by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: 1001 Dark Nights Press
Book #6.5 in the Arizona Vengeance series
Number of pages: 121
Source: Amazon Pre-Order
Contemporary Romance/Sports M/F
Read 5/7/20 to 5/8/20
I was living my dream until one phone call changed everything.
As the second line center for the Arizona Vengeance, my mind has been on one thing—helping my team bring home a championship. But that all changed when I found out my dad had cancer and only months to live. In that moment, nothing mattered more than getting home to North Carolina to be by his side. That meant asking for the unthinkable—a trade to the Carolina Cold Fury.
Now I’m home and when I’m not on the ice with my new team, I’m helping care for my dad. And in the midst of my grief, I find comfort from the one person I never expected.
Calliope Ramirez stole my heart at a very young age. The beautiful, smart, headstrong girl next door, she was my first… everything. She has never forgiven me for leaving her, believing that I chose hockey over a future together. What she doesn’t understand is that every decision I made was for her, and I’ve never given up hope that one day we’d be together again.
Watching my dad slip away is a harsh reminder of how short life can be, and having Callie by my side makes me realize I was a damn fool before. That changes starting right now. Calliope Ramirez is mine and I’m not going to waste the second chance that I’ve been given.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about a short story from this author in this series. I adore the Arizona Vengeance books and the depth of feeling the author is able to portray in those books. But she did it here, too. I needn’t have worried.
Since Rafe and Calliope were lifelong friends and spent many years as a couple before he took off to pursue his hockey dreams, it was easier to buy into the quickness of their story. Rafe has never stopped loving Poppy (as he calls her) and Poppy has tried to get over her anger at Rafe. Now they are in a sort of forced proximity and can’t ignore they still lingering feelings.
Between Rafe’s reason for moving home (his father is dying of cancer), the animosity between Rafe and Poppy, and Rafe dealing with his past experience with his father you would expect this to be a heavy story. While it definitely has its moments, there is still humor and joy interspersed.
I’m always looking forward to this author’s next hockey story and she did not disappoint here, even on the smaller scale.