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An excerpt, a sale and a giveaway from Amy Aislin

The Nature of the Game is a second chance romance between an NHL player who’s recently publicly come out as bisexual and a suncatcher maker stuck in a job he’s indifferent about. It features making amends, reconnecting over a late-night baking session, and proving that second chances are sometimes worth the risk.

The Nature of the Game book cover by Amy Aislin

The Nature of the Game is out now and is available for purchase at Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.

Amazon: https://geni.us/NatureoftheGame

iBooks: https://geni.us/NatureoftheGameApple

B&N: http://bit.ly/NatureGameBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/NatureGameKobo

About the book:

Series: Stick Side #2

Publisher: self-published

Length (Print & Ebook): 87,000 words / 330 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Tropes: second chances

Book synopsis:

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

Excerpt:

Running a hand over his face, Dan glanced over to the hallway Ash had disappeared down, and then kept staring, waiting for Ash to reappear again like some smitten teenager who couldn’t control his hormones.

He was so very cool.

Tearing his eyes away, he scanned the restaurant, his gaze snagging on a woman sitting with a group of friends. In her early twenties, she had brown hair to her shoulders and purple glasses were perched on her nose. She sunk into her chair with a grimace when Dan caught her ogling him, her lips twitching up in embarrassment. Dan smiled back at her despite the across-the-room flirting doing nothing for him. All he could think about was Ash. Ash’s arms streaked with dust; Ash’s muscles straining as they moved furniture around; Ash’s laughter when Dan nearly swallowed a dust bunny; Ash’s mad scramble to the other side of the apartment when Dan came down the stepladder with the spider colony; Ash’s expression when he talked about hockey; the emotion in Ash’s eyes when Dan had shown up earlier.

It was Ash. It had always been Ash.

Dan’s smile grew when the man himself reappeared next to him.

“Who are you smiling at?” Ash stood next to the booth, hands on his hips. His scowl would scare small children away.

“Um, you?”

Assuming they were leaving, Dan stood . . . and ran into a wall of muscle when Ash didn’t budge. Ash was warm and big and strong, and Dan forgot all his words. He swallowed hard and told himself the shiver was from the air conditioning.

Ash looked over his shoulder, scowled some more, and growled, “We’re leaving.”

They left. The walk back to Ash’s apartment was silent but for Ash’s stiff shoulders proclaiming his unhappiness with Dan, dinner, or the world at large. Who knew.

“Are you okay?”

“Just…” Ash gestured wildly, arms flying. “I’m trying to sort some stuff out. In my head.”

“O…kay.” Whatever that meant.

Reaching Ash’s apartment, Ash slammed the door behind them and whirled on Dan, hands on his hips. “Do you want to date women?”

“Like, right this second?” I only want to date you. “Not particularly.”

“What about the woman from The Tavern?”

“Who?”

“You know.” Ash’s gestured. “The one you were smiling at.”

“Why are you being weird?”

“I’m being weird.” Ash huffed and paced away. “You were the one eye-flirting while I took a two-minute bio break.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“No idea what I’m…” He trailed off, jaw ticking, his eyes fire and fury. Pacing back to Dan, he clamped a hand behind Dan’s head, pulled him forward, and kissed him.

Ash kissed him.

Ash kissed him.

Ash kissed him.

Dan stood shocked and immobile.

“Gonna kiss me back?” Ash murmured against Dan’s lips, walking him backward until his back hit the wall next to the door. “Or just stand there like a corpse?”aht

Amy Aislin logo

Author Information:

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Website: https://amyaislin.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyaislin/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amy-aislin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amy.aislin

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ddvWFv

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyaislinauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/amyaislin

QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/amy-aislin/

LoveRomanceReads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/amyaislin.html

Giveaway:

Win a Stick Side prize pack, including signed paperbacks of books 1 and 2 in the series, as well as some Stick Side swag! Contest open internationally. Enter via Rafflecopter. Contest ends at 12:00am May 12.

Click here to enter the giveaway.

Sale:

On the Ice, book 1 in the series, will be on sale for $0.99 across all platforms from May 6 to 13

 

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CHARITY ANTHOLOGY: Changing on the Fly

M/M Charity Hockey Romance Anthology

cotf_cover_2016_lores

Buy Links

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

Blurb

Changing on the Fly is a celebration of romance, featuring six M/M stories about hockey players falling in love on – and off – the ice. All proceeds from the anthology will be donated to a charity that supports inclusiveness in athletics.

