‘Scott’ is book #2 in RJ Scott and V.L. Locey’s ‘Harrisburg Railers’ spin off series ‘Owatonna U Hockey’ which started with ‘Ryker’ whom any Railers fan worth their ice time will tell you is Jared Madsen’s son. So we’ve seen Ryker show up from time to time in more than one Railers story so it wasn’t really surprising that when the authors decided to give us a new adult spin-off to the Railers’ series ‘Ryker’s story was the perfect place to start…but then when Ryker returns home to be with his father and Ten when his family needs him…where do we go?
Well logically of course we need to find out more about the player who’s supposed to fill the gap while Ryker’s away…Scott Caldwell. We met Scott briefly in ‘Ryker’. So I have to admit while I remember the character, I can’t honestly say that my curiosity was tremendously aroused but when I read the blurb for what was next in the ‘Owatonna U Hockey’ series…well, mission accomplished I was curious so much so that I thought maybe I was hyping this one up to much in my mind and I was going to be disappointed…nope, not even a little bit.
I loved this one…the blurb totally hooked me…apparently, I’m a totally sucker for jocks and nerds/geeks especially if said nerd/geek is of an artistic nature. There was just so much about this story that I adored. I loved Scott…was he perfect no…not even close but he was trying, damn this kid was trying so hard and he was by no means a bad kid. Nope, Scott was what I would call a good kid who made some bad choices…the least of which was to use steroids and while the choice was entirely Scott’s like it or not his parents were the biggest contributors to his poor decision making in this regard. But, I loved that when Scott found himself looking at the bottom of the barrel, he didn’t give up. He looked at what he was doing and where his life was going and he kept trying. Thankfully his trying brought Hayne Ritter onto his radar.
I’m not sure I have all the right words to explain how much I loved Hayne and how abso-freakin-lutey adorable I thought Hayne was but ironically Hayne suffered a bit from one of Scott’s problems as well…poor life choices but thankfully not involving drugs…no, in Hayne’s case his poor choice was in roommates, however, when Hayne meets Scott his life choices are good as he decides that he’s going to help Scott.
I adored these two. I love how much Scott saw and appreciate all the things that made Hayne special and unique he never tried to chance him or get him to be different…nope, nope, nope if anything Scott took extra care to ensure that Hayne would be comfortable with him and continue to be Hayne.
With Scott being suspended from the team very early in the game the relationship between him and Hayne was very much front and centre in the story, but what really rounded things out for me was not just the relationship between the two young men but all of the other events and people that connected their lives Hayne’s art, his family…both his mother and grandmother were simply wonderful, Hayne’s struggles with the loss of his best friend to cancer, Scott’s struggles steroid use and with losing his brother whom he adored and the rift it created between him and his family, the rift that Scott tried to place between himself and his friends on the Owatonna U Eagles Hockey team when he gets suspended and yes two of those friends were Ryker and Jacob.
While there was a lot about this story that I truly loved, I think what really stands out in
my mind and what I enjoyed the most how the authors dealt with the loss of Scott’s brother and the impact that it had on had on Scott’s self-esteem and especially his relationship with his parents. So often stories dealing with this topic show us the best or the worst of human nature but there is an in between that we don’t often see…both Scott and his parents were dealing with a very tragic loss and while I have to admit I was disappointed in Scott’s parents for much of the story the resolution that Scott and his parents found was for me so well down. There was not quick easy fix, no hearts and roses but a mending of a relationship that felt real and possible. Hopefully we’ll get a peek at things from time to time to see how Scott and his parents are doing at some point in a future story.
While I admit that initially I had my reservations about this series, I absolutely loved every ‘Harrisburg Railers’ book that I’ve read, for me reading the ‘Owatonna U Hockey’ series started more as an act of faith than anything else. Here with ‘Scott’ I can truly say that my faith has been justified and I can’t wait for ‘Benoit’ the next book in this series.
An ARC of ‘Scott’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest