REVIEW! “Cross Checked” by Kristen Hope Mazzola

“Cross Checked” is a book which runs concurrently with Kristen Hope Mazzola’s  novel “Hat Trick”.  This book follows Myla’s brother Brayden and the young overnight ICU nurse, Karla.  She was the nurse who comforted and reassured Brayden after the tragic car accident which killed his and Myla’s mother.  “Cross Checked” begins the morning before Myla and her mother’s car accident.  We see that Brayden is the kind of man who puts the feelings and well being of his family first.  After the accident we see the magnitude of the dedication he puts into balancing his hockey career and Myla’s health.  We also see a couple of different sides to Brayden an unexpected sexual side and a true romantic.  Karla is a woman who has everything: a career, a loving boyfriend, and two amazing friends.  She’s survived a lot and rises above even more.

As I mentioned “Cross Checked” runs concurrently to “Hat Trick” and even a little further into the future.  Some of Brayden’s story conflicts with events in “Hat Trick”, which was a little bothersome only if the books were read back to back.  The first few chapters follow Brayden and Karla in their separate lives dealing with their own issues.  At the beginning Karla is in a loving and happy relationship which falls apart in a dangerous way.  Brayden deals with the stress of a hospitalized sister and a grueling fledgling professional hockey career with sex.  The kind of sex he likes is surprising and I really love the little trip into the dark side.  This book spans over a two years.  In addition to the cross pollination of events there are secondary characters who lives intertwine their lives.  This serves to prove that Brayden and Karla are a Fated pairing.

This book is definitely character based with no real huge relationship threatening conflict.  This is a love story.  The book moves quickly and is a fast, easy, and enjoyable read.  There are some contradictions in the storylines between the two books.  It isn’t really a deal killer in the enjoyment factor of “Cross Checked”.  Brayden’s character was portrayed as a heavy drinker and a womanizer.  In “Hat Trick” he’s a lot more devoted to Karla and a big gooey romantic.  In fact, Karla plays a more important role in his life than what was portrayed in the previous book.  Both Brayden and Karla are likable with vulnerabilities and big life experience hurdles they had to overcome.  Karla’s friends are fabulous additions to the cast of characters.  Kristen Hope Mazzola’s “Cross Checked” is easy to get sucked into and find you’ve read it in one sitting.

I’m giving “Cross Checked” 3 Lightning Bolts and a Hurricane Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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