An Ashlez Review: Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Rating : 4 stars out of 5

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

Perhaps it’s the Canadian in me, but I loved the hockey-centric learning of this book.  It was hockey focused as it should be, and normally in a hockey romance you get a few game play/practice references and nothing more – if you’re a fan of hockey this is a definite must read.
It was very “coming out” focused as well, and honestly I get each side of the story.
Tristan was adorably written – Ryu was too – which I hope is the next in the series – their descriptions their descriptions, their lives, their jobs, I just was engrossed.
I thought Seb was pretty bossy from the beginning – makes sense throughout the book, honestly – his actions in the beginning though kind of ticked me off a lot!
Personal distaste aside, Seb grew on me, of course, not as much as Tris I like the big floppy grinned character more than anything else!
Excited for the next book in the series.
Cover Art – typical hockey book art – I love the colours though and clearly it’s super relevant to the book
Book Details:ebook
Published March 25th 2019 by Carina Press (first published October 30th 2017)
ISBN 1488053758 (ISBN13: 9781488053757)
SeriesHat Trick #1
CharactersTristan Holt, Sebastian Cruz, Ryu Mori, Trevor Morley, Daniel Bellamy
settingAtlanta, Georgia (United States)