Recent Release Review: Ryker (Owatonna U Hockey #1) by R.J. Scott ,V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35559022-ryker?from_search=true

Blurb

This New Adult book is the first in the Owatonna U Series, a spin off from the best selling Harrisburg Railers Hockey Series.

Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

Review
I really loved this book! It’s definitely a YA/NA – it has a lot of angst that is age appropriate (and therefore a little frustrating) but still fits the ages of the MCs involved.

I think this can be a standalone but you’re definitely missing a lot of subtext if you don’t read these in order.

There was enough steam to keep things feeling hot but again – age appropriate.

I was pretty mad at the authors – when the hurt Ten in the last book – but I am hoping he seems on the mend and will hopefully be back up and skating soon 😉

I’ve really been enjoying this series and can’t wait for the next installment!

4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Recent release: Traded Out by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41555624-traded-out

Blurb

Olle Svensson came to Canada to play hockey, but now he’s wondering if twenty-five is too late to start university back home in Sweden. Things started out well, but then his friend Jamie gets caught with a guy in a men’s room stall at a random bar. Olle knows he should have stood by Jamie, in the bar and the locker room, but he’d been caught off-guard. He’d thought…well, it doesn’t matter anymore what he was thinking.

Jamie Gallagher is in hell. He’d been sure none of his teammates went to that bar, but now he’s been outed against his will and doesn’t have a single ally on the team. He’s giving serious thought to giving up on hockey until the Moncton Ice Cats come to the rescue. Jamie never thought he’d be so happy to be traded.

The only down side is that Olle is coming with him.

A Free Read through Insta-Freebee from August 28th to September 4th together with other authors ->
https://claims.instafreebie.com/gg/FC…

Review

I love this series and this author (and hockey)! This is a rather long story for a freebie and is wonderful!

It’s got a fair amount of hockey in it but is definitely relationship focused. We’ve got a clueless Jamie and an adorable Swede who quietly loves and protects Jamie until he finally clues in!

There is a bit of smexy times a lot of laughs and a nice glimpse of some of our previously loved and adored MCs.

Highly recommended for fans of the series/author but is absolutely fine as a standalone!

5 of 5 stars

Retro Read: Take a Shot by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40382971-take-a-shot

Blurb

If you want to score, you have to take the shot.

Chris Kimball is good at keeping things to himself, but when he breaks his leg during a hockey game, he quickly realizes his biggest secret might be impossible to keep. It was hard enough being in love with his best friend and teammate, Tim Robineau, but when Tim takes care of him as he recovers, Chris’s feelings only grow stronger.

Tim is aware that some people think he’s dumb, but they’re wrong. He’s just an easy-going guy who enjoys spending time with his team and friends—especially Chris. Tim has dated a lot of women who couldn’t understand that, and figures he’s cursed when it comes to love—but he’s not. He just doesn’t know it.

Yet.

***This story previously appeared in the Changing on the Fly Anthology***

Review

Tim and Chris are best friends and professional hockey player teammates. Tim 100% identifies as straight and Chris has been pining for Tim for a long time.

If you’re a fan of the author, Mike and Alexi are on their team and have suspected that Chris and Tim are perfect for each other, so they help the relationship along.

Chris gets injured on the ice and Tim realizes that he has more than “friend” feelings for his bestie.

**

This was a really fun and super sexy read. I love Mike and Alexi so it was great seeing them again. Since it’s short, Tim’s movement from “straight to gay” was a bit fast, but… it worked. (It’s not necessary to have read the other books in the series – that just adds “flavor”!)

Highly enjoyable!

4.5 of 5 stars

Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Retro Review: Home and Away by Samantha Wayland


Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25690047-home-and-away

Blurb
You can build a team, but you have to find your home.

Rupert Smythe is fond of many things. Callum Morrison isn’t one of them.

Rupert is a quiet, thoughtful business man and, sadly, a total wimp. Maybe not the ideal candidate to run a professional hockey team, but he signed on to do it anyway. As his life has reminded him on an almost daily basis since, this isn’t the most brilliant idea he’s ever had. And that was before Callum showed up.

