Rating: 4.75 🌈
R. J. Scott and V.L. Locey take their Boston Rebels series out on a grand story, one that’s my favorite of the group. In a fitting way, they do it by giving us two perspectives we as hockey’s fans and LGBTGIA hockey romance readers don’t often get, one of the professional NHL referee and the other of a type of player called a “Rental”. A rental is a really good player who’s brought in just to fill a spot for a part of a season or maybe a year. But not great enough , young enough, whatever, to sign permanently. They play for many teams over the course of their careers.
In Rental, Scott and Locey give us the gift of getting to get a feel for what it’s like working as a professional Ref, and as a Rental. As a Rental, walking into a locker room , having that lack of commitment to any team or not feeling of being a part of a team dynamic. Something so instrumental in a team’s development and success. For a NHL ref it’s the constant movement and commitment to the sport as fans ideas on the refs themselves. It’s their personalities and perspectives on the sport, and how they are put together as Referees teams on the rink.
I felt like I had such a strong connection to both men , Webber and Logan, and a real understanding of their emotional state when they met at that bar.
That Scott and Locey love and understand the sport of hockey as they do shows in every beautifully crafted character, on all the fast paced scenes on ice, the emotionally demanding nature of the game as delivered through heartfelt moments of pain , loss, and passion of winning. It’s those of physical beauty of the players and the crushing bruising of the brutality of the game too.
Both authors deliver that so seamlessly. Here we get all that threaded through a heated forbidden romance between Webber Kelty, NHL Ref, 40’s closeted from Georgetown, Ontario, and Logan Mackie, out gay , a rental replacement for the beloved hurt Dunny Dunkirk , as the Rebels are making a run for the playoffs .
It’s a story that’s got all the right elements and depth. Great characters, passion, hidden romance, secrets, and everything on the line.
Plus it has so many fantastic characters from other series that pop up during the playoffs to create extra fun.
My tiny quibble is that there’s a small storyline that comes in towards the end that feels unnecessary. There’s so many great aspects to this book that are grounded in reality or things that have a firm foundation that the authors laid down, that this other element feels flimsy by comparison.
It’s a fabulous book and fast engaging read without it. It adds extra drama. But that’s like saying, ok we had 47 cherries on top, not enough. Let’s add 3 more. Ok Done.
Either way, this is a marvelous book and a fantastic way to see the Boston Rebels out. Now onto the next series.
I’m highly recommending Rental (Boston Rebels Book 6) by R. J. Scott and V.L. Locey.
Boston Rebels series:
✓ Top Shelf #1
✓ Back Check #2
✓ Snowed #3
✓ Royal Lines #4
✓ Blade #5
✓ Rental #6
A steamy romance between a player and a referee breaks all the rules but will it destroy their careers?
Five different cities in eight years — Logan’s never had the chance to settle in one place. He’s the guy who fills in gaps on teams as a temporary fix and is traded at year’s end because no one wants to keep a thirty-year-old rental after he’s outlived his usefulness. When he’s called up to the Rebels, he knows it’s his last run in the NHL. Now, he must decide if it’s worth carrying on with the weight of his secrets around his neck for one more year. He’s never had a love that mattered, his career is nearly done, his ex-wife is remarrying, his sex life is drier than a desert, and abruptly, Logan’s had enough. He craves one night to ease the frustration, and hooks up with someone tall, dark, and dangerous in the bathroom of a club. The sex is off the charts, but it’s one and done, until Logan realizes exactly who he slept with and understands how dangerous it is to play games with secrets.
Being a referee is in Webber’s blood, and it’s a job he loves. Sure, sometimes he’s called dirty names—by fans, coaches, and players—or must insert himself between two massive men trying to pummel each other. Some nights, he’s knocked on his ass. Other times, he might take a puck to a tender spot. But despite all the hazards and name calling, there is no place he wants to be than on the ice. If only his love life was as settled. It’s hard to find someone willing to put up with his travel schedule, and even if he found Mr. Right, how would he juggle a romance when he’s never home? A chance hookup while officiating a game in Boston should be a simple matter of scratching that itch, but he couldn’t be more wrong.
Unfortunately, that one-night stand—while memorable—turns his sedate life upside down in ways he could’ve never foreseen. When the penalty for love is losing everything he’s worked hard for, is it a price he’s willing to pay?