Title: Scott (Owatonna U Hockey #2)
Author: R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey
Publisher: Love Lane Books Ltd
Release Date: March 27th 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 50,000 words approx.
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
What happens when you try to fix the past and end up threatening your future?
Scott is struggling. Grieving the loss of his brother, carrying the weight of his father’s expectations, and getting his ass kicked in the rink, he’s in a downward spiral. He needs a solution and fast, but when his steroid use is exposed, he’s close to losing his place at Owatonna and more importantly, on the Eagles Hockey team. Thrown out of his house, with nowhere to go and no future in sight, he only has one choice; agree to mandatory counseling, random drug tests, and get his act together. Only then will he have a chance at normal. Meeting Hayne, a senior connected to the world through his art, is a shock to the system. Moving in with him is his only option, but falling for the shy artist leaves Scott in an impossible situation, and one he can’t escape.
Hayne has always been that quiet, creative kid who sat in the back of class drawing instead of listening to the teacher. A talented artist, the shy and sensitive young man is struggling with the loss of his childhood friend. Seeing his sadness reflected in his usually colorful paintings, he decides to attend grief counseling and meets Scott, a lost soul in desperate need of light and color in his life. Taking in a homeless hockey player certainly was never part of his carefully orchestrated ten-year plan. But now that Scott is in his life, he’s discovering the joy of this man’s loving smile and tender touch is one of the most beautiful palettes on earth.
I really enjoyed “Ryker,” the first book in the Owatonna U series, and particularly loved the hockey action as well as its link to the authors’ wonderful Harrisburg Railers series.
First off, while I like “Scott” I miss the relative lack of on-ice hockey action. Sure, I realize this book focuses on Scott’s inner turmoil and recovery, but throw me a bone here! I would have loved a few hockey scenes since the authors do such a great job of capturing the action. But they do an equally good job of exploring what has brought Scott to this point in his life. He’s been suspended from playing hockey for a year due to steroid use, he is basically homeless, he has purposefully cut himself off from his friends on the Owatonna Eagles team, he has been shunned by his hockey-obsessed father, he continues to grieve for his dead brother Luke; Scott is at an incredibly low spot in his life.
His redemption comes in the form of senior art student Hayne, who he meets in a grief recovery group. Hayne invites Scott to move into his attic art studio / apartment and the stage is set for their romance. While Hayne works on his senior art project, Scott slowly begins the work of dealing with his grief. While I love the premise of the plot (grief, recovery, love, acceptance, reconciliation), there is just so much angst and many issues are not fully examined, IMHO.
- Scott’s steroid use is lightly touched upon and we don’t really know what finally brought him to taking them, or if he had a tough withdrawal process. Luke’s death and relationship with his father remains mostly unexplored. Scott had being destroyed by his demanding father and he had no support from a mother who totally checked-out after Luke’s death, yet these parents make a 180 degree turn-around and we readers are left pretty much in the dark about how this occurred. Much of Scott’s acceptance of his grieving process happens off-page, and honestly, Hayne’s crazy roommates and the situation with Craig and Scott was just plain weird
In a nutshell, because Scott is dealing with so many issues, there is not enough time to adequately address everything, and for me the story ultimately lacks a clear focus. I like the relationship and the oh, so slow romance that starts between Hayne and Scott, and I look forward to learning more about their lives together within the Owatonna U series, but “Scott” does not work for me in many aspects. 3.5 stars.