Is it easier to fall into the shadows than hold onto the light?
Injured in a horrific car accident by a man who made him feel like nothing, Henry was left with life threatening injuries, crippling self doubt, and his career as a hockey player destroyed. He’s struggling to see, and as much as people tell him to have hope because he’s young and fit, his vision is compromised and he’s spiraling into despair. Estranged from his family, and his money all gone, there seems to be no hope. Hockey gave him freedom, and now it’s all been taken away.
Adler insists on letting Henry stay in a vast Lockhart-owned mansion in Tuscon, but it's a big and lonely place. When Apollo arrives at the house with his sunny smile and infectious optimism, along with his no-nonsense rules, he slowly becomes an integral part of Henry’s life. But one day, when Henry is better, Apollo will leave, and what happens then? Has Henry really fallen for the dark eyed man, or is it all just smoke and mirrors?
If there is one thing that Apollo Vasquez knows all about it’s helping others and living with quirky athletes. After all, he’s spent most of his adult life tending to one of the richest hockey playing heirs in America. His days have been filled with friendship, laughter, and the knowledge that he’s needed. Or he used to be. Over the past year Apollo’s best friend, Adler Lockhart, has been slipping away, his time spent with his boyfriend, on the ice, or traveling the world with the man he loves. This leaves Apollo feeling like a clunky third wheel or all alone in a luxurious apartment with no one to fuss over.
Knowing that his life is at a crossroads, his loving nature leads him far away from his childhood friend to the dry desert town of Tucson where he signs on to care for Henry Greenaway as the young Raptor recovers both mentally and physically from a near fatal car crash. Henry is also facing a new life, one that might lead him from the sport he has loved for so long. Cooking, cleaning, and providing moral support is just what the doctor ordered for Apollo, and he soon finds himself not only rediscovering himself and a new life he adores, but falling for the sweet, lost, injured man who’s slowly capturing his heart one timid smile at a time.
RJ Scott is a USA TODAY bestselling author of over 140 romance and suspense novels. From bodyguards to hockey stars, princes to millionaires, cowboys to military, she believes that love is love and every man deserves their own happy ending.
Henry and Apollo were cute together but there was so much missed potential. There could have been so much more regarding the emotional trauma Henry experienced - it was only ever mentioned and never really in depth so it was hard to empathise because I still don't know what exactly happened! Also the miscommunication was pretty weak and really ruined the way they were both learning to trust and love again, it just made it feel forced.
I'm also pissed off at the character and timeline inconsistency yet again - I know this is absolutely shocking brand new information!!!
My biggest question is how in the ever loving fuck is Tate only 25??? He was the huge star of the Dallas team when Ten played there and seemed to have been well established, Ten explicitly states Tate has been the top scorer for three years so he's at least 21- Ten is now either 29 or 30 because Ryker was 24 in the last book, so Tate should be at least the same age if not older.
I just don't understand why these authors change their characters with every book, write a new fucking character or look at your character notes! It's beyond ridiculous now.
Ten was 22 when he got traded from Dallas, so that's a minimum 7 years gone by at this point, meaning if this book is correct then Tate was just 18 in book 1. I know there are generational talents etc. but Tate was implied as being the huge established star of the Dallas team and Ten had played with him there for three years - the math isn't mathing!!!! You have to be at least 18 to be drafted so it just isn't making sense.
I wish I didn't care about consistency and character details but I fucking do, attention to detail should be my middle name 😂 I'm just frustrated with this series but I refuse to give up because I'm stubborn like that 😇
What a thoroughly uplifting and joyful book, even though it's dealing with the aftermath of some horrendous events.
I loved everything about this book, from Henry's determination to get back on the ice, to Apollo's warmth and caring heart.
Third in the Arizona Raptors series, I think it could stand alone but the reader would have a much better understanding of the background if they'd read the first two - which are brilliant books in their own right anyways!
Great pacing, the tensions grew organically out of the fears of the two men following their previous experiences and I liked that the friendships which have grown in this series, and the other interlinked ones, were still going strong.
My favourite one yet in this series because I was rooting for Henry to be able to get over his traumatic accident and he did that with the help of a bunch of expert professionals and his own determination.
#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review
After being heavily injured by a car accident cost by his abusive ex, Henry has to recover. That will be in a big house with all the luxury offered by his friend Adler. Apollo, Adler’s brother from another father and mother, will travel all the way to Arizona to nurse, feed and assist Henry for the next six months, help him with his recovery so he’ll go back to play ice hockey. Apollo is a happy sparkling spirit. Romantic at heart he hopes to find a man who would choose him and only him.
Henry has a traumatized life, losing everything, manipulated and abused. He has in and external scars. Finding Apollo is the best thing that happened to his soul. Apollo is in love with Henry and knows Henry sees him as a buddy with benefits.
