Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Okay. My review is going to be a bit of a mixed bag, and I hate that. I hate that for readers, and I hate that for the author. Ryder by Prescott Lane, for me, is a second-half book. That’s important to note because I think some readers might quit reading it if they don’t know that the strength of the book lies in his second half. Here’s the thing. I really liked Knox, the first Merrick Brothers’ book. It excited me that I had found a new author to read, so I was really looking forward to reading Ryder, especially after the blurb. I am a nut for secret baby stories. The revelation of a child to a person who is seemingly not suited to a child makes for a great story. And that’s here in Ryder. Even more, Ryder’s response to it is EVERYTHING in this book. In fact, Ryder, for me, is the best part of this book. Even when he makes choices that are problematic. Even when he fails to acknowledge feelings. Even when he’s being too worried, too possessive, too much. You cannot help but love Ryder. In fact, one of the main reasons that the second half of this book is the best part of it is Ryder. He’s a man with secrets, and Prescott Lane waits for much of the book to reveal them. In fact, I believe she waits too long. That being said, she brings about a lovely happy ending, so all is forgiven for making the reader wait. But it also slows the narrative down…A LOT.
I always give some love to the heroine, and Kailey’s characterization has strengths. She’s the first one to decide that Ryder is more than his music. She is resilient in her unplanned pregnancy and reaching out to Ryder. However, in Kailey’s evolution, there is quite a bit of inconsistency, and it sometimes makes the story feel repetitive and uneven. We could decide that its the effects of being pregnancy (you know, hormones), but I’m not sure. And it makes the first half of the book slow. As the story reaches its climax, then it takes off. You won’t be able to put it down, and the ending will make you feel as though your time, in the beginning, was worth it. Kailey’s strength finds purchase in the story eventually, and she is the perfect match for Ryder.
In the end, I liked Ryder, but I do think Knox is the stronger of the two books. As a character, Ryder pulled at my heartstrings, and he is my favorite type of hero, the broken kind. If you love that kind of hero, then you will like Ryder too, and I encourage you to grab this one along with its predecessor, Knox. You don’t want to miss out on both of Prescott Lane’s Merrick Brothers.
In love and romance,