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Publisher's Summary

A second chance may be just what James Steele needs....

I might be one of the older players on the Arizona Vengeance, but I like to think that also makes me one of the wisest. Or at least I used to.

Turns out, I’ve been a bit selfish. I’ve been married to hockey and my team for years, which hasn’t left much time for my actual wife, Ella. Now I’m juggling a separation I never wanted, the pressure of being a single dad to our teenage daughter, and the career I sacrificed it all for.

While my game on the ice might be on fire, the game in my personal life is clearly lacking, as evidenced by the fact I just saw my wife on a date with another man. If I have any hope of saving the family I love, I need to reprioritize, and fast. So it’s time for me to get back to fundamentals, just like I did when I learned how to play hockey. I’ve never backed down from a challenge, and romancing my wife is a challenge I am very much looking forward to.

Time to put on my game face, because I’m in it to win it.

©2020 Sawyer Bennett (P)2020 Sawyer Bennett

What listeners say about Steele

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  • Book Bruin
  • 17-12-2020

Fighting for Love

It's not often that I come across romances featuring a marriage in crisis. I find them really intriguing because it's a glimpse beyond the typical happily ever after. I love that these two characters are fighting to get back to each other. The obstacles and hurt feelings are all too relatable and that vulnerability really hits me in all the feels. Steele is book 9 in the Arizona Vengeance series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone. Previous characters do appear, but the author does a fantastic job introducing them to readers who haven't had a chance to read the prior books. One of the things I love about marriage in crisis romances is that the characters are all in. Yes, there might be some minor OW/OM drama for a bit, but for the most part, the characters only have eyes for each other. This was definitely the case for Jim and Ella. I loved that they were childhood sweethearts and had weathered so much together. It was easy to understand how both became complacent and also upset with the progression of their marriage. There wasn't a ton of drama in this one and I liked that it focused on the two of them finding their way back. Brian Pallino and Jill Redfield were wonderful as Jim and Ella! I read this book first and it was great to revisit the story through audiobook. Brian Pallino was perfect as Steele and was just the right amount of alpha and sweet. I definitely need to listen to more of his performances. I didn't have any trouble differentiating between characters and both narrators did a fantastic job bringing these characters to life. The next book, featuring Jett, was set up very well and I'm looking forward to his story next. Overall 4 stars Performance 4.5 stars Story 4 stars

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  • LexiMuse
  • 30-12-2020

Separated hockey player trys to win back his wife

Not the usual plot. This one is about a man who ignores his wife of 15 years to the point that she asks for a divorce. The key is they still love each other but she just can't take his behavior any longer. He goes through a lot of growth from denial to anger, to wanting her back but not having a clue how to change, to finally growing up and taking responsibility as a couple. She also has to learn to forgive and also learn haw to communicate what is more of the priority and what can be excused as genuine bad timing or missed events that aren't his fault. It is interesting but a little boring and their kid is a young teen so not even cute. A nice story but slow. Part of a series but there wasn't much forward movement in the greater narrative of the team. OK for fans of the series but not the most interesting.

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  • Jenny B
  • 30-12-2020

Best book to date from Sawyer Bennett

There was something about this book which resonated with me more than the regular romance book. I loved the premise of a married couple who had somehow lost each other along the way finding their way back to each other. The emotions and feels in this book were all too relatable and left me with baited breath hoping and hoping they would be able to find each other again. The characters were beautifully written and filled with so much passion for each other and their family unit. As to the narration - there couldn't have been two better picks to bring these characters to life. Their voices were soothing, passionate, emotional and so realistic. I think my favorite part about this series is how they are all built upon each other and characters from the other books make appearances.

