I had it all––until I didn’t.When my job, my livelihood, and my passion are suddenly snatched away from me, I’m left scrambling to keep my head above water. Desperate, I’m forced to walk into the last place I ever thought I’d go. Little did I know that I’d come face-to-face with the woman who would help me pick up the pieces of my unraveled life.
Rebecca Toler’s living the dream––or so I thought.
Beautiful, funny, and tough as nails, she answers to no one. In other words, she was born to be mine.
One problem—she hates me.
It’s time to take my life back, and I’m starting with her.
What the actual fuck?
His head is high as he looks around, studying the room. After giving the gym a quick onceover, his gaze finally lands on where I’m seated behind the desk. Our eyes meet and my heart hammers, the pounding so loud I fear he can hear it from across the room. I tear my gaze away from his and scan his body, surprised at the physical reaction I’m having to him.
With a slight shake of my head, I slap my palms on the paper-covered wood, and shove out of my chair, causing it to shoot out at least ten feet behind me. “You have some nerve walking in here.”
He stops in his tracks and blinks at me before an easy smile crosses his face. “Rebecca Toler. Shoulda known I’d see you here.” He drawls as he continues walking toward me.
My pulse is pounding in my ears and my stomach is practicing its floor routine for the Olympics as I stare at the man in front of me. Taking a minute to appreciate his strong jaw line that’s covered in scruff, I notice that his hair is in desperate need of a trim as it falls across one eye.
Fuck, he’s sexy.
He always had been. Regardless how much it pains me to admit it. Though his looks weren’t why I wanted to full body hurl him from the building. Memories of our last interaction flood my mind, along with the hurt and anger I’d felt.
“How ya been, Reb?” he asks with a familiarity he doesn’t have.
His use of my nickname, a familiarity he doesn’t have––or deserve––causes me to snap childishly, “Who said you could call me that?”
He grins, but doesn’t reply.
Fuck, that grin is hot.
“What are you doing in Atlanta, Ryker?” I ask, attitude still thick in my voice.
He takes his time looking me over and my body betrays me by flushing at the attention. His eyes are appreciative of what they see, but strangely enough, it doesn’t feel like he’s ogling me.
He steps forward and shoves his hands in the pockets of his washed out jeans that hang low on his hips. “Well, I was in town and thought I’d stop in and say hello to my buddy Breccan. Seeing you is an unexpected bonus.” His lips tip up in a smile and my stomach flips again.
“Your buddy?” I hiss through clenched teeth while attempting not to let my gaze linger on his pants any longer. The thought of Ryker and Breccan ever being buddies would have been funny, if I wasn’t too shocked to laugh.
His gaze finally makes it back to mine and he nods once.
For a few moments we simply stare at each other, him smiling while I scowl.
I really enjoyed Ryker and Rebecca’s story. This book was a combination of the things that I love – intensity, humour, despair and hope. Add into the mix a hot MMA fighter and a feisty girl and this is the recipe for a great book.
Ryker “The Stryker” Hawke has it all, until a week before his championship come back fight following injury he tests positive for drugs and it all crashes down around him. Branded a cheat, he can’t get a job and with his savings gone is struggling to keep his head above water and look out for his Grams. His pride has taken a severe beating and Ryker has watched his life crumble into pieces. – You feel his despair, his shame at where he has ended up but you also see his devotion and love for Grams who he would do anything for. Swallowing his pride is hard but his desperation takes him to the gym of his once rival Breccan and his best friend Tripp begging for a job, he will literally do anything but what he wasn’t betting on was Rebecca.
Rebecca is a lady you don’t mess with. She doesn’t take no for an answer, she’s feisty, she’s strong and she fights for what she believes in and she is just who Ryker needs in his corner. But getting her to agree to a date, to acknowledge the chemistry between them is not going to be easy but Ryker is not planning on giving up any time soon. I loved the push and pull between these two, the fireworks, the humorous exchanges. which had me laughing out loud and into the mix a cast of engaging secondary characters who were all thoroughly likeable.
AS Teague did a fantastic job capturing Ryker’s vulnerability, you felt for him, you loved him and you wanted things to get better, for him to prove his innocence, prove them all wrong. This was the story of love, adversity, of how your life can change in an instant and the journey back from rock bottom. I cant wait to see what AS Teague has for us next
A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.