The anthology will be available starting in October, 2016, for a limited time only.

It includes the following stories:

Even Strength by Cherylanne Corneille
Next Season by Avon Gale
Going Home by Heather Lire
On Broadway by V.L. Locey
The Brother and the Retired Player by Mary Smith
Take a Shot by Samantha Wayland

Exclusive Excerpt From On Broadway

           “So you’ve lived in the Bronx all your life?” I enquired, eyes on the traffic lights or the passing cars. The interior of the cab had a subtle scent of onion.
            “Born and raised. I got to say you got one funny accent, Riley,” the cabby chuckled.
            “Yeah, I guess so,” I replied with a smile. I mentally drifted away from the man after that point, making noises when needed at a lull in his talking. We passed Radio City Music Hall. I sat up and watched the famous theater drop behind us. “Let me out here.”
            The driver threw a concerned look at me in the rearview mirror. “You sure, Riley? It’s colder than my mother-in-law’s heart out there.”
            “I’m sure,” I replied as I began to open the door. The driver pulled over as closely as he could get to the curb. I jumped out after giving him his fare and a hefty tip. “Thanks, Joe.” I slammed the door then jogged to Rockefeller Center, anticipation building inside my chest.
            Since it was only eight at night, adults and kids covered the ice. I slid into the spot where I had stood with Otto a couple mornings go, my gaze touching on every person down there. “Shit,” I whispered when I failed to find Skating Fabio among the throngs. I lifted my sight to the spot where the massive fir tree had stood. It was gone now. That made my mood a little darker. I was confused about my actions tonight. I was also worried about how deeply I had hoped to catch a glimpse of my mystery man. I spun from the well-lit rink, the sounds of laughter and music bouncing off the buildings that looked down on us. What the fuck was I doing here on my one night off? Why wasn’t I at home enjoying the loft that had set me back a cool two million bucks last year? Better yet, why wasn’t I spending the night at a discreet club or bar looking for someone to share that big, empty, well-decorated loft with?
            Someone tapped my shoulder. My gaze flew to the left. Joe the cabbie stood beside me, his mottled cheeks glowing red from the cold.
            “You okay, Riley?”
            The concern in his eyes touched me. “Yeah, yeah, I’m good. I just wanted to peek at the rink. Reminds me of my days back in Minnesota, you know?”
            “Oh yeah, sure, I can see that.” Joe gave me a weak smile. “So you done looking now? You want a lift back to your place, maybe?”
            “Thanks, yeah, I need to go home.”
            Joe and I walked off side by side, my hands crammed under my armpits and my thoughts on just how pathetic I truly was. Here was Riley Zeally, the golden child of the league, famous, rich, skilled, not terrible looking, and healthy spending the night with a strange cabbie while searching for some mysterious golden-haired puck pusher. With so many people in New York, you would think no one here would ever be lonely.
            “9th Avenue, Gramercy,” I told Joe when we were both back in his onion-scented ride.
            “Got it,” he replied then began telling me about a road trip to Minnesota he took twenty years ago. Ice fishing with some buddies, he tacked on. I nodded. My attention drifted after a minute or two. Instead of watching the traffic lights or cars, I tried to gaze at the people crossing in front of us at stoplights. They all hustled along without looking left or right. That indifferent and outwardly cold demeanor many Manhattanites moved through life with still set me back on my heels at times. Folks in Sugar Lake never ignored anyone. If you saw someone on the street, you waved or stopped to chat. You didn’t just walk past with a cell phone to your ear. I closed my eyes. My mood was growing more and more dismal with every city block. I missed Minnesota. I missed the family farm, my parents, and my sister. I missed knowing that the people around me loved me for just being Riley. They weren’t after me because of the big contract or the fame.
            “Fucking shithead,” Joe snarled and mashed the brakes. The seatbelt snapped painfully across my chest. My eyes flew open just in time to see Skating Fabio standing in the middle of Park Avenue, his left hand on the hood of Joe’s cab. “What kind of moron are you? Don’t you got no idea of what the fucking crosswalks are for?”
            “No shit,” I whispered and began frantically fighting with the seatbelt. 

