Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ryker by Sawyer Bennett Blog Tour

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.

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Book 4
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“D-a-a-a-d,” Ruby shrieks from upstairs.

It’s a sound that once used to cause all the hair to stand up on my arms and on more than one occasion caused me to go tearing after the call of my youngest daughter thinking she was being murdered by an intruder. I’ve since come to recognize that particular shrill cry as one of excitement and wonder, and I can’t help but grin over what Ruby is possibly into now. At almost five years old, she refuses to accept the concept of a well-mannered, indoor voice and goes balls to the wall in everything she does.

“Is the house on fire, Rubes?” I call out.

Her little voice shouts back to me in a squawk. “No.”

“Have aliens landed?” I keep my voice just loud enough to carry up the stairs but still decibels below her own.

“No,” she yells, and there . . . right there . . . that’s a little giggle from her.

“Did Timmy fall down the well?”

“No, Dad . . . but you have to come here,” she yells, and, to give her credit, it’s toned down just a bit. When I don’t answer her right away, she calls down in a sweet voice that makes my heart pitter-patter. “Please, Dad.”

Brilliant, little brat. Throwing in some manners to throw me off my game.

“I’ll be right there,” I tell her as I finish the last of Violet’s braid and manage to efficiently bind it with a hair elastic. Leaning over, I place a kiss on her head. “All done, dreamy dwarf.”

Violet leans her head back and gives me an upside-down grin. I love the sprinkle of freckles on her nose and it compels me to kiss her again.

“Do me a favor,” I tell her as I turn toward the living room. “Get the cereal and milk out for me while I go see what your sister needs?”

I don’t bother waiting to see what she does, because Violet has become my metaphorical right hand over the last few months. While she still loves for me to braid her hair and help with her homework, she’s also relished taking on a bit of a caretaker role since the girls moved in with me permanently this past summer.

They’ve been here almost six months and I actually feel like I know what the hell I’m doing now. It wasn’t always like that, and thank God for Kate’s help or I would have gone insane in those first few months of becoming a single parent of two little girls. Kate patiently helped me establish a routine and taught me how to braid hair, distinguish excited shrieks from cries of pain, and most important . . . how to conduct the perfect princess tea party.

I skirt my way through the living room, bending over to pick up one of Ruby’s dolls from the floor, and bound up the stairs taking two at a time. I find Ruby in the bathroom that she and Violet share, bent over the toilet and peering at something.

She shares the same dark hair and gray eyes as Violet, except her locks spring out everywhere in a mass of tiny curls. I have no idea where that came from, but assume it’s a rogue strand of ancestral DNA from either me or my soon-to-be ex-wife, Hensley. Both of us, as well as Violet, have fairly straight hair, so Ruby is definitely dipping into the family gene pool with her wild curls, but damn . . . they totally fit with her personality.

“What’s up?” I ask as I walk over to the toilet.

She straightens up, shoots me a grin, and points. “Look . . . a spider.”

I cautiously take a step forward and lean over, grimacing as I look into the bowl.

And holy shit . . . a spider the size of a T rex is floating on the surface, all eight legs spread out, bent and poised to look as if it’s ready to leap out and attach itself to my face. I suppress a full spinal shudder and reach a tentative hand toward the handle to flush it.

Two things happen almost simultaneously that take at least three years off my life.

The spider somehow manages to skitter across the water, the beast so large it actually creates waves, and Ruby shrieks at me, “No! Don’t kill it, Dad!”

It is with a major blow to my pride—as a man, as a dad, as a six-foot, six-inch professional hockey player nicknamed the Brick because I’m as big and tough as a brick wall—that I jump backward at least two feet from the monster-infested toilet and banshee-crying sprite, causing my hip to slam into the corner of the sink.

“Shit,” I curse loudly, and Ruby’s eyes go round, followed by her lips.

“Oh, Dad . . . that’s a bad word.”

No shit.

I smile at her as I rub my hip. That’s definitely going to leave a bruise. “Sorry, Rubes. I’ll put a dollar in the swear jar.”

She merely nods her acceptance of my apology and turns worried eyes back to the toilet.

“You have to save it,” she implores.

Yeah . . . that’s not going to happen. Not now. Not ever.

“Sure, baby,” I tell her as I take her by the shoulder and turn her toward the bathroom door. I swear the spider glares at me with a million red, evil eyes. “Go on down and get breakfast. Violet’s fixing your cereal. I’ll get the spider out.”

“Okay,” Ruby says as she pulls away from me, but continues to give me instructions. “But let it out the front door and I’ll bring it some food later.”

“Sounds like a plan,” I assure her as she disappears down the stairs. When I hear her feet hit the bottom landing, I turn toward the toilet, intent on a quick flush to put me out of my misery.

Except when I look in the bowl, the fucking thing is gone.

I’ll just go ahead and admit it. Spiders scare the living hell out of me. I have no clue why, and while I would battle the biggest, baddest monster to the death for my daughters, I’d much rather flush a little spider down the toilet.

I immediately scramble backward out of the bathroom, grabbing the doorknob and shutting it quickly behind me. My heart is racing a million miles an hour, the thought of that furry hell beast now loose in my house.

Just one more thing on the list of things I still need to do today.

Get the girls dressed and ready for school.

Take the girls to school.

Clean up the spilled laundry detergent.

Finish the laundry.

Arm myself with a can of hairspray and a lighter to torch the rogue spider in the bathroom.

Pick up my dry cleaning.

Work out.

Team practice.

Pick up the girls from Kate and Zack’s house.



Story time and cuddling.

