than you know who Ryker is and at the very least can probably skip the rest of this paragraph. If you’re not you can probably still read this book and not feel lost but honestly, I think you’ll enjoy it even more if you’ve read the series or at least the first book which has Ryker’s father, Jared Madsen as one of the MC’s along with Jared’s partner Tennant Rowe. We’ve gotten glimpses of Ryker here and there throughout the series but nowhere more than ‘Changing Lines’, book 1 of the Harrisburg Railers and now here in his own book.
Not only is Ryker the son of a well-known hockey player turned coach who’s living openly with his partner and hockey’s golden boy Tennant Rowe, the youngest of hockey’s Rowe brothers. He’s also the grandson of a well-known old timer and all he’s ever wanted is to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and make them proud, so relationships are not something that factor into his life there’s no time not when you want to be one of the best.
Jacob Benson’s had a very different life growing up in a small rural farming community where he’s struggled alongside of his family to keep their dairy farm going. For Jacob hockey has become a means to an end…college hockey means scholarships and a chance at an agricultural science degree…a chance to learn things that could help him save his family’s farm. It’s not that he doesn’t like or want to play hockey…it’s just that for Jacob, hockey’s not the end game, but a means to an end and between his studies, hockey and working 2 jobs to pay for the things that his scholarship doesn’t. Jacob has even less time than Ryker for a relationship but try as they might neither one of these young men can bring themselves to truly walk away and really it’s just a summer fling right?
I loved Jacob and Ryker together, sure there were moment of immaturity and at times I found Jacob to be a bit judgey but he’s young…they’re both young and I don’t know about anyone else but some of my finer moments happened at this age, when I was young and silly enough to think I knew everything unlike now when I’m happy to realize that with any luck I know something…any little thing!!!
There are events from Goal Line book #6 of the Harrisburg Railers that get revisited in this story but it’s relevant and if you haven’t read that series it’s very helpful background information to have.
When Jacob and Ryker first meet there’s a bit of animosity between them, but as they get to know each other both men realize that if they’re ever going to get to know each other they’ll need to set aside their preconceived notions.
Ryker may be dedicated to being the best hockey player he can, but it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t understand that sometimes a person just needs to relax and unwind a bit something that Jacob doesn’t see as a priority or seem to have the time for. While Jacob helps Ryker look at things from a different and more personal perspective and not just as abstract concepts.
Ultimately when all is said and done together Jacob and Ryker help each other to grow and mature as they discover that even though they both have full and busy lives when it comes to love there’s always room for more.
I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next in this series we’ve been introduced to some of the Owatonna Eagles and I definitely want more about Ben and Scott and I won’t deny it I’m also on the lookout for more about the Harrisburg Railers should the occasion arise.
After all I am Canadian and R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey have become two of my favorite ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ announcers.
An ARC of ‘Ryker’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.