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Lawrence Finkle, known simply to his die-hard Minnesota Wild fans as Viper, isn’t used to hearing the word no. He lives his whole life just a little on the reckless side. After all, life is just one big game, right?
When what was supposed to be an innocent bet goes horribly wrong, he’s left to deal with the aftermath— and the guilt. In an effort to make things right the best way he can, he ends up falling for the one person on the planet he never should have.
The old saying goes that two wrongs don’t make a right . . . or do they?
You know that meme you
may have seen that goes something like...‘this book will rip your heart out, here you
should go read it' well nothing truer could be said about this book.
Seriously, the first
time I cried was at 20%, then at 25%, then at 35% and you get the picture. Those parts I read at work during my break,
with tears running down my face and then I had to go back to my desk and be
present in the 'real' world as if it was just another typical day and nothing
heart wrenching had happened.
I guess what I am
saying is that this book encompasses that phrase 'book feels.' Beth does an incredible job of showing us,
the readers, the story and evoking all those feelings that the characters are
experiencing, right alongside them.
Viper is that cocky
team mate of Brody Murphy, he likes to
play hard and party hard. Women throw
themselves at him and they are plentiful.
Despite some of his closest friends settling down with wives and
children, they idea has no appeal to him.
The thought of waking up to the same woman every day almost leaves him
in a cold sweat.
The most important
woman in his life is his Grandma (Gam).
Let me tell you, Viper is so damn sweet with his Gam, who knew he had
that side to him? She is so freaking
funny and has had a huge influence on his life.
He does not take her presence in his life for granted and he goes out of
his way to look after her, his only family
"Sometimes being comforted by someone who loves you unconditionally
was the most basic necessity in the world." - Viper
So hockey, friends and
getting laid are much the components of his daily life. Until the most awful unimaginable moment
I can honestly say
that this was THE most emotional heart wrenching thing I have ever endured as a
reader. I was absolutely gutted, I
couldn't believe Beth would put me through that. I have never cried so much reading a book
like I did with this. I grieved
alongside the characters and felt Viper's pain and sorrow. He is devastated and lost.
'Gripping the side of the counter, I stared at my reflection in the
The reflection of a man who was desperately trying to change, trying to find
himself but didn't know how.'
We go on this emotional
journey with Viper as he tries to change his life and figure out who he wants
to be. Guilt, forgiveness and love play a huge part in this for him and as he
evolves into a different kind of Viper I found myself wanting him to see
himself through my eyes. The loyalty
and compassion he gives to the people in his life just left me with tears of
joy and that warm feeling in my chest.
I freaking loved
inhaling this beautiful story of redemption and give it 5+++ stars.
I found a bench right
outside the door at the very moment my legs decided to give out. Who knew a
hard-ass concrete bench could be so comforting? I ran my hands through my hair
and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the concrete slab below me. An ant
slowly walked up to my foot and stopped. I wondered what it was like to be an
ant. Did they have friends and families? Did they accidentally hurt each other?
Did they feel guilt? I’d fought like hell my whole life to keep my feelings in
check and never let people see them, but the last two days were testing that
more than any other time in my life. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep
Praying was something we
never did in my house growing up, but at that moment I felt the overwhelming urge
to talk out loud to . . . someone.
Looking around to make
sure I was alone, I took a deep breath and puffed my cheeks out, exhaling
I glanced up at the sky
for just a second, quickly deciding I probably looked like a moron and that
whoever I was going to talk to would probably hear me no matter where I was
“Hey, whoever’s up there.
My name is Lawrence Finkle, but you probably know me as Viper. Anyway—” I
cleared my throat, suddenly feeling very stupid that I was talking to myself,
but so desperate I was willing to do anything. “—we’ve never had what I would
call an active relationship, but right now I’m feeling pretty alone down here.
I’ve fucked up a lot in my life, as you probably know, but I’ve always been
able to talk myself out of any trouble I got into. Well, I’ve finally done
something I can’t fix. It was an accident, but I still can’t fix it, and I
could really use it at the moment. I don’t really know how this works, but I’m
willing to bargain. I’ll do anything—go to church, donate time and money, stop
fucking strangers. I mean it, anything . . . just please . . . save
my best friend. He’s a good man with a wife and kids who need him. If you need
to take someone, take me. No one gives a shit whether I’m here or not.” My eyes
started to feel hot and sting as I took another shaky breath.
Startled at the sound of
my name, I stood and turned as a camera flashed in my eyes. Squinting and
holding my hand up, I tried to block out another flash. “What the fuck?” I
“Hi, Mr. Finkle. I’m
Warren Sanders with the Star Tribune
here in Minneapolis.” He held his hand out for me to shake. I glared down at it
and then back up at him without saying a word. He quickly pulled his hand back
and continued, “We heard about what happened yesterday and we were just
wondering if we could ask you a few questions. Like, maybe what exactly
happened? What’s his current condition? Anything you’re willing to give us.” He
held a microphone in my face as the cameraman lifted a different camera onto
his shoulder to film me.
Rage shot through me like
a bullet shoots out of a gun.
“You want anything I’m
willing to give you?” I asked coldly. “Well, I’m going to give you ten seconds
to get that motherfucking camera out of my face before I shove that mic up your
“Uh . . .”
he stammered. “We won’t keep you for long. We just want a quick statement.”
Without hesitation, I
took three steps and grabbed the camera from the guy behind him, lifted it
above my head, and smashed it on the concrete. They both jumped back, their
mouths hanging open as they stared at the ground.
“There!” I pointed to the
shattered camera as I walked away. “There’s your fucking statement.”
Beth Ehemann lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and four children. When she's not sitting in front of her computer writing, or on Pinterest, she loves reading, photography, martinis and all things Chicago Cubs. She's represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.