Monday, May 14, 2018

On the Ice by Amy Aislin Blog Tour

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...

Author’s Note: On the Ice is an m/m contemporary romance featuring a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

“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.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

What a brilliant story! Alternately funny, sweet, and sexy, this hockey romance has surprisingly complex characters and wonderful emotional resonance. I was expecting entertaining fluff and while this is very entertaining, it is also a satisfying and beautifully crafted romance.

Mitch is the heart of this book. The college hockey star and maths genius is working two jobs to cover his tuition. Estranged from his mother and brother, he’s emotionally vulnerable and socially awkward. Mitch flirts to cover his vulnerability and to get his own way. At first, he doesn’t quite know what to do when Alex refuses to respond to his overtures.

Alex is almost Mitch’s opposite. The NHL player is older. He is calm and sure of himself – but he is also grieving the loss of his grandfather to Alzheimer's. Alex is also demisexual and he challenges Mitch to be real with him, so they can build a genuine emotional bond.

I loved Alex and Mitch together. They seem to make each other better. The romance is slow to build as Alex is almost more Ace than Demi at the start but the friendship they build is really special. In some ways, this is as much a coming of age story for Mitch as it is a romance. I loved watching him grow into himself, stand up to his mother, and build relationships to carry him into adult life.

There isn’t much hockey action in this hockey romance. I loved the camaraderie between teammates and the banter between the players is good fun. I really enjoyed the contrast between Mitch’s college career and Alex’s NHL experience.

Alex is a pro hockey player, a patient, laid back, really good guy. Alex is also demisexual, so Mitch repeatedly hitting on him when they barely know each other doesn’t get him anywhere. The two men keep up ending up in each other’s paths and when Alex unknowingly agrees to tutor Mitch, they finally start to get to become friends.

For me, it was Mitch that won my heart. He has a partial scholarship playing hockey at college, is studying kinesiology, and works two jobs to pay the rest of his tuition and living expenses. He is driven and has a plan for how his life is going to go. But Mitch has a disapproving mother and a brother who cut him out of his life and it has left him with deep scars. On the outside, Mitch is confident, but on the inside, he has a fragile heart and I just fell so in love with him.

This is such a wonderful romance. A story where we truly get to know the characters and their lives, see them meet, become friends, and fall in love. With every page I was pulled deeper into their story and any time anything remotely emotional happened, I had tears in my eyes I was so invested in their story. This is a slow burn romance and it is so worth it because Alex and Mitch together are just magical. Five stars from me.

This is the first book in a new series, but there isn't any excessive world building. A large part of the book is set in 2008/09.

Mitch is a young, ambitious college hockey player, who is working like crazy to prove to his rich but harsh mother that he can have a good career in the sport. He has no family support and works extra hard at everything. And whilst he is geeky at times, he comes over as a really good guy. He has the most supportive best friend in Cody that anyone could ever want.

Alex is a pro hockey player, benched due to a broken arm, and in town to visit his grandpa, who is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s. By a couple of strange coincidences, he ends up tutoring Mitch, and dealing with Mitch's strong come-ons. They both want to keep their private life out of the papers, for obvious reasons, but for Alex there are also other issues in play. He needs a real emotional connection before he feels any sexual attraction – and he doesn't think he will be in town long enough for that to possibly happen, even if he finds Mitch interesting.

As Mitch slowly reveals more of the private man he has hidden away under protective layers of bluster, and Alex's stay is extended, they spend more time together, becoming close. It is beautifully written and truly engaging. I loved how the romance developed, alongside a genuine friendship, from the figure skating sessions to the cross-country Christmas escape. The epilogue is delicious.

I look forward to seeing who gets his story told next!

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

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Hosted by

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin to read and review for this tour.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are reviewed by a blog admin before being published. We thank you for visiting our blog & leaving a comment.