Monday, November 18, 2019

ARC Review : Across The Pound (Arizona Raptors #2) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Blurb :

The greatest journey isn’t from England to the States, it’s the one that two men take on the way to find each other.

Sebastian Brown is on a mission to rescue the Arizona Raptors and a vow he made to a friend in college. Either that or he’s on vacation. He’s not entirely sure that he’s made up his mind yet. Either way, traveling from England, to the arid desert of Arizona isn’t exactly a picnic, particularly with the doubts and worries he takes with him. He’s turned even the worst of companies around, but faced with the challenge of improving the reputation of a hockey team that everyone seems to hate, he knows his work is cut out for him.

Focus is key, but that is easier said than done when Seb is sent into a tailspin by the intriguing Alejandro. Seb’s entire marketing plan hinges on making Alex a poster boy for equality and fair play. But with Alex’s utter dedication to the game, and his dark secretive eyes, the gorgeous Alex is stubborn, opinionated, doesn’t want any part of being the team focus, and worst of all, doesn't appear to like Seb at all. It takes everything that Seb has to keep his hands off of Alex, but things get out of hand and Seb’s life might never be the same again.

Alejandro Garcia has had to work hard to get where he’s at. Born to Mexican immigrants, his siblings and himself have never had it easy in this new country their parents dreamed of calling home. A native son of Arizona, Alex has always been the odd man out on the ice but he’s not going to let a stupid thing like his heritage get in the way of his dreams. He’s now a Raptor and he plans to put all that training and collegiate hockey experience to good use. Working hard comes naturally to him. It’s something his parents have instilled in him from the time he was a toddler. Being one of a handful of Latino hockey players makes him strive for success with even more determination. His first pro season has had some ups but a lot more downs, but Alex is one stubborn young man and failure is not an option.

As the Raptors struggle to rebuild not only their team but their core values, Alex finds himself drawn to one of the owner’s friends, a tall, lanky Brit with the face of an angel and an accent and attitude that bewitches and befuddles him. Sebastian is everything he thought he would never be attracted to but he can’t push the sexy, older, fun-loving man out of his thoughts. If ever there were a man he would not be able to take home to his parents - not that he can bring a man home since he is deeply closeted - it’s Sebastian, but desire knows no socioeconomic, age, or international borders. The heart wants what the heart wants and Alejandro’s wants Sebastian.

Christelle's rating:

2nd book of the “Arizona Raptors” series following the fate of a Hockey Team and the MM romances of some of the members of the team. Just like with their previous series, “The Harrisburg Railers”, these authors play with the team spirit and friendship, it’s low on angst and with the right amount of sweet for me. Going into these books is like spending a nice evening catching up with good friends.

The team is still internally struggling to be on top again, despite the efforts of the management, of the new coaches and some good promising recruits, one of them being the young Alejandro, very well liked, bitter with the racist comments against his heritage, and deeply into the closet. Here enters Sebastian, flying from England, a good friend of one of the team owners and taking the task of improving the reputation of the Raptors.

The part that kept me the most interested? The slow rebuild of the team and following Henry’s struggle after his accident from book 1. I was less invested on the romance between Alejandro and Sebastian, maybe because it felt a bit like a YA romance, like a lot happened out of page and felt unfinished.

Tepid enthusiasm for this specific romance, but a nice tease for the next gathering featuring Henry. I will be ready.


ARC of “Across the Pound” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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