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?
About the Author
RJ Scott is the author of the best selling Male/Male romances The Christmas Throwaway, The Heart Of Texas and the Sanctuary Series of books. She writes romances between two strong men and always gives them the happy ever after they deserve.
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, 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, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and two steers: one named after a famous N.H.L. goalie while the other carries the moniker of a 60's pop legend. 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I usually have issues w/people like Ben. He suffered a true loss that breaks the heart & I feel for him but to shut your heart off because the loss was too great bothers me because he's still here &yes, losing Liam hurt but Ben wasn't the one who was ill. I've spent way too much time in hospitals & have seen much heartache within its halls but I've always believed that as hard as it is watching your loved one suffer I'm still alive & healthy which is why I tend to have issues w/people like Ben. I'm sorry & maybe I'm not expressing myself very well, I mean no disrespect to the character, the authors, or to those who share Ben's feelings but I just can't let go of the idea that my grandfather(&mom when the time comes) would not want me to concentrate on my loss & shut my heart off. Now I know this is fiction but the reason I included the above paragraph as part of my review is not because I hate or dislike Ben, quite the contrary, I enjoy Ben's determination to survive and keep the shelter he started with his deceased husband going. As with the whole "hockey thing"(see blogger note at the end of my review), being able to feel for Ben despite my issues speaks loudly to the talent and heart of the authors. Ben may feel his resolution to close himself off to the risk of loss is unwavering and lifelong but seeing him let Max in, seeing him care for his rebellious aunts, and his devotion to his animals only goes to prove just how big his heart truly is. It also goes to show that he continues to learn and grow, which not all people are open to. Max never expected to find someone like Ben but watching him open his heart to him is a beautiful journey. Both men are absolutely adorable, whether its as a one-night stand, friends with benefits, or something more they have this connection that only makes each one stronger. I won't say much in regard of Ben's aunts other than the fact that they cracked me up. They may not be in many scenes but when they are in the room they own it. When they say they are going to "stick it to the man" with their latest rebellious protest, not only did I believe them but I also found myself laughing so hard that I got more than one odd look from the neighborhood kids playing in the street. As for Bucky the malamute, well what can one say other than his adorability is off the charts. As good as Last Defense is as a whole, what I really loved was how the authors took certain dramatic plot points(which I won't spoil) play out without concentrating on them. These moments showed me the authors were letting us know that angst happens in life but more times than not, the good far outweighs the bad. Talk about storytelling talent & there is a difference between writers & storytellers. Writers bring us wonderful stories but storytellers take us on an amazing journey. Last Defense lives up to the excellence of the previous entries and does not disappoint. Blogger Note: As with all entries in this series I feel the need to mention that I am NOT a hockey fan. I don't dislike it but if all the hockey arenas in the world were to disappear tomorrow I would not miss the sport. I think my non-love of the sport & my love of the series says more to the authors' talents than anything I can come up with. They manage to write the story w/enough hockey lingo w/ins-&-outs of the game for the reader not to be lost & yet doesnt make the non-fan feel talked down to all while bringing us a lovely entertaining romance.
3.5 This one was very hard to get into. I kept starting and stopping and read a few other books along the way. It wasn’t until the fourth h or fifth chapter that I was sucked into the story and committed to finishing. Ben is a widower who loves hockey and runs a no kill animal shelter. He often brings animals for adoption fairs and the team agrees to pose for a calendar to help him raise money for the shelter. Max has had a health scare recently and knows this is his last year playing the sport he loves. He’s hoping for one last chance for the Cup. These two have a hot one night stand and keep coming back for more. They need to decide if it’s worth it to try for a real relationship. They both have fears, and Max’s admission about his health could derail their happiness. In the end they really need to decide if love is worth the risk. Once I got over the initial 4-5 chapter hump, this was an exciting read. I don’t often think this, but the title, Last Defense, really fit the book. Max was a D-man on Tens line, and he was often the one protecting and defending him from other players. And it’s his last season. Also, there’s a subplot involving Ben’s ex brother in law that it could apply to. I do like that the book is a good balance between hockey and the relationship building/sexy times. Hockey is the focus, but it wouldn’t be a romance without the other stuff.