Hard to Handle
by K Bromberg
Series: Play Hard
Category: Sports Romance, Contemporary Romance
Tags: Hockey, Sports, Second Chance
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A second chance love story wrapped in a hockey sports romance that I couldn’t put down! Hard to Handle is now my favorite K. Bromberg romance – it’s THAT good.
Hunter Maddox is a pro hockey player who’s been on a tear as his team inches toward their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. Only his recent play is fueled by anger and desperation and is starting to tear his team a part.
He’s a man who’s been burdened for half his life due to a tragedy that would be hard to move on from for anyone.
“I’ve lived my life with one goddamn goal since the accident, one goal since being traded to the LumberJacks two year ago, and now with time running out, it’s the only goal I can focus on. It fuels the anger that’s always been there but has now surfaced. The guilt that owned me but now eats at me.”
Dekker Kincade is a sports agent who’s placed in an uncomfortable position by her father as she’s tasked with convincing Hunter to leave his current agent and sign with her.
The only problem is that Dekker and Hunter have a past, and one she regrets running from all those years ago.
“I’m busy wondering how I’m going to make a man, who despite aggravating me in all other ways, devastated me sensually and brought out an explosive sexuality I never really knew I had, come over to Kincade Sports Management.”
Second Chances and the Right Timing
Hard to Handle was a moving second chance romance but was really so much more. I loved how this story wasn’t simply a matter of two people finding each other again, but really explored why they didn’t work in the first place.
It made me think about whether there really is such a thing as good timing when it comes to relationships. You might find a partner who’s perfect for you but what if you meet them at a time in your life when you (or he/she) is not ready for forever?
As you get to know more about Dekker and Hunter, you come to realize that they are perfect for one another and hope that they can get the timing right this go around even though they both have struggles to work through.
Dekker doesn’t let anyone get close to her heart and he doesn’t do relationships but the lines began to blur three years ago in their hook up arrangement and those feelings coming roaring to the surface the instant they reconnect three years later.
Yet there’s still doubt whether the other person could feel the same so why risk getting your heart broken when it’s easier to keep it casual or walk away?
Both Dekker and Hunter have to learn to trust love. That you are deserving of love and that love can overcome loneliness without always ending in pain.
One of the best moments for me in this book is when Hunter calls her out on her need to distance herself after they have sex. He’s basically calling her out on her fear of commitment.
I also loved the snowball scene as it was the perfect backdrop to Hunter finally lowering a barrier and sharing some of his feelings.
This book really shows how the right person can see through your personal struggles and help you open your heart so that it can begin to heal. Both served as that person for the other in this book, but Dekker especially for Hunter.
They also had great moments where their ribbing on each other created great sexual tension. I only wish we saw that tension explode into another sexual tryst or two along the way.
Hard to Handle is a perfect standalone book but also sets the stage for what is sure to be a fantastic book series centered around all four Kincade daughters.
Each daughter is a sports agent with Kincade Sports Management but they couldn’t be more different from each other. We only have a few run ins with the sisters, but I cannot wait to read each of their stories as they maneuver in a male dominated world.
K. Bromberg’s books never disappoint in giving strong characters who are able to rise above circumstances or a damaged history to finally claim the love of another who completes them in the most perfect way. Her stories dig deep, so you have no choice but to fall into her book world from start to finish.
I appreciate her talent so much and can’t recommend this book enough.
*Thank you to K Bromberg for this advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.
Do you have a favorite K. Bromberg romance book? Share in the comments below.
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