Review: Undefeated: Melissa Cutler

Undefeated (Bomb Squad #2)
Melissa Cutler
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Expected November 18, 2014

Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. The team’s battling a losing streak, but the season’s biggest game changer is one player’s second chance with the one who got away…

Yoga instructor Marlena Brodie is always up for a challenge, and her new job of snapping Bomb Squad out of their rut is definitely that, even though it means being in close contact with Liam McAllister, her high school crush gone bad. She can feel the damage pouring off of him—but also a wild and sexy strength that calls to her.

The Army turned Liam McAllister into a man, but as a combat medic, he saw far too much to ever be whole again. He’s not interested in the civilian world beyond his job as a carpenter, but he never stopped wondering what might have been with Marlena—and it isn’t long before she’s crashed through his carefully constructed walls. He longs for a new beginning with her, but to be the man she deserves, he’ll have to step out of his defensive zone and score the most important play of his life…

Liam McAllister is an ex soldier, carpenter, and plays on the Bomb Squad hockey team with other injured vets. He decides to make a move to try to spend time with his twin sister's best friend that he wronged in the past. But Liam's moves are not so smooth and the situation only gets worse.

Marlena Brodie is a yoga instructor, and likes things calm, serene and zen. She has her own issues and triggers that conflict with his harsh exterior, needs and preferences. They both want each other (and secretly have for a long time), but are not sure how to reconcile their issues to meet in the middle. She is sweet, tenacious and emotional. He craves control and is a bit rough. But due to new circumstances they will be seeing even more of each other. 

He has serious issues and triggers due to PTSD and social anxiety. Most people do not understand him. He is trying hard to improve his situation through therapy, but it is difficult, heartbreaking and intense. He usually does not share with anyone, even his family and friends. He has isolated himself in his own prison of pain, regret, guilt, and loss. But he eventually begins to see that she helps make it better vs. overwhelming him more. And he becomes protective of her and can understand her problems. And they can ground each other.

I'll admit that this one took me a bit to warm up too, even the characters. It was a bit awkward initially as their demons clashed full force before I had a handle on their back stories. And these seemingly opposite people...the sweet, gentle beauty vs. broken, mean beast was just the outer layering and both were really damaged on the inside with triggers and fears. But it was because of that they could cut the bullsh*t. I really started to feel for them as they tried to navigate the emotional landmines that each of them faced and tried to cope as best they could. I really began to feel their deep connection as the story went on. 

This had emotional turmoil and past demons, but it was countered with humor, sex, and team/friend dynamics, and some suspense. I came to really like the Bomb Squad hockey team and Liam and Marlena grew on me too. It was told in both points of view allowing us to feel their insecurities, fears, and pain. It is about healing, love, self discovery, finding a safe place, opening up, and sharing deepest secrets and fears. 

I did not read the first book Risky Business, but I had no trouble following the story since this was about a different couple. I am looking forward to the next story Game Changer with Harlow and Brandon who have been circling around each other. But I would aslo like to see more with Liam's sister Olivia and some of the other players especially Gabe and Will. This is such a lovable group of ex soldiers with varying disabilities, but they have such a positive attitude(most of the time) and sense of humor that you can't help but get sucked in by their camaraderie.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Risky Business (Bomb Squad #1)
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Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of the Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. But the season’s biggest match-up isn’t on the ice as one of their own prepares to go head to head with his new boss…

Allison Whitely’s ex left her with a mountain of debt and Cloud Nine, a struggling boat rental business. With zero job skills, her only hope of getting back in the black lies in a brooding ex-soldier who has her seeing red…

Theo Lacroix’s teammates are counting on their star player to help them win an upcoming high profile hockey game. But when a sexy tornado of a woman sweeps into town and expects him to help her with Cloud Nine, Theo is tempted to skate away from it all.

Theo vowed to never again be someone’s knight in shining armor, but his feelings—and desire—for Allison are becoming harder to ignore. He longs to save her, but to win Allison’s love, he’ll have to throw out his old playbook and take the ultimate risk…playing from the heart.

Game Changer (Bomb Squad #3)
Expected April 2015
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When Harper Johnson needs help keeping the peace in her tavern, Brandon Theroux’s happy to help—as long as she agrees to a very tempting trade.  She agrees to his deal only to discover that a fair trade between friends who can’t keep their hands off each other has the potential to get a lot more complicated than either of them is prepared to handle… 

Melissa Cutler Website/Facebook/Twitter

Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Penguin, and Kensington Books.

She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she's not globetrotting, she's enjoying Southern California's flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids. Find out more about Melissa and her books at www.melissacutler.net or write to her at melissa@melissacutler.net . You can also find Melissa on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks) and Twitter (@m_cutler)


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