Contemporary Romance

Review: Ryker

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do you get when two driven professionals with equally loving hearts are attracted to each other but know their paths mustn’t cross? I got whole lot of sweet smiles, tender hugs and sexy moments and a feel-good story about love conquering all.

“If it’s real love… it’s supposed to be hard… because you feel deeper. Things are more important. The risks are greater and the rewards surpass anything you could hope for.”

Ryker “the Brick” Evans has mastered being a single parent to two adorable little girls. He’s also on a hot streak he needs to keep in order to secure his contract renewal. Even as a veteran goal tender with a stellar career in the NHL, many seem to believe Ryker has no more to give, but the new general manager has faith that his fortitude will take the Carolina Cold Fury all the way to Stanley Cup championships.

Gray Brannon is making history and setting precedent. She’s been appointed as the first woman general manager in the male dominated world of the NHL. With her take charge attitude, prior hockey experience in two Olympics and a certified genius IQ, she’s determined to create an indestructible championship team.

In order to do so, she shouldn’t be crossing professional lines that could potentially ruin both hers and Ryker’s careers. But their attraction is undeniable. Will she give up her career in order to pursue love? Will he? Can they find a way to have everything?

I don’t know how many books I need to read for it to be official, but I think I’m a certified Sawyer Bennett fan. Before I read the blurb, even before the cover reveal, just from a couple of appearances from Ryker in the previous Cold Fury book and I knew I would fall for him hook, line and sinker. What I didn’t realize was that I would love his partner just the same. But I should have, since I know Sawyer Bennett has the capacity to draw you into a story with great characters and make you want more.

There are so many great things about Ryker to love starting with his devotion to his two little girls. He’s tough yet sensitive and completely sure about himself. After he was cheated on by his wife he could have easily turned to meaningless flings, yet he continued to believe in love and marriage.

Gray was wonderful and perfect for Ryker. She’s a gorgeous, smart, motivated woman who grew up a funny, vibrant and warm with a lovely, passionate heart who just needed the right man to show her there was more to life than statistical models and championships.

“For the first time in my life I feel interest in something other than my career.
I feel needed.
I feel happy.
I feel cherished.
I. Feel. Everything.”

They tried to be just friends in order to assuage their pull. They got along so well though, the lines were easily blurred. Especially since they were open and honest with their wants and feelings which lead to a sweetly mature, deep relationship that allowed them to see that what they had was worth taking the risk.

“I’m doing what feels right to me. You feel right to me.”
“We can’t…”
“We can…”
“I’m your boss… it’s inappropriate.”
“And yet I don’t give a sh!t.”

I liked how much Ryker understood her geeky methods and wasn’t intimidated by her. I got happily dizzy just imagining this big, powerful, model worthy man, teasing her with the cutesy nickname.

“I can handle anything you throw my way, Big Bang.”

And I loved how Ryker put Gray before him, how he was willing to step back from his career in order for Gray to continue with hers. But it was a heartfelt two way street with them. Because once Gray realized her attraction to Ryker was soul deep, she would equally stand aside for him.

A team sport wouldn’t be complete without the rest of the team and I was glad to see the gang back, especially Zack and Kate who, among stolen moments, steal a lovely one for themselves.

Taking moments in between games, hockey controversy, and family drama, Sawyer Bennett gave us sweet, sultry romance that had me smiling wide with its incredibly happy ending of Big Bang proportions.

Ryker is the fourth book in the Cold Fury Hockey series by Sawyer Bennett. It can be read as a standalone with interconnecting characters from previous books. With no cliffhanger and a happy ending.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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