This story has all the feelings, with an uplifting spirit. Well developed and it had a solid plot. At times quite heartbreaking, watching Henry going through his traumatic life was hard. Apollo was a beautiful soul with a witty mouth. His aunt was a colorful highlight in this story. Henry and Apollo together was everything. The guys from the previous books were there, awesome. An amazingly written story, just like the whole series. Steady paced, entertaining and with the best characters.
This was good! This was more the style of the Harrisburg Railers that I loved but not quite all the way. But I’m willing to let that slide because I haven’t had a good hockey read in ages!
That said, I feel like the pacing is a little off. It moved from one milestone to another pretty quickly - a bit too quickly in my opinion. One moment they’re getting friendly and the next they’re kissing and then they’re not really communicating and then soon it’s time to say goodbye. The pacing was jarring to me 🙊
I hadn’t loved the other books in the series. The first book left a lot to be desired. I didn’t even read past page one of the second book although, I might attempt it again? I am definitely looking forward to the next book though. Fingers crossed it’s good 🤞
It seems like forever that I've been waiting for Henry's story but I was patient and I knew that when he was ready to tell RJ Scott & VL Locey his journey it would be amazing. HOLY HANNAH BATMAN!!!! I was not disappointed.
Some might see Henry Greenaway as broken and they might see Apollo Vasquez in a smiliar light because of certain aspects that have brought them to where they are. I don't want to go into particulars because if you haven't been reading Arizona Raptors then I feel that I'd be spoiling some of the series. Each entry is a standalone as it's a new pairing but characters and elements are carried through. But back to the broken bit, I know that Henry and Apollo probably see themselves as broken but I don't like that term, I don't think anyone is "broken" they are hurting, they have issues that brought them to where they are, but never "broken". Is this what makes them such a perfect fit? Maybe. I think they work because they each bring something to the table that is both different and similar that gives them strength. Maybe I'm over analyzing it but whatever "it" is, it works and brilliantly too.
I don't often say this in a series where there is different couples but I believe that Henry and Apollo are my favorite Raptors pair yet. What surprises me most about that isn't that 99% of the time I fall so hard for the first pair none of the following ones quite compare, but because I was looking so eagerly to Henry's story I was a little afraid it wouldn't match up to my anticipation. I needn't have worried because Scott & Locey told an amazing story that is entertaining and believable with humor, drama(probably the most dramatic so far, some might even say angsty), romance, heat, but most of all it's got heart from beginning to end.
There's never any doubt that Scott & Locey will bring you a HEA tale but the journey getting there is what makes their work so outstanding. There is no page filler, no extra bits to cause unnecessary drama, nothing that doesn't enhance their tale. I can honestly say that for the first time in months I only ever wanted to protect these guys. Generally I war between Mama Bear Hugs and whacking a frying pan to the back of the head, but not with Henry or Apollo. I want to give Apollo never ending Mama Bear Hugs, to protect him but also to keep him warm and I would say hugs to Henry but he doesn't always like to be touched so I want to wrap him in warm layers of bubblewrap to let him know he's protected.
I feel like I've given away too much already or am about to if I keep going so I'll end by saying again: HOLY HANNAH BATMAN!!!! I was not disappointed.
For those wondering about reading order, I highly recommend reading them in order of release. Personally, I can't imagine reading the Raptors series without having read Harrisburg Railers and then Owatonna U but I can't say you'd be lost if you start here but I feel everything flows better especially in regard to friendships, character cameos and mentions. However you read it, Shadow and Light is a journey not to be missed.
Shadow and Light is ultimately about finding purpose when your world shifts sideways for one reason or another. It’s the third in the Arizona Raptors series and there are enough overlapping characters with the Harrisburg Railers that you really need to have a working knowledge of both series to appreciate this one.
Henry is a fairly sympathetic character. He’s been used and abused by the people who claimed to love him most and nearly lost his life in the process. He’s moody and emotional and all of that reads as relatable. Apollo sometimes feels more like a stereotype than a fully formed character, but his loyalty and love of family and friends is heartwarming. What doesn’t work for me, though, is their romance. I don’t feel like we’re ever really allowed to see it evolve. We’re just told it’s happening, as if they’re hitting relationship marks along a preset path. But a lot of whatever happens between them occurs off page and the passage of time from one chapter to the next only emphasizes this. Most of the time, I felt as though the only reason they were together was because they happened to be living in the same house and they had a romance of convenience rather than desire. The end result was a book that felt more like filler than a productive chapter in the Raptors series.
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book.
This is book three in the Arizona Raptors series. It says that it is not a stand alone and you should read books one and two first, however, I don't think its entirely NECESSARY, but it certainly would help. I have read those two books, and they were both solid 4 star reads.