Additional Excerpts

V.L. Locey’s On Broadway:

“You’re about as far from being just a guy as I am from being able to play “Rocket Man” on harmonica.”

“Is that the song your mom named you after?” I fell back to the bed, feet dangling to the floor and hands clasped behind my head.

“Good guess.” He appeared behind me after a moment. I tipped my head back to look at him. His green eyes were darker now, smoky jade and hot with desire. “You’re really sexy in a Toby McGuire Spider-Man kind of way.”

“I don’t have any superpowers,” I replied as he leaned over and placed his hands on either side of my head.

“Not true,” Rocket whispered before covering my mouth with his. My eyes drifted shut as my fingers knotted up the bedding. His mouth was hot and wet, his tongue skilled, his taste a subtle blend of Korean buffet. “You’re Riley Zeally,” he murmured between nibbling kisses that made my heart pump faster, “the face of professional hockey.”

I reached up from the duvet to push my fingers into his hair. “I want you,” I panted between his short, maddening sweeps of my mouth.

Samantha Wayland’s Take a Shot:

 “There already is someone who loves to spend time with you, who loves hockey and your friends and their ridiculous pranks. Who gets that you have to travel and that you’re tired!”

Tim blinked, appearing utterly bewildered. “Who?”

“Me, you asshole! Me.”

Tim threw his hands in the air. “What about you?”

“I appreciate you exactly as you are. I love our life. Our friends. You. Even the super fucking irritating things, because apparently there is something wrong with me. I love that you can’t hide what you’re feeling, almost ever. And that you say what you’re thinking, even when I can’t do the same. I like living with you, a fucking neat-freak nudist, and working with you, and there’s never been a time, not once, that I was tired of being around you. You’re gorgeous and you’re kind and you’re the best person I know. So shut up about there not being someone who can appreciate everything about you. There already is. And unfortunately for you, it’s me.”

Heather Lire’s Going Home

“What the fuck, man?” Blake growled at Dex.

“What?” he asked, innocently. Too innocently. “I was just making conversation with an old friend from high school. One who helped both of us graduate.”

If he’d known when he started this trip down memory lane that he’d be running into the person who’d had a staring roll in the epic disaster that had been his last night in town, he’d never have started it. Micah had also held a staring roll in every single one of his sexual fantasies back then as well.

“Fuck you, Dex.”

“Think about it like this…this is a new start for both of us. A chance to fix the things in our lives that we fucked up. Me with my career and you with Micah.”

Cherylanne Corneille’s Even Strength

He took a few laps around their end of the rink to loosen his legs. On his fourth pass around the net, he picked up a stray puck and carried it on his stick before shooting it into the net. Boone bumped his shoulder and nodded toward the glass as they rounded their end of the rink again.

What the hell? He glanced in the direction his teammate indicated. Two men around his age wearing New York’s jerseys held up a brightly colored sign that said simply, “Thank you, Nate.” He puzzled on the meaning until he made another lap. One of them also held a small rainbow flag.

Mary Smith’s The Brother and the Retired Player

Our lips touch, and the spark is struck. He pulls me closer and grips my hips. I can feel his hardness already, and my dick twitches at the contact. Our kiss intensifies as our tongues touch. I hold him closer, and the light scruff of his pale beard tickles me. I never want to leave this spot, but finally, I pull back.

Avon Gale’s Next Season

Nick stopped as Sparrow went to get into his Escalade, which he’d somehow remote started the second they got out of the building. Nick drove a 2002 Ford Focus and was lucky if it started when the key was in the ignition.

“So, uh,” Nick said, not wanting to just walk off but still as uncertain as he’d been in the locker room about what to say. “See you in Philly, I guess.”

“Yeah,” Sparrow muttered, yanking the door to his luxury SUV open with too much force. “See you in Philly, kid.”

Nick managed to get his own car door open, grabbed his ice scraper, and turned the car on so he could blast the heat. He watched Sparrow drive away, leaving tire tracks in the snow.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

V.L. Locey

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

Website: http://vlloceyauthor.com/

Avon Gale

Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

Website: https://www.avongalewrites.com/

Cherylanne Corneille

Cherylanne Corneille has been writing almost as long as she has loved the game of hockey, so it was inevitable that she would eventually combine two of her favorite pastimes into one hobby. She will watch almost any game but prefers to cheer on the Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Tyler Seguin.

