A MelanieM Review:Boy Toys (Hot Off the Ice #2.5) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

10 siblings, 7 fish courses, 6 hockey players, 5 cousins, 4 calling birds, 3 spouses, 2 houses & 1 night that changes everything.

Betrayed by first his body and then his girlfriend, Liam O’Reilly, assistant coach of the Seattle Thunder, is not having a very merry Christmas. So when a smoking hot hockey player in a Santa suit offers himself up like a present begging to be opened? Well, it’s a freaking Christmas miracle.

If only the man in question wasn’t hockey’s own bad boy, Joey ‘the Looch’ Luciano, his best friend’s little brother and the same kid who used to trail behind Liam like a loud, mouthy shadow.

Whatever. Wrong as it might seem, a one-time hookup with Joey is exactly what he needs to make the yuletide gay. By tomorrow, he’ll be back in Seattle, Joey will be in New York, and his troubles will be miles away.

But as Christmas Eve becomes Christmas Day, Joey weaves his way past all Liam’s defenses, and Liam starts to see the sensitive, caring man behind the cocky smirk.

When the last present is opened and the Christmas lights go dark, will Joey and Liam’s night together be just another Christmas memory or can the holiday magic they made survive the pressures of the real world?

Boy Toys (Hot Off the Ice #2.5) by A.E. Wasp is a Christmas short featuring Liam O’Reilly, assistant coach of the Seattle Thunder, and hockey player Joey ‘the Looch’ Luciano,  They have lived next door to each other all their lives, their families intertwined, often feeling more like one huge combined family than one.  It’s no spoiler to say that these characters will receive more stories further down the series but Boy Toys is the spark that sets the ripples flowing….

It’s an introductory story in many ways.  We get to meet so many of people of both families, the O’Reilly’s and the Luciano’s that pop up over the course of the series and the Thunder team, we see the dynamics that brought forth both personalities and how it contributes to the relationship, such as it is, going forward.

Here A.E Wasp is setting the stage for more to come.  IT’s a Christmas tale, full of family, warmth, sexy encounters, some of the very surprising time, and some revelations.  I loved it.

And recommend it.  Add this title to all the rest in the Hot Off The Ice series.  Hot men, great romances, and hockey.  Love it all.   Don’t miss out on a book.

Cover art is perfect for the characters and holiday.  Eye catching and bright.  I love it.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 118 pages
Published November 14th 2017

A MelanieM Review: Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice #3) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

In a world that measures success in dollars, how do you put a price on happiness?

Love, marriage, and a baby carriage. It’s all Alex Staunton has ever wanted. Well, that and an Olympic medal for figure skating. The medal he got. The rest of it – not so much.

When his most recent poor decision comes to a door-slamming end, Alex moves into the house of his best friend, Thunder starting goalie, Sergei Pergov. But when tragedy strikes, giving Sergei custody of the twins he fathered confidentially, Alex’s problems take a backseat to the needs of two infants, and Alex vows to be the best fake-dad and house-husband he can be.

Sergei is dazzled by the way Alex makes managing all the craziness look as easy as doing a triple-axel. As their friendship grows even deeper, Sergei realizes he doesn’t want to imagine a life without Alex in it. Alex is the one who makes their house a home; his love makes them a family. How can Sergei make Alex understand he’s worth everything?

Skater Boy is a story about falling in love with your best friend. It contains discussions about baby poop, day drinking, girls’ night out, and the purchase of a mini-van.

Figure skaters and hockey players!  That is a match made in romance heaven!   And when the hockey player is a hot Russian goalie?  Well then that’s just the sparkles, rainbow diamond dust, and everything wonderful layered on top!  This is the couple of Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice #3) by A.E. Wasp. Readers familiar with this series will have met both characters before in the previous stories (City Boy, Country Boy, Boy Toy) and remember some of the scenes recounted here, now told through the eyes of Alex Staunton, former Olympic medal figure skater, now a coach for several of the Thunder players.  Our other familiar face is Sergei Pergov, the Thunder’s all star goalie.  Pergov impact, story by story, is impressive as is the man.  Russian, with a personality as huge as his physique, I love this man so. And lately he was appearing with Alex by his side in the other stories.

I was dying to see their relationship start.  This is that story.

