Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M hockey romance from the writing team of RJ Scott and VL Locey. TOP SHELF is the first book in their new Boston Rebels series. A pro hockey player comes out–under duress–but now that he’s living his truth can he be brave enough to finally act on his longtime crush?
Drop down to catch an excerpt, my review and enter for a chance to win a $10 GC or some backlist books.
About the book:
Acting on the attraction to his best friend’s brother has always been off the table for Xander until a passionate hookup with Mason at a beach resort begins a love affair that burns long after summer ends.
Mason specializes in assisting same-sex couples on their journey to becoming parents and fighting every rule that blocks his way in the stuck-in-the-past agency that hired him. Living in his brother’s pool house is rent-free, and every cent he earns he saves for his dream—that one day he’d have his own company helping others. The downside is that he has to see his annoying brother every day, the upside is that his brother’s teammates from the Boston Rebels make regular visits. The eye candy that passes Mason’s window is almost enough to make him consider dating a hockey player, but not just any player though. Ever since Xander—his brother’s childhood friend—came out as gay at a press conference, Mason’s puppy love has turned into a burning attraction he can no longer ignore.
Hockey has been one of Xander’s main focuses since he was old enough to balance on skates. Well, hockey and Mason Kingsley, but Mason was always unattainable. Now that he’s about to see thirty candles on his birthday cake and is no longer hiding the fact he’s gay, he’s ready to find a soul mate to make his life complete. A summer vacation is just what he needs to have time to think, but when the Boston Rebels arriving in paradise with Mason in tow, thinking is the last thing he needs. One torrid night under a balmy moon and rules about not messing with his best friend’s brother vanish on a warm, tropical breeze.
Summer romances don’t generally last past Labor Day, but with the new season about to begin Xander and Mason are going to have to face the world and decide if their love is real enough to withstand everything.
How about a yummy taste?
“Thanks. That means a lot.” I got a little emotional. Eli gave my shoulders a squeeze.
“It’s great that you’re willing to toss the gloves for me but maybe you should let me handle any instigators. Remember the last time you threw down with Adler Lockhart? The dude whipped you like a rug.”
Eli made that pig-like snort sound. “In my defense, he caught me unaware with some stupid joke about a rabbit, a priest, and minister walking into a bar. While I was trying to figure out whether he meant rabbit or rabbi, he sucker punched me in the face.”
“Dude, that was no sucker punch. People in the rafters saw it coming.”
Eli tugged me into his chest. We bro hugged for a long time then we broke apart. “We better get to that meeting, but we’re not done discussing this. And don’t ever hide shit from me again. We made a blood pact.”
I smiled. The first smile to grace my face in days. “I won’t do it again.”
Xander Holden is a top defenseman on the Boston Rebels professional hockey team. He’s also a closeted bisexual man. He has never had a long term relationship, but he’s lived a very discreet life and he’s supremely upset that one small tryst leads him to come out publicly–to avert a scandal or blackmail. Xander has a lot of friends on his team–some of whom are queer. His very best friend, Eli Kingsley, is a little miffed that Xander never confided in him, but he’s going to be even more hacked off if he finds out that Xander has a long-time crush on his younger brother, Mason.
Mason Kingsley is an out and proud gay man, who is just opening a new adoption agency–one that specializes in helping queer couples adopt. Mason has known Xander his whole life, and has definitely been half in love with him since adolescence. All grown, and helping to plan the ultimate 30th birthday getaway for Xander, Eli and himself in the Caribbean, Mason is hard-pressed to not admit his deep and strong attraction.
This is a sweet romance that has a bit of hockey, mostly because we spend a lot of time with the team, who all show up for the getaway. Their season ends abruptly and they are unhappy about it, but Xander feels like the spotlight is definitely on him. His spirit is wounded, and Mason’s sexy shenanigans are a fun distraction. Well, until Xander recognizes that he really adores Mason as more than his bestie’s “kid” brother. Now, Xander wants way more than just the fling Mason offers–he wants everything Mason is willing to give him. Mason’s dreams of a whole life together with Xander seem to finally be coming true, but there is definitely public fall out for dating a celebrity, and it might squelch his new agency before it even gets started.
I felt like this book moved really quickly, and it only worked because Xander and Mason had such a long acquaintance before they admitted their mutual attraction. The coming out was a little traumatic, but less than I’d anticipated. As an entree to the new series, we have a really good sense of all the players on the Rebels and who might find a boyfriend next.
Click on this Giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 gift card or 2 backlist books from the authors.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Authors:
RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women 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.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!