When not writing or watching hockey, she enjoys running and has completed 18 half marathons.  She also loves Stars Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Captain America.

Cherylanne lives in Central Florida with her cat, who was almost called Puck or Hanifin but sometimes answers to the name Phasma.

Website: https://cacorneille.wordpress.com/

Heather Lire

Heather has traveled all over the world, speaks several languages, collects romance books like they’re going out of style, and has multiple book boyfriends. Ok, she hasn’t been all over the world, except in her mind. She does however speak multiple languages and collect romance books. Her long-suffering husband and sons roll their eyes at all her book boyfriends. When she’s not busy on her next novel she can be found in her classroom where teaches one of those many languages, at one of her sons many sporting events or on twitter talking about what else, romance books.

Website: http://heatherlire.com/

Samantha Wayland

Samantha Wayland has three great loves in life; her family, writing books, and hockey. She is often found apologizing to the first for how much time and attention is taken up by the latter two, but they forgive her because they are awesome and she clearly doesn’t deserve them.

Sam lives with her family—of both the two and four-legged variety—outside of Boston. When she’s not locked away in her home office, she can generally be found tucked in the corner of the local Thai place with other socially-starved authors and an adult beverage. Her favorite things include mango martinis, tiny Chihuahuas with big attitude problems, and the Oxford comma.

Website: http://www.samanthawayland.com/

Mary Smith

Best Selling Author, Mary Smith, has been coming up with stories her whole life. She has written A HOCKEY TUTOR and THE NEW HAMPSHIRE BEARS SERIES along with numerous other titles, as well as co-authored THE PENALTY KILL TRILOGY, OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN SERIES, and THE NINTH INNINGS SERIES with Lindsay Paige. When not busy writing or rooting for the Chicago Blackhawks you can find her with her nose stuck in her Kindle.

Website: http://www.authormarysmith.com/

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GUEST POST: Two Man Advantage by V.L. Locey

Today V.L Locey joins us to talk about the best things about hockey. Plus there is a sexy excerpt and a great giveaway. Check out this fabulous book!

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About the Book

TwoManAdvantage_MSRTitle: Two Man Advantage

Author: V.L. Locey

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave

Cover Artist: Allyse Karam

Length: 101 Pages

Release Date: 15th April, 2015

Blurb: Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.

Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.

But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.

Inside Scoop: This book contains scorching gay sex and a heaping helping of no-holds-barred snark between hot hockey heroes who don’t pull their punches.

GUEST POST

My Five Favorite Things About Hockey (In No Particular Order)

1-That Canadian accent so many of the player have.

2-The speed, heart, and grit of the game.

3-How diehard the fans are

4-The way the guys fill out those pads. *fans face*

5-Playoff beards!

6-Goalies (I know the list was supposed to only be five but I just adore goalies!)

What are your favorite things about hockey? Do you enjoy a different sport or no sport at all? Tell me what you love about hockey, or whatever hobby you love, in the comments!

Skate hard and love deeply,

V.L. Locey

Excerpt

 

I was soaping up my head when I heard the bathroom door squeak. I froze, hands on my head, shampoo foam sneaking down my temples.

“Hey, Kalinski? I’m sorry if I touched a sore spot, okay?”

There I stood, like a carving of the Roman shampoo god Dandrufficus, silent and stony. I was aching for something but didn’t know what.

No. That’s a miserable-ass lie. I ached to see Arou pull back the thin shower curtain, step over the side of the tub and kiss me into forgetting my tenth birthday…and my eleventh…and my fourteenth as well. I cleared my throat.

“Yeah, whatever,” I said loudly enough to be heard over the rushing water. The plastic curtain rustled when he closed the door. My fingers slipped from my head to hang by my thighs. Eyes closed, I stepped forward. The stream beat down on my head, filling my ears with water and bubbles. I could still hear Dan just on the other side of the shower curtain. My shoulder muscles tensed.

“I tend to let my mouth run away with me sometimes, you know?”

“Yeah, I know how that goes.”