THIS one, though, is a whole different kettle of fish!
I LOVED this book!
You feel for Henry. His life has taken a turn he didn't expect. The man who was using him, almost killed him. His money is all gone, and he is living in someone else's house, mansion, all by himself. His hockey is on the line, because of the accident and his mind is on a downward spiral.
Apollo is the best friend of Adler, the man paying for the house, who is Henry's brother's friend. Apollo is at a loose end since Adler is all loved up, and Apollo needs some sun. So Apollo goes to Arizona to look after Henry while he gets backs on his feet and back onto the ice.
Apollo is just the kind of man Henry wants, but who would want a washed up hockey player who might go blind? Apollo clearly wants Henry, but he is supposed to be going home at the end of the summer. Can he let his heart take the break?
This one is my favourite of the three, it really is.
It had me crying in places, laughing in others. Shouting at the kindle, and cheering away. I wanted to wrap Henry up in cotton wool and I wanted to smack him upside the head. Apollo too!
There are numerous references to The Harrisburg Railers players and pop ups from all the major players and team from this series. I loved that.
The relationship between Apollo and Henry is slow and sweet, and I loved that. They grow into each other, you know, as the book progresses. It's beautifully written, and gave me so many feels!
Ryker Madsen is Henry's team mate, he plays the same line (although, to be honest, I have no idea what that actually means, I just thought someone MIGHT!) and HIS book was in the Owatonna U Hockey series. I did NOT like Ryker in that book. He does redeem himself in that series somewhat, but HERE? As Henry's best friend, that kid done good! So, as a totally irrelevent point, Ryker? I forgive you!
So, my favourite of the three so far, but I know there is one more out later this year.
Henry is trying to recover after a horrific accident so he could go back to playing for the Raptors and Apollo is Adler's BFF and PA and wanting to make something of his life, so Adler asks him to help Henry during his recuperation. Apollo's sunny disposition might be just what Henry needs to get out of his funk, but can the two of them go past failed relationships and betrayal and have a chance at a HEA?
I adored Henry. I just wanted to hug him and make things better. He not only was working hard to get back to the top physical shape he had before the accident which was caused by his now ex-boyfriend, but dealing with his mom and stepfather leaving him with millions of dollars in debt. He was understandably depressed and upset and I could see how Apollo being there helped him get over it all, however, I think that everything that was happening or happened to Henry already, made it difficult for me to connect with Apollo. Yes, Apollo was nice and he really tried his best to support Henry as much as Henry allowed him. But he was a bit too over the top and not as well developed as Henry, which made it more difficult to actually get invested in their relationship. I felt it was more like they were thrown together and they were gay, so why not get together? than the sizzling chemistry we've found in other couples in the series.
Still, it was a good read. I had a bit of trouble with how the whole issue with Henry's mother was dealt, I felt she got off too easy for what she allowed to happen. Other than that, I loved catching up with the other Raptors and Adler, their interactions were a highlight in the story for me and overall, it was a good hurt/comfort book. Recommendable!
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~
This book had it all - I just loved it; tears, laughter, passion, friendship, family, and of course lots of super hot hockey players. The third in the series, but links abound to Harrisburg Railers too! I would highly recommend that you read them all, but this would certainly be richer for reading the previous two Arizona Raptors stories.
Henry was horribly injured in an car accident caused by his abusive ex-boyfriend. He wants to get back on the ice, but really doesn't know whether it will happen. Adler Lockhart lends him a house to recuperate and sends his best friend and PA, Apollo to keep him company. Apollo has to be one of my favourite book characters in a long while. He is both open about his sexuality, comfortable in his own skin, and the most caring, nuturing person that anyone could ever want. I also love his Tia Sophia.
With such a positive force of nature by his side, Henry works at his PT and starts to heal his body, his head and in time his heart. I love seeing how hard he works, how his uncertainty is picked up by his friends and how they club together to give him hope. It is heartbreaking to read about the way he has been treated by those he should trust the most, and reconnecting with his big brother heals another wound.
I am not going to reveal any more, but you can rest assured that you will love this wonderful romance. Oh and how exciting is the news of who is next to get his HEA?!
Been waiting for this one and where do i start?! Henry. There's so many layers to him! As he's picked apart layer by layer, I can guarantee you that you will fall hook line and sinker for him. His flashbacks will break your heart. You'll love him wholeheartedly, no matter what he does, because his backstory is tragic, but in the end it just shows you the strength of the man! I loved him!
The chemistry between Henry and Apollo is off the charts! However, there was no rushing onto a relationship, because they'd both been burned badly in the past. It wasn't that they didn't trust one another, they didn't trust themselves. Poor Apollo dealing with Henry's hot and cold attitude, and poor Henry dealing with all types of betrayal.
