Before I delve into the emotional roller coaster that is The Pieces of Us, book three in The Firebird Trilogy, you should just read the last two because this series is amazing and will give you a serious case of the feels! So uncorck a nice bottle of red (or pink if you’re Sarah and I) and get ready to sob like a Kardashian who just found out her private jet was out of Fiji Water.
Heat Level: ♥♥♥♥♥
Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
Genre: Sports Romance
When we next see Alex, our favorite Russian hockey hottie, he’s a shell of his former self. He’s trying to keep it together for his teenage daughter Anya’s sake, but he never imagined a life without Stephanie and now he’s adrift in the sea, no longer a hockey player, no longer a husband…but a widower and a single dad whose grief is only a year old.
And Anya, she’s grown. Now a senior in high school, she’s becoming a hockey star in her own right and plans to go for the big leagues. But her school’s new athletic trainer might derail her plans. Lucas is only 22 and sets Anya aflame with a look, but students and faculty are forbidden to date, and neither wants to run their career…but they can’t stay away.
Just as Alex is beginning to see that his grief is overshadowing everything else in his life, including his daughter who needs him, a woman named Hannah walks into his life…and into his heart. But when he’s loved Stephanie for more than twenty years, wouldn’t it be a betrayal to bring another woman into her place? Could be open his heart enough for her to slip in? Or will the loss of Stephanie, his one great love, be the end of Alex?
By page two, I needed a break. Over the past two books, I’ve fallen in love with Alex and Steph; rooted for them to reunite after high school, praying he would overcome drug addiction to be a better man, hoping she would overcome her health issues to deliver Anya safely… for her to die and leave Alex behind almost felt wrong. We’ve been told that happily ever afters are the only way to write, but isn’t the fact that I straight up ugly cried in chapter one a testament to Loring’s writing? I mean, I became really emotionally attached to these wonderful characters that weren’t always perfect, but flawed and messy and so real, it was as if watching the death of someone you truly knew.
Even Anya, a new face as a young adult, made an impact. She lost her mother, and almost her father, while still following in his footsteps. And while her parents love began in high school and lasted through time, she didn’t know if she would be so lucky with Lucas, or if it was just a school girl crush.
I seriously love this series. The passion, the heartbreak, the reintroductions, and mystery of new love was all built so spectacularly, I’m so sad to see it go. But that’s the test of a truly good book; one you’ll be sorry to finally close, but pick up again later, when looking for a favorite read, ready to take the same adventure, and take it happily.