Firebird by Jennifer Loring


Stephanie Hartwell is a journalist chasing the story of her career… 

When superstar hockey player and notorious bad boy Aleksandr Volynsky is traded to the Seattle Earthquakes in a blockbuster deal, Stephanie demands the opportunity to prove herself by scoring an exclusive interview with a man with no love for the media…the same man she once thought, as a naïve teenager, she’d someday marry. 

An Olympian and Stanley Cup Champion, Aleksandr has achieved every goal he’s ever set… 

Now expected to carry a failing team on his shoulders, Aleksandr’s troubles deepen when he encounters Stephanie after a season-opening loss. His lifestyle of drinking and random hookups has been a futile attempt to forget the beautiful tomboy who stole his heart nine years ago. And worse, fame and fortune have made it impossible for him to trust anyone—especially Stephanie, who is engaged to another man. 

Romance rekindles, but tragedy reveals Aleksandr’s dark side… 

Being with Aleksandr in the first place jeopardizes Stephanie’s journalistic integrity and threatens her career, and when he spirals out of control, it reawakens fears from her own history, making her unable to commit to a future with him. 

When Aleksandr discovers the truth behind his self-destructive behavior, will his newfound self-awareness be enough to convince Stephanie to give him one last chance… 

Or will his revelation drive her away for good?

4 Stars

it's been years since they've seen each other, but that doesn't mean the feelings have vanished.  Stephanie remembers him, all of him, his heart, his body, his voice, HIM.  And Sasha remembers Stephanie who loved him once, but then dropped him like a bad habit.  He never forgot her or got over her.  Now they are together again, but can Sasha cut Stephanie a break and help her out?  Why should he?  She ignored him for years.  They are both hurting, both reeling from the past.  But is the spark still there?  Is it enough to make it work or will the bridge collapse and burn all over again?

Stephanie needs Sasha for the interview to seal her job/career as a sports commentator.  She isn't sure what she'll find when they come face to face.  And after she tells him her secret.  He might just run off.  She needs this.  

Sasha wants Stephanie, he will do anything for her.  No, for himself.  Like seduce her back into his bed and home.  When he finds out she is engaged, he is livid - can't blame him.  That's not enough to push him away, it makes him work harder for her.  He is determined to have her as his own.  They are meant to be. 

Fate steps in and Sasha breaks down.  In his anger and hurt, he pushes Stephanie to the breaking point, where she bends and retreats from him again.  This time can he be truthful with her and not have her run away?  Is the love that they both share stronger than the shame that plagues them for different reasons?  

I love a good hockey book.  Love a good  hockey player and Alex is a GREAT man.  Bruised around the edges, but he loves Stephanie and is willing to go without her if he can't have her.  He leaves it up to her.  He doesn't pressure, he just loves!  OMG!!  I so want a hockey player!!  

Stephanie had a troubled past and is easy to like and care about.  She loves her brother, hockey, Sasha and her career.  Can she chance breaking her heart again for the love of Sasha?  

This is a great read that was hard to put down, it took me 2 days to read, because I was engrossed in everything.  Their backgrounds, their future, their lives together and apart.   Sasha's down fall had me ugly crying and fussing at Ms. Loring - how could you!?  It tore me up!  A book, tore me up.  No cliff hanger ending.  But I will be reading the rest of this series.