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Release Day Review! CAMDEN by Sawyer Bennett (Pittsburgh Titans #8)

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Camden (Pittsburgh Titans, Book #8)
Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: August 1, 2023

Camden Poe is the last of The Lucky Three, the surviving Pittsburgh Titans who weren’t on the team plane the night it went down. By all outward appearances, he’s adjusted to post-crash life well but inside he’s wrestling with the guilt of living.

The catastrophe that killed the Pittsburgh Titans changed my entire world. My teammates were more than my friends—they were my brothers. I mourned their loss with the rest of the nation but then I did as I’ve been taught… I moved on. I focused on returning to the ice with the newly rebuilt team and put the tragedy behind me. Considering the circumstances, I adjusted well. Or so I thought. Now I’m plagued by nightmares of the crash and my play has suffered as a result. Facing the possibility of losing my place on the team, I need to pull myself together and fast.

My buddy and linemate, Mitch Brandt died in the crash, leaving his wife Danica and son Travis behind to pick up the pieces of their shattered family. After reconnecting with Danica at a support group meeting, I find myself inexplicably drawn to helping her and her son move forward. What starts as two friends finding solace in one another following a tragedy becomes something more, leaving us both wondering if we deserve this chance.

I feel as if I’m walking a precarious line between a man falling for an incredible woman and a man moving in on his dead friend’s wife. But one thing is crystal clear—I’ve found a peace with Danica that I wasn’t sure I’d ever have again. Now I need to find the confidence within myself to push past the insecurities and make sure she knows how important she is to me because if I don’t, I’ll lose the one thing that makes me truly complete.

Get Camden in digital, signed paperback and audio (narrated by Aaron Shedlock & Savannah Peachwood) direct from Sawyer: SHOP the Sawyer Bennett Bookstore

Camden cover

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…and the last of the “Lucky Three” finds his HEA. Achievement unlocked!

Sawyer Bennett is truly bringing her A-game with this series. I enjoyed the extra wrinkle she brought to Camden and Danica’s romance–not only does he suffer from survivor’s guilt from the crash that killed Dani’s husband Mitch and most of his team, but he was also friends with Mitch (and Dani) off the ice as well. Though they’d been out of touch for the most part since the crash, Camden and Dani truly do start the story off as friends, and both are somewhat taken aback at first when feelings start to develop, each sure that the other can’t possibly be feeling them too.

But we know they are, because it’s a romance. And we see both of their POVs 😉

I really liked how Dani was portrayed here–beyond the emotional loss of unexpectedly losing the partner you thought you’d be spending the rest of your life with, Ms Bennett also showed all the other ways Mitch’s death affected her and the changes she had to make to ensure she and their son Travis would not only survive, but thrive. Moving to a smaller home, driving a less expensive vehicle, and getting a job allowed her to keep Travis in his school and get him started on a hockey team–though they were always going to miss Mitch, they weren’t letting their loss put their lives on hold. Strong widow heroines FTW!

Camden, on the other hand, wasn’t quite doing as well as he appeared to be on the surface. Ms Bennett shows us this right from the start with how the book begins, and a kick in the pants from his coach is what puts him (very tentatively) on the path to start healing…and even more firmly back in Dani’s orbit. Reconnecting with her allows him to start coming to terms with his issues, but (eventually) becoming involved with her of course gives him a whole new one–and one he might not be able to get over.

Spoiler alert: he eventually manages to get over it. It’s a romance, so we know he’s going to! But yikes, it was slow going there for a while while he kept his head lodged firmly up his posterior region…

Ultimately, this is a steamy friends-to-lovers romance with an absolutely adorable kid (that scene in the restaurant while Dani’s in the restroom was brilliant!) and a completely satisfying ending. And just enough hockey in there to keep the fans happy 😉

As always this one could be read as a standalone, but readers will have a better understanding of the characters and their shared trauma if you’ve read the other books too.

I listened to the audio version, and the narrators did a lovely job with the narration. I’d listen to more books read by them without hesitation.

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Sawyer Bennett author photo

About the Author:

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Sawyer Bennett uses real life experience to create relatable stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From contemporary romance, fantasy romance, and both women’s and general fiction, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

A former trial lawyer from North Carolina, when she is not bringing fiction to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to her very adorable daughter, as well as full-time servant to her wonderfully naughty dogs.

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