Friday, October 5, 2018

Review & Giveaway: RYKER by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey (Owatonna U Hockey #1)

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Length: 50,700 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell


Ryker is hockey royalty, Jacob is a poor country boy. Can two vastly different people find common ground and become the men they want to be?

Ryker comes from a long line of championship-winning hockey players. Playing college hockey to develop his game is his only focus, and nothing will stand in the way of him working to become the best player. He has no room for relationships, people that point out his flaws, or anyone who calls him on his dreams. He certainly has no place for love, and meeting Jacob is nothing but a useful distraction on the side. After all trying to get his Owatonna Eagles teammate into bed is less work and more play. When tragedy rocks his family, his charmed life crumbles, and the only person he can turn to is the same one who claims to hate him.

Jacob Benson has only known hard work and stifling conservative values his whole life. Born and raised in the small rural community of Eden Crossing, Minnesota, he’s the only son of a hard-working but struggling dairy farming family. Jacob is using his skills in hockey to finance his way to an agricultural science degree. These four years at Owatonna U. will probably be the only time he has to enjoy life, gain acceptance about his sexuality, and live openly before his inevitable return to the farm. Running into a pretty rich boy like Ryker Madsen is putting a damper on his enjoyment of life away from home. Ryker’s flip, conceited, carefree attitude grates on Jacob’s every nerve. So why, if Ryker is everything he dislikes, does he want nothing more than to explore the sinful dreams that his annoying teammate stars in every night?

Carra's Review

After first getting to know a bit about Ryker while readers the authors’ Harrisburg Railers series, my curiosity was piqued.  So when I found out they were doing a new series and the first book would have his story, of course I was interested and excited to check it out.  This series is in a college setting, so the new adult leaning of the story made the story feel less intense than what you’d find in an adult-focused book.  This was reflected not only with the activities and classes that were the main concentration for the characters, but in the level of physical intimacy as well.

Ryker and Jacob have pretty opposite situations from a monetary standpoint.  Ryker’s family is quite comfortable thanks to his dad’s hockey career as both player and coach, and Ryker also enjoys the perks of his Dad’s boyfriend being a star NHL player.  But those associations also mean that Ryker finds it hard to find people who want to be friends with him for HIM, and not for who he’s related to or knows.  Jacob on the other hand comes from a struggling farm family, and everything he does is to put him in a better position to help his family—including working on becoming a better hockey player so he can keep his scholarship…a definite must-have so he can earn his degree and use it to better things on the farm.  

Jacob and Ryker do clash at first, but once they get past that (thanks to hockey of course!), things heat up a bit as they slowly develop a close relationship.  They both support each other, and I thought they made a great pair.  While I would have liked to have seen a more solid future for them in the epilogue, the uncertainty that is still there actually fits well for them since this is a new adult story, and there’s so much still ahead for them.

Ryker was a strong 4-star read for me, and the hockey side of things is balanced well with the romance and family sides.  Fans of the authors’ Railers series will definitely enjoy seeing how things have gone for Ryker; and as for me, I’m intrigued by the supporting characters that were introduced and am looking forward to Scott’s story next.  Ryker is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Authors

RJ’s 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 is the author of the over one hundred novels and discovered romance in books at a very young age. She realized that if there wasn’t romance on the page, she could create it in her head, and is a lifelong writer.

She lives and works out of her home in the beautiful English countryside, spends her spare time reading, watching films, and enjoying time with her family.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit and 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 following links below:

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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