A MelanieM Review:The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

This story had so many things going for it before I even started it.  It’s a second chance at love novel, one of my favorite tropes, it happens to be from a series about a hockey team and LGBT hockey players, so score!  That’s always high on my list!  And then there’s the author Amy Aislin who I have followed for a while and and always enjoyed her stories.  So I anticipated a good time and heartwarming romance and the author delivered that and more.

The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin slides into events that happen shortly after the ending of the first book in the series,  On The Ice.  While you don’t have to read that first because the exposition here helps to fill in all the gaps you will miss out by excluding that tale, reading it first gives you a firmer foundation for all the characters and a real sense of who these people are by letting you into the dynamics in the interlocking relationships you are diving into here.

The first story features Dan Greyson’s brother, Mitch, and Alex Dean, best friend and fellow hockey teammate to Ashton Yager, one of the other main characters in this book  So you begin to see how tight the threads to each couple are from story to story.  Yes, they make important appearances as you would expect.

The format here is both that the story is told from two points of view as well as in flashbacks.  We get present day Dan and Ash, and then back to their past bright first relationship and the future they thought they had together.  If you read the first story and from Dan’s pov, you are aware of what broke them apart.  But Ashton doesn’t so his ignorance and, in part, seeing the trainwreck that we know is coming is part of the heartbreak of this story.

How it all gets put back together is the charm, the hope, and the true joy here.

I liked that the author didn’t make any of it easy.  Years of pain, hurt, and poor decisions can’t be put aside overnight and they aren’t.  Both men  work to regain trust and a relationship even as major events happen in each others lives.

I really sank myself into the lives of these hockey players, the outreach program they were running for LGBT youth in Tampa, and the stress of even thinking about coming out to your team and the NHL, the possibility of what it could do to your career.  Again, I thought the author handled it realistically and authentically.

I loved the first two stories and can’t wait to see who’s next, although I have an inkling.  Hockey romances are such an addition for me and this series is just another reason why I love them so.

Cover art is pretty typical, has some hockey elements and a half naked torso.  Wish it was more specific to the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019
ASINB07QN1FNJ3
Edition Language English
Series Stick Side #2

Stick Side Series:

On the Ice

The Nature of the Game

Join Us for the Blog Tour for The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin (interview, Excerpts, and Giveaway)

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The Nature of the Game by Amy Aislin

Series: Stick Side #2

**PLEASE NOTE: Book 1 in the Stick Side series, ON THE ICE, will be on mega sale at only 99¢ May 6 – 13!

Get it now: https://amzn.to/2Vd1Bbr

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 7, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 87,000 words / 330 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Tropes: second chances

Warnings: N/A

Order now:

https://amzn.to/2LhMdWt

https://amyaislin.com/books/the-nature-of-the-game/

Book synopsis:

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

About Amy Aislin: 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: https://amyaislin.com/  

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

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amy-aislin  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

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

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

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ddvWFv  

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

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

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

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

LoveRomanceReads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/amyaislin.html   

Short Teaser :

“Of all the B&Bs in all the towns in all the world,” Ash drawled, stepping into the room, “we both booked this one.”

Dan blinked at him. Blinked again, cheeks pinking.

It was a good look for him. He resembled a little kid, sitting there cross-legged surrounded by toys.

“You’re staying here?”

“Yeah.” Ash sat across from him. “What are the chances, huh? What are you doing?”

“Building LEGO sets.”

“Why? And why these? What kind of interplanetary colony are you trying to build? And can I name it?”

Dan chuckled and slotted a couple of pieces together. “Sure. What would you call it?”

Ash contemplated the train station, the princess castle, the storm trooper, and the fighter jet. It made sense, in a way. The fighter jet would need a place to dock: the train station. And the castle needed guards: the storm trooper.

“Sparklepants Space Station.”

Long Teaser 1:

“You hate me, I get that. I’m sorry I made you uncomfortable back there.”

Ash scowled. “I don’t hate you.” He realized the scowl might say differently and smoothed out his features. Pleasant, yet distant. Too bad his eyebrows weren’t cooperating this time. “And you didn’t make me uncomfortable.” What he did do was make Ash relive a period of his life he thought he’d set aside. Gotten over. Earmarked as It was fun but it didn’t work out.

