Hard Stick by L.P. Dover

Title: Hard Stick
Series: A Breakaway Novel
Author: L.P. Dover
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Random House/Loveswept
He carries a big stick. And he’s not afraid to use it.

On the ice, I’m Kellan Carter, powerhouse enforcer for the Charlotte Strikers. Off the ice, I’m just a regular guy. The last thing I want is to get mobbed by a bunch of groupies who are only after me for my fame and money. My ideal woman knows how to enjoy a little good, clean fun—and maybe some not-so-clean fun too. That’s the kind of girl I’d never let go.
When Kristen Robinson, the gorgeous, down-to-earth bartender I’ve been crushing on, agrees to let me take her out, I’m thrilled. We have an amazing night together, culminating in the most electrifying kiss of my life—and that’s it. Kristen tells me we can’t see each other again, but I know that kiss meant as much to her as it did to me. What I don’t know is that Kristen has a dangerous secret. . . .
I’ve proved to Kristen that she can trust me with her body and her heart. But when her past comes back to haunt her, I need to prove that she can trust me with her life. And I might have to get my hands dirty after all.
** Hard Stick is an action-packed romantic suspense. Just to warn you, the story line does NOT center around hockey. The main character plays but a lot of the book is set outside of the rink. **

“L. P. Dover did a great job with this book and if you know going into that it has more of a suspenseful love story, you might not be so surprised. I recommend this book. I couldn’t put it down.”—Wicked Love of Books

“I loved this book! A great romantic/suspenseful story with a HEA (and it also involved sports which is always a plus with me). I really liked the author’s style of writing.”—Rebel Spinster (five stars)

Hard Stick may have been my first L. P. Dover novel, but it won’t be my last. I am so excited to see what’s next in the Breakaway series.”—A Novel Glimpse

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.

She loves to write, but she also loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes and white water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two youngest fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.

Dover has written countless novels, including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, the Society X series, the Circle of Justice series, and her standalone novel Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense, but if she got to choose a setting in which to live, it would be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management for dramatic rights.


Hard Stick by L.P. Dover
L.P. Dover

L.P. Dover did a fantastic job of capturing my attention in the first chapter. It felt like we jumped straight in and I was fully prepared to jump into a story packed full of action and suspense, but after the first few chapters the story came to a halt and it almost felt like we were starting over with a new build up to get into the thick of things.
The female lead, Kristen, is a woman who has found herself in an unhealthy relationship that seems to be pulling her away from her life and into an isolated existence. Quickly, with the help of a beloved friend a plan has been formed and Kristen is prepared to take back control of her life and move on to healthier and happier places. Before that can happen she is forced to experience a heartbreaking loss and learns some shocking and terrifying information that makes her realize just how unsafe she is.
One of the most immediately likable features about Kristen is the fact that she remains strong and brave in the face of such devastating events. She stays focused on the plan and puts it in action to get away from the nightmare that has become her life.
We get a fast forward a few chapters into the book, but it actually feels more like a reset button. We get to see Kristen rebuilding her life and attempting to move on, we also get introduced to the male lead, Kellan.
On the surface, Kellan seems to be the over-confident, egotistical athlete, but he soon shows there is a genuine and caring personality beneath the good looks and outwardly charming surface.
Once the two meet there is a bit of resistance on Kristen's part, with her being reluctant to allow anyone to be too involved in her life, for fear of her past coming back to interfere. Once Kellan is able to get past her walls it seems that she is full steam ahead with trusting him and allowing herself to become dependent on him to help her jump-start the life she wants to be living and getting out of the slump she had fallen into after relocating and starting over.
As the story progresses and their relationship builds it feels as though the initial conflict of the story falls further and further into the background and I began to get nervous that is was going to be let there and end up and an unresolved issue. It turned out to be an unwarranted concern when Kristen's past not only shows up but brings a plot twist I truly didn't see coming with it.
The last third of the book turns into the page turning, suspenseful book I was prepared to read after the opening few chapters. I was once again pulled into the story with an intensity that meant I couldn't put the book down before finding out how it was going to end.
Overall I enjoyed the story and I was pleasantly surprised by some of the turns and twists that took place. The leads were likable and L.P. Dover did a wonderful job of providing supporting characters to build the story and support the leads. The dialog and interactions between characters were believable and easy flowing. I look forward to reading more from L.P. Dover.

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