Monday, May 21, 2018

Review Tour - Last Defense - RJ Scott & VL Locey

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 52,000 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 US | Amazon UK


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 he’s past his hockey 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 actually 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 men ever find a way to be together?


“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.

Karen's review:

I know I said that ‘Poke Check’ was my favorite book in this series and I stand by that I loved that book a lot but I think it’s got a bit of company on my favorites shelf when it comes to this series. I honestly didn’t think it was possible for me to love another book in this series as much as ‘Poke Check’ but I’m happy to say that I was wrong because ‘Last Defense’ won me over practically from the first page.
First off let me just say we get a peek at all the usual suspects (meaning MCs from previous books) so that’s always a plus with me. We’ve met both of the MCs from this book in previous stories but only very briefly and while I remembered them I have to admit that neither of them seemed like real attention grabbers to me…which just goes to show you how much I know because as I said this one had me practically from the first page…I guess it’s a case of you’ve gotta’ watch out for the quiet ones.
Max Van Hellren is a defenseman and I have to admit when it comes to hockey my all time favorite player is #4 Bobby Orr. Former defenseman for the Boston Bruins so I think Max won me over by virtue of his position on the Railers but truthfully, I just came to really like him and then there was Ben Worthington…now, Ben doesn’t play hockey, nope, he runs CrossRoads Shelter it’s a no kill animal shelter…right? Tell me you don’t already like Ben. Not to mention how can you not like someone who names their dog ‘Bucky’ as in ‘The Winter Soldier’…sorry, that gets him so many coolness points in my books.
Needless to say, both of these men come with a full set of their own baggage…Max is 32, which is not young in the world of professional hockey and each game that he plays could very well be his last game ever. Max has a life threatening medical condition and no this isn’t a spoiler because this is all in the blurb. But for Max there’s only every been hockey and while this is his last season in the NHL, it’s the season he’s worked his whole professional career for…in fact probably his whole life he’s never wanted to be anything other than a hockey player and this is the season that could see him on a Stanley Cup winning team. The ultimate goal of every boy who’s ever laced on a pair of skates.
Ben has had it all. A job that he loved, living next door to his two adorably nosy aunts with his loving husband. A husband who died so suddenly and unexpectedly that Ben never got to say good-bye.
Things between Max and Ben start out simply as two men sharing a mutual physical attraction. But with each encounter they get to know each other a bit more and both men slowly begin to realize that they like each other and that the attraction has gone well beyond the purely physical.
Between the hockey and Ben’s work at the shelter which keeps him more than a little busy finding time to be together is another job altogether that these men both find that they are willing to put forth the effort for.
Sometimes books just grab us and we fall into them and that’s what happened for me with this one. Everything just came together for me in the best way possible and this book was a total pleasure to read. Sure there was a little bit of angst and drama but damn take out that and chances are what you’ve got is a hella’ boring story and this story just had the right amount to keep this reader interested. My attention was grabbed from the very beginning of this story and it never wavered.
While ‘Last Defense’ could easily be read as a standalone story I have to say my recommendation is to start at the beginning and enjoy all of  it. I love reading a series where the MCs continue to recur in subsequent stories and while it’s not always necessary to know everyone’s background and who’s connected to who…it does make the story more interesting and in general just more enjoyable. This one is most definitely recommended.

An ARC of ‘Last Defense’ was graciously provided by authors via the tour organizer in exchange for an honest review.

About the authors:

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.

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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