Being in the spotlight is just part of being a professional athlete, but Callum needs a break. He arrives in Moncton unannounced, determined to help grow the team he just bought, and under the assumption he’d be welcome. Possibly he should have tried to make a better first impression.

Callum figures he can push through the rest of the summer, never expecting two kids, a host of friends, and his growing feelings for Rupert to derail everything he has ever believed about what he wanted, and what he could have.

Review

 

(Book 2 of Mike and Alexei’s story is here:  https://openskyebookreviews.com/checking-it-twice-by-samantha-wayland/

 This was previously reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/home-and-away-by-samantha-wayland/)

Rupert is a co-owner of a hockey team, but deathly afraid of hockey players. He is forced to work with them on a daily basis and manages well enough until Callum, the brother of the other co-owner bardges his way into his life when Garrick (the brother) is called away.
Callum is an in-the-closet hockey player and gruff on a good day, insufferable on his worst.
When Rupert’s little brother goes missing and is subsequently found, Callum rushes in to help Rupert collect him and then get him set up in his new home.
Callum comes from a large family and is great with kids, Rupert is an only child and raised by nannies. Together they make a great team helping poor Oliver acclimate to his new life. While doing so, what started as enemies morphs slowly into lovers.
Callum has never had a boyfriend, only hook-ups, he can’t come out because he fears there is no room for a gay hockey player in the NHL.
Rupert knows his time with Callum is on borrowed time but can’t help falling in love one day at a time with the gentle giant.
**
This book is so rich and full of emotion. I fell in love! There are so many layers. Callum is essentially a virgin – it’s been four years since he’s been intimate with anyone (for a specific reason) and never has he had more than a hook-up in a bar.
Rupert is growing through his own painful past experiences with large men and has no experience being a father.
Oliver is a four year old who was essentially abandoned by his uncaring mother and spends the first several weeks mute.
Christian is a boy Callum and Rupert meet through a Scout service skate lesson. He’s twelve, believes he’s gay and is the only son of a very homophobic drunk.
From Samantha’s previous book, … Net (see review on this site), Alexi and … show Callum how safe it can be to be gay and a hockey player.
There are some very obvious plot holes and some things that you just have to suspend your disbelief – but the slowly building love story and the heart warming relationships that develop between Oliver, Callum, Rupert and Christian are amazing.
The dialog is witty, Samantha does an excellent job of showing and not telling and the secondary characters are just as rich and well developed as the primary characters.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, even to those of us non-hockey fans.
Though it is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Crashing the Net first because it adds a bit to the back story and it’s a really good book! (Reviewed on this site previously.)

6 of 5 stars


Copy Purchased for Review

Retro Review: Crashing the Net by Samantha Wayland

Good reads link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22797434-crashing-the-net

Blurb

Mike comes to Moncton wanting nothing more than to play for the Ice Cats and finally live on his own terms. He’s broke, bruised, and covered from head to toe in cheap lube, but he isn’t going to let that stop him. All he needs is a place to live and some time to figure out how to reconcile who he really is with who everyone wants him to be.

Dumping three gallons of lube on the new kid is just another day at the office for Alexei. He knows exactly who he is: a goalie on the ice, a prankster in the locker room, and a man who knows better than to share his private life with anyone. He’s let people in before and it’s taught him that if he can’t have what he really wants, it’s better to be alone.

Despite their apparent differences, an unlikely friendship grows. Neither of them could ever have guessed how much they really have in common.

Review

Hockey season is just around the corner – so I’m doing my own little homage and reminding people of some great books that’ve come out about the great sport!

(Previously Reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/crashing-the-net-by-samantha-wayland/)

H.O.T. This book is hawt! Mike is a 22 year old, newly living on his own and playing professional hockey. He meets Alexi after being beat up after a “night on the town” and Alexi becomes his protector and mentor.

