A MelanieM Review: Hat Trick (Harrisburg Railers #8) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Stan Lyamin has seen many of his dreams come true. He’s found his soulmate, loves Noah like his own, hoisted the Cup, and has his Mama living with him in his new country. But his fantasies of a loud, loving, madcap home overflowing with childish laughter linger. When a distant family member passes, Stan and Erik immediately agree to take in the two orphaned children, but that means a trip back to Russia for Stan, an idea that both exhilarates and terrifies him.

Erik’s world tilts on its axis when a phone call wakes him and Stan in the middle of the night. Abruptly, Stan is returning to Russia, making deals, working with people who know people, and fully intending to bring two orphaned children home. The red tape is overwhelming, and Erik is alone in Harrisburg with the nearly impossible task of finding a nanny who can speak fluent Russian. Being on his own is one thing, but add in fears about Stan’s safety and team issues, and Erik is finding everything hard to balance; not least of which is spending quality time with Noah.

When their family expands from three to five, the journey won’t be easy, but love can always find a way.

Sometimes, especially now, you just need a story, that makes you laugh, feel absolutely wonderful down to your toes,  and makes your heart feel all shmoopy. That would be the latest in the Harrisburg Railers series, Hat Trick (Harrisburg Railers #8) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey.

This story has every element that’s guaranteed to make your face ache because it’s smiling so hard with the love and warmth that is overflowing from the characters and plot here. Yes, it feels that good.  Children, dogs, a grandmother, Elvis, well, not him exactly, but glitter, red tuxedos and so much more.  Plus you get Stan!!! Who I have to admit is my favorite Railer, he just is, fractured English and all.

Goalies, real and fictional, are just that special breed of human.  They take quirkiness to a whole new level and these two authors have always been able to bring that to the goalies they have created for their different hockey romances, Harrisburg Railers included.  But meeting him, heart to heart, is his soul mate Erik, another Railer.  Their relationship and deep love as well as  family is here, and it’s beautiful.

I love how the authors treat the expansion of Stan and Erik’s family, the careful consideration of the child already there, the patience and care with the new children coming into the fold.  It’s loving and endearing.  Plus we get the madcap too.

In the end, as usual, I’m left wanting so much more.  I can never get enough of Stan and Erik. I’m clearly obsessed here.  They make me feel great and just when I needed it the most.  I’ll probably be rereading it again instead of the news.

I love this series.  Such a variety in couples and plots.  Drama, suspense, hilarity, and romance.  And love of course, so much love.  I highly recommend them all.

 

Cover art: Meredith Russell.  I just love this cover.  It’s pertinent to the story and so clean and adorable.  Perfect!

Sales Links:

Amazon US | UK | CA | AUFR |DE (and other territories)

Apple Books | KOBO | Smashwords |Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

ebook
Published February 10th 2019 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published 2019)
ISBN 139781785641466
Edition Language English
Series Harrisburg Railers #8

Harrisburg Railers Series:

Changing Lines | First Season | Deep Edge | Poke Check | Last Defense | Goal Line | Neutral Zone | Hat Trick | Save The Date (30 June)

A MelanieM Review: Neutral Zone (Harrisburg Railers #7) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Tennant Rowe has it all, a boyfriend he adores, a loving family, and a career on the rise. He’s sure of his place in the world, and the future can only get brighter. Then one night, in a flash of skates and sticks, life changes forever. Getting back on the ice is Ten’s priority, and experts tell him that it’s just a matter of time.

Jared watches his lover fall in more ways than one, and when tragedy strikes, even the strongest of relationships are tested. Ten is strong, but Jared has to be stronger to help the man who holds his heart. Only, he has to admit that maybe it isn’t just him who can make Ten whole again.

Jared and Ten’s love is forever, but the rocky path to the romantic Christmas Jared had planned may be hard to travel.

Neutral Zone is truly a Christmas gift from the authors to the readers and fans of this couple and series.  I don’t really consider this heartwarming novella a standalone story because too much of its foundation, the emotional history and romance rests in the novels that precede it. No, this is that small package left under the tree, glittering ribbons, that you didn’t expect but fills your heart with warmth and joy and holiday spirit.

For most readers of this series (and fans) we have been with this couple since the first story, Changing Lines.  We are now at book seven and so much has happened in their lives.  Through the wonderful talents of RJ Scott and VL Locey, the readers have been pulled into their lives and that of the fictional Hockey team, the Harrisburg Railers so deeply that they have become real.  Each battle won, and lost, all the angst, the romance…we’ve made it ours.

So the events of the past story have been shattering.  Now RJ Scott and VL Locey give us and this special couple that Christmas touch.  A short story layered over with hope, glittering with warmth and love, and combining the best of the season with what we love about Ten and Jared in 90 pages.  Perfect?  No, perhaps I would have lingered a little longer around the tree, taken in all that  occurred just might more…

But love it?  Yes I do. Neutral Zone was just what I and this couple needed.  Happy Holidays.

Cover art: Meredith Russell.  I just think this is perfect. Want one for myself.

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 90 pages
Published November 25th 2018 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ISBN 139781785641404
Edition Language English
Series Harrisburg Railers #7

Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Goal Line – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 

 

Review Tour and Giveaway for Neutral Zone (A Christmas Railers Novella) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

Standard
 
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Goal Line – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Tennant Rowe has it all, a boyfriend he adores, a loving family, and a career on the rise. He’s sure of his place in the world, and the future can only get brighter. Then one night, in a flash of skates and sticks, life changes forever. Getting back on the ice is Ten’s priority, and experts tell him that it’s just a matter of time.


Jared watches his lover fall in more ways than one, and when tragedy strikes, even the strongest of relationships are tested. Ten is strong, but Jared has to be stronger to help the man who holds his heart. Only, he has to admit that maybe it isn’t just him who can make Ten whole again.


Jared and Ten’s love is forever, but the rocky path to the romantic Christmas Jared had planned may be hard to travel.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star review here.
Excerpt



Ten


Karma. It’s a real bitch. Just ask anyone.


I’d left my man and my team behind in Harrisburg and flown to—get this—fucking Tucson, Arizona, to begin treatment for my traumatic head injury.


The same city the Raptors played in.


I could open the blinds in my room here in the Draper Neurological Rehabilitation and Performance Center and see the glistening mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena. Funny shit right there. Four blocks over, the Raptors were on the ice for morning skate, and I was here, trying to get my brain healed enough so I could maybe play my game again someday.


Shit, right now I’d be happy to be able to speak or read normally.


“Ho, ho, ho,” I growled, closing the drapes, then pulling my sunglasses off and tossing them to the bed. Living behind sunglasses and blinds sucked. Headaches sucked. Slurred speech sucked. Seeing the pity in the eyes of my boyfriend and family and teammates sucked. Christmas with sand and cactus sucked. I wanted to cry. I wanted to be back home with Mads, decorating our tree and shaking my presents. I wanted to be shopping for gifts for my boyfriend, my mother and father, for my brothers, and for Stan and Adler and all the Railers. I wanted things to be the way they had been before that night. Tears threatened, but I held them in. Crying only made my head hurt worse.


