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Tacker

An Arizona Vengeance Novel
Narrated by: Stephen Dexter, Lucy Rivers
Series: Arizona Vengeance, Book 5
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Romance, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (128 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Sawyer Bennett (P)2019 Sawyer Bennett

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Tacker's story was worth the wait!

I have been waiting for Tacker's story since meeting him at the start of the Arizona Vengeance series. His heartbreaking story and downward spiral after MJ's death had me anxiously awaiting the day when he would finally get his own happy ever after. Sawyer Bennett did not disappoint and Tacker was just as emotional as I knew it would be. Though this is book 5 in the series, it can be read as a standalone. Characters from the previous books do appear, however, and the book would be best enjoyed if read in order.

Death of a spouse or loved one is always a difficult trope for me to get behind. I often have a hard time believing in the new love connection since had that not happened, our character would be happily married/in love. Sawyer Bennett did a wonderful job of making this work in Tacker, however, and it was easy to root for Tacker to find love again. Tacker and Nora's evolving relationship isn't without its issues and ethical concerns, but I did feel that they made a genuine connection that healed both of them. There isn't any unnecessary OW/OM drama and I loved that the story focused on healing and learning to live again. The tension and build up was amazing and the sexy times were off the charts HOT! I lost count of all the times Tacker made me swoon. Even when a deflating air mattress tries to create an obstacle, Tacker makes it clear (in the sexiest way) that he doesn't need any of that to get the job done.

I loved catching up with all the previous couples in the series and there were two awesome updates that left me smiling ear to ear for Erik, Blue, Legend, and Pepper. The book adds more fuel to the fire for team owner Dominik and Willow's book and also introduces us to Tacker's BFF, Aaron Wylde, who will also be getting his own book.

Listening to the audiobook of Tacker definitely heightened the emotions and experience for me. Stephen Dexter was wonderful as gruff and closed off Tacker. His deep voice was a great fit and I found both his male and female voices enjoyable. Lucy Rivers complemented Stephen Dexter's narration well, but I did find her a little monotone/robotic at times. Overall, a terrific listen and a fantastic way to enjoy Tacker's story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the author

Love this author, she is AMAZING and writes stories that truly make you tell. I wasn’t thrilled with the female narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another good book from Bennett

I waited a really long time for this book. Bennett took the storyline in a bit of an unexpected direction. I highly suggest that readers pick up the previous books in this series. This can be read as a stand-alone, however the glimpses into Tacker’s story makes all of the difference in this book. Seeing the interactions change within the story compared to other books in this series makes the difference. Can’t wait until January to see what Sawyer comes up with next!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally Tacker's Story!!

This is book 5 in the Arizona Vengeance and I would absolutely read the previous books before reading this one or you won't understand the backstory of what happened to Tacker or certain events that are spoken about in this book. Tacker is having a harder and harder time dealing with the death of his fiance and after what happened in the previous books, this is his last chance in order to change things around. He has to either stick with the terms laid out for him by the not only the owner of the team but the coach or he will just keep sinking and not even have hockey to distract him. Nora is a therapist who has known her own loss but has come to terms with it. Now she spends her time trying to help others in need in her own unique way. The attraction between them is there from the beginning but can either of them accept what they could be for each other, or will they let what should be the "rules" hold them back along with their own pasts.

I have been extremely impatient for Tackers story since the very first. And I absolutely loved it!! Tacker has so many things to work through-and when you hear the exact story of what happened? It will break your heart! I can't even imagine what he went through and was still going through. Nora also went through something completely traumatic that I never even expected. But it made her this beautiful soul who finds the beauty in every day things. They are perfect for each other. Not only does Nora show Tacker that it is ok to still live and have a life but they are just on the same wave lengths in general. This story was excellently written! Stephen Dexter was the perfect voice for Tacker for me. His tone of voice and just the emotion he can convey was perfect. I had a little bit of a problem with Lucy Rivers narration though. It just seemed like there was no emotion or depth to it. Her tones were fine-it just seemed to be more of a monotone than anything. All in all though, a very enjoyable listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Horrible male narration

If you’re a fan of SB’s work in audio-version you’ll be disappointed with this one. I have listened to so many SB’s stories that I put my blind trust in the narration. Never again. Greatly. Disappointed. The lady’s voice was ok but the man’s was not. Please don’t narrate again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

4.5 Stars - Absolutely outstanding!!

4.5 Brilliant Stars!!

I absolutely loved and enjoyed this unforgettable page-turner that will bring you to tears, that will have you wishing for Tacker and Nora's HEA.

