Review & Blog Tour: On The Ice by Amy Aislin

On The Ice | Amy Aislin

Stick Side #1

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 Length: 87,000 word approx.
Copy of Copy of OnTheIce-MEDIUM

Blurb

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player.

A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…

Excerpt

“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

“Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

Copy of Copy of TourGraphic

May 8 – Xtreme Delusions, We Three Queens, Bookaholic & Kindle, MM Midnight Cafe

May 10 – Love Bytes, Mean Girls Luv Books, Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books, Kimmer’s Erotic Book Banter, United Indie Book Blog, Megan’s Media Melange, Urban Smoothie Read, Mainely Stories

May 11 – The Novel Approach

May 12 – My Fiction Nook, Katie’s Book Corner, Dreams & Screams Bookaholics, Love Unchained Book Reviews

May 14 – Drops Of Ink, Unquietly Me, Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Making It Happen, Wicked Reads

May 15 – Joyfully Jay

May 16 – Valerie Ullmer, Queerly Reads, Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings, Sarandipity, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 17 – Bayou Book Junkie

May 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

 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.
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Release Blitz: On The Ice by Amy Aislin

On The Ice | Amy Aislin
Stick Side #1

RBBanner

Universal Buy Link

 Length: 87,000 word approx.
Copy of Copy of OnTheIce-MEDIUM
 
Blurb

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player.

A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch.

But Alex soon discovers that there’s more to Mitch than meets the eye…and he really likes what he sees. Only Alex doesn’t dare risk his NHL career by coming out, and a relationship between them would jeopardize Mitch’s chances with the organization too.

It looks impossible. Then again, the best things usually do…

Excerpt


“Good game against Colgate,” Alex said, pocketing his phone.

The mask slipped off Mitch’s face. “You were there?”

Alex shook his head. “Watched it on TV.”

Holy crap! An NHL player—Mitch’s hockey crush, no less—had watched his game. At a loss for words, Mitch stood there blinking at Alex like a putz.

“You’ve got impressive foot work,” Alex said.

Mitch continued to blink at him.

“You skated circles around Colgate and that goal in the third?” Alex smiled wide. “You broke Colgate’s end as if the defensemen were pylons. It was beautiful.”

“I—” Mitch cleared his throat. “Well, McCall passed me the puck at just the right time, so… I mean, I did figure skating for years and…” He had no idea what he was trying to say.

“Huh. I know a couple of guys who did some figure skating after their game slipped and it helped them rebound. It’s something I’ve been considering to improve my foot speed.” Alex leaned a shoulder against the wall and crossed his arms, but his cast got in the way so he ended up shoving one hand in his pocket and letting the casted one dangle. “Your training shows in your footwork. How else has it helped your game?”

In total disbelief that an NHL player was asking him for advice, Mitch said, “Figure skating is about using edges and your body to change direction on the ice. It’s about learning to cut a corner or to pivot the right way while maintaining your speed. It made me a better skater.”

“It shows.”

God, the compliments were going to go to Mitch’s head.

“What made you decide to stick with hockey instead of figure skating?”

Mitch shrugged and told the truth. “I liked hockey better.”

“Could you do a triple axel in full hockey gear?” Alex asked, a teasing grin on his face.

Mitch had to laugh. “I’ve never tried.” But now he was itching to.

“No? What about a—” Alex held his index finger up and moved it in small circles, “—with the leg out in front?”

“A sit spin?” Mitch scratched his head. “I actually think that one might be harder than the triple axel in full hockey gear.”

They stood there smiling at each other for a moment, Alex’s eyes the color of the Green Mountains in summer. The man was too gorgeous for words and he was nice to boot. Mitch couldn’t help staring at Alex’s mouth, red and surprisingly soft in an otherwise rugged face.

Alex cleared his throat and edged around Mitch. “I’ve got to get back to my friend.”

“Wait, I—” The hallway was empty so Mitch plastered his sex smile back on his face, walked right into Alex’s personal space, and put a hand on Alex’s hip. “Why don’t you come over tonight and we’ll—”

Alex palmed Mitch’s shoulders and pushed him away. “Look, kid—”

“I’m not a kid.”

“Mitch.” Alex held him at arm’s length. “Whatever it is you’re trying to do here, it’s not going to happen. I don’t even know you.”

“What difference does that make?”

Alex dropped his arms. “I don’t jump into bed with people I don’t know. Hell, I don’t even jump into bed with people I do know.”

 

Alex wasn’t saying I’m not gay, but it did sound like he was saying I’m asexual or something similar, which left Mitch exactly nowhere.

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.

Connect with Amy:

Website: http://amyaislin.com/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

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

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

Tumblr: https://amyaislin.tumblr.com/

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

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

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

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Wonderfully surprised by this new to me author’s hockey romance

On the Ice (Stick Side, #1)On the Ice by Amy Aislin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well this was an utter surprise and a very pleasant one. I’ve never read Amy Aislin before but I shall definitely be keeping an eye out for more of this series.

I absolutely adored it. This is slow burn but with a difference because NHL defensive lineman Alex is demisexual and he needs to be emotionally connected to someone before he even thinks about having feelings of sexual attraction.

Mitch, on the other hand, is younger and, on the face of it, way more confident. He’s bold and brash but hiding a lot of hurt and loss underneath his veneer of self-assurance. He’s been putting a brave face on for so long, he’s lost the ability to be himself. But, if he wants Alex, that’s what he’s got to be.