So, I padded out of my room and made my way to breakfast and the first of several rounds of rehab I’d be facing today. I’d been here one day and had come to realize that my brain was now as well-known with the neurologists here as my face was back in Harrisburg. This was the place for athletes to come when they were battling CTE-related brain issues. Most of the men here were older, retired players, lots of football players. I mean lots of them. I’d met three other hockey players so far, all retired, all fighting to keep a step ahead of the disease taking over their brains. Sometimes, late at night, when I was lying in bed, I’d get scared for myself and all the other guys on my team. I worried about Mads. God knows how many concussions he’d had when he was playing. Add that to his heart shit and… well, I worried about stuff now. Lots more stuff than I had before the night my head met the ice, sans helmet.


The facility held a hundred and fifty people, and not all of us were athletes. Lots of patients had come here after car accidents or other catastrophic injuries. There were head injuries and spinal cord injuries being healed. The staff seemed nice, confident in their ability to nurse me back to my old self or as close as we could get. The halls were bright and airy, the food excellent, and the medical staff top-notch. And yes, it was expensive and elite and the cream of the crop. Which was why Mads had stubbornly pushed me into coming here after my initial rehab had been completed. Two weeks at the facility, a couple of weeks back home for the holidays, then back for another four weeks. Then maybe we’d talk about hockey.


“Hey, you’re Tennant Rowe, right?”


I skidded to a halt outside one of a dozen sun-rooms. As though people in Arizona didn’t get enough sun just stepping outside? They needed to make rooms for sun? A tall, burly black man about my age ran at me, hand out. I smiled up at him, trying to pull some information about him from my cloudy memory banks.


“I’m Declan Fidler, cornerback for the Temple Owls.”


“Ah, cool, hey man.” We shook hands. God, he was cute. Short hair and a flashy smile, big wide shoulders and inkwork all over his arms. “Sorry to see you here though, dude.”


“Yeah, I know that.” He ran a hand over his hair. “First game of the season too.”


“That sucks,” I said, then released his hand. “I was on my way to the dining hall.”


“I could eat if you want some company.”


“Totally. Be nice to have someone to talk to who’s under forty.”


“I feel that.”


He joined me on the walk to the dining hall, which looked nothing like the hospital cafeteria I’d been expecting when I first saw it yesterday. This place was upmarket. Round tables with cloth covers, thick royal-blue carpeting, windows that ran floor to ceiling, flowering plants in the corners, and a wait staff.


“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this place,” I murmured as I followed Declan to a table by the windows.


“I feel the same way,” he said as we took our seats. “I mean, I grew up wealthy, my father’s the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and I was still blown away.”


“That’s impressive. Did he…?” My brain went totally blank, and I scrambled to find the proper word. “Push. Yeah, did he push to get you in here?” I winced at the slip.


Fuck this shit. Really. Push? How fucking hard it is to recall a word like push?


An older woman in a tidy uniform filled our water glasses, then asked if she could have our room numbers. All the meals here were prepared by nutritionists with an eye to the patients’—athletes in my case—unique needs.


“Big-time. He was adamant about me coming here after the initial rehab. Said that this place would do things to counter the damage that no regular rehab could do. You here for CRT?”


“I uhm…” and that skip again. Fuck. “Dude, sorry, I’m like…” I tapped my temple.


He reached over the table to take my hand. “Ten, man, do not sweat it. You should have seen me when I got here. Barely able to string four words together. Sometimes I still trip up, just like that. But it’s all good. We’re tough motherfuckers. We’ll train our brains.”


“Yeah, train the brains. Cool.”


He gave my hand a squeeze and then released it. “So CRT?”


Our food was served, my platter loaded with scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a bowl of oatmeal, and chocolate milk. My meds also sat on my tray. Declan’s food was similar, as were the meds in tiny cups lined up for him.


“Cognitive rehab therapy,” he said before shaking out his napkin and laying it over his lap. I did the same and tossed down the pills. I had no idea what they were pumping into me, and I truly didn’t care. As long as they got me back on the ice, they could be dumping Soylent green into my body via the milk. Man, that old movie rocked. What I wouldn’t give to be curled up on the couch with Mads watching it again. “Speech, occupation, and physical therapy. You don’t have any big physical issues, do you?”


“Some weakness on the left side, my arm, but it’s getting better. I hardly drop anything now.”


“That’s good. Once the swelling goes down, things tend to get better.” He took a bite from a slice of whole wheat toast. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here eating with you. Cup winner, LGBT crusader. Thanks for doing that, coming out, being proud and gay. I know how hard that is. My family and team have been amazing about my being queer.”


“Excellent. Glad they’re… fuck, I just. Give me a sec. Yeah, uhm, glad it’s good for you. I’m sorry. Sometimes I can go, like, whole days and barely fuck up, and then I’ll hit this patch where my brain glitches out and… shit. Fuck. Okay, I’m going to shut up for a minute and let my neurons… fire or something.”


“It’s fine. I understand.” And he did. I could see it in his eyes. He totally got it because he was living it too.


I wished everyone else in my life could get it as Declan did. We ate in amiable silence, not that heavy, cloaking pity blanket of quietude that my family draped over me every time I fumbled.


Therapy followed that pleasant breakfast, hours of it. Doctors and nurses, therapists, reading and tests and poking and prodding. Weights and treadmills and medicine balls. Shoving tiny pegs into tinier holes, pet therapy which was actually cool because who didn’t love a dog kiss? Speech therapy was last, and I tanked at it. Totally blew it to shit with my inability to recall one simple phrase. It made me so mad I flipped the table, sending papers and pencils flying. Then, because I had no clue where that outburst had come from, I felt even shittier.


“Tennant, it’s okay,” the woman, who was some fancy kind of advanced speech therapist, said as we picked up the mess I’d made. “Temper flare-ups are common. It’s frustrating not to be able to express yourself. We see that frequently in stroke victims.”


“That was uncool. Just so uncool. I didn’t… it wasn’t… shit.” I dropped to my ass, hands full of work sheets that looked as if a four-year-old had scribbled them down, buried my face in the papers, and wept.


Julie. Yes! That was her name. Julie sat down beside me, rubbed my back, and told me all kinds of reassuring things.


“I’m kind of done for the day,” I told her, and she let me go. I walked the halls, feeling discouraged and sickened with myself. Once I got back to my room, I called home, needing to hear Jared’s voice. As soon as he picked up, I kind of began babbling. A lot of it wasn’t sensible, and it was garbled because I’d have to stop, think, and then restart. But through all of that, Jared listened and never interrupted. When I was done, I fell back onto the bed, exhausted, battling a headache, and sick to death of myself and my stupid brain.