Tacker is beautifully well-written, and evokes such emotion, that makes you feel as if you're part of the story. OMG, that really was such a heartbreaking story that will touch your soul in so many ways. Tacker and Nora's journery was absolutely outstanding, and worth following.

Nevertheless, I recommend that you listen to this amazing story. Stephen Dexter did such an extraordinary work bringing Tacker to life, and performing both male and female voices. He was just freaking brilliant. Lucy Rivers, is equally amazing, however, I couldn't got used to her male perfomance. Still, I did enjoy her performance. She still is one of my top favorite narrators.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Tacker is everything!

Tacker is the fifth book in the Arizona Vengeance series. Sawyer Bennett is one of my go-to-authors for everything, especially hockey. I've read every one of her books and she still amazes me every time.

Story:
Tacker has suffered a hug loss. He's so caught in is own grief he's been spiraling out of control and he let down his team. But they are more than a team, they are family and he has a chance to make it up to them. Go to therapy. Nora knows the only way to help Tacker is to open up about her own life. Sharing her past and her grief. The bond that forms takes them both by surprise. Once Tacker realizes talking about MJ and the accident is actually healing, he can't stop the lightness that finds him. Sometimes facing your pain opens up your chances of finally finding happiness. It's not easy, but it's necessary to move on especially when you find the person meant for you. I loved this story! Yes, it was emotional and very sad. But it was also healing! Watching Tacker finally talk, listen and let go made me so happy. I've been invested in Tacker and his story since the very beginning and my heart it happy and full now!

Audio: Stephen and Lucy did a great job narrating Tacker and Nora. Lucy's male voice sounded a little off to me, but otherwise I enjoyed her narration. Stephen's deep voice was the perfect Tacker!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The perfect balance of hope and despair

Arizona Vengeance center Tacker Hall’s life has been spiraling for the last fifteen months—since the plane he was piloting went down and he got stuck in the rubble leaving him no choice but to helplessly watch his fiancée die a slow, painful death.

A series of bad decisions led him to getting an ultimatum from team management—go to counselling or he’s off the team.

Therapist Nora Wayne is no stranger to the pain of losing loved ones. She and Tacker grow closer as she helps him heal and make peace with his past, but how close is too close?


Tacker’s story has been built up from the very beginning of the series (though I’ve only listened to books 1 and 2 so far) and I was expecting to be gutted by what he went through, but the story has the perfect balance of hope and despair. I also like how the ethical issue of counselor-client relationship was handled.


The narrators complemented each other well. Stephen Dexter was excellent as Tacker. There were instances where Lucy Rivers sounded robotic, but she also did a great job for the most part.


Tacker is a slow-burn, contemporary sports romance written and narrated in dual first person POV. It’s a standalone that ends with a HEA. No cliffhanger, no cheating.

I received this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tacker was so worth it

Tacker has got to be my absolute favorite. All of the pain and suffering he went through! Nora hasn't had it easy either. Everything they went through made them that much better for each other.

To hear the guilt he suffered, just gutted me.

Ok, now, I need something less serious next. I need Dominick's book ASAP!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

....took the long route to my emotions.


I would love to say that Tacker had me at hello, but that would not be true. Tacker took some getting used to. Bennett is one author that can get inside your heart rather fast. Her characters are a feast for the senses, but that buffet starts at the heart. Tacker made his mark on my heart. However, I got to know Tacker through an audio and vocally he took the long route to my emotions. Rough around the edges, gruff around the heart, Tacker is a tad hard to get to know, but well worth the fight in the end.

