Two men afraid to feel, have to make choices that could end up breaking down their defenses and leading them back to love.
Every time Max Van Hellren steps on the ice he knows it could be his last time. At thirty he’s past his hockey prime but he’s also hiding a life-threatening injury that private doctors warn could kill him. This is his last season, and there’s a chance he could lift the Stanley Cup after fourteen years in the NHL. He just needs to stay safe and healthy; difficult when he’s known for his heavy hitting and with a propensity for dropping the gloves and putting his body in the way of pucks to keep his team safe.
A one night stand with a sexy man was just what he needed, dangerous and hot, but what if it turned into more? Would he actually have to share the secrets he so desperately tries to hide?
Ben Worthington had it all. A fulfilling job running the CrossRoads Shelter, his loving aunts, and a husband that understood his devotion to animals. Then, the love of his life left him, succumbing so quickly to an unexpected sickness that Ben never had time to say goodbye. The violent loss scarred him.
Unable to move past his fears, he moves from lonely encounter to lonely encounter, slaking a desperate need that is eating away at him, but never making a connection that could lead him back into love. One night with Max makes him want more, but will giving into the temptation open the door to feelings he can’t contain?
Can these two broken men ever find a way to be together?
Last Defense is a great addition to this series, I really enjoyed Ben and Max’s story! I loved both of these guys right from the start and I was definitely rooting for them! Great chemistry, love and of course hockey!
Ben knows loss all too well, after the sudden death of his husband he doesn’t want to let anyone into his heart again. Max is hiding a life-threatening secret but he is determined to make his last season of hockey his best, he just wants to make it to the end. When these two meet, there is an instant connection, but even from the start it’s not just a physical one, even if that’s they both try to make themselves believe. There’s definitely passion between these two, they are hot, but it quickly becomes more and there’s nothing that can stop those feelings.
I really enjoyed the flow of this story and how these two easily fell for each other. That doesn’t mean it’s easy though. Ben still struggles with the loss of Liam, he also has to deal with Liam’s hateful brother Rolf threatening him. He just doesn’t know how real those threats are. Max is falling for Ben and making his way to the Stanley Cup, life is good, but he’s afraid of what can happen to him. All of these factors do come together to test these two but that’s when they learn what their real feelings for each other actually are. They are both such great guys and I wanted them both to get the happy they deserve! I loved seeing the rest of the team, they are so great! I think RJ Scott and V.L. Locey did a great job with this addition to the series, Max and Ben definitely made my heart happy!
“Nice dog.” I paused just this side of the players’ entrance at the deep voice coming from behind me. There was something about that man’s voice…the timbre of the bass or the way he spoke. Not sure what it was, but the last time he’d spoken to me my body had had the same kind of reaction. A spear of latent heat low in my belly followed by a shiv of icy dread.
“Thanks.” I wanted to stare at the door. Or run. I couldn’t do either of those, though, so I turned to face the bearded man. Christ, but he was fierce-looking. Like a Viking, with piercing eyes and an aura that screamed berserker. He was bigger than me. Taller by at least four inches and probably sixty pounds. He was wearing a suit, as Stan and Erik had been, but his looked incredibly fine on his burly frame. Dark blue with a silver tie and a white shirt. His biceps strained the material trying to contain them.
“His name is Bucky.” There now, I had spoken to the man who made my heart leap around inside my chest like a frog on a highway.
“Like Captain America’s sidekick?” He looked down at my worn T-shirt with Cap’s shield on it.
“Exactly like that.”
He took another step, which put him into my little personal space bubble, his gaze and mine locked. I wet my lips and jerked my chin up a bit. I wasn’t going to let some hockey player intimidate me.
“Cute dog. Hot owner.” He gave me a long, slow look, petted Bucky, and stepped around the dull-witted man trying to digest the fact Mr. Fear had said he was hot. “Are you coming in, or are you teaching your dog to open doors mentally?”
“I’m here to see Layton Foxx.”
“Yeah? Well, I’m here to participate in morning skate.”
“I know who you are. Max van Hellren. You played for Washington four years ago.”
He tugged the door open and settled a kind of bored look on me. “Yeah, that was me. You like Washington?”
“Hometown team.” Bucky barked to back me up. Max smiled. All the ferocity that oozed out of him dissipated when he smiled. The man was seriously fine.
“Maybe I can change your mind about which team to cheer for, Mr. Washington Fan.”
“Ben. My name is Ben.”
He nodded just once, his hand still keeping the door open. “Ben. I like that. Suits you. So, are we coming in or are we going to flirt here in front of Pete?”
A security guard peeked around the door and winked at me. I wanted to die. Right there.
“I don’t flirt,” I snapped. I stalked around Max and Pete and went off to find Layton Foxx. Determination hot in my breast kept me from looking back to see if Max was checking out my ass. I hoped he was and I prayed he wasn’t.
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 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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