“Sounds like a rough first day,” Jared said. I rolled to my side, tucking my knees up, my gaze on that shiny arena where the Raptors were playing hockey right now. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come out? I can get a hotel room.”


“No, you need to work. The team needs you.”


“You need me as well, Tennant.”


“No, I got this. You can’t do this for me, Mads. Neither can Ryker or Brady or Jamie or my mother. It’s just…” I exhaled through pursed lips. “It’s so much harder than I thought it would be. I mean, I knew it would be hard but fuck sake, I couldn’t recall simple words. How will I ever be able to play if I can’t…” I stopped and calmed myself down. “I hate that this happened. I hate Aarni so much for doing this to me, Jared. I never thought I could ever hate anyone.”


“I know, babe. I wish you’d reconsider and let me come out there.”


He sounded as sick at heart as I was. And truthfully, in that moment, I was close to telling him to fly out. I so needed his arms around me.


“Tell me you love me.”


“I love you.” He drew in a shaky breath. “Do you want me to come out? Just say the word.”


I sat up slowly to avoid a head-rush and the pain that went along with those. “No, I’m good.” I pushed to my feet and went to the window. The sun was setting now, the mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena glowing scarlet and pink. “I’m a tough camper. My Mom said that to me the first time I went to hockey camp.”


“Yeah? How old were you? Five months old or so?”


That made me chuckle. “Nah man, I was like six. And this camp was in Buffalo. I wanted to go so bad. I mean, I can be kind of stubborn when I want something.”


“I’m well aware of that fact,” he replied. Was he sitting down or pacing? Probably pacing because he was tension-riddled over me. “You were persistent about us.”


“Damn right I was. I knew we’d be good.” I touched the pane of glass as a smile of remembrance played on my lips. “I went to that camp, and as soon as my folks dropped me off, I wanted to come home. But Mom wouldn’t let me. She said I had to be a tough camper and that once the homesickness wore off, I’d be glad I stayed.”


“Were you?”


“Yeah, I loved it. Scored my first goal against Tommy Wayfarer. He got mad and cried.” The lights of Tucson began to flicker to life. Someone walked by my door humming Santa Claus is Coming to Town. “I’ll be okay. I just have to score my first goal here.”


“You will.”


“Yeah, I will. So, tell me about morning skate. How did the lines look?”


We talked about the Railers and about Ryker and Declan, my new therapy buddy. We talked about old movies and new songs. We talked for hours. Darkness had blanketed the city when I dozed off on him. I woke up a second later, phone still to my ear, my boyfriend chuckling.


“Wow, you snored yourself awake,” Mads said, then groaned, rising to his feet I assumed.


“Shit, yeah, I fell asleep.” A yawn rolled out of me. I flopped to my side on the bed, my sight on the desert sky over Tucson.


“I need to turn in too,” he said around a yawn.


“Yeah, you’re a couple of hours ahead of us. I’ll call you tomorrow at the same time. I love you, Mads.”


“I love you too, Ten. And your mother was right; you are a tough camper. You’ll begin to see improvement, I know you. You won’t stop until you do.”


“Thanks, Coach.”


“Wiseass.”


“I miss our goodnight kisses.” My eyes were so heavy I could barely keep them open.


“You’ll get plenty when you get home.”


“Mm, loving sounds good.”


“Yes, it does. Get some rest. Heal. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”


“Night,” I mumbled, ended the call, and then fell into an exhausted but fitful sleep. The bed was too hard, too narrow, and far too lacking in Jared Madsen’s big, broad body.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

 

 

 

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Release Blitz for Neutral Zone: A Christmas Railers Novella (Harrisburg Railers #7) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard
 
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Length: 40,000 words approx.
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #6 – Goal Line – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Tennant Rowe has it all, a boyfriend he adores, a loving family, and a career on the rise. He’s sure of his place in the world, and the future can only get brighter. Then one night, in a flash of skates and sticks, life changes forever. Getting back on the ice is Ten’s priority, and experts tell him that it’s just a matter of time.


Jared watches his lover fall in more ways than one, and when tragedy strikes, even the strongest of relationships are tested. Ten is strong, but Jared has to be stronger to help the man who holds his heart. Only, he has to admit that maybe it isn’t just him who can make Ten whole again.


Jared and Ten’s love is forever, but the rocky path to the romantic Christmas Jared had planned may be hard to travel.

 
Excerpt



Ten


Karma. It’s a real bitch. Just ask anyone.


I’d left my man and my team behind in Harrisburg and flown to—get this—fucking Tucson, Arizona, to begin treatment for my traumatic head injury.


The same city the Raptors played in.


I could open the blinds in my room here in the Draper Neurological Rehabilitation and Performance Center and see the glistening mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena. Funny shit right there. Four blocks over, the Raptors were on the ice for morning skate, and I was here, trying to get my brain healed enough so I could maybe play my game again someday.


Shit, right now I’d be happy to be able to speak or read normally.


“Ho, ho, ho,” I growled, closing the drapes, then pulling my sunglasses off and tossing them to the bed. Living behind sunglasses and blinds sucked. Headaches sucked. Slurred speech sucked. Seeing the pity in the eyes of my boyfriend and family and teammates sucked. Christmas with sand and cactus sucked. I wanted to cry. I wanted to be back home with Mads, decorating our tree and shaking my presents. I wanted to be shopping for gifts for my boyfriend, my mother and father, for my brothers, and for Stan and Adler and all the Railers. I wanted things to be the way they had been before that night. Tears threatened, but I held them in. Crying only made my head hurt worse.


So, I padded out of my room and made my way to breakfast and the first of several rounds of rehab I’d be facing today. I’d been here one day and had come to realize that my brain was now as well-known with the neurologists here as my face was back in Harrisburg. This was the place for athletes to come when they were battling CTE-related brain issues. Most of the men here were older, retired players, lots of football players. I mean lots of them. I’d met three other hockey players so far, all retired, all fighting to keep a step ahead of the disease taking over their brains. Sometimes, late at night, when I was lying in bed, I’d get scared for myself and all the other guys on my team. I worried about Mads. God knows how many concussions he’d had when he was playing. Add that to his heart shit and… well, I worried about stuff now. Lots more stuff than I had before the night my head met the ice, sans helmet.


The facility held a hundred and fifty people, and not all of us were athletes. Lots of patients had come here after car accidents or other catastrophic injuries. There were head injuries and spinal cord injuries being healed. The staff seemed nice, confident in their ability to nurse me back to my old self or as close as we could get. The halls were bright and airy, the food excellent, and the medical staff top-notch. And yes, it was expensive and elite and the cream of the crop. Which was why Mads had stubbornly pushed me into coming here after my initial rehab had been completed. Two weeks at the facility, a couple of weeks back home for the holidays, then back for another four weeks. Then maybe we’d talk about hockey.


“Hey, you’re Tennant Rowe, right?”