Of course, with a AE Wasp story, there are depths to both characters.  Alex Staunton’s past history, his fight to the Olympics, and his current status, all come with layers of pain, and concessions that have cost his soul and leaving his sense of self worth broken. Sergei Pergov has removed himself from Russia, his family, and the past there.   He lives alone in his huge house in the suburbs until he spies Alex and starts to want more.  Then gets much , much, more.

Wasp takes both men through the tentative stages of friendship, lust, discussions of personal revelations and self discovery, to declarations of love and a family.  It’s all done through great charactions, wonderful writing, and a plot I totally connected with.  I mean, a vulnerable figure skater, a hot Russian goalie, and twins!  It even has two adorable hairless cats Torvill and Dean, complete with sweaters.  This may end up being my favorite story of the series.  I haven’t finished reading them all yet, but I just love this couple.  What can I say?

Yes, I recommend this story and series, but read them all in the order they are written to get the most out of the relationship dynamics and the timeline for the characters.  I have them all listed below.

Cover art is lovely and in keeping with branding the series and characters.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 303 pages
Published January 9th 2018
Original Title Skater Boy
Edition Language English
Series Hot Off the Ice #3

Hot Off the Ice Series

City Boy

Country Boy

Boy Toys

Skater Boy

Boy Next Door

Boys of Summer

Hot Off the Ice Boxed Set: Books 1-3

A MelanieM Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself.

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat.

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team.

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again.

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate.

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player.

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same.

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world.

Country Boy is a love story about figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there. It contains sweet hockey plays, a 1976 Corvette Stingray, fancy underwear, and the journey of a lifetime.

Country Boy, the second in the Hot Off the Ice series by AE Wasp, puts the spotlight back on the Seattle Thunder and two of its newest teammates. Robbie Rhodes, who we met in the first story City Boy, and Paul Dyson, the Thunder’s newest recruit. As was City Boy, Country Boy is someone exploring their sexuality, what it means to be gay from a religious standpoint,  and as a young upcoming NHL hockey player.   It does so using two diametrically opposed young men.   One brought up to believe in the reality of God, hell and brimstone, gay is actually evil and to be a homosexual was to be a perversion of all things natural. It was to be cast out of family, church, and society, to admit to such beliefs.  That would be Paul and his ultra conservative upbringing.  Then there is Robby, out and proud, with loving parents who might not understand hockey but love and support their son.

Paul and Robbie have a shared collegiate hockey rivalry history as well as a shocking, short romantic one.  The last that ended in a brutal way.

Wasp brings both Robbie and Paul to life here with all the turbulence of their combined pasts, Paul’s deep confusion over his sexuality, his pain over his upbringing and religion, and the choices life seems to be asking him to make.  The author has Paul reaching deep into his heart and soul for answers about how he feels about his church, parents, religion overall, and asking himself some heartbreaking questions.  As readers these soul searching inner monologues and conversations  Paul has with himself and others, including Robbie, make him so real, his situation so believable that he is easy to connect with.

So too Robbie with his learning disabilities, his  need to remain out and not fall back into the closet that he’s worked so hard to climb out of.  And just perhaps, should be even more out of as an example for LGBTQIA+ kids wishing to play hockey everywhere.  Robbie too has his realistic struggles here and not just with his romance with Paul, although that is huge.

As much as I loved its predecessor, I feel that  Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by A.E. Wasp tackled so many more tough issues here and did so remarkably well.  AE Wasp does a wonderful job balancing multiple story threads here, weaving them all into a whole that is wonderful and heartwarming.  The characters are believable and easy to connect with plus Robbie and Paul’s romance is one to remember.  I love them both and can’t wait to follow their love through the rest of the series.

It’s just book two and I am in love with this series of complex men, the game of hockey and Seattle’s Thunder.  Pick them up and read them in the order they were written to get a feeling of the entire cast of characters which make appearances in each book, and watch to see who and how their own romances grow as well.

Cover art is perfect for branding the series and for the characters involved. Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Kelpie Press

A MelanieM Review: Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A. E. Wasp

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Hockey superstar Joey Luciano has always been good at being whatever people needed him to be. The fans want a good-looking fast-living party boy? Enter ‘the Looch,’ Joey’s carefully created public persona. But the cracks in his mask are starting to show, and he’s begun to lose touch with who he really is. It’s going to take someone who’s been there from the very beginning, to help him find his way home.

