A MelanieM Review: Deep Edge (Harrisburg Railers #3) by RJ Scott & VL Locey

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

One man’s passion, another man’s lies. Can love fix even the darkest of hearts.

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.

Sales Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | KOBO | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 181 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Love Lane Books Ltd

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Remember When by SJD Peterson

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Life is simple and hopeful in youth. Luke and Nelson are best friends exploring their budding sexuality. They have big plans for the future, and nothing can stand in their way or tear them apart—except a family move that puts a continent between them.

Ten years later Luke and Nelson meet again, but nothing is simple anymore. As strong as the attraction remains, obligations and expectations come between them as Luke is forced to honor family responsibilities over the desires of his heart.

Impossibly fate sees fit to offer them a last opportunity to see what might have been. Will the third time be the charm, or is trust so badly broken it is impossible to repair? Can they recapture the innocent love they once knew and make up for all the wasted years? In a love story that spans half a lifetime, two friends destined for each other will have to fight hard for their happily ever after.

This is not the book review I wanted to write.

Mostly because I don’t enjoy telling readers and authors how much I disliked a story but there’s no getting around it here.  I can count on one hand how many books I have disliked as much as this one.  It barely scarpered up to two star rating and that’s only because the characters, Luke in particular was nauseating enough to make me dislike him to this degree that the writing must be good enough to warrant that much.

This was a story where two characters meet, one hurts the other repeatedly, the other lets him do it doormat style and then after all the years pass let’s him back into his life again.  In one case, Luke even admits he knowingly wants to keep Nelson on the side even if it hurts him, he wants it all.  This character is so blandly stomach churning that he made this book a DNF several times for me.  Only my stubbornness and inability to believe this idiocy wouldn’t continue to the end kept me going.  Of course it did.

So I’m not even going to recap it here.  I disliked the plot, the immaturity of the characters, even after they met years apart, the continued “doormat” quality of Nelson’s character.  Nelson needed a therapist and a lock, not a reunion.  Above all I disliked this couple! I disliked the excuses for their actions and their acceptance of it.  There is so much that will make you sit back and think “wtf” here.  It’s more than troubling. And this is coming from someone who loves, I mean LOVES the “second chance-lovers reunited” trope stories.

Even now I’m thinking those 2 stars might be generous.  Shakes head.

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh.  The cover is definitely the best thing about this story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: August 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635336795
Edition LanguageEnglish