I skidded to a halt outside one of a dozen sun-rooms. As though people in Arizona didn’t get enough sun just stepping outside? They needed to make rooms for sun? A tall, burly black man about my age ran at me, hand out. I smiled up at him, trying to pull some information about him from my cloudy memory banks.


“I’m Declan Fidler, cornerback for the Temple Owls.”


“Ah, cool, hey man.” We shook hands. God, he was cute. Short hair and a flashy smile, big wide shoulders and inkwork all over his arms. “Sorry to see you here though, dude.”


“Yeah, I know that.” He ran a hand over his hair. “First game of the season too.”


“That sucks,” I said, then released his hand. “I was on my way to the dining hall.”


“I could eat if you want some company.”


“Totally. Be nice to have someone to talk to who’s under forty.”


“I feel that.”


He joined me on the walk to the dining hall, which looked nothing like the hospital cafeteria I’d been expecting when I first saw it yesterday. This place was upmarket. Round tables with cloth covers, thick royal-blue carpeting, windows that ran floor to ceiling, flowering plants in the corners, and a wait staff.


“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this place,” I murmured as I followed Declan to a table by the windows.


“I feel the same way,” he said as we took our seats. “I mean, I grew up wealthy, my father’s the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and I was still blown away.”


“That’s impressive. Did he…?” My brain went totally blank, and I scrambled to find the proper word. “Push. Yeah, did he push to get you in here?” I winced at the slip.


Fuck this shit. Really. Push? How fucking hard it is to recall a word like push?


An older woman in a tidy uniform filled our water glasses, then asked if she could have our room numbers. All the meals here were prepared by nutritionists with an eye to the patients’—athletes in my case—unique needs.


“Big-time. He was adamant about me coming here after the initial rehab. Said that this place would do things to counter the damage that no regular rehab could do. You here for CRT?”


“I uhm…” and that skip again. Fuck. “Dude, sorry, I’m like…” I tapped my temple.


He reached over the table to take my hand. “Ten, man, do not sweat it. You should have seen me when I got here. Barely able to string four words together. Sometimes I still trip up, just like that. But it’s all good. We’re tough motherfuckers. We’ll train our brains.”


“Yeah, train the brains. Cool.”


He gave my hand a squeeze and then released it. “So CRT?”


Our food was served, my platter loaded with scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, a bowl of oatmeal, and chocolate milk. My meds also sat on my tray. Declan’s food was similar, as were the meds in tiny cups lined up for him.


“Cognitive rehab therapy,” he said before shaking out his napkin and laying it over his lap. I did the same and tossed down the pills. I had no idea what they were pumping into me, and I truly didn’t care. As long as they got me back on the ice, they could be dumping Soylent green into my body via the milk. Man, that old movie rocked. What I wouldn’t give to be curled up on the couch with Mads watching it again. “Speech, occupation, and physical therapy. You don’t have any big physical issues, do you?”


“Some weakness on the left side, my arm, but it’s getting better. I hardly drop anything now.”


“That’s good. Once the swelling goes down, things tend to get better.” He took a bite from a slice of whole wheat toast. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here eating with you. Cup winner, LGBT crusader. Thanks for doing that, coming out, being proud and gay. I know how hard that is. My family and team have been amazing about my being queer.”


“Excellent. Glad they’re… fuck, I just. Give me a sec. Yeah, uhm, glad it’s good for you. I’m sorry. Sometimes I can go, like, whole days and barely fuck up, and then I’ll hit this patch where my brain glitches out and… shit. Fuck. Okay, I’m going to shut up for a minute and let my neurons… fire or something.”


“It’s fine. I understand.” And he did. I could see it in his eyes. He totally got it because he was living it too.


I wished everyone else in my life could get it as Declan did. We ate in amiable silence, not that heavy, cloaking pity blanket of quietude that my family draped over me every time I fumbled.


Therapy followed that pleasant breakfast, hours of it. Doctors and nurses, therapists, reading and tests and poking and prodding. Weights and treadmills and medicine balls. Shoving tiny pegs into tinier holes, pet therapy which was actually cool because who didn’t love a dog kiss? Speech therapy was last, and I tanked at it. Totally blew it to shit with my inability to recall one simple phrase. It made me so mad I flipped the table, sending papers and pencils flying. Then, because I had no clue where that outburst had come from, I felt even shittier.


“Tennant, it’s okay,” the woman, who was some fancy kind of advanced speech therapist, said as we picked up the mess I’d made. “Temper flare-ups are common. It’s frustrating not to be able to express yourself. We see that frequently in stroke victims.”


“That was uncool. Just so uncool. I didn’t… it wasn’t… shit.” I dropped to my ass, hands full of work sheets that looked as if a four-year-old had scribbled them down, buried my face in the papers, and wept.


Julie. Yes! That was her name. Julie sat down beside me, rubbed my back, and told me all kinds of reassuring things.


“I’m kind of done for the day,” I told her, and she let me go. I walked the halls, feeling discouraged and sickened with myself. Once I got back to my room, I called home, needing to hear Jared’s voice. As soon as he picked up, I kind of began babbling. A lot of it wasn’t sensible, and it was garbled because I’d have to stop, think, and then restart. But through all of that, Jared listened and never interrupted. When I was done, I fell back onto the bed, exhausted, battling a headache, and sick to death of myself and my stupid brain.


“Sounds like a rough first day,” Jared said. I rolled to my side, tucking my knees up, my gaze on that shiny arena where the Raptors were playing hockey right now. “Are you sure you don’t want me to come out? I can get a hotel room.”


“No, you need to work. The team needs you.”


“You need me as well, Tennant.”


“No, I got this. You can’t do this for me, Mads. Neither can Ryker or Brady or Jamie or my mother. It’s just…” I exhaled through pursed lips. “It’s so much harder than I thought it would be. I mean, I knew it would be hard but fuck sake, I couldn’t recall simple words. How will I ever be able to play if I can’t…” I stopped and calmed myself down. “I hate that this happened. I hate Aarni so much for doing this to me, Jared. I never thought I could ever hate anyone.”


“I know, babe. I wish you’d reconsider and let me come out there.”


He sounded as sick at heart as I was. And truthfully, in that moment, I was close to telling him to fly out. I so needed his arms around me.


“Tell me you love me.”


“I love you.” He drew in a shaky breath. “Do you want me to come out? Just say the word.”


I sat up slowly to avoid a head-rush and the pain that went along with those. “No, I’m good.” I pushed to my feet and went to the window. The sun was setting now, the mirrored sides of the Santa Catalina Arena glowing scarlet and pink. “I’m a tough camper. My Mom said that to me the first time I went to hockey camp.”


“Yeah? How old were you? Five months old or so?”


That made me chuckle. “Nah man, I was like six. And this camp was in Buffalo. I wanted to go so bad. I mean, I can be kind of stubborn when I want something.”


“I’m well aware of that fact,” he replied. Was he sitting down or pacing? Probably pacing because he was tension-riddled over me. “You were persistent about us.”


