Gage McPherson was the Seattle Shark’s best Grinder, until he shattered his shoulder last season. Time heals all wounds…but the heartbroken single dad has more than his share of trust issues. The playboy only lets one girl close to his iced-over heart—his pint-sized daughter who’s the center of his world. She’s the only thing more important to him than hockey, and he trusts no one with her…except me.
We’ve been friends since we were kids, and I love his daughter like she’s my own, so what’s the easiest solution to help Gage out? Move in and be his live-in nanny for the season. As far as she goes, the arrangement is perfect. But her drop-dead-sexy father? Frustrating on every possible level.
There is a thick, professional line drawn between us by his own hand, and despite understanding the terms, my body is practically begging him to cross it. Our chemistry is off the charts, but one misstep, and we could hurt the one person we love most. This game is all-or-nothing. Can I risk my heart on a guy who is known for the shut-out, on and off the ice?
3 1/2 out of 5 stars
I’m a huge hockey fan, but I’ll be honest – I didn’t know what a Grinder was – I had to google it. A Grinder is the guy who checks other guys into the wall and kind of plays dirty. Now you know too:)
The Grinder is the story of Bailey, who is best friends with Gage McPherson (the Grinder). Gage is a single dad to an adorable 3 year old named Scarlett (whom he calls Lettie – horrible nickname). Bailey moves in with Gage to become Scarlett’s full time nanny during the NHL season.
There is an instant attraction between Bailey and Gage – one that Gage refuses to acknowledge. See, Gage has been hurt…
While I loved Bailey, I didn’t love Gage until the end. I get that he had been hurt in the past, but his outright refusal to even give Bailey a chance was annoying. He claimed everything he was doing to protect his daughter, but it wasn’t – it was to protect him.
I liked the other players on Gage’s team – Rory in particular – who the next book is about. I also liked Bailey’s friends. But Scarlett stole the show for me. A three year old obsessed with the Sound of Music is just too cute.
Mini-rant: at one point during a game, Gage was given two minutes for “unnecessary roughness.” That’s not a penalty in hockey – it’s a penalty in football. Do a little google research to find out the proper penalty names. Rant over.
The story was good, and it was told in the first person, alternating POV’s, which is my favorite. I just hope Rory is a little less rigid than Gage was.