When opposites attract, it’s not just the team that’s in for a shake-up.
When a stipulation in his father’s will throws Mark back into a family that disowned him, he has only two things on his mind; buying his way out of contractual obligations and running in the opposite direction as fast as he can. When neither option pans out, he finds he is now a one third owner of the struggling Arizona Raptors hockey team, and that is just about the worst thing he could have happened to him. Not only does he hate hockey, but the Raptors are a bottom-of-the-league team, rife with jealousies and anger in a locker room that only knows self-pity. How is he supposed to help turn things around when the only way to start fixing things is to form an alliance with the estranged siblings he’d run from fifteen years earlier?
Then there’s Rowen Carmichael, a stubborn, opinionated, irritating man with superiority issues and questionable taste in music. Butting heads with Rowen, who he’d never even wanted to hire in the first place, is one thing, but there is no way in hell that he will allow the growing attraction to the new coach become anything more. Until with everything on the line, he has to make decisions that will change his life forever.
After years of collegiate coaching, Rowen is given an offer that he simply can’t refuse, although perhaps he should. When he’s presented with the chance to take one of the worst teams in the league and mold them into a future cup contender, the challenge is just too alluring to pass up. He leaves his beloved Ontario behind and moves west to the arid city of Tucson where he is faced with a broken team, shoddy management, and players overflowing with resentment and bigotry.
Never in his twenty years of hockey has he ever seen such a raging dumpster fire of an organization. Yet there’s something about this team and this city that compels him to roll up his sleeves and start dismantling. He has his eye on a new associate coach that’s bound to makes waves, and several key players who should be sent packing. Now all he has to do is convince the new owners of the team that his choices are for the best. If only Mark Westman-Reid, one of three siblings who now own the Raptors, wasn’t so damned rock-headed, so damned snooty, and so damned appealing his job might be a bit easier.
Word Count: 57,412
Like many others I was more than a little sad when...
'The Harrisburg Railers' came to an end...but...all that changed with 'Coast to Coast' the first book in the 'Arizona Raptors', RJ Scott and V.L. Locey's latest series and the much awaited spin off to 'The Harrisburg Railers'.
Before Mark Westman-Reid's father died he did two things that at first notice most would consider to be more than a little foolish...first... he signed Rowan Carmichael to leave his job coaching university level hockey and move to Arizona to try and save what most would consider one of, if not the worst team in professional hockey...The Arizona Raptors. It would take less time to explain what was good about this team than what isn't. The Raptors are a disaster of epic proportions and the second thing that father Westman-Reid did was in his will because if his brothers can't convince Mark to come home for one year and help them try to save the Raptors...the family will loose everything...well, everyone except Mark that is because when his father rejected him for being gay, Mark made his own way in the world and has managed to create a very successful modelling agency that doesn't depend on the wealth of the Westman-Reid family or the success of a failing hockey team.
I've been anxiously awaiting this newest venture into the world of hockey by this writing duo and I can happily say that I have not been disappointed. 'Coast to Coast' has laid the groundwork for a series that promises to deliver stories and characters that are every bit as enjoyable as we were treated to with 'The Harrisburg Railers' stories.
In 'Coast to Coast' as well as meeting Mark and Rowan we are introduced to the rest of the Westman-Reid family and several members of the Raptors including some that we have met before in both 'The Harrisburg Railers' and 'Owatonna U Hockey' series.
I really liked Mark and Rowan...their personalities, the banter and interaction between them, the way they challenged each other...this pairing worked for me and I'm really hoping that the trend of having characters recur in subsequent stories continues and we get to see more of these two.
Mark may not know hockey, but when it comes to running a successful business he's no slouch and if the Raptors want to have a hope in hades of getting back on their feet they're going to need all the help they can get. It's going to take Mark, his brothers and the sister that is not only determined to see the Raptors turn around as a team but to see her family reunited as well.
The Raptors are a mess and as well as proving to the upper management (code talk for the Westman-Reid family) that he is the man they need to get their team back on track but it's going to take a lot of changes the least of which is getting some fresh blood among the players, losing some of the more toxic veterans on the team...members that those who have read the Railers series will be more than happy to see go the way of the dodo bird and then there's the coaching staff that needs to be sorted out as well...it's going to be a challenging job and then some.
It's not always a given that enjoying a series will mean you like anything that spins off from it, so I'm definitely calling it a win that for me 'Coast to Coast' has gotten this series off to as good of a start as I had with 'The Harrisburg Railers' and I'm already anticipating reading whatever comes next for this team.
An ARC of 'Coast to Coast' was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
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