Colorado Penn is living life proudly pansexual and free of responsibility. He’s the wild man of the Arizona Raptors, known for his crazy parties, jamming with his band, and a strange affection for emus. But all that comes to a grinding halt when an infant baby is left on a doorstep. Colorado has no intention of abandoning his new daughter, but his life is chaotic and hardly suitable for trying to raise a child. He needs help and, while his Raptor teammates are supportive, it will take a professional to straighten things out.
Enter Joseph Leigh, who isn’t having the best day on record. After being fired from his job at the planetarium, he doesn’t know how he’ll help his sister cover rent while managing to finish his degree. He’s worked as a nanny in the past, so when his agency sends him to Colorado, the arrival of steady employment is heaven sent. Joseph doesn’t know anything about hockey or much about the music Colorado loves, but he can see the man adores his daughter. And pretty soon, Joseph finds himself falling for the utterly unique Colorado. When tragedy strikes, Joseph and Colorado discover what being a family really means.
School and Rock is a part of the Arizona Raptors series and while this particular installment doesn’t rely heavily on having knowledge of the prior books, reading the rest of the series will probably make things easier. Having read all of the Raptors books thus far and its sister series, the Harrisburg Railers, I have to say that School and Rock is one of the weaker entries.
The overall story seemed rushed and almost haphazard in its delivery. There just wasn’t much structure to it and, while it wasn’t terrible, I don’t think it added any layers to the Raptors cannon. Nothing of real value happens and, as a result, the characters read as rote and formulaic. Additionally, this series seems to be drifting further and further away from hockey and without those occasional moments of action, the narrative tends to drag.
Colorado and Joseph are both superficially sketched creations. I didn’t feel particularly connected to either of them and it was hard to know why they were attracted to one another. They were put together by circumstance and it seemed as though that alone was supposed to be the reason for them to fall in love. Normally, the books in this series do a pretty good job of making their characters relatable, but that didn’t happen here and I think it was because Colorado especially was little more than a stereotype.
School and Rock should appeal to those who have been long time fans of the Harrisburg Railers and Arizona Raptors series, but it’s not a particularly strong edition. The characters are uninspired and the plot failed into develop into anything more meaningful than a lackluster romance. Hopefully, the next one in this series will be a return to form because School and Rock didn’t really work for me.