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  • Menotah Bolland
  • 24-12-2020

Steele

“Because I’ve been sitting on your front porch for two hours, and my ass is hurting. I got tired of waiting for you to come home, so I stalked you here.” Steele is a second chance hockey romance in the Arizona Vengeance series. Jim Steele was loving his life and hockey career until his wife asked him to move out. Ella was feeling neglected and as if she was second to Steele’s hockey. After seeing Ella on a date with another guy, Steele made it his mission to win back his wife. I have read and loved all of Sawyer Bennett’s hockey books but this one just did not do it for me. I did not like Ella and felt that she had too much of a “poor me” attitude especially since she knew what she was getting into all the way back in high school. I did love Steele and his daughters relationship. I am still looking forward to more from the Vengeance in the future.

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  • JreaderLee
  • 23-12-2020

A second chance

Steele is the ninth book in the Arizona Vengeance series but is most definitely be read or listened to without having read the prior books. Just be aware that there may be spoilers to those books but you do not need those books to understand what is going on in Steele’s life. I did find this book didn’t focus as much on the team and the other players as the prior books in the series so I was missing getting to catch up with what is going on with them. This book focused on Steele and his marriage. It had its ups and downs and was more of a mellow book with not much in the way of twist or turns. That small shock or major drama didn’t occur which was different and a surprise to this listener. Don’t get me wrong, things happen in the book and you will be yelling at the characters for what they are or are not doing. I also enjoyed what I am assuming will be the next player on the team to have his own story. Both narrators are new to me and it did take a few chapters to get into their narration but they did a great job in bringing the characters to life. They are narrators I will listen to again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-12-2020

Steele

I listen to this on audio , and I have listened to every book in this series , and I love all of them but Steele moved into my 1 spot!!!!! It’s a great book about a couple working on their marriage, it’s sweet , funny, and all around good book! Give it a try , you will love Steele and Ella !

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  • Sheraka Kirkland - Crazy Chaotic Book Babes
  • 22-12-2020

Another great story

Steele is a true team player. He gave 150% to his team and at times only 50% to his family. The love he felt for both was unconditional but there was a defect somewhere to make things a little hard. Ella gave demands and at times they were met but not to the extent they should. When Steele saw the women who made his heart beat and his child who was the first true love of his life move on in a way that would destroy him and them. he stepped up. He knew what he needed to do and how he needed to do it. I loved the fight Steele had while working and the fight for his family. His loss of what was number one became clear and yes there was obstacles but it didn't matter. Steele was not only up for the challenge but he wanted to defeat it and show his family who they were in his life. His work family never gave up on his family. The women are always the heart of the Vengeance and this story is no different! Brian Pallino and Jill Redfield did a great job portraying these characters. At times I felt I was there looking in hoping for the best.

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  • CRROB
  • 21-12-2020

My favorite book of 2020

I have been waiting for this book for a long time, and it beyond exceeded my expectations. After his wife asks him to leave, Arizona Vegeance's James Steele just leaves, but as time goes by he realizes that he was not the best husband to his wife, and not the best father to his daughter Lucy. Then he decides that he is not letting his family go without a fight. James plays to win, and he will stop at nothing to win his girls back. I loved this story because it was a real reminder of the power of love and the importance of showing that love to those most important to you. The narration was fantastic, and made the book really come to life.

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  • Emily2408
  • 18-12-2020

An amazing second chance romance

An amazing second chance romance for a married couple that grew apart. I usually dont like second chance romance, but this was amazing. They were high school sweethearts that were thrust into the NHL and as they grew up they also grew apart and Jim just didnt see his wife and what she needed, though he always loved her. I loved how he wooed her back. Their daughter is adorable. I love how they didn't just get back together right away and how they were very conscience about her and how their relationship affects her. I listened to the audiobook and it was amazing. The narrators did a wonderful job conveying emotions and carrying the storyline. This book can be read as a stand alone. You get all the information that you need. However you will more know more about the secondary characters if you had read the previous books in the series. You have almost met the main couple before if you read the previous books.

