Wednesday, August 5, 2020

ARC Review: Sugar and Ice (Arizona Raptors #4) by RJ Scott and VL Locey


Blurb

When love is on the line, the worst decisions can end up having the best endings

Tate Collins, an all-American hockey phenomenon, was the highly marketable face of Dallas hockey. Loaded down with endorsements and playing his best game, he was a superstar and a household name. No one ever expected him to fail, but overnight, after the worst decision of his life, everything spirals out of his control. Abruptly, his reputation is in tatters, and he’s traded to the Arizona Raptors in a shocking move. Brushing off the wild and unfounded accusations that he faces on social media, and stuck on the second line, he keeps his head down and works hard to earn his spot. Tate knows he can make a difference if only his teammates would let him. Something has to change for him to earn their respect, but falling for the captain might not be his best move.

Vladislav Novikov has been called many things over his long and illustrious career, but the new nickname of Iceberg seems to fit best. Perhaps it’s due to his icy blue eyes, or the way he rams into opposing players as he defends his goalie. Or maybe it’s because of his cool demeanor when not playing the game he loves. Whatever the reason, it’s why he’s the perfect team captain for this wild bunch of puck-pushers. His perfectly controlled life is smooth as ice until Tate Collins rides into Tucson with his apple pie ways and those damn dimples. The young superstar immediately catches his eye. Despite knowing better than to start something with a teammate, the big, bad Iceberg is about to have that chilly veneer around his heart melted away by Tate one sweet kiss at a time.


Christelle's rating:




RJ Scott and VL Lockey have a knack for delivering MM romances filled with lovable characters, a huge sense of friendship and family and with a sparkle of banter, all this in the context of a sport team. It’s all of this that makes me read their series with pleasure because it works well for me.

So, this series follows the romances among the Raptor’s Hockey Team while this team is trying to rise into the NHL. Is it a standalone ? Yes and no - like I said, what I enjoy is the sense of support and camaraderie and it’s more appreciated and felt if all the previous books are read beforehand. In addition, as the characters are endearing, it’s nice to get a glimpse of the ones previously featured (even a glimpse of the Harrisbugh characters, yeah : that was a bittersweet bonus for me)..


The stars of this one are Vlad, the Russian captain of the Raptor team, cool-headed, called “Iceberg”, and Tate, the new guy in the team, with exceptional talents but also a reputation hugely, and unjustly tarnished. It’s nice being in the head of Vlad, with his huge sense of responsibility explaining his need of being in control, and in the head of Tate, so attentive to the others to his own detriment.

It's low on angst, the level of steam is there - although I would want more -, and there is some good banter. The development of the relationship between Vlad and Tate goes smoothly and at a nice pace, but I wouldn’t have minded for a bit more of depth.

In overall, a nice addition and a sweet moment for me.

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ARC of “Sugar and Ice” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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