Off Limits by Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult
Steam Level: Just the right temperature
My thoughts: I am so taken with this author and her books. One of the recent ones I read I only graded a 2 as I didn’t like the heroine one little bit, but over all I’m most impressed and quite happy to have found Sawyer Bennett.
I seem to be reading this series backwards so for anyone wondering if the series needs to be read in order, no it doesn’t.
This is the story of Nixon or Nix Caldwell and Emily Burnham. Emily is a trust fund child. She comes from wealth and privilege. Several years before the story starts, she realized that she had been a person she didn’t like and has made a concentrated effort to become a better person. I’ll be honest and say early into the story I wasn’t sure how it was going to go as she is given a choice, bow to pressure and go out with a former boyfriend who has become stalkerish or losing her trust fund and she went with the stalker ex route. I was a bit worried that would ruin her for me and I even put the book down for a couple of days thinking I would be disappointed. But since I have had good luck with this author, I went back to it and it’s a good thing I did. Emily is young, still in college and to buck a lifetime of behavior would be kind of difficult to do all at once and she has come a long way. And I did like her ever so much.
She and Nix meet when she almost runs him down and does some real damage to his motorcycle. They both orbit around some of the same people. Emily is the sister of Ryan Burnham, who’s story Off Sides, I haven’t read yet but is the first in the series and Nix is the brother of Linc Caldwell, the hero of Off the Record, which I have read and enjoyed. Ryan and Linc are both on the same NHL hockey team. Although they are kind of in the same circle up until the motorcycle accident they hadn’t met. Nix is, well, a jerk to Emily and she is less than impressed. She’s willing to pay him for the damage she did but it turns out that she doesn’t have enough of her monthly allotted amount so he comes up with the idea of having her work it off. He owns his own custom motorcycle/metal art business and he is terrible at the administrative end of it. He decides to take that in lieu of.
Nix is a real 'Oscar the Grouch' kind of hero and if done well, one of my favourite kind. And I think Ms. Bennett did him just about perfect. He’s a returning veteran and he is suffering from PTSD, a Traumatic Brain Injury, physical scars and a whole boatload of guilt. Because of all these factors, he figures there in no chance that he can have any kind of relationship, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do one nighters. And he is hot for Emily. Emily, for her part, is hot for Nix, but his running hot and cold and being a jerk and a nice guy have her very confused. But lust and growing love have her agreeing to his offer – strings free sex.
Of course this is a romance and it never really works that way in a romance. Nix begins trusting and opening up to Emily about his ghosts and rather than reject him, she gives him unconditional support.
And while Emily is a younger heroine than I’m used to in a contemporary romance, I ended up liking her a lot. The characters from the other books make appearances but I don’t think it’s need to read the first one in order to enjoy this one – since I didn’t and I did.
I really enjoyed this one along with most of the other books by this author I’ve read and I ended up getting the box set of all the books in this series
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
Off the Record by Sawyer Bennett
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult
Steam Level: As it's the same author, it's again the right temperature
I'm not sure how I came across this one, it might have been a Kindle Daily Deal. But however I came across it, when I read the synopsis, I was sold. I love sports romance and hockey in particular. I do hold my breath sometimes though. Although there are many who know the game more, I do pride myself in knowing quite a bit about the sports I enjoy and sadly, I dock major points if the author doesn't know the sport they are writing about.
I could breath with this one though. The entire story takes place during the off season so it wasn't really an issue. Lincoln Caldwell is a young goalie for the New York Rangers. If I had any reservation and it kept this from being 5 stars is how young he is. But that's a rather small quibble.
Lincoln is young, he is hot and he lives in New York. He's a normal guy. But Ever Montgomery, who is writing an article on him for the paper she works for brings misinformation and her own screwed over issues into the article and writes a scathing piece, calling him a man whore when he really isn't. As payback Linc insists Ever spend the next six weeks with him in order to get to really know him.
I liked this book, I really did. I wasn't sure if I would as it's written in the first person and not only that but also in the present tense. This is not normally something I read. When I discover it's first person, unless it's a well known author, or a book with real good buzz, when I find it's in the first tense, I tend to move to another book but I am SO GLAD I kept going. The author alternates with one chapter from Ever's POV and the next chapter from Lincs so we get to see what they are both thinking.
And I liked both characters immensely, Linc just a tad more than Evers. She was just a tiny bit harder to warm up too and took a bit longer to get over her issues resulting from being abandoned by her father and cheated on by her fiancé. But considering these things, I could see why she was the way she was. And her grovel was very well written.
I very happily recommend this book and as it's part of a series, I fully plan on getting more books by Sawyer Bennett
And again I read these out of order. I read 2 then 1 and it was fine.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5