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.
My Rating: 5/5 stars
In my regular life, I am not a hockey fan (nothing against it!) but I swear, every time I read one of the Cold Fury books, I have the strongest desire to go out buy a lot of gear and start cyber-stalking the NHL. Nothing has changed since I have completed Ryker 🙂
Though it has taken some time and considerable adjustment, Ryker Evans has gotten used to life as a single dad. Oh, some days are harder than others (like when the spiders invade) but in all, his home life with his two little girls, Ruby and Violet is pretty good. If he’s making a list, Ryker would also have to note that his current season with the Cold Fury is also going quite well. In fact, Ryker is tearing it up on the ice! The only area of his life that is at all lacking is in the bedroom and since Ryker doesn’t do flings, it’s going to have to be something more than a quick shag. Now where would a (nearly) single dad with a ridiculous schedule find himself a girlfriend?
Gray Brannon is the very definition of accomplished. She is a bona fide genius, she has two Olympic medals to her name, and she is about to make history as the first general manager of a professional hockey team. To be sure, Gray has earned her position and will continue to do so as long as she gets the support she needs. Her mind works faster than a coked-out hamster on a wheel, she knows hockey as both a player and a scout, and she has a whole lot of math to back up her crazy ideas for the team. What Gray isn’t, it delusional and she knows the road ahead of her is going to be paved with dissention in the ranks, distrust, and on a few fronts, full throttle anger. That’s OK, Gray was born to this position and there is nothing that is going to stop her from succeeding.
Within the first week, Gray uses her big old brain to figure out a few things: 1) there are at least two players on the team who hate her with a burning fury; 2) Ryker Evans is a hot goalie (his game, you perv!) and you just don’t mess with that; 3) hockey fans are divided on her new role as general manager but there is some support out there and; 4) Ryker Evans is the first man she has ever encountered who isn’t immediately intimidated by her. What in hell is she supposed to do with that?? Dating a player isn’t just frowned upon, it is something that would tank her credibility, ruin her reputation both personally and professionally, and call into question the franchise as a whole. If it were any other man, Gray wouldn’t even consider taking the risk but Ryker Evans isn’t any other man and his interest in her goes beyond the physical.
Having a relationship with Gray Brannon is one of the most exciting and frustrating things Ryker has ever experienced. On the one hand, the illicit nature of their affair fuels their already stellar sex but on the other hand, Ryker is a man who likes a relationship and not being able to even look at Gray in public is trying. Stolen moments are all the two of them have until circumstances force both Gray and Ryker to make some hard choices. Turns out, when the chips are down both will are willing to sacrifice everything for a shot at real and lasting love.
The Bottom Line: I LOVE RYKER EVANS AND GRAY BRANNON!!! This feels like a big deal to me as I am generally far more taken with one character than the other but this time around, I am totally smitten with both. Gray Brannon is sort of the perfect woman and even when she is so caught up in hiding her relationship, you are still rooting for her. Gray is a strong woman with a powerful desire to succeed and until Ryker, there was nothing that was going to stop her from succeeding. Even in the darkest moments of this read – and there are some – Gray is strong and confident, smart and capable. Ryker brings her balance and brings out her softer side which has always been tucked firmly away behind her calm, cool exterior. Ryker Evans is the perfect man and you know it from the opening scene right up to the very last page. He is devoted to his two beautiful daughters, he is secure in his career and his accomplishments, and he ready to love a woman worthy of him and everything he has to offer. Once again, I got totally caught up in this read (it was a one-sitting, late night read) with its romance, its drama, and its truly terrifying bits there toward the end. I had no desire to put this read down until I knew the whole story and that seems to be the story of the Cold Fury series as a whole.
Now . . . must start Googling hot NHL players . . . .
About the author and where to find her:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling 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, Cold Fury Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series.