RJ and Vicki have created realistic, multi-layered, interesting characters. The story kept a good pace and the pages turned quickly. There was so much going on here. The story deals with some difficult mental health issues of loss and lack is self worth. Being a mum myself, I just wanted to slap Henry's mother.
I loved the inclusion of characters from past books. Especially Adler and Layton. I was so pleased to see them together. Any of the conversations between Alder and whoever he was talking to were comedy gold. Also, chuffed to come across Ryker and Jacob again. Love them.
The ending was just perfect, it gave me all the warm fuzzies and left me finishing the book knowing all was ok in that world. Perfect. Love, love, loved this book and highly recommend!!
Awww...Shadow and Light, the third book in the Arizona Raptors series, is a fabulous sports romance.
This one starts in Harrisburgh, as Apollo works for the Adler from First Season. And from the start, the banter and snark is hilarious.
Apollo, who suffers from SAD is sent to help Henry with his rehab. This will help Apollo's SAD and will help Henry from being alone. And, oh how it works! Apollo is like a burst of fresh air when he enters a room. I love him, absolutely love him. And wow, he is perfect for helping Henry get out of his funk.
Henry's rehab however is painful to read. His injury is heartbreaking and worrisome, and his fear jumps off the page at times.
These two men are such opposites, making for a fun read. Apollo's a nonstop bundle of fun while Henry's a grumpy, depressed man when we met him. Both men are broken, with major trust issues. The way these two start to fall for one another is wonderful, full of sweet and tender moments.
A great combo of forced proximity, comfort/hurt, and plenty of humor. It has family issues, horrible ex boyfriends, and an emu. Yes, an emu. Oh, and don't forget Apollo's Magic Box. 😂😂
The trust issue is well explored, as both men have been burnt by their exes. To risk trusting in someone again certainly isn't easy, and will require some serious time. The authors handle this well.
Theirs is a story that includes guilt and regret, support and hope, and ultimately forgiveness and love.
Written in alternating first person pov, the authors draw the reader fully into these men's minds. And of course, the reader is treated to appearances and mentions of past characters. The beauty of this series is the large group of men who are loving, supportive, and ultimately family. They are the heart of this series and the reason the readers can't wait for each new book.
Shadow and Light is a wonderful story of coming out of the shadows and living again. If you've been reading this RJ Scott and VL Locey series, you will love this book. The comfort/healing aspect is front and center and wonderfully done. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and start reading them. You will not regret it.
I knew this one was going to be a hard read for me due to Henry’s past and it was at times.
I loved Apollo. His upbeat and sunny friendly personality was lovely to read. It’s great to see him finally get someone who loved him. His upbeat style was exactly what Henry needed to get him to come out of his shell. My only complaint was that I wish they both discussed what was happening between them.
Henry hurt my heart, so many people had taken advantage of him and he was trying his hardest to take responsibility for it happening to him, so it was nice to see him understand that he was manipulated by those same people. He worked hard at both the physical and mental work needed to make his recovery as was taught different perspectives so that he could return to the game. His personality changed as the book progressed from a quiet kind of surly man to one who was happy and smiling. I enjoyed watching him slowly opening up and starting to stand on his own two feet. Good to also see the start of hopefully a friendship with Tate.
I understand about his mother but I don’t know something there doesn’t sit well with me. Yes Henry was also manipulated so he could understand where she was coming from, but he never hurt anyone else besides himself, his mother helped steal from him.
This one was my favourite of this series so far, looking forward to Tate and Vlad’s story
I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the Raptors Series. Both Henry and Apollo had tragic past in regards to relationships.
Henry had so many layers and the authors did a great job of peeling back each layer of Henry's complex personality to get to the man that is hurt and in need of someone to sooth those hurts. Apollo had just as many complex layers that Henry also had to peel back to find the man underneath that needed to take care of someone. Apollo and Henry had a couple miscommunications because they wouldn't talk to each other, but those miscommunications helped the reader to get inside Henry and Apollo's head.
The cast of secondary characters were fun and helped the reader understand the past hurts of Apollo and Henry. I absolutely loved Apollos' Tia Sofia, she seemed to give Apollo the kick in the butt he seemed to need. It was nice to see past characters make an appearance.
The ending was perfect for this couple and it was wonderful to see both Apollo and Henry grow from afraid to love men into a couple that weren't afraid to love and show their love for each other. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend this book and the entire series.
~~~ Arc Kindly provided by the author for an honest review ~~~
I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of the Arizona Raptors.
I have been waiting for Henry's story since the accident. Apollo is a breath of fresh air for Henry who helps him cope with the rehab and getting back into shape to try and make the Raptors team again.
