by Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: July 5, 2022
Publisher: Big Dog Books, LLC
Book #3 in the Pittsburgh Titans series
Number of pages: 248
Source: Amazon Pre-Order
Ages 14 and up
CW: burn injuries from the past
Veteran player Gage Heyward retired from the league following a successful career. Now the Titans need him, but does he have what it takes to get back on the ice and pull this team together?
After achieving the goals I set for myself, I walked away from my professional hockey career. It was a tough decision, but the right one at the time. When the Titans organization approached me about joining the team they were rebuilding following a devastating plane crash, I felt a passion for the game and a competitive spirit I hadn’t felt in years. The opportunity to make a huge difference to a lot of people spoke to me, and I accepted their offer and headed to Pittsburgh without a second thought.
Jenna Holland is also new to town, having moved from Phoenix to Pittsburgh to take a job with the Titans. Her past has left her with scars—both physical and emotional—and she’s slow to trust others. But the more I learn about Jenna, the more I want to know. The more I need to know. Because the beautiful blonde with honey gold eyes and a wall around her heart has me enamored.
My game on the ice is the best it’s ever been, but it’s my game off the ice I’m focused on these days. Because while Jenna may not be willing to take a chance, I know the potential is there for something big. Something life changing. Now I just need to convince her to take the shot.
I have loved Gage since he was first introduced in Baden. He is the veteran player who came out of retirement to help a team devastated by a fatal plane crash regroup. You can absolutely read this story as a standalone, but you’ll get so much more out of it if you read the previous books. Not just to see more of Gage, but to really understand the scope of what happened to this team.
Jenna is a crossover character from the Arizona Vengeance series. You definitely don’t have to have read those stories to understand her character. Jenna needed a new beginning on her own. She was injured in a fire and has relied on her sister and parents ever since, too afraid of looks or comments because of her burn scars. She’s given an opportunity to work for the Pittsburgh Titans and takes that opportunity. She’s not fully on her own since she does know Baden, but it’s still a new start for her.
Gage doesn’t know how to not speak his mind. Not in a bad way; he’s not rude or inappropriate. When he feels he’s offended someone or if they’ve offended him, he believes in clearing the air instead of letting things fester. Not many people will bring up Jenna’s scars to her, but Gage felt he made her uncomfortable and addressed the issue head on when they first met. It was the beginning of a beautiful love story since Jenna appreciated him not acting as though she didn’t have scars.
If you already love Gage like I did, you will fall even more in love with the guy. He has so much patience and understanding with Jenna, but knows when to nudge her out of her comfort zone. He does so in a caring way with explanations instead of just barreling over her feelings. Gage is also such a wonderful leader in the locker room and on the ice. There’s a heart wrenching conversation Gage has with Jenna about Coen, his teammate that was one of the few who didn’t get on that ill-fated plane. It’s a great explainer of depression, anxiety, and mental health issues. Jenna lays out the realities of where Coen is mentally and Gage truly opens his mind and heart to try to understand so he can find a way to help.
I didn’t want to put this book down. Not only are Jenna and Gage a great couple, but there are so many other things within the Titans organization happening. They don’t detract from the main story, but only add more depth. The more I get to know this team and its owner, the more I look forward to all of the stories to come.
Pingback: TTT: Favorite Books of 2022 | All In Good Time