told. I wondered when the author was going to get around to his story. So, when I saw that it had come up on NetGalley for review, I pounced on it. I was expecting this book to be like the other books in the series. Boy, was I disappointed. Marek had a huge chip on his shoulder. Gracen was awful. I have no words to express my disgust for her. It was her character that caused me to rate the book as I did. I did come around to like Marek towards the end of the book. But I felt bad for him. He was saddled with a harpy. There were times I wanted to shake him and say “Run while you can“. Of course, if he did that, then there wouldn’t have been a story.

There were good points to the book. Believe it or not, the sex was hot and emotion filled. I loved the subplot involving Gracen’s ex. I loved the forgiveness flowing through the book. Even though I wouldn’t have been as forgiving. Just saying. And I loved Lilly. As a mother of a 4-year-old, the author did a great job of capturing everything about her. Including asking for the butt to be wiped. Expect mine yells “Someone wipe my butttttttt” until we get in there and do it…lol.

I mentioned above that Marek had a huge chip on his shoulder. If I hadn’t been told that I had a daughter, I would be pretty upset too. But, I didn’t like that he threw it in Gracen’s face every time they argued. Every time. It got old after a while. At one point, I thought to myself “Does he have anything else to say to Gracen other than you kept my daughter a secret?” when arguing with her. I started to like him more when he started to bond with Lilly. I loved it.

Gracen, I did not like. She is the reason I rated this book a 3. I thought her reasons for keeping Lilly a secret awful. When it was first revealed, it came across that she was MAD at him for wanting to have a career. So she keeps that she had his kid a secret. WTF. She fought Marek on everything and kept threatening to take Lilly and leave if they had an argument. The author did try to cast her in a better light once she and Marek started banging. Then the accident happened and she went off on Marek. I sat there shaking my head.

While I did not like (dare I say hated??) Gracen and felt bad for Marek, I thought that the sex was amazeballs. Which surprised me because I usually get nothing out of it. If I don’t like any one of the characters, the sex comes across as fake and forced. But not in this book. It says a lot about the author skill as a writer to keep me interested in sex scenes when I don’t like one of the characters. The sex was great. It was steamy, hot and the chemistry didn’t stop after the first time. Even in Marek’s flashbacks, the sex was amazeballs.

The subplot involving Gracen’s ex was pretty messed up. She was only marrying him to keep her parent’s house from being foreclosed on. So, she was marrying for money, not love. Of course, if she had only talked to her parents and to his father than that relationship would have ended. But she wouldn’t have gotten back together with Marek if she married him.

The underlying theme of forgiveness in Marek was wonderful. I liked how even though what Gracen did was horrible, his parents were still able to forgive her.

The end of Marek was cute. But, I did wonder if it was the end of the series? I hope not because I think that there are more stories to be told!!!

What I liked about Marek:

A) Hot sex despite unlikable characters

B) The subplot involving Gracen and her ex. I love it when slimy people get what is coming to them

C) Lilly

What I disliked about Marek:

A) Marek’s throwing Gracen keeping Lilly from in her face every time they fought. Got old after a while.

B) Gracen, period. Could. Not. Stand. Her.

C) The reasons why Gracen was marrying her ex.

I would give Marek an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would suggest that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in Marek.

I am on the fence about recommending Marek to family and friends. I am also on the fence about rereading this book. I would be open to reading other books by this author.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Marek.

All opinions stated in this review of Marek are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

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