BXTCHES Gotta Warn (and be a bit truthful): My first crack at this series was actually with book #3 (Zack). When I first came across Zack, I was actually so intrigued by the storyline, that my decision was to just jump right into it and skip right over the first two books. Having said that, I will say with a lot of confidence that these books do well as stand-alones. Just remember that characters from previous books do appear in subsequent books, so if you are someone who needs a full background on all characters within a series, then I recommend you reading this series in order (#1: Alex; #2: Garrett; #3: Zack; #4: Ryker). I was fine starting with Zack then going on to Ryker, it’s just something to be aware of.
Ryker will be told through both Gray and Ryker’s POV.
If you did read Zack, you were introduced to Ryker. Since I’m a kind BXTCH, I will either refresh your memory OR give you a bit of background on Ryker. In the third book, Ryker was traded to the Cold Fury after driving his fist into one of his teammates. Why, you ask? Well that particular player was fucking Ryker’s wife, so really, the douche did get what he deserved. To top off that ice cream sundae, Ryker’s wife (Hensley) needed to spend some quality time with her new love, so she let’s Ryker know that she would be dropping off their two young daughters (Violet and Ruby) and he would now be responsible for their care full-time, which is where Kate stepped in after she left Zack, but that’s all in book #3. So, that should somewhat catch you up with where we left off with Ryker.
In Ryker, we start the story with an important announcement. The Cold Fury organization is about to name Gray Brannon the new GM of their hockey team. Gray Brannon is 31 years old, an ivy league graduate, a two-time Olympic medalist (hockey, of course) and just became the first female GM in the league. She also has some very innovative ways to manage a hockey team (think Moneyball, just on ice). Her and Ryker hit it off from the get go and it’s not much longer after that, that their relationship is taken to a new and really an inappropriate level.
Within the team itself there are certainly a few assholes, umm, players that are going to take issue with the fact that the boss has a vagina and these individuals are just dumb enough to make the announcement out loud, in a bar, after a game, in front of Ryker, who happens to be extremely attracted to the mind and body of Gray. I believe the idiot in question said something along the lines of “I bet she wouldn’t look so high and mighty if I shoved my dick down her throat.” This particular storyline will pop up several times throughout the book and become the focus of some serious tension.
So, the main back and forth in this book is surrounding Gray really having an issue with being in love with a player and the implications that will come with that where her job is concerned. She is well aware of the fact of how important and historical her position is and is even more cognizant of what could happen if news of their relationship were to get out. For Ryker, he is quite respectful of the need to keep their relationship under wraps, but things do become a bit difficult when Hensley and Ryker’s former teammate split, sending her back to Ryker begging for another chance. The dilemma is really an age old one for women, what will she choose, love or her love for her career? One would think that it’s not really fair for her to have to make a choice and I think you actually may be surprised at how it all comes together in the end.
Like I mentioned earlier, it really isn’t mandatory to have read the first 3 books of this series to really enjoy Ryker. The majority of the supporting cast here, is of course the team and while the focus’ of the previous books (Alex, Garrett, and Zack) certainly make necessary appearances in Ryker, it will not take away from the whole of the book if you’re not familiar with their backstories. Given the position that Gray carries in this book (the GM) and her crucial desire to be respected for her abilities, their are several different relationships working with her at the same time and really add a fundamental layer to the overall flavor of Ryker. There’s the relationship between her and her father, which is a very strong, mutual respectful one. There’s also her dynamic with Frank, the assistant GM, who believes that he should really be the one in her shoes and has a difficult time accepting that she is his boss and while he may be an asshole, their relationship becomes a pretty important one. Of course, there’s the relationship between GM and the team. Again, there are some who have a pretty big, chauvinistic issue with her, it was nice to see that the majority of the guys showed her the same kind of respect that they would’ve shown a man in her position. And obviously, there is the relationship between her and Ryker. Ryker the hockey player AND Ryker the man.
Ahhh, he sex between a hockey player and really anyone, however in this case, Gray. Well, what would you expect it to be like? Lots of passion? Check. Lots of orgasms? Check. Lots of dirty talk? Check. The inability to keep your body parts to yourself? Check. So, in a nutshell, it’s what it should be. Dirty, hot, panty ripping, and pleasure inducing fun. Very, very well written.
I love the way that the author characterized Gray in this book. She made her a very strong, fierce woman who makes no apologies for her ambition and going after what it is she wants. On the other hand with Ryker, he was written in a very idea way. He is a loving father who realizes how important it is to be present for his daughters; he was someone who could admit his wrong doings where his marriage failed, even though he wasn’t the one who cheated; he was really understanding of the need Gray has to keep their relationship under wraps and even going out of his way to allow her to have it all, the man and the job; the sexual compatibility between Ryker and Gray was fantastic. What I’m really trying to say is, it’s going to be really difficult to not fall in love with who Ryker and Gray are.
I was so looking forward to this book coming out and I was so not disappointed. I mean the cover alone speaks to you. From what I have seen/read, this is the final book in this series, but I will say the author does a great job of bringing closure to Ryker and Gray, the “wanting more” need is purely a selfish one. Really just because you don’t want their story to be over, not because there are open ends left. Fabulous end to a really wonderful series.