Friday, February 16, 2024

Second by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey Release Blitz

L.A. Storm #2. Second by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey.

Bryce has lost everything he loved. Michael is rebuilding a life built on lies. Is their love worth fighting for?

In the high-stakes world of professional hockey, Michael “Zeetoo” Zhang had the potential to shine brighter than his older brother. But he chose a treacherous path, and the scars of past failures and the constant shadow of his brother’s success haunt him. After a run of bad luck, and angry at the world, his resentment intensifies when he’s arrested, then sentenced to work supervised hours at an inner-city community garden. He’s already lost hockey and his house; how can he afford to lose anything else?

Bryce Kincaid is chased by his own demons, and years after the mistakes he made, he’s determined to never lose control again. He’s built something stable and good from the wreckage of his life, and the last thing he needs is a pampered celebrity anywhere near his beloved community garden project. When Michael arrives, he’s a broken man wrapped in a fiery package. But the gardens work their magic and reveal a vulnerability in Michael that Bryce can’t resist, he’s terrified to open his heart, and their growing relationship might be nipped in the bud.

To change his life, Michael must confront his past and fight for a future he never believed he deserved. But when that past threatens to destroy everything Bryce has built, their love could be over before it’s begun.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the L.A. Storm series!
For book one, Script, click HERE.


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Second by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

Book 2
Buy Links

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Apple Books  ~  B&N  ~  Kobo  ~  Smashwords
Paperback (US)




“Card,” I demanded and schooled my features when the king of diamonds turned up. I had a straight flush, and it was perfect—the kind of dream hand in poker that comes once in a lifetime. My heart raced as I peeked at my cards, barely containing my excitement. The odds were in my favor. It was a sure thing, a certainty, and blinded by the promise of winning, I did the unthinkable. I pushed all my chips to the center of the table. Everything. It was a bold move, a statement. I was all in. This was my moment, my chance to erase all my past mistakes, to come out on top, to prove to everyone, especially to my brother, that I was more than just a cautionary tale.

The room fell silent as the other players contemplated their next moves. One by one, they folded, until it was only me and one other—a newcomer with a poker face that gave nothing away. The final card was dealt, and I held my breath, ready to claim my victory.

But fate, as I had learned the hard way, is often cruel. In a twist that seemed ripped from a movie script, the newcomer revealed his hand. It was the only one that could beat mine, a statistical improbability, a once-in-a-lifetime counter to my once-in-a-lifetime hand. A royal flush.

“Read ’em and weep, Freckles,” my opponent cackled.

The realization slammed into me like a physical blow. I’d lost.

Lost everything. The room spun, and the sounds around me faded to a dull roar. I couldn’t breathe, couldn't think. The chips, my lifeline, my ticket to paying my way out of debt, were now sliding across the table, away from me.

The weight of what I had done crashed down on me with brutal force. I’d gambled everything on a single hand, and everything was over. Paying off the debts, the promises of turning things around, the fleeting glimpse of a better future—all gone with the turn of a card—my brief taste of success was ash in my mouth. The debts were still there, looming larger than ever, and now, I had nothing left to pay them with. My car, my last asset, was as good as gone, promised to Looper for a fraction of its worth. I’d been so close to clawing my way out and keeping my baby, only to plunge deeper into the abyss.

“I’ll be back,” I said with confidence, but no one met my eyes.




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Second is the second book in the L.A. Storm series. It can be read as a standalone without issue.

Michael “Zeetoo” Zhang has always felt second best in his life. His adoptive brother is also a professional hockey player. So, he's always been compared to him, even the Zeetoo is because Charles was on the team first. It's annoying always trying to measure up to him his entire life. When one bet leads to another and another, while drinking, and one misstep has Michael losing everything, he hates that his brother is the one stepping in and helping him, giving a place to live. He is a hockey god, he shouldn't be living in a pool house on his brother's property. When he's forced to do community service as part of his sentence, he never expected to find some sort of peace in the community garden. Was that because of the sexy man running the garden or some solace he found among the planets?

Bryce Kincaid is fighting his own demons. After getting hurt and developing an addiction to pain pills, he lost everything that was important to him. His wife, his son, and his music career. He's slowly but surely finding out who he is now as a person and what he wants. He loves running the community garden and watching nothing become something. He loves his bees and taking care of them. What he doesn't expect is the attraction to the cocky hockey player. They both have addictive pasts so they shouldn't get together, but what if being together helps the both of them heal in ways they never expected?

I was so invested in this story. I loved the little bit of angst thrown in with the money shark. You knew he was popping up eventually, but you just didn't know when. Seeing how Michael was finally able to live his best life and give up the pain he's felt of not being good enough. Healing his relationship with his brother and falling for Bryce was so sweet. He was so unlikeable in the beginning, but I kept rooting for him!

I can't wait to see what's next!

This is the second book in this hockey based series. I think you could read this as standalone, but you should really go and enjoy the fun of Finn and Cam's story in Script, and the bonus novella Sparkle.

It is really difficult to like Michael at the start of this story; he is deep in a gambling addiction which is destroying his life. His hockey career is possibly over; his house is gone; he has to stay with his brother who is successful, team captain, family man, and genuinely all round good guy. Laid truly low, Michael ends up having to do community service in a city garden project.

Here he finds an immediate connection with Bryce, his supervisor, but they both recognise the attraction only complicates the situation – however much they wish otherwise. Through their closeness and the understanding that Michael gains from the garden and its patrons (a shout out to Mrs. Cho), we see him redeemed, and finding his place in the world. He had a lot of demons to slay, and he worked at them to reach a happier, more fulfilled and contented life, reconciled with his family, and starting his new family in Bryce and his son, Leo.

This was a book which brought out the less glamorous and difficult journey that some sportspeople may take when faced with the challenges of addiction in all its forms. The authors have done a really good job of making someone who could have been irredeemable into a man that deserves the attention of Bryce and the happy ever after they create.

I am looking forward to the next installment already!



Author Bio

RJ Scott

USA Today bestselling author RJ SCOTT has written over one hundred and fifty romance books. Emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, single dads, hockey players, millionaires, princes, bodyguards, Navy SEALs, soldiers, doctors, paramedics, firefighters, cops, and the men who get mixed up in their lives, always 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 box of chocolates she couldn’t defeat.

Connect with RJ Scott!

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  TikTok  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: RJ Scott – Special Secret Group
Facebook Group: MM Hockey Romance


V.L. LOCEY loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, 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, a flock of assorted fowl, and two Jersey 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 hand.

Connect with V.L. Locey!

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: V.L. Locey – Vixens Reading Group
Facebook Group: MM Hockey Romance


Hosted by

Love Lane Books Promotion.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Second (L.A. Storm #2) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey to read and review.

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