Ice Angels | Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood
Publisher: Wainscott Press
Release Date: October 29th, 2021
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Length: 200 pages
Drew and Cleevs love hockey, but they love each other more. How can the men find a way to save what matters most?
Todd Cleever and Drew Simon are crazy about each other. They started dating three years ago when “Cleevs” was a rookie defenseman for the Chicago Ice. Drew, the team’s captain, was a few years older than Cleevs. Both men were deep in the closet, but it didn’t take long for them to fall in love.
Cleevs was traded to the Bethesda Barracudas a year later, causing a heartbreaking separation. Ever since, they’ve skated around the problem with occasional stolen nights together and brief vacations under the guise of “friends,” but two years of living apart have taken their toll.
As the holiday approaches, Drew and Cleevs decide things have to change. Still, with their careers and two professional hockey teams in the way, how can they score the game-winning goal and save everything they cherish most?
If you like fierce love, a smallish age gap, exciting hockey, and a steely determination to make things work—not to mention enough steam to fog up all your windows and a fantastic HEA—this is the book for you. The novella contains about 43,000 words of sparkling holiday romance.
After we finished decorating the tree, Jacob and Tyler left for the kitchen to work on dinner. Nick took the rest of us into the den, another beautiful room that boasted the biggest TV I’d ever seen, several video game systems—including an Atari from before any of us were born—and a pool table. We settled down to play Warzone and got progressively more comfortable as the game went on. Shoes came off, sweaters and hoodies were tossed on a nearby chair, and everyone’s wallets and cell phones were piled on the big square coffee table.
On a bathroom break, we talked about our plans for the holiday. Nick and Jacob were going to California to spend time with Nick’s folks in Santa Barbara. Ty and Kev were taking their parents—Kev’s mom and Ty’s dad were both widowed and had recently married each other—to Cancún. After Scott said he was going to Edmonton to spend the holiday with his sister and her family, all eyes were on me.
“I could go see my dads in Santa Fe, but I’ve thought about going to the islands.”
“I vote for the islands,” Kev said. “Why not take Scotty along?”
Scott had joined the team in September. He came out in college, so everybody knew he was gay. Now that NHL teams were all making a point of signing openly gay players, it had been a triumph for the Barracudas to get him.
Purely by coincidence with Scott’s arrival, I’d come out to the team at training camp. Kev had been relentless ever since, pushing to see if I was interested in Scott. If I’d been single, who knows? Scott was a handsome guy with brown hair and eyes, not to mention a killer body. He was shy, but we were seeing more of a funny side as he got used to the team. Kevvy thought he was being subtle in his constant suggestions, but he wasn’t. I’d considered telling him I was already committed to someone, but that would have brought on a hundred questions I wasn’t prepared to answer.
“Well, he… I…” I didn’t know what to say.
Scott, blushing a deep crimson, looked mortified. “I couldn’t go. I already have plans, like I said.”
“I’m only kidding.” The devilish glow in Kev’s eyes was at odds with his words. “Sorry I made you both feel awkward. Ty will kill me if he finds out.”
We resumed our Warzone game until Jacob called us to dinner. Before heading for the dining room, we put our shoes and discarded sweaters back on and claimed our phones and wallets off the coffee table. Jacob had made beef stroganoff with scalloped potatoes and all the trimmings, and it was delicious. After we told him how much we liked the food, conversation turned to the next day’s trip to Columbus. We would play two games there and come home after the last one on Thursday night.
After dinner, Nick and Jacob led us back to the great room, where they had a stocking ready for each of us. I got some good candy, a beautiful tie, and a pair of cufflinks with the Barracudas logo engraved on them. Once we’d opened the gifts, we had coffee and Italian cream cake for dessert, and then it was time to go home. I was glad we weren’t staying late because I still had to pack for the road trip and talk to Drew. Jacob was taking coats out of the closet when someone’s phone buzzed.
“That’s me,” Nick said, reaching into his pocket. When he looked at the screen, confusion crossed his face, followed by a faint smile. He looked up and held the phone out in my direction. “We must have gotten ours mixed up.”
I pulled what I’d thought was my phone from my pocket, and he was right. We traded, and my heart skipped three or four beats when I looked at the message.
DREW: Hey, Todd. Missing you lots. Please call me when you get home from Nick’s. I love you.
I shook my head. Undoubtedly, I was having a dream or hallucination, maybe both. After a few seconds, I looked at the screen again. The text message, complete with Drew’s photo from my contacts, was still there.
“Everything okay, Cleevs?” Jacob asked. “You need some water or something?”
I raised my head to look at Nick, who smiled and gave me a small nod. Nick was trustworthy, and if somebody had to know my secret, he was the one. “I’m fine,” I said. “Just a weird message from my sister.”
We all went outside, but when I started to walk away, Nick held onto my arm. “I’m happy for you and Drew. I won’t say a word to anybody, but I’m always here if you want to talk.”
ICE ANGELS. Copyright © 2021 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.
About the Authors
Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd.
Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.
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