Ryker (A Cold Fury Novel) by Sawyer Bennett
Overview by Amazon:
The stakes have never been higher for Carolina Cold Fury goalie Ryker Evans. With his contract running out, he’s got a year left to prove he’s still at the top of his game. And since his wife left him, Ryker has been balancing life as a pro-hockey star and a single parent to two daughters. Management is waiting for him to screw up. The fans are ready to pounce. Everybody’s taking dirty shots—except for the fiery redhead whose faith in Ryker gives him a fresh start.
As the league’s only female general manager, Gray Brannon has learned not to mix business with pleasure. And yet even this tough, talented career woman can’t help breaking her own rules as she gives Ryker everything she’s got. She hopes their hot streak will last forever, but with Ryker’s conniving ex plotting to reclaim her man, the pressure’s on Gray to step up and save a tender new love before it’s too late.
I really love the sports genre. I read a review of the recent RWA conference and the themes that were emerging from the romance industry. One of them was more sports books, particularly hockey. I have read a couple by Charlene Groome and I was thrilled to find this book on Netgalley. As a Canadian, hockey is in our blood and a slick hockey player is practically the national poster guy.
What I liked most about this book was the lead character Gray. She is such a strong character. She is a genius and has been named the first female general manager of a national hockey team. She definitely has her work cut out for her and I loved seeing the inner running of the organization. Her intelligence was such a turn on and I loved that she wasn’t the typical ‘puck bunny’.
Let’s not forget Ryker. He’s pretty awesome too! It’s rare that we see single parents in this type of book, but Ryker is raising his two little girls after a messy separation from his wife. He’s an older player and the star goalie of the team and the league.
The conflict comes from the fact that Ryker is a player and Gray is the GM. While Gray is conscious to remain out of the coaching decisions, it still creates a big problem. She has to prove herself to the team, her father, the media, the fans and herself. It’s that tension between giving up a dream for love.
The sneaking around that the two do is quite hot and steamy. Ryker challenges the typical athlete image by telling Gray that he doesn’t do hook ups and that if she gets with him, it will definitely be more. Usually it is the woman asking or demanding this and I kind of loved that it was Ryker. He’s six plus feet of hot man and he can’t keep his hands off of Gray. I adored how they had clandestine meetings in her office and snuck around the hotels on road trips.
Overall, Ryker is just a great guy. There is really nothing to not like about him. He’s a great father, strong hockey player and a fantastic lover. The conflict isn’t between the two making it as a couple, but rather the firestorm going public with their relationship would cause. I really liked how the author handled this conflict – it was surprising and sweet. A great way to end a well developed and interesting story.
If you are a fan of the sports genre, then add this book to your list!
Check out the book here.