Review: Desert Dreams (Owatonna U Hockey #6) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Rating: 5🌈

It’s been about a little over a year since the events of Valentine’s Hearts, the preceding book in the Owatonna U Hockey series. In that story we saw two momentous events, a sexual assault on Jacob and finally Ryker and Jacob’s wedding.

As the series finale opens, Jacob’s dreams have been realized and Mountain Vista Ranch is a reality. And ready to receive its first occupants, at risk LGBTQ youth and their families.

I love this story. Desert Dreams feels not so much like a final chapter but a novel full of new beginnings. Honestly by the end I was even surprised to find Ryker still a Raptor because so many new paths had been opened up here for so many new outstanding new characters.

R.J.Scott and V.L. Locey are great at crossovers when it comes to their various series and characters so I wasn’t surprised to see a prime character from Scott’s Texas series (and others) make a important appearance here. Seeing him sets the foundation for the ranch and potential storylines. Again with my assumptions.

Can I say my heart embraces the ranch and it’s environment, animals and people immediately? It did. Jacob is it’s heart with Ryker providing needed support but all the staff, including a Russian security guy who’s found his inner Clint Eastwood, it’s accumulating, and the animals (horses, goats, dog… each and every one with huge personalities) are also part of the chemistry and narrative magic that makes Mountain Vista Ranch work.

Then there’s the family that arrives needing shelter and so much more. They will grab at your heart. I’m hoping the son will be making more appearances in stories to come. I need to know what happens to him.

Desert Dreams isn’t about endings but new beginnings.

I’m hoping that means a series called Mountain Vista Ranch because never has a place cried out for a series than this place.

If you’re a Owatonna U Hockey fan, this book is a fantastic way to see the series out.

But if you’re like me, you’re hopeful that this a bright, beautiful start to something wonderful….a way to not only usher out a certain stage in Ryker and Jacob’s lives but to see them into a new journey and series.

I’m most definitely recommending this book, and series.

Note. There’s a element of physical domestic abuse , already happened,as well as threats here so for those who might see these as triggers, please take note.

Owatonna U Hockey Series: 6 books

Ryker #1

Scott #2

Benoit #3

Christmas Lights #4

Valentine’s Hearts #5

Desert Dreams – #6


When danger stalks their new home, it’s only their strength as a couple that keeps them safe.

Ryker misses Jacob every day he’s away. At the start of a new Raptors season with everything to play for, Jacob, the desert ranch, and their small menagerie of animals have become an oasis of peace in a turbulent world. He’s never ridden a horse, he’s never considered how much this place would mean to him, but suddenly he’s forming a connection with a mare called Tops and loving every moment of this new life. Balancing hockey with his love for Jacob, he feels that nothing can ever go wrong.

With his life finally on track, Jacob is pouring all of himself into the dream he shares with Ryker. Putting the final touches on Mountain Vista Ranch, a halfway home for troubled LGBTQ youth and their families, fills his heart with pride. When their first clients arrive, he finds himself drawn to the small family and their plight. Little does he or Ryker know that the darkness the newcomers have fled from is following them.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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