Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: POKE CHECK by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey (Harrisburg Railers #4)

Length: 50,000 words approx
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Harrisburg Railers Series

Book #1 - Changing Lines
Book #2 - First Season
Book #3 - Deep Edge


One scorching summer in each other's arms could never be enough.

Stanislav "Stan" Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way.

He'd given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan's heart as before. This time it's not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there's a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby.

Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he's now finding it harder and harder to turn away.

Erik Gunnarsson's dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he'd land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he'd callously broken?

Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan's life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him.

Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?



There are many people I would have rather seen standing on the ice of my practice arena than Erik. For example my beloved sister, Galina, my sainted mother, Arina, my cat, Lucy, or my new gay American heartthrob, Zachary Quinto.

Zachary would be wearing only a smile even though it’s cold on the ice.

But no, none of them were standing in front of me wearing a Railers sweater and curls. Those damn golden curls. They’d always tempted me beyond sense. As had his mouth. And the way he would tilt his head when he was trying to understand me out of bed. In bed? There was no language barrier. Our bodies had always been tuned to each other like radio waves to a satellite dish.

Even now, I felt the low hum of his presence in my veins. I had feared this moment would come. From the first time I’d heard his name mentioned as being a new member of the Rush, our AHL feeder team, I’d known he would eventually stand in front of me, tipping his head, with his curls, his eyes and his mouth.

Connor was looking at me as if he expected something from me. Ah yes, words. He wanted me to say something. How did “go f*ck a donkey” translate into English?

“We are known to each other.”

I skated to my net, mask perched on my head, and tried to focus. The humming in my blood was unsettling. Closing my eyes, I let the blue ice under my skates talk to me. Opening myself up to the sounds of hockey, the stress of seeing Erik again lessened. I whispered to the pipes as I tapped them. Asked them in Russian if they were going to be my friends during this practice.

“Uh, hey, I know this is a strict breach of protocol and all…but is there a problem between you and Gunner?”

I glanced to the left. Tennant stood there, geared up, his stick casually resting across his shoulders. So Erik now had his American hockey nickname. Why didn’t I have a new American hockey nickname? Pah. I was being petty. It tasted bad on my tongue.

“Gunner is okay person from time back in space.” Was that right? English was hard to speak. It made no sense. How could there be three ways to spell one word? Russian was simple. Strong. Pure. A language of passion and spirit. American was whiney and tied my brain into knots. No, that was not true. American was a wonderful language. It was me who was whiney and unhappy. “Time back. In the back of time. Is bad time to talk. Go away.”

Carra's Review

Okay, this is easily my favorite book of the series, and that is almost entirely due to Stan.  I've really enjoyed his character in previous books--he'd always made me smile, and I was just waiting for his story to be told.  The way he talks in his broken English is endearing, and even as a side character in the previous books of the series, he's been a favorite of mine.

Even though you might expect there to be a lot of angst based on Stan and Erik having a past, there's really not a lot of it.  I love second chance romance, and these two really matched together quite well.  I didn't want to stop reading their story, and wound up reading this straight through it one sitting.  Stan's been lovable from the moment he first was on page in the series.  Erik I was prepared to not like based on the fact he left Stan the first time around, but there was no way I couldn't like him, especially with how devoted and loving he was with his son.

Fans of the series will be extremely happy with Stan and Erik's story, and as for me this one was a 5-star read (definitely one I'd love to hear as an audiobook!).  While you could read this as a standalone, I personally would recommend reading the series in order, especially as it will build your anticipation for Stan's story here.  This book is meant for readers 18+.

About the Authors

RJís goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the bestselling author of over one hundred romance books. She writes 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.

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.


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