Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Release Blitz: Tacker by Sawyer Bennett

Tacker (Arizona Vengeance, Book #5)

Sawyer Bennett

Release Date: November 5, 2019

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 fiancĂ©e 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.

5 Fantastic Stars!!
Review by Trinette Dungee

“See, Nora,” he says softly as he hugs me. “I just want to banter with you. I’d like you to come to my games and watch me play. I want you to teach me how to ride a horse, and then we can go on a picnic together.”
Tacker Hall has gone through the most traumatizing experience losing his fiancĂ©. Not only did she die, but she died right next to him in a plane crash, in a plane that he was piloting. While everyone tells him he shouldn’t, Tacker blames himself. He’s traded from his team and picked up by Arizona Vengeance. The one thing he holds onto is hockey. When he’s on the ice, the memories and the demons are gone; but of the ice Tacker keeps to himself, he doesn’t engage with his teammates and soon he’s losing a grip on his life. One seriously bad decision lands him in hot water with management and he’s sentenced to therapy where it won’t be so easy to push everything to back of his mind.
It means I’m going to have to confront my demons. It means I’m probably going to have to let MJ go. No matter how fucking painful it is to remember her dying beside me in that plane, they’re the freshest memories I have of her. I don’t know if I can do it.
Tacker quickly learns that there’s more to Nora Wayne than what meets the eye and what his eyes see isn’t how you are supposed to see your therapist. Tacker finds it much easier to talk to Nora than he thought. For the first time since losing MJ a woman has sparked his interest and he now must convince Nora to give them a chance. 
Nora Wayne is no stranger to tragedy, pain and therapy. Her experiences are what lead her to her career. She’s had her own tragedies and obstacles to overcome. She doesn’t have the typical approach to therapy with her horse ranch and animals; but it works and she’s going to prove to Tacker Hall that if he just meets her halfway he’ll get back to who he was; but there’s something very different about Tacker. If she follows the feelings she’s having it comprises everything she’s worked for. When Tacker offers her a solution Nora must decide if it’s worth the risk. 
You know how you wait and wait and wait and wait for something and then when you get it you are disappointed because it turned out to not be what you expected? This was easily my most anticipated read of the year and Sawyer Bennet did not disappoint. I wasn’t sure what to expect with Tacker. I mean we’ve been reading about him for four books now, since Bishop, and each book made me want to get to know him more and more. He’s been a bit of a conundrum though; first appearing grumpy and surly and when we least expect it, protective and comforting.
There are so many things to say about all the feels I got when reading Tacker, that I just don’t know where to start. I actually took notes (like how Yvette Nicole Brown does on Talking Dead when recapping The Walking Dead), so many notes that I don’t know what to comment on. I had to forcibly pace myself to so many pages per day to truly savor that man that is Tacker Hall and his story. I’ll probably be all over the place with this but here goes…
The only thing that gave Tacker joy was hockey, but at the same time he wasn’t really enjoying it because of how he closed himself off. He deliberately didn’t connect with his teammates. However, his teammate made a point of connecting to him. In the previous books you could tell the Tacker you were getting wasn’t the real Tacker. His reaction to Billy, Charlie and Regan, let you know there was a gentle soul beneath that tough exterior. 
Tacker’s story could have been written so many ways. It could have gone in the direction of someone who hit a deeper rock bottom, or majority of the storyline having him being so difficult with Nora practically pulling teeth to get him to open or a dozen other ways; but Sawyer picked the perfect direction. We’ve spend the last four books reading about him being closed off, what we (or at least I needed or was ready for), was for the shell to crack, which is just what we got. 
Nora made Tacker realize that he needed to open up a little, he needed to voice his greatest fear, to try and let go of the anger. 
“…depends on what your needs are.” I need to stop dreaming about the crash. I need to know MJ—wherever she is—doesn’t hate me for killing her.”
It doesn’t take long for Tacker to realize that a lot of his concerns were for lack of a better term, in his head. His desire to do right by his team never waivered but his inability to deal with his grief kept him from forming bonds and believing his teammates cared. 
I think in my mind, I’d given up believing the Vengeance would want me. I’d started my slow descent into losing my six-pack to a pot belly. 
As much as I love Tacker, it was times like that when I just wanted to scream at him. Not once did his team ever give indication that they were done with him; except for Bishop who basically told him to get his head out of his butt, so they could win the championship. 
With the help of an old friend and teammate and Nora, Tacker very easily slips back into the person he used to be or at least some version of that person. He starts the process of confronting his demons; he reaches out and makes peace with MJ’s parents, who never blamed him for the accident. He connects with his teammates and after finding the perfect solution for their situation he begins to date Nora and realizes that while he loved MJ, their relationship wasn’t as perfect as he thought. They were good together, but his memories and reality were somewhat different. 
Bottom line, I had a soft spot in my heart for Tacker when he was first introduced and now my entire heart beats just for him. As usual all of the characters are wonderful, the chemistry is great and the fact that we are finally getting more of Dominik and there’s a new Vengeance member on the horizon makes me simply giddy. I see that the audio version is releasing the same day as the book and while I think Stephen Dexter will do an amazing job; I have to say the entire time I was reading, I was hearing Aiden Snow’s voice. This is one of the few books where I’m anxious to listen to the audio after reading because I didn’t get enough. 
The only disagreement that I can say I have with Ms. Bennett….no, no, no…Tacker cannot be read as a stand-alone. You must read the other books to get the glimpses of Tacker that let us all know he was a sweetheart deep down, and it helps to understand the team dynamic and understand who some the other characters are. 

Other than that. I’m tipping my hat, once again to Ms. Sawyer. 

Download Tacker:

About the Author:

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.

Connect with Sawyer:

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