Taking a step back, I glanced at the dark form outside the curtain. He must be lounging on the small sink. There wasn’t room for two men in here, especially me and Daniel Arou. I turned to let the water beat the tension from my upper back.

“I didn’t mean any harm,” Dan said. I placed my hands on the tiles, not even seeing the mildew on the grout. Why the fuck was this man apologizing? “I’m sorry if your childhood was rough.”

Yep, that was the clincher. I threw the curtain to the right so hard the old, brittle plastic tore off several of the rusty metallic shower rings. Dan lifted his head quickly from his study of his feet.

“You don’t know shit about me or my childhood. For your information, asscrack, what I said was a joke!” I snarled, pointing a finger at him.

He stared at me. Water was dripping from my finger to the floor. His eyes betrayed him. I saw the long, hungry look. My accusatory digit fluttered downward. My cock began to rise to take my pointy-finger’s place. Dan grew slightly pale, mumbled something, then tripped over his large feet out the bathroom door.

I exited the shower. Just stepped out. Left the water running, wetting the floor, and followed the stupid shit. Dan was facing the front door, his back as stiff as my prick.

“I was not checking you out,” he said through clenched teeth.

I stood about a foot behind him, my dick at attention.

“Yeah, you were,” I said. A horn blew outside in the parking lot. A round of male guffaws followed. My wet skin was starting to get chilly. The heater in the room was locked at fifty-five. “I told you I’m not gay.”

“Neither am I,” he said rapidly. Too rapidly.

Yeah, I knew how this was going to go. I had been hiding my bisexuality since I was old enough to like looking at other guys’ packages in the high school locker room. While things were changing for LGBT players, a ton of us were still pretending.

“That’s too bad,” I said, taking a step closer to him. The floor creaked. He sucked in a short breath. His gasp made me smile. “Seems a gay dude and a bi guy in the same room could be honest with each other at the very least.”

That announcement brought the sexy little shit around in a hurry. One dark eyebrow was climbing up his forehead. Those startlingly blue eyes dropped downward. He licked his bottom lip. My cock began to weep.

“You’re bi?”

“Yeah, and right now I would like nothing better than to jack you up against that dresser and kiss you into a state of delirium.”

Dan wet his lips again. Either he was trying to turn me on, which was a wasted effort given how hard my dick was for the man, or it was a nervous tic. Whatever, it was making me crazy. I rolled my hands into fists to keep them from reaching for him.

“Look, stubby, I need a reply here,” I groaned a minute later. Maybe I had misread his signals. Fuck knows I do it often enough with chicks. Guys are usually less confusing, but not always. “If you’re not up for getting laid, speak up now and I’ll go back into the shower, take care of this boner, then pretend this little conversation never took place.”

Another horn blew in the parking lot. Raucous laughter erupted outside our window. The Cougars were bored. Dan reached behind his back to lock the door. Well. Fuck. Me. I suddenly felt lightheaded.

 

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Buy Links

Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/two-man-advantage.html

Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/pgm5zk4

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-man-advantage-vl-locey/1121702094?ean=9781419993664

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/two-man-advantage-2

 

About the Author

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted goofy domestic fowl, and two steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/pages/VL-Locey/124405447678452

Twitter- https://twitter.com/vllocey

Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/vllocey/

Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807700.V_L_Locey

My blog- http://thoughtsfromayodelinggoatherder.blogspot.com/

tsú – https://www.tsu.co/vllocey

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Get a chance to win a digital copy of Two Man Advantage by V.L. Locey!

Enter the Rafflecopter NOW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Tour Schedule

May 4

Daydream Believer Book || Nessa’s Book Reviews || Because Two Men Are Better Than One

May 5

MM Good Book Reviews || Cia’s Stories || Wicked Faeries Tales And Reviews

May 6

Lynley Wayne – Wordsmith Wednesday || Diverse Reader || Up All Night, Read All Day

May 7

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents || Divine Magazine || Love Bytes Reviews

May 8

BFD Book Blog || The Purple Rose Tea House || Drops of Ink

 

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Fancy some Ice Hockey or Figure Skating?

I felt like a dose of sports and decided Ice Hockey would fit the bill nicely and luckily I had two great books to read. Both involved Ice Hockey, one with a dash of curling and the other with some figure skating. I’m not exactly sure what it is about Ice Hockey that I like so much – I’m Australian, don’t follow the sport and definitely don’t know anything about the game rules or competition. I think it’s the combination of strength, speed and control.

