Review: Zack

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Zack by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A story about grief and guilt and how one man struggled to put the past behind him and look forward to his future. It’s poignant and touching mixed with an irresistible attraction and laced with playful banter.

Ever since the accident that put a pause on his career and left him a widower, Zack has been drowning in a vicious cycle of sorrow and remorse, preventing him from feeling anything else. Now that he has physically recovered, he’s looking forward to exhilaration his profession gives him. But in order to do this, he needs to hire a live-in nanny who can care for his son Ben.

“I expected her to have a superhero’s cape on, or at the very least a shiny gold halo and massive angel wings sprouting out of her back.”

On first inspection Kate Francis is not what he thought a nanny should look like and the initial animosity that flares between them isn’t comforting either. But he trusts his sister’s judgment and the obvious connection between his son and Kate.

“I tamp down my bitterness, push my anger aside, and take one more deep breath. For Ben’s sake, I’m going to give this a shot. For Ben’s sake, I’m going to tolerate Kate.”

Kate may try to hide under ill-fitting clothes and glasses, but she’s completely open and honest, bright and cheery with a sweet loving heart which is impossible to conceal.

“While Kate’s main duties are to take care of Ben… she’s also apparently put it on her chore list to try to make me laugh. She is a complete and utter dork sometimes, always dancing around and making up stupid songs to sing to Ben.”

When Zack gets to know the wonderful woman behind the façade and starts breaking his own rules about staying away from Kate, he makes sure Kate knows that their relationship is only physical in the bedroom and employer/employee outside of it. Anything more that he could have been able to give died with Gina in that car accident.

But when their relationship goes beyond physical and their hearts get involved, can Zack battle his demons, figure out his guilt and let go of a deceased wife in order to embrace a happy future with Kate?

I was completely charmed with Kate’s dorkiness and determination to achieve her goals. She’s smart, open and honest. Qualities I enjoyed throughout the story. These also helped me feel that she was in control of the situation she was in and not being taken advantage of or used as a doormat by Zack.

“I’m the girl that believes in Cinderella . . . except I’d prefer to get my master’s first and prove to myself I can be a success all on my own.”

I sympathized with Zack. His tragic loss is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone. But even with his suffering, sexiness and incredible love for his son, I found it hard to fall completely for him. His sometimes jerkish behavior towards Kate was reprehensible.

Their relationship wasn’t an easy one. He was a broken man, but she was understanding and accepting. She made Zack smile and patiently brought him out of his depressive state. There was no denying what was right in front of him and how Kate had lovingly put his shattered heart back together and filled in the hollow gaps that had been there before.

There were an incredible amount of funny, flirty and sweet moments as well as schorchingly hot ones.

“Dear Lord, thank you for introducing me to my two favorite men in the world . . . Ben and Jerry. I hope you aren’t offended by this threesome.”

I also enjoyed having the characters from the previous books back. Especially Sutton (from Alex) who befriended and supported Kate.

Zack is the third book in the Cold Fury Hockey series by Sawyer Bennett. It can be read as a standalone with interconnecting characters from previous books. With no cliffhanger and a happy ending.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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