Friday, June 21, 2013

Off the Record Review

Book Review May 23

Off the Record (Off Series #3)

by: Sawyer Bennett

★★★★ 4 Stars

Blurb: Ever Montgomery suffered the ultimate betrayal by the one man who she should have been able to count on for anything. It has left her hurt, jaded and incapable of forming relationships, but it also means that she can spot a liar a mile away. These traits are earning her a reputation as a reporter with a keen nose for a good story and a complete understanding of the extreme power of the written word.
Lincoln Caldwell, is the hot goalie for the New York Rangers. At twenty-four and a rising star, he works hard and he plays even harder. He’s gorgeous and carefree—the ultimate charmer. Ladies fall at his feet and the single life has never been lived the way Linc Caldwell does it.
When Ever publishes an article about Linc containing information that she received off the record, she finds herself on the receiving end of the athelete’s fury. Rather than basking in the glory of exposing Linc as a shameless user of women, she finds herself at his mercy when he demands and receives retribution. Required by her editor to trail Linc for six weeks, Ever is forced to look at the real Linc Caldwell.

*ARC Given to me by author for honest review*
 After reading the first two Off Series novels and loving them, I was super duper excited when Linc, Nixon’s brother from Off Limits, was getting his own story. By the way if you haven’t read the first two in the series it’s not mandatory as this can be read as a stand-alone but it is recommended.  Within a few pages I was so sucked into Ever’s world and reality as I knew it ceased to exist…
Linc is the goalie for the New York Rangers and is considered one of New York’s hottest sports stars. Ever Montgomery is friends with Linc’s brother’s girlfriend and as an aspiring journalist her friend hooks her up with Linc for an in depth interview.  Thus the title, which I admit is ingenious. Ever is weary of men in general because of her past plus a recent relationship that left her heartbroken after finding her fiancé in a precarious sexual situation with someone other than her. In fact she thinks broken and will never be able to let anyone in again. The way she is described is like a modern day Snow White and I couldn’t help but imagine a younger Ginnifer Goodwin from Once Upon a Time…
The interview takes place at Linc’s home in the middle of a party, which very much resembles a frat house, with all his teammates there. She learns quite a few interesting things about Linc such as his love for the Walking Dead, his impeccable cooking skills and how he likes to vacation in Wyoming during the off-season. What she doesn’t expect is for Linc to ask her out to dinner or the immense attraction that follows. However, she declines and not too long after overhears some women gushing over Linc and one who admits to just giving him a little special attention. Add that to Ever walking in on Linc in the act with another woman and her mind rolls with his man-whorish ways and she cannot wait to out the real him to the public. It’s easy to understand why her imagination went haywire but Ever lets her emotions run roughshod over her article and paints Linc as nothing more than a womanizing dirt bag. Needless to say Linc, his friends and family are none too pleased.

“How could I possibly want to be a legitimate journalist if I stretch my ethics just because some guy got my panties in a twist?”-Ever

Rather than getting her fired, Linc comes up with a plan to get Ever kicked off her assignment and join him 24/7 for six weeks in order to get to know the real him. His plan at first is to vindicate himself and make her suffer but of course plans never go, well, the way they are planned.

One of the most influential men in Ever’s life abandoned her when she needed him most. As a young girl her mother was diagnosed with cancer and her dad literally checked out leaving Ever to deal with taking care of her mother. Luckily her mom is still around and the two are close but the same cannot be said for her father whom she understandably despises. As hard as it was to read this, it was very realistic as much as it was sad. Somehow Ever made it through and still has her mom to rely on and the cancer was actually something that connected her to Linc who had seen the illness firsthand in his family. 
I loved Linc’s language; sometimes the way he talked wasn’t like reading a character but more like words of an actual man. His personality mixed with his awesomeness leads Ever to see the real ‘Linc’ just like he wanted. Ever begins to uncover things about him no interview ever could. She tries to resist the attraction but we all know how the harder you try the more inevitable it becomes. Plus Linc being an all around good guy does not help. He visits children in the hospital because he wants to and volunteers for disaster relief when tornadoes ravage the country. (He’d probably be in Oklahoma now with all the devastating tornadoes the middle portion of the country has recently suffered.)
Linc is seriously an honorable and caring character. He goes out of his way to help others and does not expect the world to fall at his feet because of his fame and fortune. In fact the only time he uses his fame is to help others.  

“I’m not the guy you think I am, Ever. I’m not about to fuck you when you already think that is my modus operandi. I want you to see I don’t live by what my dick tells me to do.”-Linc

Both Linc and Ever are shocked by their feelings. Sure everyone can feel an attraction to someone else, but throw in feelings and things tend to get complicated. Ever is scarred by her past and wary of Linc abandoning her the way her father did. She blames Linc for making her feel and I was a bit disappointed in her at this point because while she was afraid of her running, instead she chose the easy path and ran herself.
But HEA’s do happen and Ever finally comes to her senses and writes an amazing article proclaiming how awesome Linc really is. It had a sort of Never Been Kissed ending that I loved. (If you haven’t seen the movie watch it.) With some groveling, tears and romantic declarations Ever and Linc finally find their HEA.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for hot athletes because every book in the Off Series has been amazing. Sawyer Bennett is an amazing Indie author and I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us. I would totally 100% recommend this as well as the other books in the series. They are easy to sink your teeth into and have some hot man candy hiding in the pages… And can we all just take a moment and be thankful for Mr. Jay Byars on the cover… Grrrrrr

And because I can’t help myself here’s another delish Teaser for the book:


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