Apollo feels out of sorts and unappreciated since his best friend(brother) Adler found his soulmate in Layton. Adler not liking that his best friend(brother) is feeling out of sorts - suggests that he move to Arizona to help Henry with his recovery.
Apollo and Henry are both dealing with issues stemming from shitty Ex's and slowly work their way through their issues and work their way towards a relationship with each other.
There are a few communication issues along the way between Apollo and Henry but it's really good story. I don't want to say fun since there were a LOT of really crappy issues the Henry had to deal with on his road to recovery - he was able to rekindle his relationship with his brother and find out where he stands with his teammates and coach.
Can't WAIT for Tate's story
~~~ Arc Kindly provided by the author for an honest review ~~~
What can I say about this book? I can say that the main characters of Henry and Apollo have had horrific past love life's. They have been treated cruelly by the men in their lives. Suffered what no one ever should. Throughout this book I have experienced, due to the authors Rj Scott and V.L. Locey, great sadness, silliness, intense anger to the point of wanting to hunt down a fictional character and smack him VERY hard...repeatedly, mushy love feelings and "dang is it hot in here or is it just me?" moments. The supporting characters, those we have met in previous books and fell in love with and rooted for are, as always, a great bunch of goofy, supportive and phenomenal friends. Apollo's Aunt is a hoot and I'd love to meet who inspired her, , if such a person exists. So many things happen in this story and I want the reader to find them out for themselves. The authors did a fantastic job make by me "see" this story. I received an Advanced Readers Copy for my honest review.
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.
So I'll start with what I liked about Shadow and Light. Firstly, Henry. I could relate to his struggles with his self esteem and my heart went out to him. Secondly, Apollo. I loved his giving nature and how he took care of Henry. Him being a Madonna fan was a plus for me. Thirdly, it was great getting to see the characters from the previous Raptors books and previous series. This is a world I'm always happy to be in.
So what didn't work for me. There was too much tell and not enough show. Henry and Apollo's romance felt a bit hurried because we didn't get to see enough of them falling in love.
Overall, Shadow and Light is another good addition to this series.
I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.
There is definitely a place in heaven for the writers providing us with mindlessly entertaining hockey romance in the middle of the current pandemic. I started reading this book on day 2 of my Covid-19 self isolation as my fever got worse and my chest started to burn. And honestly, it was the perfect distraction. Beautiful boys falling in love in the Arizona sunshine took me a million miles away from an increasingly frightening reality and I wish I could thank the authors in person.
We’re well into the Raptors/Railers books at this point and I’m pretty amazed that this story still feels fresh and not at all formulaic. I’m not sure there’s any actual hockey action in this book that tracks Henry’s recovery from his potentially career ending car crash but I enjoyed his journey back to the ice and to his team. And I absolutely love Apollo, the friend Adler Lockhart sends to take care of Henry as he rehabilitates. In a series that mostly focuses on hyper masculine hockey players, Apollo is a glittery, fabulous breath of fresh air. He has enough confidence to buoy Henry’s spirits and he kept me smiling through the whole book.
This is a great read and a perfect antidote to the rather grim 24hr news cycle that is keeping me glued to my phone. I would recommend it to anyone needing a little sunshine in their life.
I have wanted to read Henry's story ever since he was injured in book one, Coast to Coast. RJ and V.L. have written a wonderful story for him. The blurb is pretty long and detailed so I'll try to avoid restating it here. While you might be able to read this book without reading books one and two first, I don't really recommend it. Events from those books are integral to this one.
I loved everything about this book. It was great getting to visit with a few characters from the Harrisburg Railers series, in particular Adler Lockhart. He sends his assistant, Apollo, to help Henry after he is released from the hospital.
Apollo is a wonderfully "out there" character who loves his flamboyant clothes and makeup. Henry is dazzled by him. Apollo has been hurt by a past love so he can really sympathize with Henry. He helps Henry to come to terms with his limitations and encourages him to find ways to overcome them with the help of the sports therapist that the Raptors have provided for him.
I really can't say enough good things about this story. It touched on all of my emotions and had me crying both sad and happy tears. Apollo and Henry are one of my favorite couples from the all of the collaborations by the fantastic writing team of RJ Scott and V.L. Locey.
A copy of this book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author.
For the characters to make any impact, the previous stories need to be read. Henry we have watched from the first book and watched his downfall; In an accident that took away his ability to play hockey, an abusive relationship, and now struggling to pick up the pieces that is his life. Apollo we met in Adler's story, being Adler's best friend as well as his keeper of sorts. Now after his love life has fizzled, his best friend now has his HEA and that just leaves Apollo lonely and bored. When a plan comes together to get Apollo to Arizona and he's going to be Henry's assistant/companion, it all seems to be working well. Until Apollo realizes that he wants more from Henry than what Henry is willing to give. He has to remember this is only for the summer and then he goes back home to the east coast and away from Henry. Can Apollo keep his heart from being broken?
