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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
Three months after his hockey team, Cajun Rage, won the ultimate in hockey championships, Zim returns to his hometown to start a charity in honor of his sister. On a night out with friends, he meets Suji, recently dumped for being too dedicated to her career. She’s having a girls' night out with some of her friends and they hit it off. This book is called The Warm Up because their first encounter is just the warm up for the rest of this fun, steamy story. Xio Axelrod creates a solid hockey romance with two determined people who shouldn’t get along, but they more than get along. I love that Suji is a hardworking nurse who doesn’t trust that this hockey player has good intentions, and thinks he’s only out for some good press. Of course there’s no way for her to know the truth so early on, so it’s all fun from there!
The Warm Up features two really great characters who are, despite their dedication to helping people, different as night and day. At first I thought Suji seemed a bit too bitter and cynical for this kind of story. I get where she was coming from, but early on she was so abrasive that I wondered what Zim saw in her beyond her beauty. But I slowly warmed up to her while I pretty much loved Zim from the start. Hockey star, hot as sin and potty mouth…what’s not to love? Theirs was a quick romance, but Xio Axelrod penned a fun and engaging story that will make you into a hockey fan!