“Damn right I was. I knew we’d be good.” I touched the pane of glass as a smile of remembrance played on my lips. “I went to that camp, and as soon as my folks dropped me off, I wanted to come home. But Mom wouldn’t let me. She said I had to be a tough camper and that once the homesickness wore off, I’d be glad I stayed.”


“Were you?”


“Yeah, I loved it. Scored my first goal against Tommy Wayfarer. He got mad and cried.” The lights of Tucson began to flicker to life. Someone walked by my door humming Santa Claus is Coming to Town. “I’ll be okay. I just have to score my first goal here.”


“You will.”


“Yeah, I will. So, tell me about morning skate. How did the lines look?”


We talked about the Railers and about Ryker and Declan, my new therapy buddy. We talked about old movies and new songs. We talked for hours. Darkness had blanketed the city when I dozed off on him. I woke up a second later, phone still to my ear, my boyfriend chuckling.


“Wow, you snored yourself awake,” Mads said, then groaned, rising to his feet I assumed.


“Shit, yeah, I fell asleep.” A yawn rolled out of me. I flopped to my side on the bed, my sight on the desert sky over Tucson.


“I need to turn in too,” he said around a yawn.


“Yeah, you’re a couple of hours ahead of us. I’ll call you tomorrow at the same time. I love you, Mads.”


“I love you too, Ten. And your mother was right; you are a tough camper. You’ll begin to see improvement, I know you. You won’t stop until you do.”


“Thanks, Coach.”


“Wiseass.”


“I miss our goodnight kisses.” My eyes were so heavy I could barely keep them open.


“You’ll get plenty when you get home.”


“Mm, loving sounds good.”


“Yes, it does. Get some rest. Heal. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”


“Night,” I mumbled, ended the call, and then fell into an exhausted but fitful sleep. The bed was too hard, too narrow, and far too lacking in Jared Madsen’s big, broad body.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

 

 

 

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An Ali Audiobook Review: Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) by RJ Scott and VL Locey/Sean Crisden (Narrator)

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Rowe Brothers are famous hockey hotshots, but as the youngest of the trio, Tennant has always had to play against his brothers’ reputations. To get out of their shadows, and against their advice, he accepts a trade to the Harrisburg Railers, where he runs into Jared Madsen. Mads is an old family friend and his brother’s one-time teammate. Mads is Tennant’s new coach. And Mads is the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.
Jared Madsen’s hockey career was cut short by a fault in his heart, but coaching keeps him close to the game. When Ten is traded to the team, his carefully organized world is thrown into chaos. Nine years his junior and his best friend’s brother, he knows Ten is strictly off-limits, but as soon as he sees Ten’s moves, on and off the ice, he knows that his heart could get him into trouble again.
Can Tennant show Jared that age is just a number, and that love is all that matters?
I’m a big hockey fan so I try to read all the hockey romances out there.  This series is one that has been on my to be read list for awhile now so I was happy to have the chance to review the audiobook.  It was kind of a mixed bag for me.  There were some things I really liked about this and some that I didn’t.
I can’t believe I believe I’m going to say these words but “There was way too much hockey in this book”. There is an enormous amount of game and practice time in this book and lot’s and lot’s of plays and strategies  talk. I felt like this aspect overshadowed the relationship.  There is very little on page relationship development.  The majority of them getting close to each other takes place off page.  We see them having sex, them with their families and mostly them playing or practicing.
I’m not sure why the authors chose to have the majority of the relationship development off page.  There were some other relationship dynamics that were excellent.  Really well written.  Ten’s coming out scene with his parents and later a scene between him and his mother were beautiful.  There was also a scene between Jared and his son that was very emotional.  I felt so much more between Jared and Ten and their family than I did between the two of them as lovers.  There was a lot of telling and very little showing between the two of them.
Another thing that bothered me a lot was the fact that Jared was Ten’s coach and it was never really presented as an issue.  Jared mentions it at the beginning but this thread is never followed up on.  They talked about Ten coming out and how it would effect him being a professional sports player but no one seemed to bat an eye that he was having sex with his coach.  I think it’s a huge deal and should have been presented at such.
My last issue was that it ends on a cliffhanger of sorts. The guys are together and happy but a giant part of the plot is left hanging.  I felt a bit annoyed that after all the talk of Ten coming out we don’t see any of it. It seems from the set up of book two that it might be shown some there but I am not sure.
The audio was narrated by Sean Crisden and I thought it was fine.  I liked his voice but he spoke very quickly and I wasn’t always sure who was talking.  I had to slow the narration down from how I normally listen.  Once I did that it worked better for me.
Overall I thought it was a solid start to the series.  I appreciated the authors’ love of hockey that clearly comes through in this book.  While I had some issues I will probably try book two at some point.
Cover by Meredith Russell:  I like the cover.  The models on the cover really fit the description of the main characters well.
Buy Links: Audible US | Audible UK
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 6 pages
Published July 25th 2018 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published July 12th 2017)
Original TitleChanging Lines
ASINB07FTRYXFF
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHarrisburg Railers #1 settingHarrisburg, Pennsylvania (United States)
Pennsylvania (United States)

Audio Review Tour and Giveaway – Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey/Sean Crisden (Narrator)

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Buy Links: Audible US | Audible UK
 
Length: 5hrs 10mins
 
Narrated By: Sean Crisden
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Blurb
 

Can Tennant show Jared that age is just a number and that love is all that matters?


The Rowe brothers are famous hockey hotshots, but as the youngest of the trio, Tennant has always had to play against his brothers’ reputations. To get out of their shadows, and against their advice, he accepts a trade to the Harrisburg Railers, where he runs into Jared Madsen. Mads is an old family friend and his brother’s one-time teammate. Mads is Tennant’s new coach. And Mads is the sexiest thing on which he’s ever laid eyes.


Jared Madsen’s hockey career was cut short by a fault in his heart, but coaching keeps him close to the game. When Ten is traded to the team, his carefully organized world is thrown into chaos. Nine years his junior and his best friend’s brother, he knows Ten is strictly off-limits, but as soon as he sees Ten’s moves, on and off the ice, he knows his heart could get him into trouble again.

 

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:

Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

 

 

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.
 

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A MelanieM Review: Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

 

Fear and sadness mark Bryan’s life, can Gatlin show him that you have to trust before you can love?

Gatlin Pearce is creeping up on thirty-eight and is still single. It’s not that he wants to be alone, it’s just that he’s too damn old to be in clubs filled with glittery gay boys who can’t even tell him who the Rolling Stones are.

Better to just spend his evenings at Hard Score Ink – his tattoo and artwork shop – creating masterpieces on human flesh, listening to the Railers games, and nursing a cold beer.

His solitary life is about to end when Bryan Delaney, the new Railers backup goalie, shows up at his shop looking for new artwork for his helmet. There’s some sort of sad story in those beautiful eyes of Bryan’s, and Gatlin finds himself more than a little infatuated with the tender new goalie.