A good addition to the series, giving us some good drama, and some nice naughty bits. This wasn't as good as we have gotten in the past from RJ Scott, but it's still a good story. I give this 4 stars.
This is a modern sports romance, the third book in “Raptors” series which is part of a bunch of interconnected series’s and I suggest this series should be read in order.
Apollo is one of my favorite side characters from the “Railers” series so it was fantastic to read about his story. I felt like Henry’s situation was sad and a little far fetched at some points but it was still an enjoyable read.
Henry has been somewhat of a constant feature in the previous books in the series, especially Across the Pond. His conditions broke my heart and I was so happy the authors decided to write his own story.
Poor Henry's life was such a mess, I couldn't stand it. Broken mentally and physically, without money, a job or any prospects, of course it was hard for him to find the motivation to rebuild himself. Apollo couldn't have come into his life at a better moment, and I loved how they just clicked together.
The unfolding of their relationship has been an emotional rollercoaster. Moments of laughter amid the numbness, joy after tears, hope shining bright after despair. And swoon worthy instants, when Henry would say to Apollo things like: “𝒀𝒐𝒖’𝒓𝒆 𝒎𝒚 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒔𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒍 𝒔𝒖𝒏 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒉𝒐𝒍𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝒎𝒚 𝒂𝒓𝒎𝒔.”
It wasn't easy journey for either of them, or for me to witness it, but I cheered so much when they finally shed some of their doubts and insecurities. Not all of them, because they still have a lot to work on themselves, but al least now they have each other to lean on. Also, I loved how their friends closed ranks around them, the unconditional help and support they offered. Not surprisingly, because they're brothers, and family stand together.
Another instalment for the Arizona Raptors series from the now well-known writing couple RJ Scott and VL Locey, on how the team members of the Arizona Raptors find their “one”. It’s an mm Hockey romance, sweet, moderate on the steam but always with a nice HEA.
There’s as usual a few and minor appearances or references to the Raptors team and even to the Harrisburg team for the fans of the Scott/Locey sport romance series, but even more in this one when it comes to the MCs, and I’m glad I read “First Season”, introducing Apollo, and “Across the Pond”, introducing Henry. And in my opinion, at least “Across the Pond” should be read before tackling “Shadow and Light”.
Previously, the shy but talented Henry, while into an abusive relationship with Aarni, one of his quite widely despised Hockey teammate, was badly injured in a car accident and his full recovery is not a given, especially as his self-esteem is quite shattered. Some light and support are more than needed and deserved, and it comes in the person of Apollo, put in charge of being the “care-companion” of Henry during this recovery break because of his famous caring nature and his queer enthusiasm.
Saying that they “click and fit” together is obvious and along with friendship and support, they can both thrive and it’s sweet to witness. From the previous books, the authors portrayed some nice characters and I was ready for the shadows surrounding Henry to fade away and for Apollo’s light to shine. Bless me, it was delivered, in this “quick and “full of nice sentiments” romance. Nothing shattering nor highly hot nor unpredictable but a satisfying and mellow HEA.
ARC of “Shadow and Light” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been a fan of RJ Scott and VL Locey’s work since I was recommended this book through Amazon back in 2020, and have read pretty much all of their books, both individually and those that they’ve co-written. I’ve never gotten around to posting a review so here goes. I’ve decided to re-read all of their MM Hockey Romance books again so I can review them, which is as follows. I enjoyed this book, and thought that Henry and Apollo worked well together. After being severely injured, and nearly k*lled by his ex who made him feel like he was nothing Henry now believes that his hockey career is over, due to his eye being damaged.
Everyone is telling him just to have hope and he’ll make it back to play, but it’s extremely hard with so many obstacles in his path. Henry’s mother and his step-father Ed stole all of Henry’s money, as he naively believed that his mother would have his best interests at heart so he signed forms without reading them, they also took out loans so he’s in so much debt so he needs to get back to hockey so he can make some money so he can pay all the loans. I don’t know why Henry didn’t press charges on them. Yes, she’s his mother but she’s not a very good one if she stole from him and didn’t protect him.
Yes, he’s a grown man but who would ever think that their mother would do that to them? Plus who knows if what he actually signed as they most likely forged his signature on a lot of the documents, just like they did for Dan to obtain loans since it was like he was acting as guarantor. Adler being Adler has allowed Henry to recuperate at the Lockhart owned mansion in Tucson while he’s recovering. Apollo is feeling adrift since his best friend and brother from another mother Adler no longer needs him, since he now has his boyfriend Layton.
