Monday, May 28, 2018

Last Defense by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey Blog Tour

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?

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Book 5
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“Nice dog.” I paused just this side of the players’ entrance at the deep voice coming from behind me. There was something about that man’s voice… the timbre of the bass or the way he spoke. Not sure what it was, but the last time he’d spoken to me my body had had the same kind of reaction. A spear of latent heat low in my belly followed by a shiv of icy dread.

“Thanks.” I wanted to stare at the door. Or run. I couldn’t do either of those, though, so I turned to face the bearded man. Christ, but he was fierce-looking. Like a Viking, with piercing eyes and an aura that screamed berserker. He was bigger than me. Taller by at least four inches and probably sixty pounds. He was wearing a suit, as Stan and Erik had been, but his looked incredibly fine on his burly frame. Dark blue with a silver tie and a white shirt. His biceps strained the material trying to contain them.

“His name is Bucky.” There now, I had spoken to the man who made my heart leap around inside my chest like a frog on a highway.

“Like Captain America’s sidekick?” He looked down at my worn T-shirt with Cap’s shield on it.

“Exactly like that.”

He took another step, which put him into my little personal space bubble, his gaze and mine locked. I wet my lips and jerked my chin up a bit. I wasn’t going to let some hockey player intimidate me.

“Cute dog. Hot owner.” He gave me a long, slow look, petted Bucky, and stepped around the dull-witted man trying to digest the fact Mr. Fear had said he was hot. “Are you coming in, or are you teaching your dog to open doors mentally?”

“I’m here to see Layton Foxx.”

“Yeah? Well, I’m here to participate in morning skate.”

“I know who you are. Max van Hellren. You played for Washington four years ago.”

He tugged the door open and settled a kind of bored look on me. “Yeah, that was me. You like Washington?”

“Hometown team.” Bucky barked to back me up. Max smiled. All the ferocity that oozed out of him dissipated when he smiled. The man was seriously fine.

“Maybe I can change your mind about which team to cheer for, Mr. Washington Fan.”

“Ben. My name is Ben.”

He nodded just once, his hand still keeping the door open. “Ben. I like that. Suits you. So, are we coming in or are we going to flirt here in front of Pete?”

A security guard peeked around the door and winked at me. I wanted to die. Right there.

“I don’t flirt,” I snapped. I stalked around Max and Pete and went off to find Layton Foxx. Determination hot in my breast kept me from looking back to see if Max was checking out my ass. I hoped he was and I prayed he wasn’t.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

So the positives about this story.

1. I love seeing the Railers play and spending time with the players.
2. Max and Ben's romance is both hot and sweet and easy to enjoy.
3. Ben's crazy great aunts are good value.
4. Bucky, Ben's dog. I love it when our heroes have animals in their lives.

The negative. The story was entirely predictable. The problems they were going to encounter were glaringly obvious, so it lessened the impact of the events and my connection to the story.

I enjoyed Last Defense. It was good, romantic reading requiring little effort on the part of the reader. I'm pleased to see there will be a book 6 in this series because I'm happy to spend more time with the Railers.

Adding cute dogs to a series about hot hockey players feels like a completely unfair manipulation of my emotions. And the details only make the story better. The hockey player in this one is Max, a veteran player heading for retirement and Ben, the owner of the local dog rescue happens to be a grieving widower. Seriously – this book ticks far too many of my romance novel soft spots!

I loved both Max and Ben (though I have to admit that I loved Ben’s dog most of all) – and as always, I loved the Harrisburg Railers hockey team. The romance in this story is sticky sweet and pretty fluffy. Ben and Max both wrestle with a few more serious issues that keep the story from pushing into diabetes territory, but this is a pretty light read. For a hockey story, there is limited hockey action, but the authors capture some brilliant moments between Railers team members.

This is an entertaining addition to a light and fun hockey series. It’s a low angst, moderate heat romance with a few exciting scenes and a great sense of humour. I really enjoyed Ben and Max’s story.

This is the fifth book in the series, and I would recommend that you read them in order to get the full picture of this fabulous team of hockey players, coaches, and friends. Max may be new to the team, but he knows this is last season, so he puts everything into his playing. It is fun seeing previous couples together and being supportive.

The hockey story about getting the Stanley Cup works well, it isn't front and centre, but as soon as the men take to the ice, the tempo shifts up a gear and the pressure is on. Anyone who either reads hockey romances or watches the sport will know that Max's role ensures plenty of on ice aggression and penalties. He does not disappoint!

Ben's world revolves around keeping his animal shelter open and his charges safe and fed. He has a large but cute dog called Bucky, and a fragile heart after losing his husband to cancer. So a big bruiser like Max suddenly being in his life is a bit of shock, but as we see, somehow they fit. It is a complex, slightly nervous relationship at first, but clearly there is a connection which is determined to grow.

As we get both sides of the story, it is clear to us that Max's health issues will cause huge problems to Ben, but we can only watch it all play out. Add in the danger to Ben from his ex-brother-in-law and there is enough angst when on the rink, or home, or the shelter. In the midst of all that they forge a strong bond, have some very passionate encounters, and even move up to waking up together.

This is a lovely story, with plenty of romance, passion, sport, and ultimately, fulfillment. Thank you. Ms. Locey and Ms. Scott. I think that we have to wait till August for the next installment – I am counting down the days!

Also Available in the Harrisburg Railers Series

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the First Season Blog Tour.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Deep Edge Blog Tour.

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Poke Check Blog Tour.

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 Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes 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

Connect with RJ

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

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.

Connect with V.L.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Last Defense (Harrisburg Railers #5) by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey to read and review for this tour.

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