Length: 56,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Owatonna U Hockey Series
Senior year is here, and everything is on the line. Benoit’s time to shine in the crease is now, and he’s going to do everything he can to make sure those professional scouts take notice. He’s earned a great reputation for his skills in the net, and his laid-back demeanor is his key to maintaining his cool when things get heated in the goal crease.
As the Eagles roar into a new season, Ben’s laser-sharp focus is shattered by his attraction to Ethan Girard, the team’s new defensive consultant. Trying his best to ignore the budding friendship that’s taking a hard, fast turn into something far more passionate, Ben is determined to keep his mind on the sport he loves and not let his feelings for the handsome older man creep into his performance. But love, like hockey, is wildly unpredictable, and soon Ben finds that he’s unable to distance himself from Ethan who is slowly and surely working himself into his heart.
Famed Boston defenseman, Ethan Girard, isn’t stupid. Celebrating his thirty-second birthday in the emergency room after breaking his leg, and with a warning that healing will be a long process, he knows he has to think about his future. He was drafted at eighteen, and he’s never known anything but hockey, but with no contract in place yet for the new season he considers that maybe it’s time for him to hang up his skates for good.
Volunteering to help out with the Owatonna Eagles fills his time, but from the moment he lays eyes on goalie Ben, he knows his world will never be the same again. Falling in lust is as easy as stealing his first kiss, but Ben refuses to engage. Has Ethan finally met his match?
When the lines between career and love blur, will Ethan and Ben find a way to create a future that will work for both of them?
I know this is supposed to be a review, but I have to admit there’s going to a bit of fangirling going on here.
So, let’s go back to the beginning and by beginning I don’t mean Ryker…nope I’m talking about Harrisburg home of the Harrisburg Railers. I was intrigued when I saw that first book for the Railers and the blurb sounded good so I figured ‘ok, I’ll give it a go’ and so far there’s been no looking back in my mind. I have loved every word of the Harrisburg Railers that I could get my hands on and from there things just flowed over to ‘Owatonna U’ where we got to know more about Ryker as he met and fell in love with Jacob.
From there we discovered Ryker and Jacob’s teammate and a troubled young man named Scott who’s path leads him away from hockey and straight to Hayne, an artistically talented and gently soul who sees past Scott’s troubles and finds someone worth loving…seriously I loved…abso-freakin’-lutely loved!!! Both of these books but for me Scott and Hayne’s story was just that little bit more compelling and there was just no way things were going to get better…well, I was wrong because here we are at ‘Benoit’ the final book in this series and I can honestly say as much as I loved ‘Ryker’ and ‘Scott’…’Benoit’ surpasses them both.
First off, we have an MC who’s Canadian and if you know me than you know I am proudly Canadian, and I am also extremely pleased that Benoit is from Quebec. Admittedly, I’m from Ontario and while I do love it here Quebec has a beauty and history to it that is uniquely it’s own. So to have this absolutely wonderful character named Benoit come not only from Canada but from one of our most beautiful provinces for me is just really special…so thank you for this, Ms Locey and Ms Scott. I’m sure any other Canadians who read this book will agree with me when I say that we would proudly claim Benoit as one of our own.
Now aside from the fact that I like where Benoit was born, I simply loved this character. He’s focused, determined, talented and so committed to his family. This is not a young man who’s gone off to college to party and have a good time…this is a young man who loves his family and his goal is to get drafted to the NHL so he can earn the big bucks…so that he can lead the good life…right? Nope, not Benoit…because once again for Benoit, his motivation for this comes back to family. I’d say he’s a good kid but that’s not accurate at all…he’s a young man and he’s a young man with a strong sense of responsibility to his family and in general he’s just a really good person and he’s also hot…totally sexy and hot…no really he is just ask Ethan…
Ethan Girard is the other half of this story…he’s 32 years old his contract with my beloved Bruins is up, I know, I know I’m Canadian what the H-E-double hockey sticks am I doing cheering for the Bruins…well, sorry but that’s another story for another day, and after breaking his leg he’s coming to realize that it’s time for him to consider the direction his life’s going in. But once again we’re not faced with someone who’s life is in some way a mess. There’re no drugs, alcohol, gambling or any of the things that are warning signs of a person spiralling out of control…nope, but at 32 years of age Ethan recognizes that he’s had a good run with the Bruins and maybe after 14 years it’s time to hang up the skates and see what else life has to offer him, but for now what better way to fill his days until he finds that direction than to help out a friend and do some coaching with his hometown team the Owatonna U Eagles.
Benoit and Ethan are drawn to each other from the first time they see each other…no it’s not love at first sight. It’s more a case of lust at first sight, but it’s also a lust that neither man wants to give in to. Benoit feels that he’s got more important things to focus on and Ethan tries to tell himself that he’s too old for the sexy, young goalie who’s sparked his interest…yeah, you just keep telling yourself that Ethan.
While Benoit is just starting his career, Ethan is considering bringing his to an end with retirement and I have to admit the juxtaposition of where each man is at in his life had me a little nervous because of the power dynamic that it had the potential to create, but thankfully controlling is not Ethan’s nature so they were able to find a balance that worked. Also the communication between these two men is pretty awesome…not to say that there’s never any misunderstanding, just that they get worked out…no drama llama’s required.
I realize this may all sound a little boring but trust me when I say that Benoit and Ethan are not living in a bubble and as is often the case life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans and sometimes it’s what happens when we’re not looking that derails the best laid plans. But it’s how we deal with life’s surprises that helps to form the basis of who we are and the relationships that we have; such is the case for Benoit and Ethan.
As Benoit and Ethan work together to make things work between them, it’s when they get help from a few of their friends that things start to fall into place. So here’s where I get to fangirl a bit more because as much as I loved this story the icing on my cake, the cherry on my sundae was the fact that we got to spend time with some very familiar characters…such as a certain captain of the Bruins and more than a couple of Railers along with Ryker, a bit of Jacob and Benoit’s other roommates, Scott and Haney…really? How could this one possibly go wrong…it can’t, no really there’s just too much awesome for this story to be anything but ‘awesome’!
And now at the end of it all…with Ten and Mads’ wedding fast approaching, the men of Owatonna U going out into the world to find their way; one might wonder what comes next…well, I’ve heard a rumor that Arizona’s an interesting place to be come September so I think I’ll make like a snowbird and head down there to see what’s happening because if it’s more of what we’ve been getting…sexy hockey men with interesting stories…sign me up because I’m all in for more.
An ARC of ‘Benoit’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
About the authors:
RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing 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.
She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, 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 pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two 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 one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.