Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Trent Hanson is a figure skating phenom adored by millions around the world. His whole life has been dedicated to the sport he loves even when the sport – and his own family – have turned against him. From the playground to the Olympics to his parent’s living room, Trent has fought against bullies and homophobes to be the out and proud gay man he is. But the constant fighting has left Trent tired, lonely, and skittish. All those fears will have to be shelved though when he’s hired to spend the summer working with the Harrisburg Railers ice hockey team. Who would have guessed that the man fate has decided to pair him off with is Dieter Lehmann, all-around sex god and a man who seems to have everything to prove and doesn’t care who he hurts to get what he wants.
Dieter has spent too many years languishing in the minors and a secret addiction to prescription painkillers means his career is in a downward spiral. His ex is blackmailing him and he’s close to walking away from it all. But when he’s called up in the run for the Stanley Cup to cover injuries he has a taste of what it’s like playing in the NHL and he realizes that a place on the Railers roster is what he wants more than anything. More than listening to his heart, and even more than caring for the infuriating figure skater who gets under his skin. When he crosses the line to get what he wants, he knows he has lost his way. He has to change, but is it too late for both his career and any chance he might have at love?
I’ve fallen in love with this series about the Harrisburg Railers hockey players and the men they love. It has built out from the core couple upcoming hockey star, Tennant Rowe of the famed Rowe Brothers and Coach Jared Madsen (Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1). Their coming out and romance launched the team into LGBT acceptance and brought in Layton Foxx, the professional to help the Railers with the couple’s coming out to the public and the NHL. He also found romance within the team, although that’s still a secret (First Season (Harrisburg Railers #2).
And with each story, the characters background has become a little more complicated, and perhaps even layered over with tones of isolation, denial, and abuse. Never does that come more abundantly clear than with Dieter Lehmann, a complex hockey player who’s looking at his last chance to be the man and player he wants…if he just doesn’t screw it up as he has in the past. Dieter has been on the edge of our consciousnesses for the last two stories, a vivid irritant of a man who had to come up to be seen. What a story RJ Scott and VL Locey has for him.
It includes flamboyant, smokey eyed Trent Hanson, a figure skater with his own huge demons to fight. A tiny powerhouse come to film a reality series amongst the “hockey apes” as he calls them. Loaded with preconceptions left over from an awful highschool loaded with jocks who bullied him mercilessly, the authors do a beautiful job, first by making this man real and authentic with his story, skating history, and ethnicity (love his grandmother the snippy pumpkin).
So while you could think this is just an opposites attract story, it also includes much deeper, more serious layers that speak to addictions, recovery, and therapy. And does so in a realistic and even gritty manner at times. For tackling all that, plus the romance, and the continuing overall series arc and pulling them off to a grand effect? Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey is a story that’s close to perfect. Truly with each story this series just keeps getting better and better. I can’t wait for Poke Check (Stan’s story), to arrive.
If you love contemporary romance, check out RJ Scott and VL Locey’s Harrisburg Railer’s series. The writing is great, you’ll love the characters and the plots and there’s more stories to come! I highly recommend them all.
Cover art by Meredith Russell. Unfortunately not a fan of this cover. That’s definitely not my idea of Trent Hanson. Looks like he has two black eyes instead of the perfectly applied eyeliner he’s known for. Beautiful and delicate? Uh no.