Apollo is extremely happy for them both and likes Layton and thinks he’s really good for Adler. He’s just sad, sick of the cold weather and doesn’t really like being the third wheel. After talking things through with Layton Adler tells Apollo that maybe he should go visit his Aunt in Tucson, and he can stay at the Lockhart mansion and help Henry while he recovers, as Henry needs the help getting to rehab appointments etc, plus it gets Apollo out of the cold weather since he’s not happy. Apollo agrees and heads to Tucson.
I enjoyed that Henry and his brother Dan rekindled their relationship after all the pain, when Dan just left when he was drafted and never really looked back so Henry was taken advantage of by their mother and Ed. You could just tell how much they both love and care about each other, so I’m glad they found their way back together. Both Henry and Apollo are bruised by dating a*seholes and getting their hearts bruised but the more time they spend together sparks soon start to fly. I loved seeing Henry jump in and protect Apollo from the rac*st security guard. Henry thinks he’s weak as he’s been beaten down by his ab*sive ex but being able to protect Apollo made him feel strong for the first time in forever.
Henry didn’t even think about the consequences he just wanted to protect the man he’d fallen for. There wasn’t a lot of hockey during this book as Henry was on injured reserve while he was recovering but it was cool seeing him get back to the team, and working well and clicking with the newest member of the Raptors Tate Collins. loved getting snippets of Adler as he’s still one of my favourites in the universe. I’m looking forward to reading more books from their MM Hockey Romance Universe, and Tate and Vlad’s book is next. I’d definitely recommend this book, series, universe and both authors to everyone.
Nach seinem schweren Unfall leidet der junge Eishockyspieler Henry an den Folgen. Neben den körperlichen Problemen, kommt auch noch das angeknackste Selbstbewusstsein hinzu, aber auch die Sorge um seine sportliche Zukunft und auch der Betrug seiner Mutter und deren Freund. Eine Menge zu stemmen, für den jungen Henry. Ein Freund seines Bruders, der exzentrische Adler, stellt Henry jedoch ein Anwesen in Arizona zur Verfügung und schickt ihm seinen persönlichen Assistenten und besten Freund Apollo vorbei.
Apollo ist seit Kindertagen mit Adler befreundet und fungiert schon seit Jahren als dessen persönlicher Assistent. Denn Adler brauchte eine Rund-um-die-Uhr-Betreuung. Sonst macht er nur Unsinn. Jetzt hat Adler jedoch einen festen Lebenspartner und Apollo fühlt sich unnütz und auch wie das dritte Rad am Wagen, auch wenn Adler und Layton ihn das nie spüren lassen. Aber Apollo tut Adler den Gefallen und reist nach Arizona um sich dort um Henry zu kümmern. Das macht er gern und schnell macht er sich für Henry auch unentbehrlich.
Gefährlich erscheint ihnen beiden jedoch das Knistern zwischen ihnen. Henry und Apollo haben schlechte Erfahrungen in ihren letzten Beziehungen gemacht und das hat Spuren hinterlassen. So fällt es ihnen auch sehr schwer sich auf einen anderen Menschen einzulassen und sich zu öffnen. Zudem ist Apollos Aufenthalt ja begrenzt.
Es ist eine wirklich niedliche Geschichte und die Helden fallen mit ihren Gefühlen auch nicht gleich mit der Tür ins Haus. Man umkreist sich für eine Weile und lotet aus. Aber Apollo ist wirklich der perfekte Mann für Henry um ihn wieder auf die Beine zu stellen. Und Apollo lässt es auch nicht zu, dass Henry sich ständig von den vergangenen Ereignissen hinunterziehen lässt.
Die gesamte Mannschaft der Raptors steht hinter Henry und es gibt ein Wiedersehen mit vielen liebgewonnen Charakteren aus den vorigen Teilen. Aber auch mit Helden aus der Harrisburg Railers Reihe. Schöne Geschichte mit sehr sympathischen Helden.
I’ve been looking forward to Apollo’s book since he was introduced in First Season as Adler’s PA and best friend/honorary brother. I loved him just as much as I did then, but I kind of got some different vibes from him. We didn’t see him talk to his mom at all, and he talked to Adler maybe 3 times total. I’ve noticed in most of the books from this duo of authors that the relationships outside of the main couple usually leave a lot to be desired.
Henry was a sweetheart, and I was so glad he found a good partner in Apollo after what he had to deal with in his childhood and with Aarni. For some reason I thought he maybe had a drug problem from the summary, but he didn’t. He worked hard after being in a car crash that almost cost him his life, and Apollo was there to help and nurture him back to health. I thought we’d see more of Alex and even Ryker, but both were only there a handful of times. Apollo’s Tía Sofia was amazing, and I wished we would have seen his mom. We briefly saw her in Adler’s book. I will just say that I don’t like the name Henry, but I didn’t mind it too much in this book.