Bryan Delaney leaves home at fifteen to live with a billet family. He just wishes that he could have escaped his alcoholic father and strictly devout mother earlier. Drafted to the Arizona Raptors he finds a new family, and his first love affair even if that relationship is marked with violence.

Being traded to the Railers is a shock to the system but the team isn’t like any other he’s ever played on and they truly seem to care about him. It’s only when he meets artist Gatlin, with their shared love of music and hockey, that he realizes how much help he needs to escape the past.

When RJ Scott and  VL Locey want to shatter your heart with their broken men, abused pasts, and often seemingly impossible jouney to love and HEA they aim for the goal line because you often feel like you’ve been through the wringer emotionally once the novel is over.

I’m here to tell you with Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) the authors have done it once again.  They’ve scored and Goal Line is a clear winner in every way.  From the characters to the plot lines and so shocking elements found within to the intro into the next story, this novel will often leave you stunned, unable or unwilling to move forward.

Goal Line, of course, focus’ on the new backup goalie for the Harrisburg Railer’s,Bryan Delaney.  Gotten in a trade, Bryan played for an arch rival.  His ties to that old team are hard one to relinquish as someone there plays on Bryan’s deep feelings of inadequacy, lack of self worth, and painful past.  It contributes to his inability to believe that the Railers could ever really like or want him as a teammate.  Talk about a poor broken man!  Bryan only comes alive on the ice.

Of course, its Stan, my  wonderful Russian crazy Stan who starts Bryan on his path to a family with the Railers and something more when he introduces him to Gatlin Pearce, the team’s tattoo artist, to talk about helmet designs.

I’m not going to go into anything more.  Honestly, you just can’t.  There is far too much here and it’s too easy to wade into spoiler town.

There is no easy road for Bryan and Gatlin. Nor should there be.  These are realistic characters with many issues between them that have to be worked out before a healthy relationship can occur.  That you feel that it happens is a tribute to the writing skills and narrative flow of this remarkable story and its authors.

There’s also so much heartbreak I didn’t expect and that looks to be a part of a continuing new arc as the series continues. Unexpected, shocking, and as I said heartbreaking.  Fix it ladies, please.  I will, of course, be with you every step of the way cheering the Railers on because this series just keeps getting better and better.  It doesn’t seem to matter who they bring on, the changing dynamics, or any new elements introduced,  the men  and the authors step up, move forward and it simply gets more amazing.

And yes, I absolutely recommend it. And this story but not out of order.  Pick them up and read them in the order they were written.

Cpver art: Meredith Russell.  I love that cover, its them in a nutshell.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published August 8th 2018 by Love Lane Books (first published August 6th 2018)
ISBN139781785641299
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHarrisburg Railers #6

Series:

Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon UK | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review Tour for Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 54,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon UK | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Fear and sadness mark Bryan’s life, can Gatlin show him that you have to trust before you can love?


Gatlin Pearce is creeping up on thirty-eight and is still single. It’s not that he wants to be alone, it’s just that he’s too damn old to be in clubs filled with glittery gay boys who can’t even tell him who the Rolling Stones are.


Better to just spend his evenings at Hard Score Ink – his tattoo and artwork shop – creating masterpieces on human flesh, listening to the Railers games, and nursing a cold beer.


His solitary life is about to end when Bryan Delaney, the new Railers backup goalie, shows up at his shop looking for new artwork for his helmet. There’s some sort of sad story in those beautiful eyes of Bryan’s, and Gatlin finds himself more than a little infatuated with the tender new goalie.


Bryan Delaney leaves home at fifteen to live with a billet family. He just wishes that he could have escaped his alcoholic father and strictly devout mother earlier. Drafted to the Arizona Raptors he finds a new family, and his first love affair even if that relationship is marked with violence.


Being traded to the Railers is a shock to the system but the team isn’t like any other he’s ever played on and they truly seem to care about him. It’s only when he meets artist Gatlin, with their shared love of music and hockey, that he realizes how hard it is to escape the past.



August 8Jessie G, OMG Reads, Gay Media Reviews, We Three Queens, Urban Smoothie Read, Xtreme Delusions, Reading In Sarah’s Corner, August 10Love My Reads, Mainely Stories, The Geekery Book Review, August 15Love Unchained Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, August 17Making It Happen, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, Bookaholic & Kindle, August 20Open Mind For A Different View, My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, August 22Drops Of Ink, Padme’s Library, Sarandipity, August 27MM Midnight Cafe, Wicked Reads, August 29Book Lovers 4Ever, August 31Mirrigold, Bayou Book Junkie, Lillian Francis

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review can be found here.  We highly recommend it!
Excerpt


Keep your eye on Ten, he’s trouble.


That was all the text said, and I re-read it a few times as if more words would suddenly appear.


I don’t know why I looked for affection in any text that Aarni sent me because, in my kind-of-boyfriend’s own words, he wasn’t the demonstrative type. And he would always point out that someone could get hold of my phone. Then they would know that Aarni Lankinen, the villain of the Arizona Raptors, wasn’t everything he made himself out to be, that he wasn’t the playboy who fucked every woman within his reach. That he had a boyfriend on the side, and that it was me.


The phone rang, and I answered as soon as I saw his name. Aarni wasn’t the most patient guy on earth, and he liked it when I was fast to respond.


“Did you get my text?” Aarni asked without preamble.


“I did.”


“Don’t let me down now.”


I got the feeling, as he laughed, that he expected me to do that very thing. I still wasn’t sure what would count as letting him down. But given the kind of person I was—clumsy, quiet and only really focused when I was dressed for hockey—I kind of expected to fuck up.


The Arizona Raptors had chosen me in the 2014 draft, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I was the second highest ranking goaltender drafted that year, something to be proud of, I guess. But I’d not managed to stay up at NHL level, spending the rest of the time in the Raptors’ development team in Tucson. Until last year, when I’d actually been a starting goalie after both main goalies had been injured.


I hadn’t been stellar, and Arizona put me on waivers, leaving me vulnerable to being picked up by who the hell ever. My confidence had been rocked. I was a solid goalie for the development team, but the minute I got up to the primary team, NHL level, I choked. Why the hell did the Railers even want someone who hadn’t lived up to their early promise? I assumed I’d attend this training camp, and that would be it. They’d push me down to the Railers’ development team, and there I would stay.


Which wasn’t a bad thing, except they’d taken me from Arizona and from Aarni and it was the first time I’d been really on my own.


“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Aarni snapped.


“Of course, I won’t let you down,” I lied.


I’m a good goalie, I stop pucks, I can be strong and focused and stay in my own head to track the plays in front of me.
Still, Aarni knew about me what I knew about myself; I’d choke at NHL level just as I had for the majority of my time with the Raptors.


I’m not ready. I should go back down to the minors.


“Also, don’t get comfortable there. They’re not going to keep you for long.”


“I know.”


