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If you are a fan of the Arizona Vengeance, there’s little doubt that you’ve been waiting for this story … if this is your first in the series, you picked a good one to start with!

*****

Tacker

Arizona Vengeance, Book #5

by Sawyer Bennett

Release Date: November 5, 2019

Blurb:

I am not okay.

Fifteen months ago, my life was turned upside down when the plane I was piloting went down. Injured and trapped in the wreckage, I had to watch my fiancée die a painfully slow death, which is something that can really mess with your head.

Since that day, I’ve had little desire to do much of anything. Except play hockey, that is. Because that is the one place where the bad memories are banished and I can escape my pain.

But off the ice, I’m spiraling out of control. Losing the grip on my life and putting myself and my career in danger. Now, thanks to a string of bad decisions, I’ve been ordered to complete therapy in order to stay on the team.

The problem? Nora Wayne, my beautiful and somewhat unconventional therapist. I can’t buy into the brand of happy clappy crap this woman is feeding me. What could she possibly understand about the type of loss that I’ve suffered? How does she know anything about finding happiness after losing the most important person in your life

Turns out, I’ve got a lot to learn, and she’s just the person I need to break through those walls I’ve erected.

I am not okay.

But for the first time in a long time, I know that I will be.

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*****

Review:

Bennett proves again why she is my go to for a heartfelt read dressed up in hockey pads.  Tacker has had an unimaginable couple of years.  Losing a loved one and having to sit by while they died leaves a lot of pain behind and he’s not been handling it well.  After a HUGE mistake involving too much alcohol, a truck, and a cement wall, he has to finally address it or lose the only thing keeping him sane – hockey.  Enter Nora.  Smart, pretty, and empathetic, she turned her own horrible past into a career that lets her help others.  And it allows her to create a special connection to Tacker, guiding him as he comes to terms with his own emotions.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a little more of their therapy sessions.  We are there for the oh-so-important break through and along the way as they share & grown closer.  But Tacker’s pain and guilt has been such a driving force in his life for so long that seeing the how of his recovery, not just the large leaps would have been nice.

I do appreciate that even in a book with so much pain and emotion, however, Bennett kept their actual relationship pretty drama free.  There’s a little concern over their growing feelings because of their professional relationship but I feel like it is handled in a way that gives the concerns their due.  It’s not handled lightly but addressed and then they move on.  I also like that the romance isn’t the main focus of the story – it’s about Tacker coming to terms with his past.  The love story is there but he has to be in the right place before it can go anywhere.

All about the feels, second chances, and moving on, Tacker manages to deliver on all of its potential of a book that was meant to grab you by the heart.  It was so good to see Tacker coming out of his self-imposed prison and learn to live again, connecting with others, and forgiving himself for being alive.

(While it is helpful to have read the rest of the series, it definitely is not required.  Most of the focus is on Nora and Tacker so their story can easily stand on its own.  I missed Dax’s story, the book before this one, and I did just fine 🙂 )

*****

Author Info:

Since the release of her debut contemporary romance novel, Off Sides, in January 2013, Sawyer Bennett has released multiple books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

A reformed trial lawyer from North Carolina, Sawyer uses real life experience to create relatable, sexy stories that appeal to a wide array of readers. From new adult to erotic contemporary romance, Sawyer writes something for just about everyone.

Sawyer likes her Bloody Marys strong, her martinis dirty, and her heroes a combination of the two. When not bringing fictional romance to life, Sawyer is a chauffeur, stylist, chef, maid, and personal assistant to a very active daughter, as well as full-time servant to her adorably naughty dogs. She believes in the good of others, and that a bad day can be cured with a great work-out, cake, or even better, both.

Sawyer also writes general and women’s fiction under the pen name S. Bennett and sweet romance under the name Juliette Poe.

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*****