The books I selected were:

  • Burning Up the Ice (book #5 International Men Of Sports) by T.A. Chase and Devon Rhodes.
  • Picks & Pucks by Teegan Loy

Burning Up the Ice (International Men of Sports, #5)Burning Up the Ice by T.A. Chase and Devon Rhodes

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Two men, two very different sports and one rink—sharing ice has never been so hot.

Olivier ‘Big Bang’ St Pierre is back in his hometown while he recovers from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hockey’s a contact sport—still, he didn’t count on the locker room being dangerous. As a professional hockey player, he also didn’t count on it being hard to find ice time. But when a rink shuts down unexpectedly in a winter-sport-crazy town, even being a big name won’t help as people scramble for whatever they can get.

The first time Ethan Campbell hears from the local hockey legend he knew as a kid, Olivier manages to insult both his family’s rink and his new sport—curling. So he’s not exactly receptive when Olivier shows up in person to plead his case. He makes a sarcastic offer…and is shocked when Olivier takes him up on it. Ethan’s bad experience with hockey had left him cold. But soon he and Olivier are burning up the ice.

Ethan is tied to his town, job and family, while Olivier will be going back to Chicago to rejoin his team as soon as he’s able. It can’t possibly last…can it?

So what did I think?

Olivier St Pierre (what a wonderful name!) is a professional Ice Hockey player who is visiting his home town to recuperate from injuries that required major surgery. He needs private practice time to build up his strength and gets this by using the ice at Ethan’s family’s rink which is run by Ethan and his sister.

This was a sweet story, nothing too angsty just nice characters falling in love with some hot sex!

There were also some cute, funny lines. Here’s what follows after Ethan gives his friend Barry some advice about impressing the girl he likes by surprising her with a coffee….

“Is that what gay guys do when they’re dating? Do you buy each other caramel lattes?” He smirked then opened his own locker.
Ethan rolled his eyes. “Yeah, but not until we’ve met the parents…or after the fourth blow job, whichever comes first.”

Picks & PucksPicks & Pucks by Teegan Loy

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Rising men’s figure skating star, Justin Corrin, is coming home to train for the upcoming season and face his demons. The last thing Justin needs is to fall in love with a hockey player. Instead of getting rid of his demons, Justin is collecting more. He tries desperately to control his growing feelings for CJ Daly, but finds being with CJ keeps his nightmares away.

Justin isn’t the only one with problems, and hidden fears and secrets threaten to separate the two. With the pressure mounting, CJ starts to pull away, and Justin doesn’t know why. His skating suffers, and he decides to stop wasting his time on love and focus on winning the nationals.

If Justin can destroy his demons, he might have a chance for happiness on and off the ice. But if the demons win, Justin’s life could be ruined.

So what did I think?

The combination of Ice Hockey and Figure Skating was always going to ensure I liked this book – pure escape into a world of which I know absolutely nothing but have a fierce attraction!

Justin is an up-and-coming figure skating champion but his choice of sport has driven a wedge between his family. His father is a hockey coach and Justin also had the skills to play professionally so his father was disappointed by his choice. The death of his mother, his key supporter, has also haunted him for the last three years. He has LOTS of demons!

A relationship with an closeted ice hockey player – who was happy for the sex but put Justin down in front of the rest of the team – has also soured his opinion of men who play ice hockey.

I actually started reading this book without reading the blurb so the way the story unfolded was a bit of a surprise. A large portion of the beginning of the book is focused on Justin’s relationship with Danny (the closeted player) and it is along while before CJ enters the picture and captures Justin’s interest. I didn’t see it coming and was expecting the relationship with Danny to evolve. Anyway, I liked that the author didn’t make Danny the bad guy, he sort of redeemed himself and I ended up liking him.

I enjoyed the characters and the story. There was enough drama but maybe too many demons. I found Justin’s demons a little odd and a bit annoying although it was quite a unique take, particularly when they start exploding – that probably makes no sense but will once you read the book!

To find out more about T.A. Chase and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Devon Rhodes and her books visit her website.

To find out more about Teegan Loy and her books visit her website.

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