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  • Kaye Melilli
  • 11-12-19

another great read

Sawyer Bennett has done it again. Another great book in The Arizona Vengeance series, different from the others but still great just in it's own unique way. This book was darker in the issues it involved so not as light as the others but it dealt with those issues respectfully and with grace. The relationship between Tacker and Nora blossomed slowly and was so sweet it bought tears to my eyes on occasion. The story was believable. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LilleyLoohLah
  • 11-11-19

5 truly therapeutic stars

Well Hell! I’m loving the Arizona Vengeance series, and I’ve been desperate for Tacker’s story, and it did not disappoint. There was so much more to Tacker than I could have anticipated. Inside the broken, shell of a man, was a strong, honest, scared, determined man, with a heart of gold. He is generous, giving and so full of compassion, and Nora was the perfect match for him. Nora is probably the strongest and most open and loving woman I can imagine, and together they have the ability to heal each other. Both Nora and Tacker have faced tragedy and are working to overcome it, together. Excellent writing, a wonderful story, sweet and sensitive, with wonderful characters. I love the Vengeance family so so much, oh, and that includes Raul, he was fantabulous. The epilogue is perfect, oh, and the bonus scene (make sure you sign up for it), is truly delightful. I cannot praise Tacker enough. I loved it. 5 truly therapeutic stars. Stephen Dexter and Lucy Rivers couldn’t have narrated more perfectly as Tacker and Nora. I could have listened to their voices all day (oh, wait a minute, I did)! Perfect.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dawn Fuhrman
  • 11-10-19

An emotional overload but worth every word

I love a great hockey player story. This was my first book in the Vengeance series and I did not feel as if I missed anything. Tacker is definitely a heart wrenching story with all the feels and an HEA. I cannot even imagine the grief and guilt Tacker felt about the death of his fiance, but with Sawyer Bennett's writing, I felt every emotion, every struggle and every victory. Tacker has trouble dealing with his loss and numbs it rather than facing it. But he finds out, that is just destroying everything else in his life. As in real hockey families/teams, they do everything they can for their teammates. I loved the support Tacker had through every step of his recovery and even his misery. The team gave the book a real life feeling. Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. I was not expecting such intense feelings when I started this book. I loved every page and turn that got Tacker closet to healing.

Stephen Dexter and Lucy Rivers are a great team for this book. Stephen has the rough and tough voice that a hockey player needs. But when it came to Tacker's emotions and struggles, Stephen narrated them flawlessly, bring Tacker to life. Lucy Rivers is a wonderful Nora. Nora is kind and caring by nature and profession. But she has a strength that Lucy Rivers brought out. I enjoyed this narration and look forward to more from this team.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • paddlefoot1397
  • 11-07-19

The Vengeance story I have been waiting for

Woot! Another Sawyer Bennett hockey hottie to add to my collection!

This book right here is the one I have been waiting for since the start of the Arizona Vengeance series. Tacker Hall stole my heart back in Bishop, and I have been impatiently awaiting his book since.

With what we have learned of him so far, I was expecting this book to completely rip my heart out and have it stomped on.

I was wonderfully surprised that this wasn't the case. Sure, this book is heavy on the emotions, however we were not lead down the ugly cry road. My heart was heavy, sure, I shed a few tears, however this story was filled with so much hope and lightness that I found myself smiling a lot too.

Nora is just adorable. I couldn't help but like her from the first time we meet her. Sparky and sassy and funny, but with her own demons to tackle.

I did keep waiting for the OMG big thing moment, however we didn't get one of those. Tacker isn't that kind of man anyway so it makes sense not to get one.

I so, so loved when Dominik was in this story. I cannot wait for his story - Dax is going to lose his mind!

Please don't make me wait too long for more.

Stephen Dexter and Lucy Rivers bring Tacker and Nora to life. You could feel Tacker's pain, his guilt, his broken heart through the story - more so for me than reading the book.

I want more.