Length: 55,700 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
Harrisburg Railers Series
Layton wants success, Adler wants family, how can love make both these things possible?
Layton Foxx works hard for what he has. The condo, the career, the chance to make his mark, is all down to the sacrifices he has made. With tragedy in his past, he doesn’t want or need love. Then he meets Adler Lockhart, the extroverted, sexy winger for the Harrisburg Railers and abruptly he can’t avoid love even if he wanted to.
Adler Lockhart has had everything handed to him his whole life. Cars, villas, cash, college tuition at the finest Ivy League schools. The only things he doesn’t have are parents who care or the love of a good man. Then Layton walks into his privileged life and shows him what real love can be like.
I began my review of Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) with the statement that I’m not into ice hockey and that I know little to nothing about it. Both those statements still hold true. But despite the fact that these books are not enticing me to start watching the game, I have to admit that I’m rapidly turning into a fan of the (fictional, of course) Harrisburg Railers.
Whereas Changing Lines was mostly a sweet, almost angst-free love story, First Season is a more intense. While it features two new main characters, Layton Foxx and Adler Lockhart, the story very much builds on what happened in the first book (and I would strongly advise you to read that one first). Tennant and Jared may have come out to those closest to them with little to no consequences, their announcement to the wider world will have to be handled with care and that’s where Layton Foxx comes in.
Layton Foxx is a man with a painful past that won’t leave him alone. In fact, contact with his loving and accepting family only ever reminds him of what has happened, so he’s created a distance between himself and the people who are so close to him that being with them hurts.
Adler Lockhart is, at first glance, an abrasive loud mouth. Look a bit closer and you see the little boy lost he really is. The only reason he makes dumb jokes and needs to be the centre of attention is because he wants to be loved; to compensate for having been brought up by parents who never really wanted him, don’t approve of him and show no sign of ever appreciating, never mind loving him.
The coming together of these two men isn’t easy. Layton’s fears, as well as practical considerations, keep on getting in the way. But love will find a way and set against the backdrop of Tennant and Jared announcing their relationship to the world at large, and while dealing with the unavoidable backlash, Layton and Adler get closer.
These two characters are such opposites and yet they are so perfect for each other it was a joy to read about them. But, as much as I adored the romance, what really got to me while reading this book was the level of realism when it came to the professional sportsmen coming out theme. It showed with relentless clarity that despite the support and acceptance you may receive from most, it is the isolated instances of hate and intolerance will really leave a mark.
I thoroughly enjoyed Changing Lines for the wonderful romance it was. First Season made a bigger impression; the love between these two is as strong and as sexy as the one described in the first book, but the back story in this one touched me on a deeper level and made me think. And I love books that do that.
My conclusion remains that regardless of whether or not you are into ice hockey, these books are well worth a read. I’m already looking forward to book three.
Related review: Changing Lines
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, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Dr. Who, Torchwood, 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 flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey 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 hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.
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