Go to bed because I’ll be exhausted.

Easy as fucking pie, and I’ll get up and do it all over again the next day with a smile on my face. I’m finding life as a single parent isn’t as daunting as I thought it would be and I’ve finally found my groove.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Ryker has found peace, of sorts. Realizing what he missed now that he's a full-time dad and hockey player, he has a whole new respect for the single parents everywhere. Not that he ever planned on being a single parent, but with his former wife deciding she wanted to be a full-time puck bunny, he had no choice but to take on roles of both mother and father.

Gray Brannon is taking on the biggest challenge of her life, and it could change the world. She's the new GM of the Cold Fury and gender bias is just one of the problems she faces. No one can say she doesn't know hockey, but the fact she's a woman seems to negate every other accomplishment she's ever obtained.

I really enjoyed this book and the challenges faced by both Ryker and Gray. The problems faced are real and dealt with in a realistic ways and you can see the growth of the characters from the first page to the last.

Part of a Series: Cold Fury

Heat Level: Hot as a Texas Summer!

Sawyer Bennett has such pizazz when it comes to writing romances. Although the beginning was slow moving for me, the chemistry ramped up and finished beautifully. I still fail to hate one of her books! Ryker made a sensational boyfriend for Gray Bannon and hockey heiress. I loved how their relationship developed, and how Hensley got her just rewards in the end. Obviously a HEA but Ryker’s sweet side is really what won me over. Five stars of entertainment.

I am a big fan of the series, and think that this was done particularly well. Do read the previous books if you haven't yet, as they are all great reads. The characters appear in each book, so you get a catch up on how things are going – which is always fun.

Ryker has custody of his daughters, whom he adores. Though now single again, he is much too busy being a good Dad to do anything about it. Gray Brannon has finally achieved her dream and been made GM of his team, Cold Fury. So any attraction between them has to be ignored... right?

This couple are absolutely delightful from the get go. They are two people in their thirties who know what they want, know how to communicate, and know what has to take priority. I loved their sneaky moments, and the romance of it, even if dating was off the agenda. The care that each display, the respect which they afford each other, and the fact that they would sacrifice everything – brilliantly written, beautiful ending. There is a great mix of hockey, business, family, career, drama, and lots of hot, hot sizzling chemistry that cannot fail.

My advice – go get yourself a copy and recognise what a great couple these two make.

And Ms. Bennett, I hope you are busy creating us another wonderful love story!

I LOVED RYKER!!! But seriously, how can you not love a book that starts with a single dad making his little girl giggle by asking her if aliens have landed? Then Ms. Bennett follows that up by showing said dad, who is the 6-foot-6 goalie for the Cold Fury hockey team, being terrified of a spider. One of the best book openers ever. I was laughing at and falling in love with Ryker all at the same time. Add to that a tough-as-nails leading lady who refuses to be intimidated by men twice her size and has no qualms taking on the job as general manager for the Cold Fury hockey team or the soon-to-be ex-wife who’s come to realize that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side and it was a total winner in my book.

Ms. Bennett addresses the double standard that many professional women face and does it in a unique setting. Right off the bat, Gray is greeted with disdain by some players solely for being a woman. It doesn’t matter that she played hockey in the Olympics twice and medaled both times, nor that she was responsible for recruiting a large number of the players on the team as the head scout, they’re disturbed by the fact that she has to sit to pee. Surprisingly little is made of the fact that her father is the team’s owner as there is far more hate slung at her simply because she wears a skirt – and she does because Gray is proud of the fact that she is a woman and refuses to hide it because she knows what she’s capable of. Unlike some of his teammates, Ryder holds her in high regard because she is responsible for getting him signed with Cold Fury and when she explains her management style, he is even more impressed with her ideas for the team’s future. But he is equally astounded when he finally sees her as a woman and wonders how he missed all that before and how he’s supposed to keep his hands off of her now. Because the attraction is not a one-way street, a good amount of sexual tension builds and it is hot when it finally explodes. The chemistry between Gray and Ryker is off the charts and that makes the fact that they have to hide their relationship even worse. This is where the double standard comes in because if anyone were to find out that she is involved with one of the players, her reputation would be shredded even though as the general manager she has absolutely nothing to do with who plays when.

The conflict that arises when Ryker’s soon-to-be ex (just waiting on the judge to sign-off) tries to reconcile makes for some serious and entertaining scenes. I was flabbergasted when Hensley found out about Ryker and Gray and had the nerve to call Gray a homewrecker. Seriously!?!?! Woman you cheated on your husband and left him for one of his teammates, willingly leaving your daughters with their father so you could travel with your new man and you’re calling Gray a homewrecker? I had some unpublishable names for that woman! And I for one did not feel bad at all with the threat that Ryker made to Hensley if she exposed his and Gray’s relationship because her threat was uncalled for. I had no sympathy for that woman. As scary as it was, the incident between Gray and the dismissed team player was just what she needed to make her realize what was truly important in her life. That she had a great dad who helped her to set the stage for the best possible outcome made the outing of Gray and Ryker’s relationship perfect. I absolutely loved Ryker and am already salivating for more of Ms. Bennett’s Cold Fury Hockey series.

Also Available in the Cold Fury Hockey Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Garrett Blog Tour.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Zack Blog Tour.

USA Today and New York Times Best-Selling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and three big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series. She will be releasing her third book in the Cold Fury Hockey Series with Random House Loveswept, June 2015.

Connect with Sawyer

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Google+  ~  Pinterest  ~  tsū

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Ryker (Cold Fury Hockey #4) by Sawyer Bennett to read and review for this tour.

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