Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Baden (Pittsburgh Titans #1)

Release Blitz for Sawyer Bennett's Baden (Pittsburgh Titans #1) 


The Pittsburgh Titans organization suffered a devastating loss when their team plane crashed, killing all forty-two passengers aboard. This January, the team gets one step closer to getting back on the ice when Baden Oulett joins the coaching staff.

Baden (Pittsburgh Titans, Book 1) by Sawyer Bennett is a standalone hockey romance about second chances, fresh starts, and finding love where we least expect it. 

📚 Read Baden now:
► Amazon: https://amzn.to/3A1f85x 
► Nook: https://bit.ly/2RJnpuA 
► Apple: https://apple.co/3wjSC6z 
► Kobo: https://bit.ly/3wfxDSx 
► Google: https://bit.ly/3wdLKrh 
► Print: https://amzn.to/3Fb6HHf

🎧 Hear Baden now (narrated by Aiden Snow and Lessa Lamb):
► Audible: https://adbl.co/3nemv5C
► Amazon: https://amzn.to/3tdmNhb 
► Apple: https://apple.co/3HUJkDr

Trinette Dungee's 4 Star Review!

Baden Oulett is recovering from two tragic events in his life in less than a year. First, he is critically injured while saving a woman from a vicious attack, that has ended his professional hockey career, and now he’s mourning the loss of his best friend in fatal plane crash that took the lives of not only his friend but the entire Pittsburg Titan’s hockey team. 

The last thing he ever expected was to be offered a position on the newly organized team of the Pittsburgh Titans. Taking this position means he will have to accept the fact that he will never play hockey professionally again. It also means, moving to a new city and leaving his Arizona Vengeance Family behind. With his best friend Wes gone, the only other person Baden knows in Pittsburgh is Sophie, the woman whose life he saved, and he doesn’t know her well at all. Their interactions have been few and far between and when he visits her and sees how traumatized she still is from her attack, he makes it his mission to not only become her friend, but to help her work through her fears. 

The last nine months of Sophie’s life have been challenging to say the least. She was saved from certain death and while she suffered very little in the way of physical trauma, mentally, her life has been turned upside down. Not only has she become somewhat agoraphobic, but she is suffering from the guilt of what happened to Baden Oulett when he saved her. Nothing could have surprised her more than when she looked out her door to see Baden on her doorstep, well nothing except his determination to build a friendship and help her through her tough times. 

From the moment we learned about Baden’s attack in the Arizona Vengeance series we’ve gotten a pretty good background on him, especially during Riggs’ story. If you read Riggs’ story, then you know there was a sneak peek of Baden’s story. Now, I’m an odd duck when it comes to these types of things because I choose to not read them. There are a few reasons for this but the main being, I don’t like getting a piece of the pie, I want the whole thing in one shot . The other thing that I admit I’m in the minority with is reading they synopsis for upcoming books in series or a spin-off. If it’s an author I’m totally invested in and pretty much read all of their works, I go on complete faith that the next book will be of interest in me. So, when I say I pretty much went in blind with Baden, I went in blind.  The only thing I knew was his friend died in the crash and he would be working through that and the possible loss of his career. Of course, I knew there was going to be a love interest and I honestly thought it would be between him and Jenna. After reading the first chapter I figured it would be between him and Brienne Norcross. Once I realized the possibility of him moving to Pittsburgh was there, I figured Sophie would come into the picture, but not as his love interest. Totally floored. 

Baden’s main struggle is deciding if he should take the position offered to him or hold out hope for someday returning to the ice as a professional player. 

Dominick shrugs. “You don’t know if it’s a stupid offer. All you really know is whether you’ve got the guts to try it. But that’s not why you’re really here.” And there it is…out on the table. Dominick is forcing me to confront the real issue that we haven’t talked about since the day I was injured seven months ago. Whether I could still play hockey at a professional level.” …...He knows as well as I do what my chances are of returning to this league. I just need him to validate what I already know. I need him to say it.”

I truly expected Baden’s story to be full of resentment and animosity and have to fight his way back from it, but he wasn’t. This was the same Baden we encountered towards the end of the Arizona Vengeance Series, the same Baden who more or less counseled Riggs. Whether he realized it or not, Baden was a born leader. He weighed the pros and cons, he measured his approach be it to his players or to Sophie, and he pretty much gave some sound advice. Sophie said it best. “He’s so self-assured and has been like a phoenix rising from the ashes, making and incredible come back after the trauma he endured” (Not sure if it was done on purpose, but there’s a lot of symbolism in that “Phoenix rising from the ashes” line). 

That doesn’t mean he didn’t have his moments. For me, the biggest moment was the first time he put on skates while taking Sophie ice skating. Immediately, my heart bottoms into the pit of my stomach. I’m skating, I feel strong. Goddamn it… did I give up my shot to get back on the team? Baden may have repeatedly doubted his ability to coach, but this was the first time he doubted himself. 

Sophie was a bit of a shock to me as well. She may have been skittish, but she was definitely no shrinking violet. There were some moments when my heart ached for her, one being her attempt to visit the grocery store, although it took her some time and Baden’s help, she did push through. Just like Baden grows to understand Sophie, she understands him right back, especially when he underestimates himself. You are not a fraud …She says I’m not a fraud and I decide to take her at her word …There will come a day when this will seem like old hat. For now, cut yourself a break. Try to enjoy how monumental this evening is for you 

What I really liked about this book; it was a true friends-to-lovers story. Because we got to somewhat know Baden earlier, there wasn’t a lot to discover about him; most of the discovery was around Sophie.  The immediate attraction was there but this was a slow burn as Baden and Sophie discovered if their relationship was based totally on their shared trauma, or if there was a true connection between the two. These were two people who most definitely could have been “victims”, but they each powered through. The chemistry between the two was amazing and easy. 

I love the cross over factors of an author’s series so I was definitely happy with the appearance of Arizona Vengeance characters, which was kind of inevitable considering how this series was created, but the mention of Jameson Security Force and the appearance of Gray Brannon were pleasant surprises.

Just like I typically don’t read “sneak-peeks”, I don’t always read the author’s notes prior to reading the book for fear there will be spoilers, but this time I did. I’m glad I did because it kind of prepared me for the introduction of new characters. I think this series is definitely going to be a departure from Sawyer’s typical Series. I think this one will be super emotional. I don’t think I’ve ever read a series, definitely not one of Sawyer Bennett’s, where each character’s storyline is a direct result of not just a tragic event, but the same tragic event. So while Baden’s story was very straight to the point and next to no angst (which is fine by me, because I’m not a huge fan of angst…gives me too much anxiety), it was the perfect “transition” book and sets us up for what’s sure to be an emotional rollercoaster of storylines. I can’t wait to meet these guys! Coen, Stone, Gage, and Drake. I can’t quite figure out how Gage is going to affect me. I think I’m most anxious to read Drake’s story (you know single dads are my jam), I think Stone is going to be a tear-jerker because of his brother, but something tells me Coen is going to rip me to shreds. 

Totally excited about this series. 

SB: The Titans’ coach is a Matt Keller, don’t know why, but I feel like I should know this name…..I guess time will tell. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

How to Configure Numbered Page Navigation After installing, you might want to change these default settings: