Kristen Hope Mazzola’s CROSS CHECKED is a fantastic follow up to HAT TRICK. This was Brayden Cox' and Karla McAdams' story. After a horrible car accident, Brandon was left to raise his sister Myla, whose story was told in HAT TRICK, along with Brayden’s teammate, Gavin Hayes. Karla was Myla’s ICU nurse after the car accident. Both stories take place around the same timeframe. CROSS CHECKED is told from both Brayden and Karla’s point of view.
Mazzola does a great job with her character development. They are believable and very human. I like Karla. She had a horrible childhood and went through a difficult time with her previous boyfriend. She is a strong and compassionate individual. I enjoyed hearing Brayden’s side to the story and finding out what was going on with him. He is protective and caring of those he loves. I love how Karla and Brayden reconnect at the dog rescue event, especially since they adopt a husky. I am a husky owner and very partial to the breed. Karla and Brayden have great chemistry. I love how they interact with each other.
The plot was exciting and carefully thought out. There were some interesting connections throughout the story. There was some overlap with HAT TRICK, but it was fun seeing the story from a different perspective. The hockey scenes are well done. There were some unexpected twists. I enjoyed the ending. The story was well resolved. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.