Mark Westman-Reid never wanted to return to the family that cast him out. Cut off without a penny, Mark made his own way in the world and his successful agency is proof of his success. But with his father dead, decisions regarding the family’s ownership of the Arizona Raptors have now defaulted to Mark and his brothers. Brothers he hasn’t seen in over a decade.
The Arizona Raptors are in the trash heap. The once thriving hockey team has fallen on hard times due to mismanagement and poor player decisions. Newly hired Coach Rowan Carmichael plans to change all that. And he’ll do it with or with out the Westman-Reid’s approval. He doesn’t mind rocking the boat if it means he can turn the team around, even though it means butting heads with Mark at every turn. But just when Mark and Rowan reach a moment of personal clarity, a team tragedy threatens to destroy everything they’ve worked to rebuild.
Coast to Coast is the first in a new hockey series by the sports loving duo of V.L. Locey and R.J. Scott. If you’re a fan of their Harrisburg Railers series, then this one will be right up your alley. We’re introduced to Mark and Rowan, who both carry a chip on their shoulders. They’re prickly and obnoxious to one another, but I appreciated the opposites attract trope here more than usual. They fall in lust pretty quickly, but it’s the gradual give and take on each side that makes something work. Their relationship reads as believable and I liked the fact that Mark, despite being a strong LGBT advocate, still had to acknowledge some of his issues regarding women in the NHL. We all have aspects of ourselves that need work and it was nice to see a character addressing that and taking action.
The villain here is known to fans of the Harrisburg Railers series and I won’t go into more detail to avoid spoilers, but sufficed to say he’s slimy and downright despicable. He seemed cartoonish on a lot of levels and there isn’t much depth to him. So it was hard to understand his motivations. Had his character been fleshed out more, I think he would have been more believable. We know he’s bad because we’re told as much, but there just isn’t a lot there for readers to work with.
On the whole, I enjoyed Coast to Coast and my introduction to the Arizona Raptors. I’ll be curious to see how the team continues to improve and build with further novels, especially if the antagonists can gain some depth. Hockey fans will enjoy this one for sure, but I think anyone who likes the opposites attract genre will also be a fan.