Book: Off the Ice
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication date: October 30, 2017
Length: 275 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.
Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.
But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.
Thanks for joining Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn on the OFF THE ICE blog tour. In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide—and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.
I think most everyone looks forward to October. I mean what's not to love, right? Pumpkin spice, colorful leaves, sweater weather, and of course for me ... HOCKEY! The summer months might be full of sunshine and beaches, but I'm more of an ice and guys on skates girl so October is definitely my favorite month! What could be better than the start of hockey season though is the first book of a new hockey series from favorites Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn. Off the Ice, book one of their new Hat Trick series, introduces us to the Atlanta Venom and their star, Tristan Holt. Throw in a grumpy, older professor with a bit of a forbidden teacher student relationship, and guys, Off the Ice is everything you want in a fantastic book! Well developed characters, witty banter, and a bit of kinky sex and damn ... I was in love from page one.
Tristan Holt might be a professional hockey player, but that doesn't mean he's not planning for life after hockey. As such, he decides to use his break between seasons to take a few classes at Georgia Tech to finish his business degree. Not only does this please his mother but it gives him a sense of security knowing he can take care of himself once he's no longer a hockey player. One of the classes he signs up for is sociology, and Tristan is looking forward to the class ... until he sees his professor. Sebastian Cruz is completely off limits. Or he should be, but Tristan can't help the dirty thoughts that plague him during class and if the heated, furtive glances from Professor Cruz are any indication, the interest is not one-sided. Oh man, it was so yummy watching these two try to keep away from one another.
Once Tristan is no longer Seb's student, the two don't waste much time in acting on their mutual attraction. What starts out as a pretty intense case of insta-lust quickly develops into something deeper and stronger ... and something neither isn't quite ready for but the feelings can't be denied. It was believable, which is hard to pull off most times, but with two authors as talented as Gale and Vaughn, it wasn't the least bit surprising. Nor was the technical hockey talk. With authors as wild about hockey as these two, that love for the sport shines through like the sun. And man, can we talk about the chemistry between our professor and our hockey guy? It was off the charts on fire, steamy enough to melt all that ice Tris regularly skates on that's for sure. As any fan of these authors can attest, their skill with layering in secondary characters who are integral to the plot is second to none and in Off the Ice it was no different. Tristan's teammates Ryu and Morely and Bellzie, Seb's best friend, R.J., and Tris's family all play starring roles and the book wouldn't have been the same without them.
Off the Ice is a book about being comfortable with yourself. It's about recognizing what and who you want and not being afraid to go get it. There's a bit of conflict regarding Tristan's fear of coming out, but it's handled brilliantly and I believe realistically. Fans of Avon Gale's Scoring Chances will adore the humor and the banter and the hockey talk and fans of Vaughn will be giddy over the romance. Low angst, a swoony romance, and some mild kink made Off the Ice tons of fun to read ... and makes waiting for the next book more than a little difficult. But I'm sure it will be worth the wait. Do yourself a favor guys and be sure to check this one out. I highly recommend it...even if you don't love hockey. If you don't I'm not sure we can be friends, though!
About the Authors
About Avon Gale
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Connect with Avon:
- Website: www.avongalewrites.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/avongalewrites
- Twitter: @avongalewrites
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/avongalewrites/
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/avongale/
About Piper Vaughn
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.
As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.
Connect with Piper:
- Website: http://pipervaughn.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pipervaughn
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipervaughn
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pipervaughn7/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piper.vaughn/
To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!