A nice low angst & sweet romance kicks off this new ice hockey series

Top Shelf CoverTop Shelf by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This is the first in a new ice hockey series from RJ and V.L. looking at the Boston team that Ten’s brother Brady is the Captain at.

It’s a good intro, following on from a short freebie that has been serialised in RJ’s newsletter, to the series and establishes all the LGBTQ+ characters that I suspect we’ll be getting novels about at some point in the future.

The main focus of the book is Xander and Mason’s relationship and it’s a really lovely romance with absolutely zero angst or drama really outside of the wider implications of Xander’s coming out as a bisexual ice hockey player.

Both have been in love with the other for years, they’ve essentially grown up together as Mason’s older brother Eli took care of him after their parent’s death and Xander’s family were neighbours. Eli and Xander are best friends, heading off to join the NHL together playing for the Boston Rebels.

Apart from Eli’s original reaction when he discovers they’re together, there’s pretty much no tension involved in their relationship which makes it a nice easy read, but also means there’s not really much changes in the pacing either.

The couple of smexy times we get in detail are really sweet and loving, Mason and Xander respect each other and they work at making the other happy, they’re passionate and talk a lot about their future and what they hope for.

My main reason for not giving it a higher rating is that it seemed to end really abruptly without one of the plot threads which had been ongoing throughout being concluded. That’s not to say it’s a cliffhanger, it isn’t, the plotline is only a side one involving the ice hockey team and nothing to do with Xander and Mason’s relationship.

But it just sort of stopped after a big discussion about it. I am assuming it will be a plotline that’s picked up in future books in the series but it did leave me shaking my head a bit.

There’s a great bunch of secondary characters and we get a brief catch up with Ten and the other Rowe brother Jamie which ties back in to the https://www.goodreads.com/series/1978… series.

I’m hopeful this is going to be another cracking entry to RJ and V.L.’s lexicon of interrelated ice hockey romances.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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