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  • Terri D
  • 18-12-2020

Second chance love

I absolutely love this series and this one just warmed my heart in so many ways. This book is about Jim Steele and his wife Ella and their daughter Lucy and how being a pro hockey player has effected their family. We have seen Steele in previous books and knew he and Ella had been separated for months but when he sees his wife out with another man he decides he is willing to fight for his family and he pulls out all the stops. It was great seeing them struggle with real life issues and get to the other side. There is also the dynamics of their teenage daughter that adds to the story. I loved this real life love story that shows what love can be. Brian Pallino and Jill Redfield were both so good narrating this book. Loved listening to them. This series are all stand along books that intertwine the characters throughout. You don't have to have read/listened to the others to enjoy Steele but I have loved them all and recommend them to you. I loved this book and it was 5 stars for me.

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  • Sara
  • 18-01-2021

Fantastic second chance romance!

Sawyer Bennett’s Steel was just amazing! This was a truly unique storyline, one that you don’t see very often. Actually, I can’t recall if I’ve read something similar. That in itself is a difficult feat. In every marriage, spouses make mistakes, we are just people after all. Jim is no different. He’s made so many that his wife actually separated. Ella has been playing second fiddle to hockey for way too long. She’s ready to be someone’s number one. It takes this move from Ella for him to see what has been there this entire time. Jim is determined to win back his wife’s heart and he puts it all out there. I love how he accepted everything he did or didn’t do. He’s determined to change and do better. He’s putting forth the effort but is it a little too late for Ella? Brian Pallino has been a huge favorite in all narrators, male or female. He just has this voice that works for me. He brings out the emotions to words and gives I all. Pallino brings out the heart that Jim is openly giving to Ella. He’s in this relationship and you can feel the desperation he has to keep this relationship. I wasn’t certain but I went and look, I hadn’t listened to Jill Redfield narrate previously. That isn’t to say she hasn’t narrated other books, she most definitely has, but they aren’t the types of books I generally listen too. However, she was on par with Brian Pallino. She brought Ella and all her confliction to life. She was really uncertain and hurt. Redfield did a fabulous job.

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  • Nina
  • 30-12-2020

A married couple reconciling ... Hell yes!!

Listening to STEELE by Sawyer Bennett was bittersweet. For one, because I’m a total sucker for romances about married couples reconciling, but also because it was the late Brian Pallino lending Steele his deep and sexy voice. To me, this book truly stands out from the rest of the series. It has a completely different vibe and brings a refreshing storyline about a player from our favorite hockey team, who is not a total playboy for once. No, James Steele just wants to win one woman’s heart back – his wife Ella’s. He realized he has wronged her and will do everything to woo her for her to come back to him after she separated from him because she simply was of the belief that he loved his career more than him. It takes another man showing honest interest in her for him to finally wake up … What I loved most about this story is the fact that I believe that many married couples or those in a long-term relationship can sympathize with our couple. You never should become too comfortable and possibly complacent, believing that the other knows their worth to you. A loving, functioning relationship will always mean constant work and devotion. I loved everything about this light but beautiful second chance sports romance, loved how it all played out in the end. It’s emotional, heartfelt, with a pinch of angst and drama thrown in. I really wished there were more romances about married couples like this one, because the wooing and swooning simply doesn’t end with the wedding. A word an the narration. I had some troubles getting through Brian Pallino narrating this one, for obvious reasons. However, he portrayed Steele with all his emotions and regrets beautifully and I was happy this book was actually told mostly in his POV. I think this was my first listen by Jill Redfield, and I’m sorry to say her voice didn’t completely resonate with me. She came across a bit snobby and standoffish, even after Steele and Ella are finally on the mend. However, I will definitely give her another go and see if she can win me over some more.

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  • Bette
  • 17-12-2020

Wonderful Story & Narration🎧 Steele is all Heart!

