Dieter Lehman should be on cloud nine. He’s just signed a year-long contract with the Harrisburg Railers. It gives him professional stability and the chance to grow as a hockey player. But a blackmailer, a knee injury, and an addiction to pain meds threaten to unravel everything he has worked so hard to achieve. In the midst of this, Dieter meets professional figure skater Trent Hanson.
Still dreaming of an elusive gold medal, Trent has two silvers to show for his years of dedicated training. And now his focus has to be on saving his LGBT-friendly skate rink and his mother’s home. His stepfather gambled away his professional earnings, forcing Trent into a reality show where he works with the Railers. He doesn’t have much use for brainless hockey players, but that doesn’t stop his immediate attraction to Dieter. As the two wrestle with their desire for one another, they find the courage to deal with their problems. It won’t be easy, but Dieter and Trent have found something worth fighting for.
Deep Edge is the third in the Harrisburg Railers series, which focuses on a professional hockey association and the men who call the team home. I look forward to the books in this series because they consistently provide good romance, engaging characters, and hockey references that even a sports moron like myself can enjoy it. Deep Edge has some issues, but let’s start with the good stuff. Dieter and Trent are both well-rounded characters with a lot of depth and the authors have done a good job building them up beyond stereotypical caricatures. Each man’s past serves as a burden, but these challenges are believable and realistic. Their romance moves a little quickly, but the authors don’t try to create an insta-love scenario. Instead, it’s very much a case of lust followed by love, which feels more grounded. The situation of Dieter’s drug addiction is handled well and while we aren’t given a lot of insight into his time in rehab, neither is the problem brushed off or pushed aside.
Trent (who is referred to as Trent Hanson but later called Trent Hanson Lawrence, so take your pick) is something of a jock hater and, as a result, he doesn’t come off as particularly likeable at first. He grew on me, but jock hating is something of a trend in this series. And while there are always reasons to explain these feelings, it would be nice to move away from this as the books move forward. Trent very occasionally comes off as whiny and self-centered. This is a rare occurrence, but it did add to my slower acceptance of his character. The premise for Deep Edge is a bit silly and that may just be because I think the concept of reality television is pretty ridiculous as a whole. The show in Deep Edge does feel a lot like a set up to bring our characters together. Which I realize is the point of a plot, but here it reads as a bit it affected.
Overall I enjoyed Deep Edge, as I have the entire Railers series. The on ice action is interesting and the romances are often engaging. It took awhile for me to warm up to Trent, but ultimately he and Dieter make a sweet couple whose trials and successes result in an enjoyable read. This is a series that requires starting from the beginning, but I have no doubt that fans of sports romances will find plenty to appreciate here.