Coach Liam O’Reilly always had a very clear picture of what his life should look like. Falling in love with the infuriating, passionate, stubborn, and endlessly fascinating boy next door was not part of the plan. But when Liam’s carefully constructed life fell apart one Christmas Eve, Joey Luciano was there to pick up the pieces. Now Liam can’t stop wanting him.

The passion blazing between them on the ice and behind closed doors could leave both of them badly burned. But through the smoke, Liam can see glimpses of a future brighter than any he’d imagined, a future worth risking his career and reputation for, if only he is brave enough to reach for it.

But Joey’s got a secret he’s keeping from everyone. If it gets out, it could be the end of everything.

I really enjoyed the Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A. E. Wasp.  It has so many elements I love in a contemporary romance, starting off with hockey players and hockey coaches in love combinations.  Or just a hockey element.  That always draws me in.  Wasp also has another aspect to this series and story I adore.  Large families that support the main characters!

Families easily identifiable by location (Boston), ethnicities (Irish and Italian), long association (neighbors), and even intertwined relationships.  This extended main cast is a huge factor in connecting the reader to the character of Joey Luciano (the Italian family) and Liam O’Reilly (the Irish one),  In a totally current and hilarious format, we often see the family members communicating with each other via group text.  It’s never overdone, totally funny, and very realistic.  It’s has the feel of family and truth.  And it brought these people and their lives right into my heart.

Joey, “the Looch” Luciano, is a 25 year old  with a lot of issues. On the outside, he’s let this “Looch” character he’s created take over his life (brash, outgoing to the  extreme that it seems like he’s hogging the media and outshining his teammates.  No one is happy with him, including himself.  On the inside it’s worse.  Wasp has created Joey as a insecure person, low self esteem to the point that he seeks approval from every source and everyone without asking himself why he needs it so.  This is an enormous issue, obviously.  Not his only one. On top of this Joey is dealing with the fact that he has loved Liam since he can remember, a love that he has never looked at what that meant.  Why?  Because he shrinks from being called gay or even bisexual.  Which imo is totally misused here with regards to Joey.

Joey is someone who has lacked self examination for most of his life and it’s not until he gets involved with Liam that he smacks into some hard realities for himself.  At about 51 percent, we get these musing from Joey…

“What did people see when they looked at him? Could they tell he was having sex with a guy? Probably not. He looked as normal as Paul and Robbie. And he wasn’t gay gay. If anything he was bisexual like Liam.”

There are so many flags in those sentences that show exactly how messed up Joey is over not only his sexuality but homosexuality in general.  Being gay isn’t “normal”?  He also has issues with femme versus masc. And as is worked out down the story, Joey really doesn’t enjoy sex with women, so no, not bisexual.  Yes, some of this flags get addressed, not as many as I wished but a lot.

There are so many broken layers to Joey, it’s just one right after enough. Panic attacks, health issues, and more that need to be seriously addressed. Are all given the depth of attention I would wish or deserve? Perhaps not but they aren’t blown off either. Believable, authentic cracks in this man.  Kudos to A.E. Wasp for creating such a character.

Liam is a strong character, older by 10 years than Joey.  I liked him and their relationship but honestly wondered if the author was going to use their hot, and admittedly kinky sex life as a bandaid for all of Joey’s deep problems.  Thankfully, the  answer is no.  Wasp let me wonder about that, while I enjoyed Joey and LIam working out their relationship and then gave me everything I hoped for in the ending of this story. That included my Washington Caps winning the Stanley Cup this year!  And therapy for Joey.  Win win.

The humor here had me cackling!  Whether it’s Knock Knock jokes or Liam’s younger brother Patrick trying to get Liam to switch out his posh furniture for a huge leather sectional that all the young hockey players can come over and watch TV on saying”

“It’s the traditional furnishings of our people!”

Well, this book and dialogue crackles with fun, the knowledge of what it is like to be young, in love, or a hockey player, or to just do dumb things.  And all of the above.

Yes, plenty of angst too.

If I also have a complaint, its the actual lack of hockey.

