Ryker by Cheryl Douglas


Ryker by Cheryl Douglas
Publisher: Self
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (156 pgs)
Heat: Spicy
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

Mackenzie Steele assumed she’d be with her husband forever. He was her best friend, the father of her children. But when weeks turned into months without intimacy, she realized she was too young to feel so old. She wanted to feel desirable again, to find the woman Ryker had fallen in love with twenty years ago. And there was only one way she knew how to do that… by asking him to move out.

Ryker was blindsided when his wife told him she wanted to separate. He knew they’d hit a roughpatch, but he’d never allowed himself to imagine his life without her. Now he had no choice. Shewas happy without him, living life on her own terms, and he knew if he didn’t find a place for himself in her new life, it would be too late to save his marriage.

Certainly realistic and maybe a little close to home for those of us who’ve been married for a very long time, the conflicts in Ryker are largely internal, and based on what happens when a couple stops making an effort to keep their relationship fresh and new.

Mac realizes her marriage isn’t working, not like it was, so she decides to separate. Honestly, it was a little tough to read about, and also tough to sympathize with her. I’m a big believer that divorce is a last resort and usually reserved for things like abuse or infidelity, not for “I don’t know if I love you enough any more” or “I need to find myself.” So, Mac wasn’t my favorite person at first and she felt a little selfish, which I couldn’t really identify with. Yeah, they had problems, but a separation seemed a little extreme. She was pretty “me” focused at first, and that may appeal to some folks, and yes it was good to see her find some satisfaction out of her life again, but I still kept thinking she could have done it without sacrificing her marriage. Still, as I watched Ryker get his wake up call, it may have been required to really make him see that things needed fixing. Both she and Ryker were completely devoted to family, though, and that link helped keep them working toward a way to rebuild their relationship.

Thankfully, over time, I grew a bit more attached to Mac and enjoyed reading about her and Ryker. Sometimes the plot was a little draggy, and there honestly wasn’t a ton of conflict, but I never wanted to stop reading. I needed to make sure this couple was going to make it! There are sexy parts, which were hot but not over the top erotic. It was, I think, just the right amount of spice to add to the story, was never gratuitous and served to keep movement going forward (especially since lack of intimacy was one of the issues in their marriage).

All-in-all a solid, later in life story. Sort of refreshing, honestly, in a world full of twenty-something romance. The author has a solid grasp on the subject and I certainly enjoyed reading it. I understand there will be more stories about Ryker’s family, so I’m betting I’ll see Ryker and Mac again. It’ll be fun to see how they progress as more time passes.


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