Mike has the hots for Alexi but could never imagine that Alexi might also be gay. Well… he is and he’s been jonesing for Mike big time.

When the two finally get together they burn the sheets! Mike is the big V but that doesn’t slow him down. Alexi kind of likes things rough, but so does Mike so there’s no problem there.

There is a minor hiccup when Alexi feels Mike needs to go out and sow his wild oats before settling down and the fact that Mike hasn’t come out to his rigid parents… but those don’t last long.

Overall this was a fast paced read, the first half all about the sexual tension and the second all about exploring the reality.

There was a fair amount of tenderness and sweetness, enough to keep me satisfied, and a very happy ever after.

I highly recommend this book and give it a 4.5 stars of 5.

Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Goal Line (Harrisburg Railers #6) by R.J. Scott , V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41083889-goal-line

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 much help he needs to escape the past

Review

 

Well – there were parts that I totally went ga-ga over. First, the hockey in these stories is FIRS RATE. I LOVE reading these books because the author(s) clearly know their sport and it makes it so much fun to read as a result.

 

Second, I love the characters. They do a tremendous job of creating relatable and maybe not super believable but lovable characters. The chemistry is first rate and I thought the two of these MCs made a wonderful couple – I was rooting for them the entire time!

 

Third, the drama – up until now I’ve really felt like the drama was kept to an appropriate hum and didn’t seem to muck up the story.

 

However – without giving any spoilers – I had to drop this from a 5 star to 4 because the authors chose to do something I HATE and that’s mess with a happy couple.

 

I won’t say who or what but I didn’t see the necessity of the plot they chose to follow and it made me pretty frustrated. I don’t know that I’d have read this if I’d have known what they were doing to previous MCs …

 

If you’re the type that doesn’t want to see your happy couples messed with – I encourage you to read the spoiler.

 

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey narrated by Sean Crisden

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Changing-Lines-Audiobook/B07FTQFYWN?qid=1532653346&sr=sr_1_7&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_7&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=4ASJP8BBWXR5XYHCEDXT&

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 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.

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

This drew my attention since I’m currently jonsing for some hockey! I was also curious about these two authors as a writing duo. I’ve not really been a Vocey fan, and some of RJ Scott’s latest works haven’t really impressed me – but I love her earlier books.

I think – overall – that they’re a good team. I think the new subgenre is good for Scott and gives a new direction – away from ranching and crime fighting – for her considerable writing talents.

The premise of this story and it’s start are very promising. May/December, Coach/player, family friend, closeted professional athlete, single father… you name it – lots of sexual tension and the need to keep things on the DL. I think, however, that the end result of all these reasons to keep things quiet were too many for our MCs to overcome in a short story.

There were just so many hurdles and not enough time for them to be really overcome in a way that made sense.

I appreciated that they didn’t just jump into bed, but the “slow” was too slow and Jared came across way too “father figure” and not enough “lover”. He was bossy and I never felt his emotions other than lust.

Ten seemed- sometimes – ridiculously immature and I thought his family was both ridiculous ( his oldest brother) and wonderful (his sweet mother). I wasn’t sure why he was there, but the Russian goalie – Stan – was my favorite and I hope we get to see more of him!

The book kept my interest and I’ll definitely pick up more in this series, but this wasn’t my favorite hockey book of all time.

3 of 5 stars

Audio

Sean Crisden is such a joy! He always provides a reliably wonderful listening experience and his voice is so damn sexy that I know he’ll make the most of the steamy scenes in any romance! He does a great job voicing the different “characters” and I can’t wait for Stan’s book – he does such a nice Russian accent!

 

Highly recommended!

(On a side note – I’m REALLY missing hockey right now and it was awesome listening to this story – hockey by an author who clearly loves/knows the sport!)

5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Recent Release: Last Defense (Harrisburg Railers #5) by R.J. Scott, V.L. Locey

Good Reads Link
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38328255-last-defense?from_search=true

Blurb
Two men afraid to feel, have to make choices that could end up breaking down their defenses and leading them back to love.

