Monday, May 18, 2015

ARC REVIEW: "Game Changer" by Melissa Cutler

Game Changer
Book 3 in the Bomb Squad series
by Melissa Cutler

Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has the team captain packing his bags for greener pastures, but saying good-bye to the woman who’d captured his heart is easier said than done…

After being wounded in combat, Brandon Theroux lives every day as though it’s his last. He never could have imagined that the sleek mechanics of his prosthetic leg would open so many doors, including minor celebrity status as a fitness model and a well-earned reputation as a rakish playboy. The only door it hasn’t opened is the one to Harper Johnson’s bedroom.

Harper has too much self-respect to join the ranks of Brandon’s “carpe diem” conquests, but when she needs someone to keep the peace in the tavern she owns, Brandon offers his help—as long as she agrees to a very tempting trade. It isn’t long before the two realize that a deal struck between friends who can’t keep their hands off each other has the potential to be a whole lot hotter than either of them is prepared to handle…
Brandon Theroux
Harper Johnson

I discovered Melissa Cutler’s books last year. I completely devoured her Catcher Creek series and have been a huge fan of the Bomb Squad books. Her ability to get emotionally deep with her characters captures me.  This book has me hooked in so many ways, but what I love most about this story is Harper. 

In so many stories that feature a sports character, you can imagine the hero as larger than life.  Don’t get me wrong, Brandon is.  A personal trainer, model, amputee, veteran, and now star bachelor on a new “Bachelor”-like series, he is a hunk.  But Harper is the standout hero of this book.

Harper is one of thousands of women who carry a gene that makes them more at risk for cancer.  With a mother and aunt who died from the disease, she has to make some tough decisions in her life.  Does she take preventative steps or take a chance that she won’t get the disease? In the midst of this heart-wrenching decision, Harper has to decide whether she wants to take the next step with Brandon. He’s leaving soon to start his new tv career and she has the opportunity to have the fling of a lifetime. 

What is both sweet and bittersweet is how both Harper and Brandon deal with her diagnosis. Harper goes through the gamut of emotions from denial to defiance. For Brandon, he confronts the possibility of losing, not only a potential lover, but also a recently realized best friend.

This book felt very personal to me.  My mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and I watch her go through a kaleidoscope of emotions.  And I understood Brandon’s position.  He is someone who is standing on the outside, wanting to do whatever he can to help.  I empathized with  his feelings of helplessness and determination to “be there” for her. For the first time in forever, I cried in a book.

The romance in this book doesn’t hit you over the head.  Sure, the attraction is there from the beginning, but the true romance develops slowly, sweetly.  It is the opposite of insta-love.  And it is a pleasure.

In a Nutshell:

What can I say, I simply loved this book.  Melissa Cutler scores a hat trick with this one. I was utterly slayed.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Penguin, and Kensington Books. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she's not globetrotting, she's enjoying Southern California's flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids. 

Find Melissa at: website | Facebook | Twitter

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