by Sawyer Bennett (Goodreads Author)
The rugged men of the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team are winning hearts once again in another scorching novel from New York Times bestselling author Sawyer Bennett.
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.
Source: eARC for Honest Review Courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley
Genre: Adult Sports Romance
Part 4 in an ongoing series but could be read as a standalone.
My Ryker Review . . .
I am a huge fan of sports romance and this one did fit the bill, but it also didn't. I liked the story but I didn't love it. The heroine didn't get on my nerve. The hero was super sweet. But I was still left with wanting more as it was just okay. It was one of those books that was good but predictable and forgettable.
Ryker's such a sweetheart, and I wish there were more men fictional or real that solely want committed, monogamous, and that were great loving full time fathers. He was so loveable, but it also left you wanting more, because he was too sweet and there wasn't a lot of tension. When reviewing I feel like Goldilocks sometimes, where we nitpick on everything because we are wanting that perfect combo of tension, passion, drama, love, etc... and when we don't get it, then it falls unfortunately flat.
I liked the idea of the story where Grayson (Gray) is supposed to be the first female GM of a NHL team, which could have been totally kick ass. She was also a genius, and a past female hockey Olympian, and a scout, and a business guru, etc.... her traits and qualifications were almost too much making her not as likeable. Between Gray and Ryker, it's supposed to be forbidden relationship due to their work conflict, and it is, but it didn't feel that daring that we were biting our nails waiting for them to get caught.
As Gray is trying to be successful in a man's world, it shocked me with this advice below.
"Gray," he says gently. "If you have a chance at love, you should never let anything stand in your way. And I mean anything. Not even this job."
Don't get me wrong, I don't think that woman should have to give up love, to be successful but there is definitely a balance. Which was found for Gray, but it lost part of its essence when Gray's the one giving up so much. Sure, it was explained well of why but I wished for a different outcome I think. I still wanted a HEA but with a strong female lead and the male giving up something, which is a bit more unconventional in the romance genre. After reading this, I think it was one of the things that could have helped this book have more oomph. Don't get me wrong, I do understand if it was that way than Ryker may have come across weaker but that could have been prevented with Ryker having a bit more edge to him then him being all soft and sweet.
Did I like it? Yes, but didn't love it. Will I continue with this series? Yes. Favorite Part? I don't know if I have one as nothing really jumped out as super memorable for me, but if I had to pick then it would be Ryker with his girls, or Ryker with the spider.
3 Good but predictable and forgettable thumbs up!