Hard to Handle, book one in the Play Hard series, an all new series of standalone books by New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, is LIVE!
At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency.
Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox.
Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart.
If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.
But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated.
But I know better than to cross that line.
I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.
Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.
Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.
And time is running out.
Enter Dekker Kincade.
Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.
I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.
But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.
I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.
4.5 ‘Skill. Stick. Finesse’ Stars!
ARC provided via Valentine PR in exchange for an honest review.
By now, I already know that K. Bromberg always knows how to start a series with a bang. This one was no exception! I love me a hot sportsman and I believe we are getting four new ones from Kristy in her new Play Hard series. I am definitely not complaining! The woman knows how to create complex and lovable characters, how to build the tension and chemistry between the couples and how to bring all the emotions. Hunter and Dekker have that and so much more, so get ready to fall in love with them and this whole new crew!
Hard to Handle is the first installment in Bromberg’s Play Hard series. These books will be focused on four sisters who have now the mission to help save their father’s sports agency (Kincade Sports Management) by getting a new client each. The first one is Dekker and she is supposed to sign Hunter Maddox, the most wanted man in hockey and the man who happened to broke her heart years ago. But these two people are a bit broken and it’s not easy for them to reunite again. Sparks fly, heartbreaking drama builds and the emotions run high. Will these two get their second chance?
My soul knows that love always ends in pain and loneliness.
Can I just say I freaking love K. Bromberg? Ever since she gave us Colton, I’ve been ready for more sportsman to love. Kristy is one of the authors that writes the most wonderful broken heroes and Hunter was perfection. He starts showing his asshole self but when you start peeling all those layers that protect his heart, it’s all pure sweetness inside. He has so much weight on his shoulders and so much guilt, it was impossible for me not to love this broken man. I loved getting to know all his facets and how Dekk is the one that brings him back to life when he most needs it. And Dekker is just as amazing. Also broken, a successful business woman and afraid to love this man so much, but she is strong and has great people around her to support her. These two just know how to bring the best in each other.
Fuck if I don’t feel invisible strings tying me up in the biggest fucking knot I’ve ever seen or felt before.
One that has her at the goddamn center of it.
And I always say this but second-chance romances are probably one of my favorite troupes in romance. And trust me, Hunter and Dekk bring it on. The tension, the angst, the chemistry and the emotions are all over the place. Overall, an amazingly developed relationship. I just loved this couple! They know to balance their crazy lives, the drama around them, their families and the building of their relationship. Both afraid to love each other but it’s so clear they have so many feelings from the very start and they just belong together. After everything, I am so happy they got their HEA.
“No more tears.”
His smile returns. “Just tomorrows.”
Therefore, I am rating Hard to Handle with 4.5 STARS because this hate to love, second-chance romance was the perfect way to start the Play Hard series. I already love all these characters and this couple completely stole my heart. I loved seeing them together, their beautiful connection and how they support each other. It was very emotional but that is what I expect from Kristy and she did a brilliant job. I loved Hunter and Dekk and how their relationship developed. I simply cannot wait the rest of the stories in the series. Highly recommend!
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I stare at Hunter. At his shirt plastered with sweat and how it clings to his body, despite the chill of the ice his skates are standing on. He has his warm-up pants on and is without a helmet, his hair curling at the ends from the sweat.
And all I see in his eyes is anger I didn’t put there. Or maybe I did. Rejection can do that to a man . . . but there’s something more here. Something I walked in on that doesn’t make sense.
“Don’t give me that look, Kincade,” Hunter mutters as he skates over to the penalty box where his electrolyte drink sits.
“What look?” I ask.
He half laughs, half snorts and meets my gaze across the distance. “Disappointment. Disproval. Disdain. I’m the king of all of them, so save your breath—or in this case—your glare, because it’s not going to work with me.”
“Are we working on emotions that start with the letter D today?” I ask. A hint of my embarrassment and anger over how I acted last night creeps into my voice, but I mask it with sarcasm. “If that’s the case, I’m more than impressed with your answers thus far.”
He clenches his jaw in response and then skates back over to line up more pucks so he can shoot them. And he does, one after another, each shot taken with laser precision and a healthy dose of fury behind it.
He goes through the first ten lined up and then stops to catch his breath.
His talent and skill are undeniable, but so is the beer bottle in my hand.
“Just because you’re the captain and star of this team, doesn’t mean management won’t frown upon this,” I say, unable to let this go.
“Screw the management.”
“No one likes a player who’s hard to handle and honestly, Hunter, you’re becoming hard to handle.”
“No one likes unsolicited advice from someone who has no bearing on his career, either,” he counters, the rebuke stinging but deserved.
The problem is, I do care about him. Doesn’t he get that’s where my hostility stems from?
And only a crazy person would say that, Dekker.
I put my hands up in surrender to both him and my own thoughts. “You know I only want the best for you.” I take a few steps in his direction in the first row of the stands. I’m close enough to catch the hitch of his movement and to see uncertainty flicker in his eyes. It’s almost as if he needs to talk but doesn’t see me as someone he can trust. I hate that. “What is it, Hunter?”
“Nothing. It’s . . . never mind.”
But I see it, and he knows I see it. The question is what do I see, though?
New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary romance novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate but can’t help to love.
A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow and her mind scattered in too many different directions.
Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Kristy has sold over one and a half million copies of her books across eighteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over thirty times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by the streaming platform, Passionflix, with the first movie (Driven) out now.
With her imagination always in overdrive, she is currently scheming, plotting, and swooning over her latest hero. You can find out more about him or chat with Kristy on any of her social media accounts.