Every time Max Van Hellren steps on the ice he knows it could be his last time. At thirty-two he’s past his prime but he’s also hiding a life-threatening injury that private doctors warn could kill him. This is his last season, and there’s a chance he could lift the Stanley Cup after fourteen years in the NHL. He just needs to stay safe and healthy; difficult when he’s known for his heavy hitting and with a propensity for dropping the gloves and putting his body in the way of pucks to keep his team safe. A one-night stand with a sexy man was just what he needed, dangerous and hot, but what if it turned into more? Would he have to share the secrets he so desperately tries to hide?

Ben Worthington had it all. A fulfilling job running the CrossRoads Shelter, his loving aunts, and a husband that understood his devotion to animals. Then, the love of his life left him, succumbing so quickly to an unexpected sickness that Ben never had time to say goodbye. The violent loss scarred him. Unable to move past his fears, he moves from lonely encounter to lonely encounter, slaking a desperate need that is eating away at him, but never making a connection that could lead him back into love. One night with Max makes him want more, but will giving into the temptation open the door to feelings he can’t contain?

Can these two broken man ever find a way to be together?

 

Review

I love this series!

The characters are great, fun and funny, but with a layer of real-ness to them that keeps them from being caricatures. The hockey is awesome – there felt like some “Vegas Golden Knights” threads to this that almost made me dislike it – but since the Knights are set to lose tonight… I’m ok with it again 😉

What kept this from being a 5 star read for me was the deception between the two MCS. I think that Ben was clear about his phobias and Max had no right keeping his condition from him for as long as he does. If I’d have been Ben, I think I’d have considered calling it quits… however, I was glad the two did manage to find a way around the big bad ugly between them and their HEA is going to be really sweet and covered in fur!

If you’re a fan of the authors’, hockey, hurt/comfort/widower romances – this is for you!

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audiobook: City Boy: Hot (Off The Ice Book 1) by AE Wasp Narrated by Michael Pauley

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/City-Boy-Audiobook/B07BGCD4BG?ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=SV27NV3YZGNJNC2STE4B&

Blurb

Follow the money or follow your heart? Either way, you lose.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a white knight named Dakota, pro-hockey player Bryce Lowery discovers he is most definitely gay.

Being with Dakota opens up a whole new world. Bryce can’t imagine life without him. But he refuses to be Bryce’s dirty little secret. If he wants to keep Dakota, he’s either going to have to come out publicly or retire and walk away from millions of dollars.

Bryce Lowery feels like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. But is Dakota willing to leave the only life he’s ever known only to be thrust into the spotlight as the boyfriend of the first out gay hockey player? Would their relationship even survive it?

He’ll lose Bryce if doesn’t because Bryce will leave eventually. No one would turn down millions of dollars for a nobody with nothing.

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)

Review
(Book reviewed here previously)

This was just plain fun! It was sweet, had some emotionally charged moments, great chemistry, somewhat believable situations and – most importantly – Hockey!

Well, a little hockey anyway.

I loved the exploration and the tender sides we get to see of both MCs.

Highly recommended and an author I’ll now be looking for!

Audio

Woot! I was so glad to see this in audio format! Michael Pauley is great and does a fantastic job giving these guys voices. I sincerely hope he does the entire series! I can’t wait for more from this “world”!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Time to Laugh: Overtime Audiobook (ficlet) by Avon Gale narrated by Scott Smith

Good Reads Link

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31218096-overtime?from_search=true

Blurb

This short story (approximately 4000 words) takes place after the events of Power Play and before Empty Net. It features Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie Isaac Drake — as well as a few other familiar faces — and is available as a bonus for Avon’s newsletter subscribers.

 

 

 

 

 

Review

I can’t do a month about laughing and NOT include Avon Gale.  She cracks me up!  This is a little ficlet she has available for free on her blog – including the audio!

I don’t love Scott Smith but he has become the voices for the characters in this series to me and so by extension I now love him.

This is an adorable look at Misha and Max and the goalie before he meets Saint.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review