It annoyed him more than anything, mostly. Especially since, sometimes, usually in the middle of the night, Dan turned into the one that got away

“Sure you don’t,” Dan said, sarcasm dripping off his tongue. “Thank you for getting me out of the brunch. I needed to breathe. But…” His smile was so sad it might as well’ve been upside down. “This is all we need to see of each other. You don’t have to put up with me anymore.”

Ash’s arms fell to his sides, Dan’s words making him feel like he’d accidentally revealed that Santa Claus wasn’t real. “Your brother and my best friend are in a committed relationship. I’m pretty sure we’ll see each other again.”

“Don’t sound so thrilled by it.”

“What do you want me to say, Dan?” Figuring some honesty might not hurt, he said, “This isn’t easy for me.”

“And you think it’s easy for me?”

“You’re the one who walked!”

“I didn’t have a fucking choice!”

“You— What?”

“Oh, but you don’t want to hear about it.” Dan’s arms flailed, face a thunderstorm about to go off, body coiled to spring.

“Dan—”

“You know what the worst part is?” Quiet now, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “It’s not that you hate me. I hate myself enough for the both of us. It’s that everything I did was for nothing. I lost the two people who meant the most to me . . . for nothing.” The last two words were harshly whispered, and when Dan’s eyes opened—his light brown eyes that Ash had stared into so many times, that had stared back at him with love and friendship—they were soft and so full of regret that Ash found himself reaching for him. “Give this to Mitch, will you?” Dan handed Ash his milkshake and backed away. “I need to take a walk.”

Before Ash could utter a word, Dan was swallowed up by the crowd.

Exclusive Mini-interview with Amy Aislin for the Release Blitz:

How do you handle writer’s block?

I’m a panster, not a plotter, so I always start out writing a novel not knowing where it’s going to go, but also not fully knowing my characters either. I’ve found that when the writer’s block hits, it’s because I’m not yet fully acquainted with my characters. I don’t know them well enough. What do they really want, both internally and externally, and what’s preventing them from getting it? Once I have that nailed down, the story starts to develop much more smoothly.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

The Nature of the Game is my eighth published novel, which is how many books I’ve written. I’d say my favourite is On the Ice. Not only was it the easiest book for me to write—I was very intimately acquainted with the characters before I started writing—but it’s the book of my heart. It’s a slow-burn, friends to lovers story with a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player. There’s a small part of me in most of my books, however certain facets of who I am are strongly reflected in both Mitch and Alex (the main characters in On the Ice), so it’s also a very personal book for me.

Do you have a favorite cover from one of your books?

My favourite cover from my books is the cover for As Big as the Sky, which was released in August 2017. My cover designer, Melody Pond, took my instructions and gave me back something that was a hundred times better than I’d imagined. The pink cover, flowers in the foreground, and house in the background perfectly set the mood of this low-angst, feel-good novella.

Secondary Characters: Why they are important to the story?

Secondary characters in my stories can be sources of conflict or sounding boards. In The Nature of the Game, my secondary characters take on both of these attributes. For example, one of the secondary characters in Dan’s life is a source of pain for him. By contrast, the secondary characters in Ash’s life are supportive, and help him talk through things he’s dealing with.

What’s your favorite scene from this book?

Well… [insert giggles]. My two lead characters are both bisexual men, however neither one has ever had sex with another man. My favourite scene in The Nature of the Game is one where they discover the joys (and trepidations) of anal sex. It’s quite a funny scene, if I do say so myself.

Release blitz/blog tour giveaway: Win a Stick Side prize pack, including signed paperbacks of books 1 and 2 in the series, as well as some Stick Side swag! Contest open internationally. Enter via Rafflecopter. Contest ends at 12:00am May 12.

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Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Christmas Lane (Lighthouse Bay #1) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Age gap and slow burn are two of my favorite tropes. Add to that, snow and Christmas holidays and I couldn’t be happier. This lovely, sweet tale of the romance between Zach Greenfeld and his former elementary teacher, Holland Stone, is perfect in every way.

Zach is back in Lighthouse Bay after graduating with a degree that will allow him to be an event planner—a role that fits his highly organized habitual list-making life. While waiting for an interview that will get him out on his own, he’s helping his sister in the family-owned café and crushing on Holland Stone, the gorgeous older handyman who was once his third grade teacher.  So what if Holland is fifteen years older? He’s hot and that’s enough to start.

