by Colleen Charles

“Grinder” is the third book in the ‘Vegas Venom’ series of sports (NHL hockey) romances. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story filled with great characters, some intense emotions, and some truly funny scenes.

Latham Newberry is a professional hockey player who puts his heart and soul into his game, something his teammates and the fans appreciate. But popular sports podcaster Scarlett Stone can never find a nice thing to say about him. In fact, she never hides her animosity toward him. It makes him crazy that he can’t figure out why she loathes him so much. I don’t want to give away the plot, but I will tell you that you’ll find out the reason for that in the very beginning of the book. Latham wins an award nobody on the team has ever received, and the team’s owner flies him into the cold Midwest to receive it – along with his nemesis, who’ll be covering him at the awards for her podcast. The stressful situation goes in some wild directions with wildly entertaining results.

The plot kept me interested from beginning to end. The dialogue and chemistry between Latham and Scarlett are top-notch. Both characters are a good balance between entertaining and exasperating.  If you’re familiar with the series at all, you’ll recognize the previous main characters appearing again in supportive roles. There are some new and fantastic secondary characters, including Latham’s sister, Scarlett’s best friend, the adorable owner of a B&B, quirky guests at the B&B, and a very sensitive Uber driver. As the main characters find their way to a happily ever after, we all get to enjoy the ride – way more than Latham and Scarlett get to enjoy their ride to the airport when they’re heading back to Vegas! I enjoyed the ending of the story and loved the epilogue. I’m looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series.

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