Alex Crossman is the North Carolina Cold Fury hockey team's MVPMost Valuable Prick. He treats both his teammates and the fans like crap, and the organization hands down an ultimatum: reform his public image or get benched. The team also insists that he become its spokesperson for a youth drug-treatment program. Enter Sutton Price. She'll be running the program, but she knows nothing about hockey. Her lack of recognition of the star is just the first jolt to Alex's ego. She shows Alex that there is another way to take on the world when you've survived an addicted parent, a way that lets other people in and gives you a circle of friends and caringhow to be a functioning human being. The only thing that Alex really has to teach Sutton is the game he loves.
Verdict This latest from Bennett (Make It a Double) is Alex's story, and his change from jerk to nice guy is a larger part of the novel than the romancenot that the romance isn't hot, because it is. But Alex's redemption is what makes the happy ending possible and will make readers smile. Recommended for sports romance fans who enjoy seeing the frog turn into a prince.Marlene Harris, Reading Reality, Seattle
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