Holland has started his own business making custom doll houses, and in between doing handyman work for townsfolk he’s working on his float for the annual Christmas parade competition.  He hopes to draw attention to his skills but is surprised when his work on the float draws Zach to him instead.  Zach has accepted the temporary position of town event planner so he gets to spend a lot of time with Holland in the warehouse where the floats are being built.  And slowly, Holland begins to view Zach as more than a happy-go-lucky kid. 

I loved the very slow buildup of their attraction and all the events, activities, and character interactions that happened along the way.  Their chemistry was strong and their emotions high. Their sex was off page and that didn’t matter to me at all. There was so much more to enjoy on page that using my imagination for what may have happened in the bedroom was just fine.

There’s really nothing about this story I didn’t like and I think it would make an excellent gift to a best friend and/or fellow MM romance lover.

The cover art by Jay Aheer at Simply Define Art is a park bench covered in snow. The bench plays a major role in the story, and that plus the snow are the perfect symbols to choose for the cover. Read the story to find out why.

Sales Links:

Amazon: http://geni.us/XmasLane

iBooks: http://geni.us/XmasLaneApple

B&N: http://bit.ly/XmasLaneBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/XmasLaneKobo

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Expected publication: November 29th 2018
ASIN B07J5SZXMD
Edition Language English
Series Lighthouse Bay #1

Release Week Blitz for Christmas Lane (Lighthouse Bay #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

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Christmas Lane by Amy Aislin

Series: Lighthouse Bay #1

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 29, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 65,000 words

Genre: m/m contemporary romance

Tropes: May/December, small town

Cover design: Jay Aheer at Simply Defined Art

All buy links or pre-order links:

Amazon: http://geni.us/XmasLane

iBooks: http://geni.us/XmasLaneApple

B&N: http://bit.ly/XmasLaneBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/XmasLaneKobo

Synopsis:

It’s recent college graduate Zach Greenfeld’s favorite time of the year and he’s just received a temporary gig planning Lighthouse Bay’s Christmas parade. Not only does it speak to his penchant for organization, it also puts him face to face on a daily basis with his unrequited crush—Holland Stone. But his new job starts off in disaster when the most important float—Santa’s sleigh—gets damaged. 

Holland needs to win the Lighthouse Bay Christmas parade float competition in order to grow his new dollhouse-making business. The prize is an article in a major city newspaper, and nothing beats free advertising. Except, eager to help the adorable parade organizer, he volunteers to help fix Santa’s sleigh, leaving no time to work on his own float, and putting his prize at risk.

Damaged floats, snowstorms, and a last-minute parade emergency force Zach and Holland closer than ever. All they need is a little bit of Christmas magic to help them realize they belong together. 

Release Blitz Excerpt :

“Where’d this come from?”

Zach sipped his tea. “I dunno.”

The lines around Holland’s eyes were more pronounced when he squinted. “You don’t know, huh?”

Shaking his head, Zach hid a smile behind his mug.

“Hmm.” Holland brought it up to his ear and shook the package gently. “Then I guess whoever left it won’t mind if I open it.”

“I’m sure they won’t.”

Grinning, Holland tore into the snowman wrapping paper. He kept sneaking peeks at Zach, smile on his face, eyes full of life and laughter. With the color in his cheeks and the way he barely paused for breath before lifting the lid on the box and pulling out the small tube nestled inside, he looked like the grown-up version of a three-year-old on Christmas morning.

“Wood glue?” Holland said, holding up the tube.

“Maybe someone thought it might come in handy. Since you build dollhouses and all.”

Holland hummed. “Thoughtful, yet functional.” He sat next to Zach again and squeezed Zach’s thigh. “Thank you. You don’t have to keep buying me gifts.”

“I know.” Zach threaded their fingers together. “But I like the look on your face when you unwrap them.”

Holland kissed the back of Zach’s hand and Zach’s heart jumped. “Ready to head out?”

Zach was putting on his scarf when he spotted it, a flat, slim package, roughly three inches by six, wrapped in paper with tiny snowflakes on it, sitting on his desk. “What’s this?”

Holland grinned at him as he shrugged into his coat. “I dunno.”

“Really? You don’t know?” Zach slipped a nail underneath the tape. “Think whoever left it will mind if I open it?”

“I think they’d want you to.”

Zach snorted a laugh and opened his gift, revealing a pocket day planner for next year. “A calendar?”

Standing on the other side of Zach’s desk, Holland bent over to get a better look at it, forehead furrowed. Yeah, he wasn’t fooling anyone with that innocently confused expression. “Someone must know you pretty well.”

“What makes you say that?”