We get headlines, sports feeds,  but  little actual ice time.  These men are passionate about ice and hockey.  So where is the time on the ice?  Where is the sense of team?

We get little of that except towards the very end in the important game.  I wish so badly we had had lots more of that action throughout the story.  Then we could understand why Joey and Liam’s actions carried the weight of the love of ice behind them that they did.  I felt that was missing because we never really saw Joey on ice for the majority of the book.  We were told about it but never actually “felt” it through the character. And I felt that was a mistake.

But did I love this story?  Yes I did.  I thought the author did a tremendous job with the characters, actualizing a man on the brink of a life change for himself and letting us travel some of the journey with him.  Scary, messy, not totally complete, a work in progress as they say.  I think Joey would agree with that and be happy.  So would Liam and the rest of the two families.

I definitely look for more in this series.  I recommend this one for all lovers of contemporary romance and hockey and even a little love of spanking!

 

Cover art: Ana Phoenix.  Nice cover but doesn’t quite get the age difference.

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 462 pages
Published September 21st 2018
ASINB07HL6TTW9
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHot Off the Ice #5

 

Book Blast with Reviews – Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A. E. Wasp (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title:  Boy Next Door (Hot Off the Ice #5)

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher:  Self-Published

Cover Artist: Ana Phoenix

Genre/s:  Contemporary Gay Romance

Heat Rating:  3.5 flames

Length:  100,000 words/432 pages

It is a standalone book.

Add on Goodreads

This is a story about losing the path and finding yourself.

It contains kissing, yelling, spanking, and carb-loaded family interventions. 

Blurb

Hockey superstar Joey Luciano has always been good at being whatever people needed him to be. The fans want a good-looking fast-living party boy? Enter ‘the Looch,’ Joey’s carefully created public persona. But the cracks in his mask are starting to show, and he’s begun to lose touch with who he really is. It’s going to take someone who’s been there from the very beginning, to help him find his way home.

Coach Liam O’Reilly always had a very clear picture of what his life should look like. Falling in love with the infuriating, passionate, stubborn, and endlessly fascinating boy next door was not part of the plan. But when Liam’s carefully constructed life fell apart one Christmas Eve, Joey Luciano was there to pick up the pieces. Now Liam can’t stop wanting him.

The passion blazing between them on the ice and behind closed doors could leave both of them badly burned. But through the smoke, Liam can see glimpses of a future brighter than any he’d imagined, a future worth risking his career and reputation for, if only he is brave enough to reach for it.

But Joey’s got a secret he’s keeping from everyone. If it gets out, it could be the end of everything.

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Excerpt

“Hey,” Joey said, looking up from his phone as Liam fell into the bathroom. “Took you long enough. I’ve been in this fucking bathroom for ten minutes. It’s not that nice. One of those for me?”

“Fucking hell,” Liam said.

Those were the first words he’d spoken to Joey since Christmas Day. Jerk. Stupid gorgeous jerk.

”Okay, then.” Joey reached for one of the shot glasses and downed it, coughing a little from the tequila burn. He’d been expecting whiskey. “Tequila?” Bad things happened when they drank tequila.

Liam nodded and poured the other shot down his throat.

“Gina?”

“Who else?”

Who else but his big sister would do that? Of course, he’d known they were planning on trapping him in the bathroom. He’d also known Liam would do what they wanted, too. The O’Reilly-Luciano double-team had a ninety-five percent success rate.

He’d gone along with it because someplace, not even that deep inside, he desperately wanted to see Liam again. To see if Liam would still have the same effect on him as he had since puberty. Joey licked the last drop of alcohol off his lips, feeling a tingle of lust when Liam dropped his gaze to Joey’s mouth. Yeah. Still, the same effect. Stupid, good-looking smug bastard.

Liam set his glass on the counter with a thud, and then closed the distance between them, forcing Joey to look up to meet his eyes. Sometimes Joey really hated being four inches shorter than him.

“Nice outfit,” Liam said taking in the remains of Joey’s hastily-constructed pirate costume; red and black striped nylon pants ending in a ragged cuff just below the knee, black patent-leather Doc Martin boots, and a wide gold sash tied around his waist. He’d lost his shirt somewhere in the club. The way Liam couldn’t tear his eyes away from Joey’s tattoos made the loss of the two hundred dollar shirt totally worth it.

