by Robyn M. Ryan
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
They believe love conquers all.
One of pro-hockey’s golden couples, Andrew and Caryn Chadwick live in the limelight reserved for elite professional athletes. On their second anniversary, Andrew receives an unexpected contract offer to join the Tampa Suns. As they look forward to a new adventure, neither foresees an event that challenges their love and threatens their marriage.
Until it doesn’t.
A sudden and senseless accident threatens Andrew’s life and inexplicably drives a wedge between the couple. Shattered by the incident, paralyzed by fear that it could happen again, Caryn finds herself at odds with her husband and unable to provide the support he needs—at the time he is most vulnerable.
As their perfect world crumbles, each makes choices that take Andrew and Caryn further apart. Distrust, fears, and secrets construct walls. This Piece of My Soul follows the joint and separate paths the couple navigate as each hopes to rediscover the love that can conquer all.
(Although This Piece of My Soul is the second book in the Clearing the Ice Series, it can be read as a standalone novel.)
The scene replayed over and over again in Caryn’s mind…the puck crashing against the side of Andrew’s head, the blood, his body lying motionless on the ice. She took a deep breath and struggled to keep her emotions under control. She pressed her fist against her mouth and shut her eyes tightly to hold back the hot tears. This can’t be happening. Please, let me wake up. This has to be a nightmare.
Kelly and Terri tried to get her to sit, but Caryn stubbornly refused, instead leaning against the cubicle where she could peek behind the curtain. She couldn’t process the scene unfolding before her, didn’t understand the words the doctors ordered or the numbers that the ER team called out. She only wanted to see Andrew, stand beside him, see for herself that his heart was beating and he was breathing.
One doctor suddenly pushed through the curtain, startling Caryn. “Mrs. Chadwick?”
Caryn nodded and struggled to find her voice. “How is he?”
The doctor nodded toward a vacant cubicle. “Let’s go in here where we can talk.” Caryn followed him, sat on the edge of the chair the physician indicated, and nervously rubbed her hands together. The doctor regarded her a moment before he spoke. “I’m Dan Forster, Mrs. Chadwick. I’m Chief of Neurology for the hospital. The administrator called me when we learned of your husband’s injury.”
Caryn nodded silently.
“Your husband suffered a severe blow to the side of his head. We are trying to stabilize him now so that we can run a scan to determine the extent of the injury. It’s probable that there’s a skull fracture, and with head injuries, there’s danger of bleeding in the brain itself.”
Caryn felt a cold wave of terror sweep through her, and she struggled to keep her mind focused on the doctor’s words.
“He’s in very critical condition at the moment. He’s unconscious and intubated to help him to breathe. We won’t know the extent of his injury for several hours, perhaps longer. Right now, our main concern is to stabilize his condition, then run tests to determine the full extent of the injury.”
Caryn opened her mouth to speak, but couldn’t voice the question. Instead, she said, “Can I see him?”
“Not just yet. As soon as he’s stabilized, we’ll do the scan, move him up to intensive care. Then I’ll take you to the waiting area there.”
“Will he…Is he?” She shook her head as her voice cracked.
“He’s in danger, Mrs. Chadwick,” Dr. Forster said gently, yet honestly. “We’re doing everything we can for him. I’ll update you as often as I can.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
By the time she was an eight-year-old tomboy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Robyn M. Ryan definitely knew what she wanted to do when she grew up—play major league baseball or write. She wrote throughout elementary and high school, first composing novels featuring favorite TV and music personalities, and then venturing into sports writing.
Attending UGA’s journalism school launched her career in public relations, which included an internship with the Atlanta Flames NHL hockey team. With the encouragement of a writers group on twitter—WritersThatChat—This Piece of My Heart, a hockey romance, and the first book in Robyn’s series Clearing the Ice was published May 2016. The second book in the series, This Piece of My Soul, introduces the Tampa Suns professional hockey team.
Besides writing, Robyn’s passions include following the New York Rangers, NASCAR, and the Atlanta Braves; splitting time between homes in Atlanta and Palm Coast, and visiting Paris as often as possible. Two brilliant Westies rule both homes.
As do many writers, Robyn chooses to write using a pseudonym—hers is a combination of her sons’ names, a contribution from her youngest nephew.
The tour dates can be found here
3.75 out of 5 stars
This Piece of My Soul: Tampa Suns Hockey by Robyn M. Ryan is the second story in the ‘Clearing the Ice’ series and follows happily married Andrew and Caryn Chadwick as they deal with the changes in their lives due to his professional hockey career. A life-changing event forces them to evaluate whether the love they thought would last forever can weather the challenges when life isn’t going so smoothly.
A contemporary sports romance, this tale can be read without being familiar with the previous book in the series. The detailed descriptions of the vagaries involved with a professional sports career are vividly portrayed, and I learned a lot about a sport that I am not very familiar with. The pace was a bit slow for me and I was REALLY frustrated to get to the end and discover things weren’t as resolved as I would have liked, undoubtedly to make sure one is interested in the sequel. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a cliffhanger, but it is like real life in that some things are improved but everything is not perfect, and there is some work that’s going to be needed to repair some of the damage to this relationship. I enjoyed the author’s ability to create a realistic picture of life in pro hockey (although I was a little puzzled by one character’s hostility) and was definitely drawn into the story and invested in having these characters weather the ups and downs of their marriage. Those who enjoy reading about the thrilling sport of hockey and are interested in the behind-the-scenes glimpse of life as a pro will undoubtedly enjoy this story, but keep the tissues close as they may be needed!
A copy of this title was provided to me for review.