Holland turned his head toward the wall, where Zach had three different calendars pinned. Then he rearranged a couple of items on Zach’s desk, uncovering two separate day planners. “And I bet you have a pocket-sized one in your pocket,” he said.

Busted.

About Amy Aislin:

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 Aislin:

Website: https://amyaislin.com/ 

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

Twitter: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/amyaislin 

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin

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

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

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ddvWFv 

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

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amy-aislin 

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

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

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

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

LoveRomanceReads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/amyaislin.html  

 

Giveaway: Amy is giving away a Christmas Lane prize pack, including a signed paperback of Christmas Lane, a personalized Christmas tree ornament, vanilla-flavored loose leaf tea, and a character art print.

Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c8c1c6417/?

A Lila Review: The Heights (Lakeshore #1) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar…

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.

Or find out that his entire life is a lie.

The Heights has a very interesting premise. The characters’ backstories run parallel keeping an individuality that makes them unique. We get to know them in detail but there’s a detachment that takes a bit from their development. Almost as if they were looking to their lives from the outside.

Nat’s and Quinn’ relationship is only one of the main elements of this story. It’s the support Quinn needed to deal with the secrets about his past. It gave him an escape from reality when life becomes difficult. It’s also reciprocal, giving Nat the strength he needs to deal with his fears.

Dealing with the characters’ fears, indecisions, guilt, and new lives is something the author did well. The reader has the opportunity to get invested in their discoveries and is there to be part of their ups and downs.

There are not many details about the actual events in Quinn’s past until later on the story. The additional family members bring different perspectives into the story and we get to see how their lives were impacted.

Overall, this is a good story presenting a hard topic and a complementary love story. Definitely, a good start to a new season.

The cover by Champagne Book Design is simple and it matches the story’s setting.

Sale Links: iTunesAmazon | Nook

ebook, 235 pages
Published: September 20, 2018, by Amy Aislin
ASIN: B07F2PC2DC
Edition Language: English

Release Blitz for The Heights (Lakeshore #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Heights by Amy Aislin

Series: Lakeshore #1

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 20, 2018

Cover artist: Stacey Blake @ Champagne Book Design

Order here:

Amazon (this is the universal Amazon link): http://geni.us/TheHeights

iBooks (universal iTunes link): http://geni.us/TheHeightsApple

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheHeightsKobo

B&N: http://bit.ly/TheHeightsBN 

Book blurb:

Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar…

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.

Or find out that his entire life is a lie.

Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 75,000 words, or 320 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Reader warnings: one of the main characters suffers from panic attacks

Teaser:

“I was a science nerd,” Nat said, sorting through a pile of art prints. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Quinn give him a once over. Nat knew he looked disheveled. The wind had thrown his hair into disarray, he likely had coffee breath, and the caramel-colored sweater Quinn liked so much had come out of the emergency clothes pile at the back of his dresser because he hadn’t had time to do laundry in days.

“You were not a science nerd,” Quinn retorted. “There’s no way. But you were a jock.”

“I was that too,” Nat agreed. “Who says I can’t be both?”

“Everybody I went to high school with?”

Nat smiled at him. “Well, we breed them differently here in the Pacific Northwest.”

Quinn gave Nat’s body another once over. “Clearly.”

“Physics was my specialty.”

“Oh, blech! That’s the worst of the sciences.”

“It’s actually the funnest,” Nat countered. “I got to build a roller coaster in senior year.” He led Quinn to the next tent over, where various little handmade wool felt animals and insects were on display.

A small, fat caterpillar with big, green eyes caught Nat’s attention. He picked it up, ripped apart the velcro on its underside and—cool! It morphed into a butterfly. He handed it to Quinn.

“Oh, cute!”

“What was your favorite subject in school?” Nat asked him.

“Drama,” Quinn said, re-caterpillaring the butterfly. He grinned and turned the caterpillar into a butterfly again. Caterpillar. Butterfly. Caterpillar.

Was there some kind of toy Nat could make him that would get Quinn to smile at him just like that? Like he was enchanted with the world and Nat in particular? He seemed to delight in the smallest of things. Nat wanted to give him something that would make him happy.

See? He could do this, let someone in.

“Oh hey, what did you win at the ax throwing contest?”

Nat fished in his pocket. “You’ll love it,” he said and handed it over. It was a key chain with a tiny Thor’s hammer.

