Saturday, September 26, 2015

Book Review: "Ryker" by Sawyer Bennett

Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey, #4)Ryker by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

"Ryker" by Sawyer Bennett follows closely behind the events in "Zack" (Cold Fury Hockey, #3). Towards the end of "Zack", Ryker moves to North Carolina as a goalie for the Cold Fury team because his soon-to-be-ex-wife had an affair with one of Ryker's teammates in New York. Because Cold Fury made the play-offs, Ryker sat on the bench, waiting for the season to end and with no plans on playing, since the current goalie was excellent at his job. But in the last period of the last game, the Cold Fury's goalie received a game-ending injury that spawned a penalty shot for the other team. With the score tied, all Ryker had to do was to stop the puck. But with no current ice time, Ryker missed and Cold Fury lost. Zack, Alex, and Garrett don't blame Ryker, but Ryker partially blames himself.

Book 4 begins in the off-season. Ryker now has full-time custody of his two daughters, and is close to finalizing the divorce. The team is about to begin training for the next season when the owner calls them in for a big announcement. The owner's daughter, Gray Bannon, is the new general manager for the team.

I loved meeting Gray Bannon. She is intelligent, funny, and knows how to be tough without being a bitch. Oh, and she's also beautiful, at least to Ryker. Gray brings a new perspective to managing the team, using statistics and numbers to make decisions in a very "Moneyball" way. But as the league's first female general manager, Gray has a lot of responsibility riding on her shoulders.

The book slowly revolves around Ryker and Gray, bringing them closer and closer even as they both wonder if they can make the compromises that their relationship will need to work. The obstacles to a relationship include their individual responsibilities to the team, a doting father, an ex-wife, and a stalker. Ms. Bennett draws out the story beautifully; even though I knew how it would end, I enjoyed the journey to the end.

I recommend "Ryker" to all romance readers.

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