Saturday, December 28, 2019

Random Review: Cracking Ice by N.J. Lysk Episodes 1-4 #Review #Giveaway

Hockey was everything to them both… until they met each other.

All Keenan Avali wants to do is play hockey. It doesn’t matter that he’s an alpha, he’s got no interest in dominating anywhere but on the ice.

When Cartwright Johnson joins the Hell’s Flames, he expects to play hard to compensate for being an omega who dared to pursue a professional hockey career. After his last team traded him, he is not making the mistake of falling for a teammate ever again. He’s sure he’s got the control to keep his pants on and his heart closed... until he meets Keenan Avali.

An omega can't trust an alpha, much less one as hot as Avali, but nobody can fail to see they play together like they were made for it. But for how long can they be the perfect teammates on ice when they can't stand to look at each other off it?

Cracking Ice is a 240,000 words story, published in episodes.


Episodes 1-4

Episode #1 Ice

Cartwright Johnson is traded from The Titans to ice hockey club Hell’s Flames. As an omega being part of a hockey team is exceptional, just like his speed. Cartwright has his own beliefs and doesn’t want any protection from alphas! Doesn’t want to get involved with any alpha, certainly not Keenan Avali. Not after what he’d been through.
Yes, they are competitive, and they don’t like each other, period. Well maybe only the scent of the other, and strangely enough they also know where the other is, like all the time!

Vigorously denying what is in front of you doesn’t work. Still, Keenan is busy to explain and convince himself why he can’t get Carry out of his head.

“How could his body react to something his mind rejected?”

Even though they barely talk to each other, on the ice they work perfectly, open, sharp, and winning. When it seems to become somewhat more, the rumors start. What’s going on between them?

When I get the chance to read about alphas and omegas, I’m sold. This one didn’t disappoint!
I think it’s a nice start to a series. It’s pictured from a different angle and I love that!
We meet the teammates. I have to confess it’s not my best quality remembering names, so I was happy with the team list at the beginning of the book, I copy/paste the list so I could easily switch to look who was who. I loved the original touch to the alpha omega dynamic.
Captivatingly written story, I think this start is a good fundament to what comes next

Episode #2 Thaw

I never read a story with true mates who worked hard so they would NOT be together, my head was confused. I wanted them together and all they did was fight against it.
Keenan was quite oblivious to the whole mate thing, he never felt something for a guy and didn’t want to start. Carry’s first priority was hockey, now with his real mate before him he has to work hard to disguise his feelings and hold up all kinds of shields to protect himself. Walls don’t work on ice, he has to know where Keenan is to play his best game.

Keenan is a bit short-sighted. He kind of wants to ignore the true pair thing. Carry is at a disadvantage; he feels everything and has to work hard to suppress.
Keenan understands some, he feels too, but hard-headed as he is, he is in denial.
Their bond is strong, Keenan doesn’t even know how strong because Carry doesn’t let him see or feel everything. They can take advantage of it on ice, together they can be invincible, and no one will find out!

Most of the time Carry feels largely screwed by the universe!
When his heat strikes again one message is enough.

It’s all about not opening up too much because it will overwhelm the other, who definitely can’t find out.

I’m a HUGE fan of alpha omega dynamic, and I’m even more turned on by the scent ‘thing’. Cracking Ice is full of it! I can’t get enough of it all!
This story gives me all different kind of feelings, I love the unbearable tension and their hot sexual encounters, I hate the aloof they put between them, and I love they struggle with it.
After this second installment, I felt even more connected with both men.
Luckily the size of every part of this series is manageable, but it makes me restless not to know what will happen next. With Cracking Ice it can go every direction.
Overall a well-written story, I love the fact I wasn’t head over heels with both men, they had to work hard to conquer my heart, I do want to get to know and understand them better.
I love the content and I love all the focus to the real-pair issues.

Episode #3 Heat

Keenan wants to have a mate, the feeling of arms around each other. That he’s aware of this because of Carry, doesn’t mean he wants it with Carry. Noooo, he’s monosexual, he tells himself about every day. It made me crazy and I wanted to smack his stubborn head so much.

They have to play against the Titans, the club who traded Carry. Who traded him for a reason!

Both men still fight each other, out of control sometimes. They are stubborn, somehow, they aren’t at the same level. Keenan has the urge to protect and Carry on the other hand doesn’t want to be protected or defended by Keenan or any alpha.
He can take care of himself, always, except when he is in heat.

My favorite thing from the world of A/O is about scent. The scent of caramel, sand, ocean, sour, sweet even burned hair you name it, they are aware of it. Just delicious to watch and imagine all the sensations.
It's hard to watch them struggle, head and body are separated, rational tells to take space but the body only wants to get closer.
I felt sorry for both men, Keenan because he is unaware and Carry because he’s too aware.

I think this line perfectly describes the big struggle:
 “There was nothing there about how to deal with a man he was highly attracted to, hormonally driven to fuck, and personally unsure about.”
One thing is stronger and screams louder and that’s the ice.
Keenan wonders how Carry gets through his heats. When he gets his answer, it shakes up his whole being.

At some point, the tables turned. It’s getting a bit messier and both men have to go their own way because being near the other isn’t gonna work.

The moves on the ice are awesome and exciting, it was well described as if watching a game in real life. Reading about this content from a different, subtle angle is... confusing I think, but I love the unpredictable side of it! The way Carry and Keenan are around each other is devastating, hurtful, and everything. I screamed to encourage them to do differently. All the feelings are palpable and for me, at times, a bit depressing. I know it’s a series and everything can happen, but at the moment, I’m not sure they will manage and end up together, ever.
Well, that’s a plus for this series, to get me so far, confused and desperate to read on and on.

Episode #4 Warmth

Keenan tries to get on with his life without a chance to bond with Carry. They will only be involved professionally and even though it hurts he has to go on. He learned from the master himself to shield his feelings and now he can’t stop.
Women around him are available and that’s what he will take. Omega Amalia seems the one for him.

After an interview with a prejudiced small-minded reporter, Keenan speaks up for omega’s and their place in society and after that, we are in the middle of politics and rules for alphas, omegas, and betas. It causes a shockwave, quite a revolutionary turn in this story.
Even though the romantic side in this story is lower, other things are rising.
I have to be patient (I’m bad with that). I can’t imagine what will happen when both men let all their shields down.
I think Keenan is getting stronger and more stable as a person. Carry is consistent in all his beliefs and actions.

I found the plot well thought out and the whole story captivatingly worked out. One event or action went smoothly over into the other.
A plausible story where all the little precious society boxes are shaken up and everybody has to reevaluate their biased beliefs and look at what is fundamentally real and important. I think ‘ask’ is one of the keywords.

Funny fact is I convinced myself I can’t handle continuing stories but here I am, in the middle of a wonderful series, with gnashing teeth, nails stuck in my hand and a stuttered heart, I can’t wait to start the next installment!


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