Finding my teammate in bed with my wife made the decision I had been fighting with for years easier.
It’s time to move on.
A fresh start and a new NHL team in a big city. Most importantly, it’s my son Jack’s best shot.
It would be both of our best shots.
After a bad childhood, I made sure I would succeed, so I lived for my job.
The problem is I die a little with each patient I lose. It’s part of my career at Hudson Children’s Oncology Hospital, but it doesn’t make the sting of loss any easier.
Seeking anything other than a life saved isn’t on my agenda until a NHL player walks into my hospital with his son.
We’re officially off script the moment we meet.
If this love is anything, it’s unscripted.
But, nothing prepared me for the absolute perfection of the last line of the book and for the moment where all was 100% ok. I needed this, I needed the epilogue to let me know that things worked out, that they all got the happy ending they deserved.
In a story about someone who is a parent, you have to make sure there is a relationship with the child, but also there is a romance for the adults...and this romance has to happen with or without the child. Let me explain. I have to believe that they love one another, and this is a relationship they would pursue if the child wasn't part of it.
Zack and Denise meet because Jack is ill and Denise is an oncology doctor. But, what happens is you fall in love with how much they all love one another. Zack loves his son. Denise develops a relationship with Zack, and with his son. And, you believe both of them, as while they are intertwined they are also separate.
While they are all falling in love with one another, you do the same. With the sheer joy that is Jack and his take on life and the people he loves; you love Jack. With the love Zack has for his son, and his willingness to make sure that he doesn't think people like his mother are the only kind of people in the world. You love him for how much he loves Denise, and for how much he just wants her in his life, even though he knows it is asking a lot. You love Denise for her heart, and her strength, and her loyalty. For the fact that she cares about the people she loves. And for the way she defends them against sickness, mean people and evil ex-wives. (We are not talking about Zach's ex here, we just aren't. I don't like her. And, that's all she gets in this review.)
See what I mean? Yes, this is a book about people who are brought together by a child's illness. But, by the end, it is about so much more than that...it's about love, in all it's forms.
Small disclaimer...technically this happens while Zack is waiting for his divorce to be final. But, don't worry...I promise, you won't feel like there is cheating. Also, while this is an interconnected story, it can be read as a standalone. Although, really, you should read the other books in the series.
I absolutely recommend this book. You are going to love it.
This book is technically part of an interconnected storyline. That being said, you can absolutely still enjoy the book if you haven't read the others in this series-though honestly? Go back and read them-you'll thank me!
Denise is someone I'd want fighting in my corner-in any battle. Health wise, friendship wise, anything. She's loyal and strong, tough and sweet all in one. She's smart and I liked that. I love how caring she is and watching her fall for Zack and Jack just felt so right.
Zack, oh man. I have a high bar for single dad characters. A really, really high bar. Zack definitely met that bar. I LOVED him. He's strong, sexy, caring, sweet, loving. I fell for him hook, line and sinker. Watching him interact with his son? Oh, be still my heart. I just loved him. I would have fought Denise for him LOL.
I loved the journey these two took together-I love how it all worked out. Their falling felt effortless, it just felt right and natural for these two to be together. Their sexy times were hot but honestly, I loved their emotional connection just as much, if not slightly more.
As I mentioned, there were moments that made me cry in this book. I certainly won't spoil anything, but I thought Natasha Madison handled the situation brilliantly. There were moments that I can absolutely relate to as someone who has been through it, and she handled it with grace and compassion.
I loved these supporting characters. I loved getting glimpses into characters we've seen before as well as meeting new friends. I thought everyone did a great job in being there for Zack and Denise, in their own way. There's one character I won't mention much except to say I despised her. You'll know who I mean when you read it.
Something So Unscripted is a beautiful story. I know this is a book I'll go back and reread and fall in love all over again. It was wonderfully written. I adored this journey-even when I was crying-and can't wait to see what this author brings us next. I absolutely recommend this book.
“Zack.” I hear her voice and just look at my wife. The woman who said she would love me in good times and in bad yet is currently holding a sheet to cover her naked body. The four-carat engagement with matching eternity wedding ring glistens in the light. “It’s just ...” she starts to say, and I look over at the man in bed next to her. In our bed.
“It’s over.” I say the two words I swore I wouldn’t say no matter how hard it got. No matter how much I saw her push me away, no matter that I always suspected she was cheating on me. Then I look over at the man who I called a brother, the man who stood by my side on and off the ice. “You’re scum.”
“It just happened,” Colton says, getting out of the bed. At least he’s wearing boxers. His knee is still wrapped from the operation he had last month, which is why he wasn’t on the road with us, which is how I surprised them.
We were on the road for the whole week and due back tomorrow, but I hightailed it out of there to get home to my family and my son. “It just so happened you walked into my house and slept with my wife?” I ask him, and I have to wonder why I’m not more pissed, why I’m not more angry with them. “You come here and sleep with my wife with my son under the same roof.”
“Zack,” my wife says, and I look over at her again. Tears are rolling down her cheeks, her perfectly made up face now streaked with the black mascara she always wears. “Please let’s ...”
I shake my head, putting my hands in my pockets. “Let’s what? Let’s talk about this?” I throw my head back and laugh. “Let’s talk about the fact that our son is in his room dying. Let’s talk about the fact that instead of helping him, you’re just helping yourself. Let’s talk about the fucking fact that instead of being there by his side with me, you chose to escape the fucking reality that our son won’t make it to six years old.”
“No.” She shakes her head, and I know that I’ve about had it.
“I’ll give you an hour,” I tell them both. “One hour and I want you packed and at the door when I come back.”
“But—” she says.
“But nothing, Chantal. You did what you had to do for you, and now I’m doing what I need to do for our son.”
I turn and walk out of our bedroom, then down the winding staircase that leads to the big brass front doors. Once outside in the warm Arizona air, I take my phone out of my pocket and call the only person I know who has my back no matter what. My agent and best friend, Jamie.
He answers after one ring, and it doesn’t surprise me he sleeps with his phone in his hand. “What’s up?” he says, his voice sleepy since it’s four a.m. in New York.
“I want out of Arizona, make the trade. Call the powers that be; I want out,” I tell him, getting into my Range Rover.
“You can’t just demand that,” he says, and I hear sheets rustle.
“Just walked in on Colton fucking my wife, so you can bet your ass I can. Make it happen. Call New York because it’s the only place I’ll go. I don’t care if I take a pay cut.”
“That fucking scumbag,” he says. “I’ll call them now.”
“Jamie, there is a top-notch doctor who specializes in cancer in New York. Max Horton’s sister,” I tell him quietly and slowly drive out of my gate.
“I’ll make it happen,” he says softly. “I’ll let you know what they say.”
“Jamie, I’m leaving here in a week regardless of what they say,” I tell him and disconnect the call.
“One week,” I say to myself. “One fucking week.”
When her nose isn't buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she's in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It's a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn't listen to her...