“And don’t forget what assholes the Railers are. Don’t trust them, particularly wonder-boy Rowe. Arrogant fucker.”


I didn’t see Ten as arrogant at all, but then I was basing my assessment on TV interviews, including the one he’d given with Jared when they’d announced their relationship. I’d been proud of Ten and Jared for doing that, and part of me, the dark, hidden, ruined part, was green with envy that they were able to be open with the world.


I’d said that to Aarni, but he’d reacted badly and hadn’t talked to me for three days. His disappointment was a knife in my gut, and I hated every second of it. That was not happening again. He was right. Ten was a Stanley Cup Champion, a superstar, and if there had been NHL players at the Olympics, then he would undoubtedly have been on Team USA. No team would ask him to leave just because he had a boyfriend. It didn’t seem to be hurting the Railers, and they had a growing reputation as being LGBT-friendly.


“Jesus Christ, Bryan, are you even on this phone call?”


I pulled myself back from the edge. Aarni had said something about Ten being arrogant.


“I won’t forget,” I spoke with confidence so he’d realize I was listening.


“And remember I’m not there to watch your back.” He sighed deeply. “I worry there’s no one to look after you when you attract trouble. Especially from defenders like Max van Hellren. Asshole should have been thrown out of that game against us for what he did to me. Fucker lost us the chance at a championship. So fucking pleased he ended up collapsing. He deserved it.”


My chest tightened. Max wasn’t part of the Railers anymore. He’d retired after the cup win, but Aarni was right. There would be other guys there to step up in his place. Aarni had been furious, with a side order of mean, over what Max had done to him, checking him into the boards. But he’d finally calmed down, said he’d show Max what was what the next time the two teams met. He’d been so disappointed when Max had retired.


But Aarni was a good guy. He was the one who’d gotten involved when the bullying on the Raptors had gotten to be too much for me to handle. When the guys in the toxic locker room got on my case. I’d only played a few games at that level with the Raptors and had fucked every single one of them up. They’d hated it, but Aarni had been there for me.


He seemed to know the point when the rest of the team pushed it too far, always stepping in just before I was going to run from the room. He’d helped me so much, but he was back in Arizona, so far away.


“I’ll be okay,” I murmured, fear gripping me again about the kind of things I needed to face with this new team.


“I doubt that.” He sighed. “But you weren’t enough of all that for the Raptors to keep you, so you have no choice, and there’s nothing we can do about it, can we?”


“No.”


He must have heard the desperation in my voice. I hadn’t wanted the Raptors to give up on me, but that was hockey. One day I had woken up in Arizona as the backup to the backup, fucking things up, and the next day, the team had put me on waivers, and I was suddenly in snowy Pennsylvania.


“Good boy,” was all he said, but it was enough.


He hung up, but those two words gave me a shot of steel to my spine, and I settled my breathing before opening the car door. Security had let me right through to the player parking lot, and my Toyota sat right next to a sexy red Porsche. My salary had taken a hike, up to three million for the two-year contract I had here, so I probably needed a new car.


Even if the Railers saw through me and sent me packing, I’d still have enough money to buy a car.


“Hey,” someone called from behind me, and I immediately assumed that I was standing somewhere I shouldn’t have been. The man was in a guard’s uniform, tall, built and smiling at me benignly.


“I’m sorry. They told me to park there.”


“Of course. Bryan Delaney, right?” he asked and extended his hand for me to shake, which I did immediately after wiping the sweaty palm on my jeans.


“Yeah, Bryan,” I said when I realized I hadn’t answered his question.


“Welcome.” He thumbed at himself. “Name’s Pete. They said I needed to keep an eye out for the new guy.”


He dropped my hand, and I forced a smile onto my face, even though my stomach was churning. “Thank you.”


“This way.” He chatted on about the weather, life, hockey and something about his sister who lived in Arizona. By the time he dropped me outside an office, I knew enough about Pete to write a book. Thing is, his chatter stilled my nerves, and I wasn’t going into this room blind. I knew the name on the door, Alain Gagnon, former goalie for Vancouver, and one of the best goalie coaches in the business. I’d skyped with him once in his capacity as Goalie Coach for the Railers after they’d claimed me off waivers. He’d seen me coming to the Railers as a positive thing, a great thing. All I’d seen is my failure at NHL level hockey with the Raptors, and I remembered going back to Aarni and needing to be held.


Of course, Aarni had said he didn’t need to hug me, but he’d reassured me that, however I played, he would always have my back. I’d needed the comfort. His words of advice stayed with me even now.


I just want you to realize what you are and what your place on the team will be. Ten acts friendly, but he won’t care about you like I do. Stan? He’s had some lucky saves, and as for that fucker Van Hellren? You saw what he did to me in our last matchup. I wish you weren’t so naïve, Bryan. It’s unlikely you’ll get many starts, so don’t be disappointed when you get sent down to the minors.


I won’t be disappointed. I’d promised Aarni, and I’d made a vow to myself not to get too excited and involved.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.


RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.


She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:


Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.


When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

Release Blitz for Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 54,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Harrisburg Railers Series
 
Book #1 – Changing Lines – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – First Season – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – Deep Edge – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #4 – Poke Check – Amazon UK | Amazon UK
Book #5 – Last Defense – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Fear and sadness mark Bryan’s life, can Gatlin show him that you have to trust before you can love?


Gatlin Pearce is creeping up on thirty-eight and is still single. It’s not that he wants to be alone, it’s just that he’s too damn old to be in clubs filled with glittery gay boys who can’t even tell him who the Rolling Stones are.


Better to just spend his evenings at Hard Score Ink – his tattoo and artwork shop – creating masterpieces on human flesh, listening to the Railers games, and nursing a cold beer.


His solitary life is about to end when Bryan Delaney, the new Railers backup goalie, shows up at his shop looking for new artwork for his helmet. There’s some sort of sad story in those beautiful eyes of Bryan’s, and Gatlin finds himself more than a little infatuated with the tender new goalie.


Bryan Delaney leaves home at fifteen to live with a billet family. He just wishes that he could have escaped his alcoholic father and strictly devout mother earlier. Drafted to the Arizona Raptors he finds a new family, and his first love affair even if that relationship is marked with violence.


Being traded to the Railers is a shock to the system but the team isn’t like any other he’s ever played on and they truly seem to care about him. It’s only when he meets artist Gatlin, with their shared love of music and hockey, that he realizes how hard it is to escape the past.


Excerpt


Keep your eye on Ten, he’s trouble.


That was all the text said, and I re-read it a few times as if more words would suddenly appear.


I don’t know why I looked for affection in any text that Aarni sent me because, in my kind-of-boyfriend’s own words, he wasn’t the demonstrative type. And he would always point out that someone could get hold of my phone. Then they would know that Aarni Lankinen, the villain of the Arizona Raptors, wasn’t everything he made himself out to be, that he wasn’t the playboy who fucked every woman within his reach. That he had a boyfriend on the side, and that it was me.


