By Sawyer Bennett
In a league full of troublemakers, Cold Fury defenseman Roman Sýkora stands out—at least when it comes to negative publicity. When he’s not chilling in the penalty box, the sizzling Czech skate demon is racking up tabloid headlines for his scandalous behavior with the ladies. But now Roman’s feeling the burn from management to clean up his act, or else. Luckily he’s got an enticing distraction: a fun-loving barista who plays the ukulele and brings out a side of Roman he didn’t know he had.
Lexi Robertson came to Raleigh, North Carolina, to finally meet her father, Brian Brannon, and her half sister, Gray, both of whom work in the Cold Fury’s front office. That’s where she first meets sexy, intimidating Roman—who’s really a big softie at heart. As one relationship takes off, another begins: Brian seems to be clicking with Lexi’s boss at the coffee shop. But when the friction between Roman and her new family heats up, Lexi wonders whether she’s a pawn in their game. Feeling hurt and foolish, Lexi’s ready to quit while she’s ahead. Trouble is, Roman’s not ready to quit on her.
I really liked Roman. Yes, he has a bad reputation, but underneath his I-don’t-give-a-shit exterior is a generous man who gives more to the community than anyone realises. He makes no apologies for who he is and he refuses to change his behaviour for anyone…until he meets Lexi. He wants to impress her and although he’s never been in a relationship before, he knows there’s something special about her and is not afraid to see how far they could go. I liked him from beginning to end, but I fell in love with him when he gave Lexi her birthday present, which was so thoughtful and unbelievably sweet. I hardly ever use the word ‘swoon worthy’, but that birthday present scene was totally swoon worthy.
I really liked Lexi as well, who is down-to-earth, friendly and very open; a complete opposite to her newly-found father (Brian) and half-sister (Gray), who are a lot more reserved. In one aspect, she was like Roman: she is who she is and you can take her or leave her. But she has such a bright personality that people can’t help but be drawn to her.
While I really liked Roman and Lexi as a couple, their story didn’t grab me. It took me a few days to finish, and I can honestly say that this is not normal when it comes to this series, as I usually devour them within a day. On top of that, it pains me to say that my opinion of Gray⎯who I liked and respected in her own story⎯did a complete 180 here. She came across as rude, spiteful and unprofessional towards Roman, and I felt that their burying of the hatchet, followed immediately by their playful sibling-like banter, was too neat and easy after having been at each other’s throats for the first 90% of the book. Finally, I was deeply disappointed that Lexi was not included in the reading of her paternity results. That could have been a huge and emotional family bonding experience and yet the main character was not involved. Sometimes it’s the story that wins you over and sometimes it’s the characters. In this case, it was definitely Roman and Lexi…and Brian and Georgia.
ROMAN is told not only in Roman and Lexi’s POV, but also in Brian’s POV. We get to watch him fall in love with his new daughter while he also gets a special ladylove of his very own. That’s right, in this book you get two love stories for the price of one. It comes with two HEAs and makes way for the next book, LUCAS, which comes out in September and will feature a new-to-the-team player and Max’s brother.
Roman (Cold Fury Hockey # 7)
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