Synopsis from Goodreads
New York Times bestselling author K. Bromberg is back with an all new second-chance, standalone hockey romance.
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.
Hard to Handle is a very emotional read, it really pulls on the heartstrings. We are also told when working with children that behaviours are a result of something else and to truly improve behaviour you have to get the real root of the problem. This has never been so clearly illustrated as in Hard to Handle.
My heart hurt for Maddox, never truly living his life for himself, completely ruled by negativity, guilt and regret. Is it any wonder he becomes burnt out and as a result acts out. That is all he really needs is for someone to care enough to find out the real cause of his change in behaviour.
Dekker is a sports agent, working alongside her three sisters and father in an agency started by her mother and father. Dekker is the oldest of the four daughters and as such took on the role of substitute mother when her own mother passed away at a tragically young age. This not only impacted the relationship she had with her sisters but also resulted in Dekker avoiding emotional entanglements in order to prevent feeling the devastation she endured at the loss of her mother.
A rival sports agent and ex of one of the sisters, has been sneakily enticing away some of the firm’s clients and as a result, has left the business in a bit of a downward spiral. Each of the siblings is tasked with recruiting a high profile client in order to revive the flagging business. Dekker’s target, you got it, Maddox. The thing is, Dekker and Maddox had an intense affair a few years prior, a physical-only arrangement that suited them both at the time. However, Dekker caught feelings and as an act of self-preservation, broke things off with Maddox very abruptly.
There is an intense chemistry between Maddox and Dekker which has not dimmed in their time apart. I loved the way they clicked together and understood each other, even when they don’t really understand themselves. Dekker is exactly the type of person Maddox needs in his life.
Having experienced depression and anxiety myself, I understand the awful black void you can fall into through negative thoughts. Maddox has fallen into the black hole and can’t see any light to guide his way out until Dekker forces her way in with a flashlight. The absolutely worst thing for me was witnessing the way in which Maddox’s parents treated him, I really could not comprehend their behaviour.
Hard to Handle is a compelling and emotionally intense read bringing all the feels as well as a study in psychology ♥