Monday, May 18, 2015

Book Review: Bound (Fire of Ice #1) by Brenda Rothert

Release date: November 13, 2013
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Age group: NA
Pages: 296
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

College senior Kate Camden has learned to adapt - to her last year of school, to the promise of motherhood, to the fact that she’s doing it all alone. But just when she’s learned to adjust, heartache threatens to break her apart.

Pro hockey player Jason “Ryke” Ryker has it all: adoring fans, a promising career, and a beautiful wife. But when his seemingly perfect life is shaken by tragedy, he’s left questioning whether having it all is ever more than an illusion.

When circumstance brings Kate and Ryke together, they discover they don’t have to hurt alone. Bound by a grief that haunts them both, they must rely on one another to survive heartbreak. But that grief is more powerful than they realize, and the tie that binds them together may ultimately tear them apart.

I was browsing through Goodreads, craving to read some angsty, romantic new adult fiction, when I came across Bound by Brenda Rothert. The moment I realized that its love interest is a hockey player, I knew that I would have to read it.

Bound introduces us to Kate Camden. After a short relationship with a guy called Quinn, she gets pregnant during her senior year in college. After Quinn bails, Kate has gotten used to the idea of raising her child alone. But then something very tragic and unexpected happens and Kate has to figure out her life again. In a support group for people dealing with grief, Kate meets Jason Ryker, who's also trying to figure out his tragic past. As a young NHL hockey player, Jason is used to having it all – a career, the body and a beautiful wife. But then tragedy strikes and he, much like Kate, is forced to figure out how to go on.

Though I cannot identify with Kate's grief, I really felt for her. Rothert writes about grief very honestly, which I, as someone who has gone through my own battles with grief, really appreciated. It was great to read how Kate slowly starts to get better – she starts to look for a job, she connects with her old friends and she meets Jason. What I really liked about this novel is the fact that Kate does not need saving, and Jason does not expect to be the one that could make everything better for her. Yes, he makes her happy, but in the end, they both realize that in order to Kate to go on, she herself much make that decision.

Oh Jason Ryker. I really liked him. Those who know me are probably almost too aware of the fact that I love hockey. It has been such a big part of my life for such a long time and pretty much since I can remember having “celebrity crushes”, most of them have been ice hockey players. So reading about a handsome, gentle and funny ice hockey player really was a treat for me. I really loved the fact that Jason wasn't one of those super dark, mysterious new adult love interests that often are also way too temperamental and occasionally violent. Yes, Jason is passionate, but not at any point did I feel like he would harm Kate, physically or mentally. He's gentle and understanding and due to his own grief, understand what Kate is going through. Yes, he wants to be with Kate and he does make that clear to her, but he never pushes her to do anything that she does not want to do.

Bound is written in a way that really made me want to keep turning the pages, as a result of which I read this whole book on one sitting. Yes, it might be kind of predictable, but aren't all romances predictable one way or another? I think with books like this the point is seeing how the end is reached, what happens in between. And what happened in between in Bound kept me intrigued.

The only major issue I had with this novel was the discussion about “puck sluts”. I just find that term so cringe worthy, mainly because it has been used in connection to me several times. Basically, a “puck slut” is someone who wants to do it with a hockey player and often it is used pretty much to describe every single woman who enjoys hockey, whether they want to do it with a hockey player or not. As a woman who loves hockey, I cannot accept the use of a term like that. For so many times I've heard, from both men and women, that I watch hockey (both from TV and live) just because I like to look at the players. Seriously, would I really spend a lot of time and money just to see guys in all sorts of gear skate on ice if I did not actually enjoy the sport. No, I don't think so. Like books, hockey is a passion for me, something that I am immersed with. And yes, I do think that some of the players are attractive, but that's beyond the point and not a reason for me to love the sport. You don't call someone who watches TV and thinks the actors are handsome “tv sluts” or someone who goes to concerts a “music slut” (at least not regularly, I hope). So please don't call someone who loves hockey a “puck slut” either. And really, if you are there just for the players and not for the game itself, who cares? Good for you – you really have a good taste!

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