The slow, slow burn in this is beautifully written. Alex is repulsed at first by Mitch’s open come ons and he doesn’t want to get involved. But once he sees that the visible Mitch isn’t the real one, he’s intrigued and, as he begins to tutor him for a class he can’t afford to fail while out on an injury leave, Alex starts to to get that emotional connection.

I have to say, the only aspect of this one that didn’t quite work for me was the background to why Mitch was on his own and struggling so much and, while it was thoroughly explained and was a perfectly reasonable reason, I think I needed maybe a tiny bit more interaction with his mother for it to be sold perfectly. Especially the bits with his brother.

There’s a great bunch of secondary characters in this one and a very visual setting which was well described and I’m hoping there’s going to be more involving the guys from Mitch’s college team and some of Alex’s Tampa teammates.

I loved that there was a long time period over which this story was told as well, running from 2008 through to 2015 and the final chapter/epilogue was so ridiculously sweet it had me tearing up – which doesn’t happen often!

Sports romances are one of my favourite tropes because they provide me with hope that, eventually, the toxic masculinity present in so many of the “big name” games will fade away and it won’t matter about someone’s sexuality – just how well they can play.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

View all my reviews

Slow slow slow burn for this look at love after loss

Diego's SecretDiego’s Secret by Bryan T. Clark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was my first read by Bryan T. Clark and I enjoyed it. There’s a huge amount of world building gone into this book, layers which bring depth to the romance between two different people from totally different worlds.

It’s not quite slow burn, but it builds up the tension as Diego can’t quite understand why Winston is so drawn to him but, for the older man, it’s a second chance of love having lost his husband, the man who had taken care of everything for him in the past decade.

There’s hesitancy but the men create a deep connection with each other in spite of the secrets and the differences however, I did find it took a while to really get going. There’s lots of expressive prose describing the day to day actions of both men which are gorgeously written but perhaps not all needed.

As I’ve not read this author before I’m unsure if this is just their style but the slow languid pace was sometimes a bit frustrating and I just wanted the big fall out to hurry up and get out in the open so both men could move on with building a new life together!

#ARC kindly received from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

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Review Round Up: Shatterproof Bond series by Isobel Starling

As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1)As You Wish by Isobel Starling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book one in the Shatterproof Bonds series kicks off with a ground laying romance firmly rooted in British spy tradition and playing more than a little tribute to one of my favourite book/films – The Princess Bride.

Declan and Sam were seriously hot together, although I’m not sure using kitchen essentials like butter is such a good idea 😉

~

Illuminate the Shadows (Shatterproof Bond, #2)Illuminate the Shadows by Isobel Starling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If I tell you that one of my favourite TV shows as a teenager was The Man from UNCLE you’ll probably have a clue about just how much I’m loving this series from Isobel Starling.

Declan and Sam are an awesome couple, even if the Scotsman can’t quite believe he’s landed the beautiful younger man as his lover – especially when he’d never been attracted to men before he met the Englishman.

Things are moving along as quite a pace when Declan’s snatched off the streets to be put through Sir James’ interrogation trial to see if he’s strong enough to become an agent.

There’s a truly hilarious scene involving a younger version of Declan, a couple of other agents with dodgy accents and a half-Japanese former cleaning lady with a syringe of psychotic inducing drugs and a whole load of interesting coincidences are revealed which had me giggling out loud.

The sex is scorching, involving a role playing scene during which Declan simultaneously edges Sam to the point of orgasm while quoting lines from the torture scene in The Princess Bride. It’s genius.

It ends with a bit of a cliffie and a couple of plots still hanging open so off to Book Three I go.

~

Return to Zero (Shatterproof Bond, #3)Return to Zero by Isobel Starling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jeeze the tension was racked up in this instalment to the nth degree and I loved it.

Sam and Declan are still perfectly loved up but now they’re on the trail of missing agents and a former enemy who Sam last dealt with three years earlier.

Firmly rooted in Scotland’s Cairngorms, this is action packed and still incredibly funny and full of amazingly awesome smexy times between the lovers. There’s one scene involving a clearing in the woods and a log that’s, well let’s just say it’ll get your engine running…

One thing I have noticed though, and I don’t know if it’s because of the American market, but whisky is incorrectly spelt whiskey throughout but when referring to the finest Scotch, like The Glenlivet, there shouldn’t be an e in whisky.
Also the Scots Guards don’t have an apostrophe 😉

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this romp even though my heart was in my mouth on many occasions. Now I’m dying to find out just who the big bad is and whether Sir James will get his comeuppance.

~

Counterblow (Shatterproof Bond #4)Counterblow by Isobel Starling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Argggh, reading this series is like watching a top quality action adventure show and having to wait three months when they go on hiatus for the summer break.

Usually cliff hangers drive me nuts but there’s something about this load of books which means it’s just a part of the reading experience, each book slowly adding another layer to the overall story arc.

I totally love Sam and Declan and in this one they’re now quietly married and seriously testing the boundaries of trust as Sam continues to recover from his devastating injuries and the events of book three.

Declan’s hiding secrets of his own and I must admit to cheering just a wee bit when he has a “talk” with Sir James and gives Sam’s father a taste of his own medicine.

The plot is getting more complex and I’m dying to know where it’s going next and the blurb for book five really has me desperately waiting for release day!

#ARCs kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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