Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Book Review: "On the Rocks" by Sawyer Bennett

On the Rocks
(Last Call #1)
He left to travel the world for fame and glory, but only after spurning Gabby Ward and crushing her young heart. Now Hunter Markham has come back home to the sand and salty breeze of the North Carolina Outer Banks so he can open up Last Call, a beach bar nestled among the dunes of the Atlantic.

Gabby Ward is not happy that Hunter has returned. Bitter over his rebuff years before, she’s content to stay far away from him and his dangerously charming ways.

Gabby’s well-schemed plans to ignore Hunter go up in flames when he presents an offer to her that she simply can’t refuse, throwing them together in a common quest to each reach their goals. Working together day in and day out proves to be problematic for Gabby, who soon realizes that the feelings she had for him are still very much alive. Hunter struggles to reach through to Gabby’s cold heart, all while starting a new career away from his life as a top ranked, professional surfer.

What starts out as a mutual business arrangement soon turns into a passion that neither of them can continue to deny.

Hard choices lay ahead for both of them when Hunter is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to return to the pro surfing tour.

Choices that could destroy what they have built or take them further than they ever had dared to hope.

5 Stars!

Young love is so fragile….one move, right or wrong, and things can change irreparably. Sometimes, the buildup in a young person’s mind cannot do the physical act justice….but that didn’t happen to Gabby when she first kissed Hunter. Nope. It was more than she could ever imagine and then some. So why did Hunter crush her heart?

He stared at me hard for a minute, and then his features relaxed a little. He even raised one hand and tucked a lock of my hair behind my ear in a move so tender…so loving, my heart at that very moment decided that it would never belong to anyone other than Hunter Markham. ~Gabby

Years later, after moving back to his hometown, Hunter doesn’t deny the attraction that he feels for Gabby. This made him that much more intriguing to me. He has such a soft spot in his heart for her, but a very determined mind. He realizes that rejecting Gabby years ago is making for some rough conversations now, but they are going to be working together and he has it set in his mind that he is going to win her over. He is sure of it! I really appreciated the way that he was aware of her anger towards him, and that he knew the right times to push her and when to back off….but he wasn’t giving up. He was relentless in his pursuit of her….for his business proposal and in his personal wants. Even as hard as he was working at getting her to forgive him, she was too busy pushing him away.

I think about going after her…grabbing her and making her listen to me. But I’m afraid if I do…if I put my hands on her, they are going to want to keep touching every part of her. And I don’t think I’ll be able to stop. ~Hunter

Gabby wasn’t having it. She wasn’t. Hunter broke her heart years ago and she was done with him….but with the opportunity for her to get her business up and thriving, and Hunter offering this amazing opportunity, she needed to make sure she walked the fine line between suave business lady and a strong willed lady with a backbone. She made me laugh and I was like, “You go girl!!” plenty of times.

Narrowing my eyes, I ask, “So…I really have the job? That’s set in stone, right?”
He looks at me curiously. “Right.”
“Good. Then let me tell you…stop the flirting, jackass. I’m not interested.”

Not one to let things get to her….she really had to work hard at being mean to Hunter. She fought her attraction for him….she fought it hard, but Hunter eventually started to see right through her. The way Hunter pushed her and taunted her made me smile because you just knew that he was going to break her down and get back inside her heart. The ways he went about doing it just made me giddy excited. Let’s face it….who doesn’t like the love of their life, the one who holds their heart, to come fight for them? To come and chase them to make them understand that the feelings are mutual? It was getting difficult for her, and I loved watching how their relationship progressed and how their love grew. It sure made me smile. It was so good to see their relationship escalate the way it did….it wasn’t instant, so the slow burn between these two strong willed people was intense. It was sexy!!

You can feel the attraction when he goes in to kiss her….the exchange between them put the biggest smile on my face! He was so determined….he knew what he was doing.

“What the hell was that for?” she seethes.
I give her a calculated smirk, running my eyes over her face and leaning down to nip at her lower lip with my teeth. She shivers in my arms and I internally gloat, because while she acts like she’s mad, she wants me. There’s no denying it. ~Hunter

Hunter’s persona just oozes sex appeal and confidence, but most definitely not in a disgusting way. He is confident with reason to be, and him being so determined and straightforward made me love him all the more. I love a strong male….and Hunter was definitely that.

But now is not the time, and it’s certainly not the place. When I take her—and I will—it’s going to be somewhere private so I can do things that might border on depraved…but will certainly wipe that smug look off her face. Just the thought has me smiling against her lips. ~Hunter

The story of Gabby and Hunter is so sweet and so caring, but you add in the sexiness and the feelings they have for each other? The story got real good, REAL fast. I started this book late one night….and turned around and finished it the next day….I couldn’t put it down. The storyline was so engaging and the characters were very likable. I really enjoyed these characters, primary and secondary. Gabby was so strong and Hunter was so sexy…and it was nice to see all the secondary characters that were in the story play such a great role in the storyline. This storyline did NOT follow the norm that is ‘instant love/attraction, she gets “hurt” and leaves without letting him explain’. The push and pull of emotions between Gabby and Hunter was written so effortlessly….it flowed, and it continued with such ease.

The drama in the story was so well played, but in such a different way that made it so much better to me. It made it feel that much more “real” and made the story so appealing. This one had me chomping my nails at the very end and I can’t say enough how much I loved it. It took a different turn that what I was assuming it would. Just the right amount of angst, mixed in with a strong man with a funny bone, not to mention some sexy love scenes; this made for the perfect book for me.

“Am I going to have to restrain you?” I growl at her, leaning down to suck her neck.
She laughs at me, her voice husky and dripping sex. “Maybe,” she taunts.

5 sexy stars for this easy read.


Brody’s (Hunter’s twin brother) story is the next in line for The Last Call Series, called Make It A Double. This is due out late Spring 2014 and I am really looking forward to this next book.

***An ARC of "Off the Rocks" was provided in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!!***

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About the Author:
Sawyer Bennett

Sawyer Bennett
USA Today Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

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