REVIEWED by Jen B.
TITLE: Poke Check
SERIES: Harrisburg Railers #4
AUTHOR: R.J Scott and V.L Locey
PUBLISHER: Love Lane Books
LENGTH: 178 Pages
RELEASE DATE: February 11, 2018
One scorching summer in each other’s arms could never be enough.
Stanislav “Stan” Lyamin is happy playing for the Railers. The towering goalie is well-loved, respected, and making a home for himself even though that home only contains him, his cat, and his growing Pokemon trading card collection. Stan prefers it that way. He’d given his heart to a man in a secret affair, and that man walked away, leaving Stan shattered. Now Erik is back in his life, and he has the same tumultuous effect he had on Stan’s heart as before. This time it’s not just a kissable mouth and sweet blond curls that Erik has brought to Harrisburg, there’s a soon-to-be ex-wife and a precious baby. Despite the vow Stan made to hate Erik forever, he’s now finding it harder and harder to turn away.
Erik Gunnarsson’s dream had always been to play in the NHL, he just never imagined he’d land a contract with the Railers. Who would have thought that fate would put him on the same team as Stanislav Lyamin; the man whose heart he’d callously broken?
Secrets and lies had defined their summer relationship, and the choice that Erik made to end it all haunts him still. In the middle of a messy divorce and with a baby in tow, Erik finds himself back in Stan’s life. Now all he has to do is be the best dad he can be, prove to the team that he deserves the chance to stay on the roster and try his hardest to get Stan to forgive him. Is it possible to persuade a man who hates you to give love a second chance?
From the first time we met him, I fell in love with the big Russian goalie, Stan. With his broken English, learned mostly from old TV shows, he was extremely charming and easy to fall for. So, I was super excited to see it was time for his story to be told.
Stan wants nothing more than to fill his home with his family (still living in Russia) and find someone to love as well. He has created a life here that is working well for him, but those things are still missing. He is pretty much loved by all, so when Erik is brought on the team, it is obvious there is tension, and with Erik being the outsider, the guys rally around Stan.
Erik has been through a lot. He and Stan spent one summer training camp together, but that ended with the camp and neither telling the other how they felt. Prior to that, Erik had been with a woman for basically a one-night fling. Stan changed everything for Erik. But then that woman told Erik she was pregnant and everything changed for Erik again. He did what he felt was right and married her; he convinced her to have the baby and give him rights, as she didn’t want anything to do with it due mostly to her roving reporter lifestyle. It took just about all Erik had monetarily to get to where he is now, living this his child and playing hockey in the States. But being faced with Stan after all that causes some heavy feelings on both sides.
It was clear to see how these guys felt and to see things from both sides. Stan was hurt, but Erik had good and plausible reasons for his actions. It takes quite a bit of time for the forgiveness to take place and the spark that was there previously to reignite. But these guys were perfect for each other once they got everything on the table.
This is a super comfortable feeling series. Not sure how else to describe it. There is a nice balance of hockey with the romance and other storylines making them easy to follow and each one interesting and with their own brand of uniqueness. I’m so glad I picked this one up and am happy to continue following these guys and meet more newcomers to the team as well. Can’t wait to see what’s next!