There were a lot of instances where some communication would have prevented problems, but both had been burned in the past so I got their reluctance. There was a bit of an age gap since Henry was 24, and I think Apollo was almost 30. I was so glad that security guard got the boot finally in this book. What a douche. The epilogue was cute, and I can’t wait to see what happens next with these two. I feel like I might know who the next book is about. Probably give this 3.5-4 out of 5 stars. However if this wasn’t Apollo as half of the couple in the book, I’d probably give it 3. I just so wanted him to get his happy ending after reading one of the Railers novellas (Save The Date).
I may have had a couple of little niggles with this one but all in all it was still a very enjoyable read...full review to follow soonish!
‘Shadow and Light’ is a story that I’ve been waiting for…it’s Henry and Apollo’s story .
We met Apollo for the first time briefly in the ‘Harrisburg Railers’ series. He’s Adler Lockhart’s best friend and personal assistant. But now that Adler’s got his Foxy man, Apollo’s life has become a lot less demanding and he’s finding he has to much time on his hands to think and a lot of that thinking seems to focus on the last man who broke his heart. So, when Adler proposes that he go to Arizona and take care of Henry, Apollo decides that maybe this is just what he needs someone who needs his help in a place that’s filled with warmth and sunshine.
Henry’s struggling…life’s just not cutting him any breaks. It may have been a car accident that broke his body but it was the man driving the car who broke his heart and shattered him emotionally and his family took care of whatever self esteem he had left along with his money leaving Henry with nothing and no one to offer him support as he struggles to find his way back to the world in general and the sport that he loves.
Together Apollo and Henry can help each other to find a way back from their pain if they can just learn to trust each other and share what’s in their hearts.
I was more than a little anxious for this story since we’ve been following the events of what’s happened to Henry throughout the previous books and for the most part I enjoyed this one but I also found myself wanting the relationship development between Henry and Apollo to come from Henry’s point of view just a tiny bit more than it did, but while I wanted a bit more of Henry’s perspective during this part of the story, I also didn’t feel like his POV was entirely missing either so that may be more a me thing than a story thing.
As a couple I really like Henry and Apollo. Certainly, after all that he’s been through if anyone every deserved someone who is a ray of sunshine…it’s Henry. But Apollo is equally deserving of someone who will love and appreciate the awesomeness that is Apollo.
My other little niggle was in regard to the ending. For the most part it worked but there were a couple of moments when things felt like they were becoming just a bit to over the top however, they never quite reached the point of spoiling the story for me so all in all just a little niggle I shook it off and carried on enjoying the story.
Last of all from a very personal perspective I really, really want a resolution that brings harsher consequences for Aarni Lankinen and solid vindication Henry, Tennant and Bryan, the people he has hurt the most…and then he just needs to go away, but maybe that’s just a me thing.
As with previous stories in this series and the ‘Harrisburg Railers’ series we were once again treated to glimpses of characters from previous books Ryker and Jacob, Alex and Seb, we even had some time with Adler and his Foxy man.
Even though I didn’t connect with this story quite the way I had thought I would. I still very much enjoyed it and wouldn’t have missed out on it for anything. Henry and Apollo were fun, sexy and well worth the read…but…
I have to admit I was hoping that the next book would be about Colorado the hot and sexy Raptor’s goaltender…or at least that’s what I was hoping until I read the blurb at the end of this book for book #4 Sugar and Ice…it’s Tate and Vlad’s story and it sounds like it’s going to be scorching hot…hot enough to melt the ice. I am so on board for this one.
An ARC of ‘Shadow and Light’ was graciously provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.
I’d been looking forward to Henry’s story and it didn’t disappoint. I loved him and Apollo together. They’re very much opposites but I think that’s one of the big reasons why they work so well together—they’re each other’s light to their shadow.
I really felt for Henry with his convincing himself that the Raptors wouldn’t take him back, and seeing himself as so broken. The spectre of his ex still looms over him, like a horrible gift that keeps trying to give way past its sell by date. Apollo, too, has been through a bad relationship that haunts him and stops him risking his heart with Henry.
They each do a great job in convincing themselves that being together is a bad idea, and I loved how they do the one forward, two back dance for quite a bit of the story, while still growing a deep friendship.
As an aside, it’s obvious the authors have done their research re Henry’s injury and his journey to recovery. His experience, and frustration, feels very real.
The supporting cast are fabulous and this story has the strong sense of family, and team as family, that I expect from these authors. I love Apollo’s Aunt—she’s fabulous and the voice of practical reason. I enjoyed seeing more of Ryker and Jacob too, and Dan, Henry’s brother, and also the guys from Harrisburg.
I loved the conclusion of their story, and their plans for the future, and also the set up for the next book, which I’m already hanging out for.