“Ooh. I am Thor, god of thunder,” Quinn said in an atrocious Australian accent. “Hear me roar.” He bopped Nat on the shoulder with the hammer and made sounds of explosions.

Nat laughed. “Come on, Thor.” He put his arm around Quinn’s shoulders and had to resist the urge to kiss his temple. “Let’s go ride the Ferris wheel.”

 

About Amy Aislin:

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 Aislin:

Website: https://amyaislin.com/

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

Twitter: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/amyaislin

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

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

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ddvWFv

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

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

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

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

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

LoveRomanceReads: https://www.loveromancereads.com/amyaislin.html

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/amy-aislin

Giveaway

 

Win a fantastic The Heights prize pack: signed paperback, one of a kind art print, and a set of wooden star ornaments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c8c1c6415/

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

These two characters came to life within the first few chapters and swept me away with their story. I honestly did not want to put this book down to go to bed, but my subconscious took over when I did, and I dreamed about Mitch and Alex. Without a doubt, these men are my favorite couple nominee for any and all 2018 MM romance awards.

Slowburn? Yes. Too much sex on page? No. Friendship? Yes. Characters who mature over time? Why yes. Yes indeed. And that’s not all there is to like about this story.

When college sophomore, hockey player, and kinesiology major Mitch Greyson shows up at an extra credit lecture at his small Vermont college with the express intent of interviewing the Tampa Bay hockey team’s sports doctor, he’s at first disappointed that the man is a no-show. But then he gets to speak to and flirt with the man who came in his place: Alex Dean, a Tampa Bay defenseman who happens to be in Vermont visiting family while his broken arm heals. But Alex wants nothing to do with flirty Mitch. Alex isn’t interested in sex or flirtation. He’s just not made that way. He’s demisexual, and in fact, isn’t even sure if he’ll ever find someone to love, and if he does, he’s not sure if it will be a man or a woman. He’s a 25-year-old virgin and perfectly happy to remain that way. Or so he thinks—until he gets to know Mitch.

Here’s my main sticking point in this story, and yes, it is addressed by the author at the end of the book. But it’s an in-your-face sticking point right from the beginning and may turn some readers off. How many people in 2008 and 2009 knew the term demisexual or knew what was meant by it? I don’t believe many recognized their own demisexuality, never mind in others during the years in which the story is set. Yes, I know the term was invented already, but in general, sexuality was thought to be heterosexual or homosexual at that point. The fine lines—shades of sexuality, so to speak—weren’t discussed and for people who felt they didn’t quite fit in one category or the other, there wasn’t a lot of info available to them to clarify where they fell on the spectrum. The author addresses this issue in her second author’s note (that in my opinion should come before the story, not after) and acknowledges that she took liberties with using the terms. However, I think it would have been easier to accept during the story if the characters acknowledged that they had just recently learned the term. Since it distracted me throughout the book, until I finally got to the author’s note at the end, I’ve dropped my rating a half star.

Fortunately, I was able to move past that and enjoy the balance of the story. And it was a love story, no mistake about that. This was the slowest of slow-burn romances, and so much better because of that. My interest level remained high throughout the book as both characters struggled with issues beyond their control—Alex with his grandfather’s dementia and Mitch with working for the funds he needs to be able to complete the degree he has his heart set on while still practicing and planning to be the best so he can be drafted by the NHL.

I highly recommend this love story to anyone who appreciates a variation from the same-old, same-old tropes and themes. Hockey seems to be a popular sport this year among authors; however, this story is more about the romance than the sport. Other than my issue with the demisexual terminology, this book made me feel the love and raised my spirits—the reason I read in the first place.

~~~

Cover art by Lee Hyat Designs displays the bare torso of a young muscular skater against the background of a hockey rink. The male could represent either young man as one is an NHL player and the other a college student on his school’s hockey team. It’s bright and attractive and a good representation for this story.

Sales Links:   Universal Buy Link

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition
Published May 8th 2018
Original TitleOn The Ice
ASINB07C3M67XS
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStick Side #1

Review Tour – On the Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
 
Length: 87,000 word approx.
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.


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

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We highly recommend it!

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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Release Blitz for On The Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
 
Length: 87,000 word approx.
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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Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Cover Reveal and Giveaway for On The Ice (Stick Side #1) by Amy Aislin

Standard

 

 
Cover Design: Lee Hyat Designs
 
Length: 87,500 words approx.
 
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…

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

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.

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: amazon.com/author/amyaislin

 

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