The phone rang, and I answered as soon as I saw his name. Aarni wasn’t the most patient guy on earth, and he liked it when I was fast to respond.


“Did you get my text?” Aarni asked without preamble.


“I did.”


“Don’t let me down now.”


I got the feeling, as he laughed, that he expected me to do that very thing. I still wasn’t sure what would count as letting him down. But given the kind of person I was—clumsy, quiet and only really focused when I was dressed for hockey—I kind of expected to fuck up.


The Arizona Raptors had chosen me in the 2014 draft, not long after my eighteenth birthday. I was the second highest ranking goaltender drafted that year, something to be proud of, I guess. But I’d not managed to stay up at NHL level, spending the rest of the time in the Raptors’ development team in Tucson. Until last year, when I’d actually been a starting goalie after both main goalies had been injured.


I hadn’t been stellar, and Arizona put me on waivers, leaving me vulnerable to being picked up by who the hell ever. My confidence had been rocked. I was a solid goalie for the development team, but the minute I got up to the primary team, NHL level, I choked. Why the hell did the Railers even want someone who hadn’t lived up to their early promise? I assumed I’d attend this training camp, and that would be it. They’d push me down to the Railers’ development team, and there I would stay.


Which wasn’t a bad thing, except they’d taken me from Arizona and from Aarni and it was the first time I’d been really on my own.


“Hello? Are you even listening to me?” Aarni snapped.


“Of course, I won’t let you down,” I lied.


I’m a good goalie, I stop pucks, I can be strong and focused and stay in my own head to track the plays in front of me.
Still, Aarni knew about me what I knew about myself; I’d choke at NHL level just as I had for the majority of my time with the Raptors.


I’m not ready. I should go back down to the minors.


“Also, don’t get comfortable there. They’re not going to keep you for long.”


“I know.”


“And don’t forget what assholes the Railers are. Don’t trust them, particularly wonder-boy Rowe. Arrogant fucker.”


I didn’t see Ten as arrogant at all, but then I was basing my assessment on TV interviews, including the one he’d given with Jared when they’d announced their relationship. I’d been proud of Ten and Jared for doing that, and part of me, the dark, hidden, ruined part, was green with envy that they were able to be open with the world.


I’d said that to Aarni, but he’d reacted badly and hadn’t talked to me for three days. His disappointment was a knife in my gut, and I hated every second of it. That was not happening again. He was right. Ten was a Stanley Cup Champion, a superstar, and if there had been NHL players at the Olympics, then he would undoubtedly have been on Team USA. No team would ask him to leave just because he had a boyfriend. It didn’t seem to be hurting the Railers, and they had a growing reputation as being LGBT-friendly.


“Jesus Christ, Bryan, are you even on this phone call?”


I pulled myself back from the edge. Aarni had said something about Ten being arrogant.


“I won’t forget,” I spoke with confidence so he’d realize I was listening.


“And remember I’m not there to watch your back.” He sighed deeply. “I worry there’s no one to look after you when you attract trouble. Especially from defenders like Max van Hellren. Asshole should have been thrown out of that game against us for what he did to me. Fucker lost us the chance at a championship. So fucking pleased he ended up collapsing. He deserved it.”


My chest tightened. Max wasn’t part of the Railers anymore. He’d retired after the cup win, but Aarni was right. There would be other guys there to step up in his place. Aarni had been furious, with a side order of mean, over what Max had done to him, checking him into the boards. But he’d finally calmed down, said he’d show Max what was what the next time the two teams met. He’d been so disappointed when Max had retired.


But Aarni was a good guy. He was the one who’d gotten involved when the bullying on the Raptors had gotten to be too much for me to handle. When the guys in the toxic locker room got on my case. I’d only played a few games at that level with the Raptors and had fucked every single one of them up. They’d hated it, but Aarni had been there for me.


He seemed to know the point when the rest of the team pushed it too far, always stepping in just before I was going to run from the room. He’d helped me so much, but he was back in Arizona, so far away.


“I’ll be okay,” I murmured, fear gripping me again about the kind of things I needed to face with this new team.


“I doubt that.” He sighed. “But you weren’t enough of all that for the Raptors to keep you, so you have no choice, and there’s nothing we can do about it, can we?”


“No.”


He must have heard the desperation in my voice. I hadn’t wanted the Raptors to give up on me, but that was hockey. One day I had woken up in Arizona as the backup to the backup, fucking things up, and the next day, the team had put me on waivers, and I was suddenly in snowy Pennsylvania.


“Good boy,” was all he said, but it was enough.


He hung up, but those two words gave me a shot of steel to my spine, and I settled my breathing before opening the car door. Security had let me right through to the player parking lot, and my Toyota sat right next to a sexy red Porsche. My salary had taken a hike, up to three million for the two-year contract I had here, so I probably needed a new car.


Even if the Railers saw through me and sent me packing, I’d still have enough money to buy a car.


“Hey,” someone called from behind me, and I immediately assumed that I was standing somewhere I shouldn’t have been. The man was in a guard’s uniform, tall, built and smiling at me benignly.


“I’m sorry. They told me to park there.”


“Of course. Bryan Delaney, right?” he asked and extended his hand for me to shake, which I did immediately after wiping the sweaty palm on my jeans.


“Yeah, Bryan,” I said when I realized I hadn’t answered his question.


“Welcome.” He thumbed at himself. “Name’s Pete. They said I needed to keep an eye out for the new guy.”


He dropped my hand, and I forced a smile onto my face, even though my stomach was churning. “Thank you.”


“This way.” He chatted on about the weather, life, hockey and something about his sister who lived in Arizona. By the time he dropped me outside an office, I knew enough about Pete to write a book. Thing is, his chatter stilled my nerves, and I wasn’t going into this room blind. I knew the name on the door, Alain Gagnon, former goalie for Vancouver, and one of the best goalie coaches in the business. I’d skyped with him once in his capacity as Goalie Coach for the Railers after they’d claimed me off waivers. He’d seen me coming to the Railers as a positive thing, a great thing. All I’d seen is my failure at NHL level hockey with the Raptors, and I remembered going back to Aarni and needing to be held.


Of course, Aarni had said he didn’t need to hug me, but he’d reassured me that, however I played, he would always have my back. I’d needed the comfort. His words of advice stayed with me even now.


I just want you to realize what you are and what your place on the team will be. Ten acts friendly, but he won’t care about you like I do. Stan? He’s had some lucky saves, and as for that fucker Van Hellren? You saw what he did to me in our last matchup. I wish you weren’t so naïve, Bryan. It’s unlikely you’ll get many starts, so don’t be disappointed when you get sent down to the minors.


I won’t be disappointed. I’d promised Aarni, and I’d made a vow to myself not to get too excited and involved.

RJ’s goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.


RJ is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.


She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the following links below:


Email RJ (rj@rjscott.co.uk)

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.


When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.