Rating: 5 stars out of 5
When the lines between career and love blur, will Ethan and Ben find a way to create a future that will work for both of them?
Senior year is here, and everything is on the line. Benoit’s time to shine in the crease is now, and he’s going to do everything he can to make sure those professional scouts take notice. He’s earned a great reputation for his skills in the net, and his laid-back demeanor is his key to maintaining his cool when things get heated in the goal crease.
As the Eagles roar into a new season, Ben’s laser-sharp focus is shattered by his attraction to Ethan Girard, the team’s new defensive consultant. Trying his best to ignore the budding friendship that’s taking a hard, fast turn into something far more passionate, Ben is determined to keep his mind on the sport he loves and not let his feelings for the handsome older man creep into his performance. But love, like hockey, is wildly unpredictable, and soon Ben finds that he’s unable to distance himself from Ethan who is slowly and surely working himself into his heart.
Famed Boston defenseman, Ethan Girard, isn’t stupid. Celebrating his thirty-second birthday in the emergency room after breaking his leg, and with a warning that healing will be a long process, he knows he has to think about his future. He was drafted at eighteen, and he’s never known anything but hockey, but with no contract in place yet for the new season he considers that maybe it’s time for him to hang up his skates for good.
Volunteering to help out with the Owatonna Eagles fills his time, but from the moment he lays eyes on goalie Ben, he knows his world will never be the same again. Falling in lust is as easy as stealing his first kiss, but Ben refuses to engage. Has Ethan finally met his match?
Benoit (Owatonna U #3) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey marks the end of this small “mini series” about college men graduating and heading off to play hockey. It’s connected to RJ Scott and VL Locey’s other terrific hockey series, Harrisburg Railers through Ryker, the son and step son of the first and main couple in that series.
Of course, the hockey knowledge here is off the charts! Reading these books is like immersing yourself in the world of hockey from tots on tiny skates wobbling slowly across the ice to the fierce play, loud arenas and fanatical cries of fans on game day. When each player takes to the ice, both small to the hulk in their team gear, the readers are emotionally with them, there in the cold, where their hearts are telling them they belong. The writing is so so vivid and there in the moment and amazing!
Nor do the authors carry blinders about the worst elements of hockey. Those that want the violence, the fights to continue, the homophobes and the racists.. They have brought all those ugly aspects of the game out under the spotlight in various stories and do so here under with Benoit, who is both black and gay yet only wants to be known as a great goalie. Ok, maybe Canadian goalie, but goalie nevertheless.
Combine that with a love story you can invest 100 percent of yourselves in and Benoit (Ben way) becomes a story you can’t put down.
I love Ethan Girard and his passion for Benoit, hockey, and finally, the new direction his life is taking. It’s so easy to be enthusiastic about this character because he feels to believable and so real, especially if you follow hockey. You see those players at that age, rocking on the edge of that certain age. Do they retire, do they start the slide down? Hockey, like most professional sports is incredibly hard on the body and soul. Another aspect of the game that always comes through Scott and Locey’s characters and relationships.
Benoit and Ethan as a couple are magic! They are sexy, warm, loving and oh, so hot. And by the end I wasn’t even close to wanting to let them go. No even a smidge.
Thankfully, I have Coast to Coast, the first book in the new Raptors series about the Arizona Raptors hockey team to take my mind off of that. Plus I just know I will be seeing Benoit and Ethan again. That’s the way things go here in the hockey universes of RJ Scott and VL Locey. We get to see all our favorite couples again and again…eventually.
If you are a hockey fan and lover of contemporary LGBT romance, then run, don’t walk and pickup Benoit! And every other book in the Owatonna U series. And the Harrisburg Railers which is coming to an end with Save the Date. Just roll around in the love, romance,angst, and great hockey! Then get ready for more with the Arizona Raptors who are bad to the bone. I can hardly wait.
Yep, I highly recommend them all!
Cover art : Meredith Russell. I just love the covers for this series. Each and everyone perfect for the character and sexy as hell to boot.
Expected publication: May 29th 2019 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published May 17th 2019)
Series Owatonna U Hockey: