Series: Owatonna 03
Author: V.L. Locey, R.J. Scott
Genre: Contemporary, Sports
Length: Novel (192 pages)
Publisher: Love Lane Books Ltd. (17 May 2019)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: Senior year is here, and everything is on the line. Benoit’s time to shine in the crease is now, and he’s going to do everything he can to make sure those professional scouts take notice. He’s earned a great reputa-tion for his skills in the net, and his laid-back demeanor is his key to maintaining his cool when things get heated in the goal crease.
As the Eagles roar into a new season, Ben’s laser-sharp focus is shat-tered by his attraction to Ethan Girard, the team’s new defensive con-sultant. Trying his best to ignore the budding friendship that’s taking a hard, fast turn into something far more passionate, Ben is determined to keep his mind on the sport he loves and not let his feelings for the hand-some older man creep into his performance. But love, like hockey, is wildly unpredictable, and soon Ben finds that he’s unable to distance himself from Ethan who is slowly and surely working himself into his heart.
Famed Boston defenseman, Ethan Girard, isn’t stupid. Celebrating his thirty-second birthday in the emergency room after breaking his leg, and with a warning that healing will be a long process, he knows he has to think about his future. He was drafted at eighteen, and he’s never known anything but hockey, but with no contract in place yet for the new sea-son he considers that maybe it’s time for him to hang up his skates for good.
Volunteering to help out with the Owatonna Eagles fills his time, but from the moment he lays eyes on goalie Ben, he knows his world will never be the same again. Falling in lust is as easy as stealing his first kiss, but Ben refuses to engage. Has Ethan finally met his match?
When the lines between career and love blur, will Ethan and Ben find a way to create a future that will work for both of them?
Review: Benoit is the third book in VL Locey’s and RJ Scott’s Owatonna series, revolving around the lives and loves of the young men playing on the Owatonna University’s ice hockey team, with the hopes of making it the big time. I absolutely love the collaboration between these two authors, the writing is fun. There is a lot of passion behind the hockey, the characters are wonderfully likable and relatable and the chemistry between the couples is undeniable.
This book doesn’t necessarily need to be read as part of the series. Well… maybe a standalone, not really… at this point there are a lot of characters being called back to, so I do strongly recommend doing so because there are strong links with the previous two books in the series. Not only that, there is also some not-as-strong links to Locey’s and Scott’s Harrisburg Railers series. (Which reminds me, at the end of the book I saw that there is another spin off series, the first book released in September and I think I lost my mind with excitement).
The boys that we met in book 1, Ryker, are now in senior year (although poor old Ryker’s boyfriend has already graduated). Now in their final year Benoit knows that his chance to prove himself worthy of a spot of a professional team is upon him. He just wants to get through the year and focus on his hockey, even though his two good friends show him how happy being in love makes a person. Benoit is ready to give it his all and while the new coach, Ethan Girard could help him professionally, their instant attraction is undeniable. There is only ten years between the men and Ethan isn’t actually employed as a coach so there isn’t really any rules against a mentor and a player having a relationship. Instead, the guys get to have a very normal kind of relationship, dating and discovering each other. But all around them real life provides it’s challenges. The biggest challenge being for Ethan is the broken leg that leaves him at a cross road – he needs to decide if he should continue his NHL playing career or retire. However, with Benoit’s career starting and Ethan’s ending, things aren’t always so clear as to how these two can work it out.
This was a fun book and had some great call backs to the Harrisburg Railers series. For one, favourites Mads and Ten (Ryker’s father and stepfather) and Stan (the Russian goalie with a big heart) making appearances to guide Benoit in his career. We also get to hear from Ten’s big brother, Brady, who happens to be Ethan’s best friend and teammate from Boston. Brady doesn’t play as big a background role as he did back in Ten’s story, but it was nice to see a friendly face. There is so much fan service for those that have followed the series, I don’t think you can’t help but to be satisfied with this book.
Ok, strike what I said in the beginning. This is not a standalone book. You need to read the full series. I just hope it’s not because I’m a massive fan of these series!