Top Shelf (Boston Rebels #1) by RJ Scott and VL Locey is the first book is a new hockey romance series by two of my must read authors
Long and eagerly awaited, as is any new LGBTQ2+ hockey romance tale, Top Shelf more than delivers
As you all know hockey is my jam! And Rainbow 🌈 hockey love stories? Well, be still my heart 💜! There are many excellent authors in this genre and the writers RJ Scott and VL Locey are at the top of my list among them
Why? Because like the others, they are passionate about the sport of hockey, it’s players and teams. They know the sport and it’s translates into excellence in fast, accurate action on ice scenes that gets the reader going and engaged with the team and it’s season while still threading through the storylines, full of romance, rocky paths and heartwarming emotions.
That’s all presented here as we meet a team in need of rebuilding. That’s a highly volatile situation for all involved. It means saying goodbye to older players not yet ready to go and learning to accept new younger players stepping into holes in teams not ready for them to be filled.
Add in several players admission of LGBTQ2+ identification when one player comes officially out? And for everyone the team becomes a new uncertain future for all, especially management
This is the universe we are meeting throughout this story. Various players, a team and people in transition
First it’s the tight friendship, on and off the ice, of Xander and Eli. Brothers in all but name and Railers, they’ve had a third tagging along most of their lives. Mason, Eli’s younger brother
Mason, never much interested in hockey past the fact that Eli and his forever crush Xander played, is now grown. And determined to make Xander see him in a new light.
Xander has recently come out after hiding his sexuality. Here the authors excelled at showing Xander’s confusion and fragility over how exactly he becomes a truth he’s never allowed himself to have or be. He’s raw, more than a little depressed, and no one is picking up on his uncertain emotional state.
The team’s turmoil is adding stress all around to major players and again the elements and reactions feel so realistic. Our own emotions fall readily into the storylines filling out before us. We not only want more of these teammates histories but we need to know
That’s on top of Xander and Mason’s romance which has its own tensions with Mason’s new business (that remains unresolved in my mind) and Xander’s future
I honestly thought the realism here, all the various issues raised as well as the feeling that the relationship needs more work and communication was wonderful. After all, it’s new. Both men have so many new elements to deal with as well as making their relationship work that leaving this a HFN, a work in progress to return to makes sense
It’s great and leaves me wanting to bribe the authors for much much more. Not just the next couple in the series which is coming in Back Check- see below.
So yes, I loved my story, the new series, and team
Bring it On! Highly recommended!