I'm back again with a guest post and review of Winning Streak by the wonderful and talented Katie Kenyhercz!
As the new head of public relations for the Las Vegas Sinners hockey team, Saralynn Reese wants to leave behind the frivolity of her popular girl image. Unfortunately, her first big assignment is to clean up the media messes of the team's assistant general manager, Madden Vaughn. He's flirty, impulsive, and self-centered; he also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous. Could there be more to Madden under the Ralph Lauren surface?
Having struggled with a gambling addiction since his early twenties, Madden's finally moved past it and into a secure, corporate job working for his sister, the one person who means the world to him. When rumors fly and the team and his family both doubt his word, an unlikely ally pulls him out of his funk with a manicured hand: Saralynn.
He's tired of chasing the same type of unattainable girl, and this up-and-coming publicity dynamo fits that mold perfectly. But she also challenges him and believes in him like no one else. Can they help each other keep their feet on solid ground . . . or will these twin hearts find themselves skating on thin ice?
Rach's Review: 5 out of 5 Divas
Heat level: 3.5/5
I've got to say, I really loved this book. Now, I admit I might be a tiny bit biased, as I was one of Katie's critique partners way back when on the first book in this series, On the Fly, and I had a good long while to fall in love with Madden in that book! So when Katie told me he was getting his own book, I was ecstatic! And Winning Streak definitely does not disappoint! I loved this book start to finish. Madden and Saralynn both have some serious issues, and the obstacles to their relationship are many and intense. These were both stellarly believable characters and their time together on the page sizzles. This story really touched my heart and gave me some warm fuzzies, in addition to some serious sexual tension that threatened to burn up the pages! Can't recommend this book highly enough. Or the series for that matter. I've always been a bit of a hockey fan, but not hugely into the sport, so don't let the hockey scare you off. This is a wonderful series, and I can't wait to see what's in store next for the Las Vegas Sinners.
From the author:
Winning Streak is an anomaly in the Las Vegas Sinners series because I never intended to write it. I'd planned to have a hockey hero in every book. However, when On the Fly came out, I got a lot of reader feedback asking for Madden's book. They fell in love with Jacey's sweet but hapless brother and wanted more for him. I'd already planned Full Strength, the goalie's story, for book 2, but when it came time for book 3, I put a poll out to my readers. Who did they want first, Madden or Dylan Cole, the rookie turned young captain? Madden was the resounding winner.
I started writing Winning Streak and hit wall after wall. I knew I had to deal with Madden's gambling addiction, but beyond that, I wasn't sure what to do with a non-hockey playing hero. Enter young professional and relationship train wreck, Saralynn Reese, the goalie's younger sister from Full Strength. Saralynn is a former mean girl looking to better herself, and that made her both a challenge and a joy to write. I had to keep her sympathetic and show her depth but still hold onto the snark and a bit of the high maintenance that makes her funny. I had the best time writing her because she is almost nothing like me, which was different from writing Jacey and Allie, my two previous heroines.
The fun of Winning Streak is that you have two people who are broken in the same amusing way. They were beautiful and shallow for most of their lives (at least that's what most people saw) and now both want to improve. Throwing them together is like the blind leading the blind, but they do learn about themselves through each other, and I love that. Madden's struggling to gain his sister's trust and respect after a gambling relapse years back, and Saralynn's trying to get people to take her seriously by taking charge of the Sinners PR department. Her first assignment is to clean up one of Madden's media messes.
I love the way these two play off of each other, and they both go through some rough growing pains but struggle to do their best.
The 4th Sinners book, Home Ice, is already out, and naturally focuses on young NHL phenom, Dylan Cole, who hits his first ever slump and can't seem to deal. He falls for America's figure skating sweetheart, Lorelai Kelly, who broke her ankle in the last Olympic Games and is struggling to get back on her blades and stay in the spotlight while she moonlights as the star of Sin City on Ice.
The 5th and final book in the Sinners series is Fair Trade, and it will release this December. It follows Grayson Gunn, a player in his early 40s who's looking to retire at the end of the season. He'd played his whole career for his home team out of loyalty but they never made the playoffs, and they mercy trade him to the Sinners for one last chance at the Cup before he hangs up his skates. He's intrigued by the new team assistant physician, Olivia Parker, who had worked for an AHL team before getting the Sinners' offer. They're both recovering from painful divorces and trying to get their bearings in Las Vegas when an unexpected chemistry pulls them together even as they try to stay away.
I still plan to write a collection of short stories catching up with each couple from the series and entitle it What Happens in Vegas because I've had several readers say they wanted to know what happened to everybody. Happy to oblige!
I will be very sad to see this series end :-( But I am so excited that Home Ice is Dylan Cole's story and I can't wait to read it!
Grab your copy of Winning Streak here:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1TpgSco
Thanks for stopping by today, Katie! It was great to have you.