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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 (106 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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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cara
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 11-19-19

What a journey!

Wow, wow....what an emotional journey!

This book picks up just as Dax's story is finishing up (although you don't have to have read/listened to Dax to jump in Tacker). Tacker has lost his way after losing his fiance, and he knows it. What he doesn't know is how to find his way back to the land of the living. Enter Nora, a sweet, caring therapist with a troubled past of her own.

Bennett leads these two down an incredibly emotional road of figuring out just who they are - to themselves and each other as they deal with coming back from tragedy. You can't help but love Tacker and Nora, and root for each of them throughout this.

Stephen Dexter and Lucy Rovers nailed the narration! They brought these characters to life so well and really made you feel every single emotion Tacker and Nora have. 5+ stars on every level!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    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.

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

The story, narrators and cover - all great!

Sawyer Bennett was right, I have been waiting to hear Tacker’s story and she did not disappoint. What a sweet soul he turned out to be. I’m on a post-listen high at the moment. The narration was excellent, need to check out more by bother narrators. I believe I paid for this book (no credit) and I am no disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Tacker's Story is EVERYTHING!!

Here’s the thing…like any avid reader of Sawyer Bennett’s Arizona Vengeance series, I was so ready for Tacker to get his second chance…at love, at life, at healing the parts of him that he thought might not ever get better after MJ’s death. But I also knew that I needed to be patient. I knew Tacker needed to work on himself…work through his pain, his guilt, his grief, and that it wasn’t going to be easy or quick…not when someone has spiraled so far out of control that he wants it all to end and is willing to make that happen.

What I loved most about the way that Bennett crafted Tacker and Nora’s story is that she didn’t add any unnecessary drama or move too quickly or too slowly when it came to Tacker’s progress or Nora and Tacker sifting their way through their individual fear and pain to become something they both never thought they’d have again.

Nora is an amazing heroine who has her own share of pain, but, somehow, she’s turned her raw and heartbreaking emotions into a safe place for anyone struggling and in need of a specialized therapy. She puts her full heart and soul in her Equine Therapy Ranch and works tirelessly to help all those who come to her ranch, even an incredibly handsome man who is a little too tight-lipped for her kind of help to work. Raul is the perfect father-figure for Nora and the way that he protects her, at all costs, proves just how much she means to him and she gives that love back to him.

The fact that Tacker’s teammates don’t give up on him, even when he wouldn’t stop pushing them away, speaks to the camaraderie of the Vengeance and what they’re willing to do to bring back, to maybe even save, one of their own, and the team’s owner, Dominik, plays a huge role in getting Tacker the help he needs, and throughout the entire story, he proves time and time again that he is so not a hands-off kind of owner, which is exactly what his team needs him to be.

I knew that I needed to listen to Tacker’s story; I needed his perspective to be narrated by a male to completely immerse myself into his thoughts and feelings, and Stephen Dexter does an amazing job of bringing every single one of Tacker’s emotions to the forefront…of demonstrating how he works through all the negative in order to push through to the positive. And Lucy Rivers narrates Nora’s voice flawlessly, truly bringing to life just how special of a woman, a therapist, a human being she is.

Sawyer Bennett did such a tremendous job with Tacker’s story. It was everything I wanted it to be and so much more, which is exactly why she’s always been one of my faves.

4.5 Poison Apples

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    5 out of 5 stars

So worth the wait

This is such a highly anticipated release. I have been dying to hear Tacker's story since he was first introduced in Bishop. So was it worth the wait? Abso-freaking-lutely.

Chapter 12 will gut you. Just be prepared. Have the hankies ready and be in a place where you can ugly cry. But I also found myself seeing Tacker in a whole new light. For someone who was closed off from the world, he is such a very caring and compassionate person. There is one additional scene in the book that got to me and made me tear up a little. You'll know it when you read it. And I hope you have the same feelings I did.

This was my first audio by Stephen Dexter and Lucy Rivers. I have never listened to anything by either one. The gruffness of of Tacker made the emotions of this book shine. And the sweetness of Norah balanced the gruffness of Tacker. Watching them both transform in to engaged and happy after everything they've been through was a sight to behold.

Now I can't wait for Dominik. Another highly anticipated release. These hockey players are the BEST.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The past can consume your every breath

Fifteen months is a long time to lose yourself. Nothing else mattered. Pain consumed his every breath with the guilt that consumed him. It seemed like he would never forgive himself for a brief moment in time that changed everything. He had once more chance to get his life in order with therapy and Nora unwillingly accepted. Their pasts are both filled with pain and she will do everything she can to remind him life she be enjoyed. A definite must read for fans of the Arizona Vengeance.

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

overcoming survivor's guilt

Hockey player Tacker has had his life flipped upside down...he literally watched his fiancee' die in a plane crash that he, errantly, believes was his fault. Now the Arizona Vengeance is in the playoffs and they need their scorer to get his act together. The team has required that Tacker meet with a counselor or lose his position. He ends up seeing an equine therapist and, in spite of his misgivings, finds that the therapist is really helping him, but will feelings get in the way? Therapist Nora Wayne has also had her life flipped upside down when she was a child, but thanks to a loving woman, she is now thriving. Will she allow Tacker into her well-guarded heart?
Sweet story with some heartbreaking moments, but the ending makes it all worth it!
I accepted a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Tacker!! Amazing!!

Loved this story Tacker is a broken man he’s story is emotional and beautiful. He lost his fiancée in a plane crash that he was the pilot of and lead him down the wrong path and he now has stipulations off he’s like to remain on the Arizona Vengeance otherwise he’ll be cut from the team. Part of his stipulation is going to counseling and he is determined to go even if it’s the last thing in the world he wants to talk to anyone about anything but remaining closed off got him in the current situation and something has to change. I loved this book it was amazing and beautiful and gave the reader all the feels!

The narrators were great and perfect for the story!!

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  • Kim
  • Halfway to Iowa
  • 11-14-19

Love Gruff Tacker

I loved the gruff Tacker when he was first introduced in previous Vengeance stories. This was such a rich and heart-warming story. Two people finding their way into back into life and love along the way. All of the characters were wonderful and written with such depth. They surrounded Tacker and Nora creating a family that really cared.

Warning, do not listen to the end of this if you are driving to work, or need to get out of a PTO bake sale, or any other excuse where tears come in handy! The end while perfect will cause a gal to need the tissues.

Stephen Dexter and Lucy Rivers were a wonderful team switching chapters between Tacker and Nora. Nora was supposed to have a bit of an accent when nervous. I was glad that the accent was only tried once as it was a little odd when Stephen first introduced the accent. Overall, I was happy with the story. Another credit worthy listen!

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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.

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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.

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Profile Image for Dawn Fuhrman
  • 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.

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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.