Sawyer Bennett pens another wonderful novel in her “Arizona Vengeance” series. I love the characters and storylines she has created for them, each book featuring another player on the team. This book is Jim Steele’s story, he and his wife Ella have separated, she felt he lost interest in her when all he focused on was his career. At the time he just left did not even put up a fight. They share custody of their teenage daughter, Lucy, and are cordial to each other. When he sees her starting to move up he realizes he still wants her and is ready to battle to win her heart back. I loved how everything plays out in this book, Jim finally realizes his mistake of taking her for granted and instead of assuming she knows he loves her he is ready to show her. But is she too far gone, is it too late for them to work out. I loved how everything plays out in this book, the story contains a lot of heart and is beautifully plotted. Their daughter was a bit bratty at first but he teen-attitude calmed down a bit and she wound up being a good ally to Jim. This is a wonderful second chance sports romance, there is drama, a touch of angst, plenty of heartfelt and emotional moments and some hot, sexy times. It was great to see some of characters from earlier books, team players and their significant others. Sawyer Bennett, thank you for another wonderful story and emotional rollercoaster ride. 🎧📚🎧 And for the fabulous narration, Brian Pallino and Jill Redfield did an awesome job portraying the characters, humanizing them, giving each their own voice and personality. Brian Pallino played the perfect Jim, he captured every one of his emotions and made the role his own. Jill Redfield did the same for Ally, completely grasping her persona and playing her role with perfection. Both were great performing the roles of the secondary characters as well. Thank you for the wonderfully pleasurable listen🎧

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  • Jules
  • 15-12-2020

A true second chance with a lot of fun

Ohh this was unexpected. I mean, we knew Steele was trying to get back his family and especially his wife, but I did not know how much I would enjoy this. A true second chance, learning to see the past and reflect on how it impacted them and their loved ones. Steele realises he did wrong by his wife and wants to win her back. It was hilarious seeing his teammates' suggestions and his tries and errors. But a beautiful story of realising prior shortcomings and working toward a better future. Brian was particularly great on the audio, and a good narration overall.

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  • Carissa R.
  • 13-12-2020

4 stars

I liked this one on how it took for James Steele to do anything to get his wife Ella back. The ending was really sweet. I loved how this one had a different tone/storyline then the rest in the series. Narrators Brian Pallino and Jill Redfield did a great job. I received this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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  • Kerchenski
  • 13-12-2020

Perfect llisten

I loved this story of Steele and Ella and Lucy. Seeing this second chance family work out was great. I couldn’t help but root for them to get back together. Sawyer Bennett did not disappoint and as always you get to see some of the characters fro. Other books and now waiting for Jetts book. Arizona Vengence is a great series and cannot put any of the books down. The narration by Brian Pallino and Jill Redfield was great that I did not want to stop listening

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  • K1burger
  • 13-12-2020

One of the best 2nd chance romances!

This addition to Arizona Vengeance series was one of my favourites. I love a second chance romance and this was one of the best that I have read. Steele and Ella were matched perfectly. Great narration only added to the story bringing the characters to life..

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  • PATRICIA
  • 10-12-2020

Jim Steele!

This hockey team is one of the best I have gotten to know. And now with this 9th book in the series, you would think we have a good handle on each of them. Sawyer Bennett continues to bring a fresh story to each one, and this one is amazing. I think because we all understand being too comfortable and become complacent, we can understand the trouble Jim and Ella's story. Ella is tired of being low on the totem pole to Steele's life. When she takes a stand and they separate, he still doesn't quite get it. But when he sees her with another man, things get real. Now on a mission to revitalize, understand and get his wife back, we see just how much he loves her. But is he too late? Has she moved on? Visited by players we love, puppies and romance, we get to see if he can win her back. It's sweet, spicy and extremely romantic. Loved every minute of this one! Jill Redfield and Brian Pallino bring this story to life. Redfield is a perfect fit for Ella. She is hurt and standoffish and Redfield finds the tone to portray it. We can even feel the annoyance at times! Fantastic! Pallino is Steele. He pulls out the stops and you feel his motivation and love through his voice. This is a wonderful listen and one you don't want to miss.

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