Liam picked up the end of the sash, sliding the silky material through his fingers. “How come every time I see you, you’re wearing some kind of costume?” Last time they’d met, Joey had been dressed as Santa.

Liam, of course, was his normal GQ self in dark trousers, a white dress shirt, and one of his vast collection of purple ties. The perfect simplicity of his clothes making everyone else look like they were trying too hard.

“How come every time I see you, you’re overdressed?” Joey asked.

Liam ran his hand through his thick red hair. “At least I’m not wandering around half-naked, letting everybody and their brother get their eyes all over me.”

Joey’s jaw dropped. “Excuse me?”

Liam scowled. “It’s a snake pit out there. I got groped half a dozen times walking here.”

Joey leaned back against the water-splattered sink counter. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Your point is?”

Liam stepped close enough that their thighs brushed. Dropping his hand heavily on Joey’s shoulder, he watched transfixed as his thumb traced the curve of Joey’s collarbone. “My point is, that maybe I don’t like the idea of you getting pawed at by a room full of drunks and puck bunnies.”

Joey knocked Liam’s hand away. He had to be fucking kidding. “Tough shit.” Joey pushed himself upright, poking Liam in the center of his (distractingly firm) chest, hard enough to make him take a step backward. “You got no right to tell me what to do or not to do.”

About the Author

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world that can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.


Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram 

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BLOG TOUR – Skater Boy: Hot Off the Ice #4 by A.E. Wasp (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Skater Boy: Hot Off the Ice #4

Author: A. E. Wasp

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix

Genre/s: Gay Sports Romance

Length: 75,750 words/303 pages

Skater Boy is a standalone story in the Hot Off the Ice series.

Blurb  

In a world that measures success in dollars, how do you put a price on happiness?

Love, marriage, and a baby carriage. It’s all Alex Staunton has ever wanted. Well, that and an Olympic medal for figure skating. The medal he got. The rest of it – not so much.

When his most recent poor decision comes to a door-slamming end, Alex moves into the house of his best friend, Thunder starting goalie, Sergei Pergov. But when tragedy strikes, giving Sergei custody of the twins he fathered confidentially, Alex’s problems take a backseat to the needs of two infants, and Alex vows to be the best fake-dad and house-husband he can be. 

Sergei is dazzled by the way Alex makes managing all the craziness look as easy as doing a triple-axel. As their friendship grows even deeper, Sergei realizes he doesn’t want to imagine a life without Alex in it. Alex is the one who makes their house a home; his love makes them a family. How can Sergei make Alex understand he’s worth everything? 

Skater Boy is a story about falling in love with your best friend. It contains discussions about baby poop, day drinking, girls’ night out, and the purchase of a mini-van.

Buy Links – Available in KU

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads  

Excerpt

It was funny how much one kiss could change everything. Well, kissing and whatever else he could get away with. Sergei loved finding ways around the rules or seeing how much he could get away with while still technically staying within bounds.

Alex had typed up a list of the rules and taped them to the inside of the door that held Sergei’s coffee mugs and tea cups. “This way I know we’ll see it at least once a day.”

“In case I forget?” Sergei pulled Alex’s hand toward him, tracing light patterns over his wrist and palm in the same way Alex had tortured him the other night.

“Bastard,” Alex said, yanking his hand away. He darted in for a quick kiss. “In case I forget.”

Then last night after dinner, he’d come up behind Alex in the kitchen while he was washing dishes, and keeping his hands above the waist and over the clothes, lifted up Alex’s gorgeous hair and kissed the back and sides of his neck until Alex begged him to touch him. “Just a little. Please? Just my stomach.”

“Rules say no hands under clothing,” Sergei said, voice heavy with regret. “You made rules.”

Without another word, Alex slid out from under Sergei. Grabbing a pen from the junk drawer, he stomped the few feet to the cabinet, opened the cabinet, and crossed off the word ‘clothing.’ He wrote ‘pants’ above it, handwriting sloppy.

Slamming the door, he marched back to Sergei. “Better?”

Sergei yanked Alex against him, face to face this time. He slid his hands up the back of Alex’s shirt. His skin was softer than he had ever imagined and so warm. “Much better,” he growled, then pushed Alex up against the counter. They kissed until Sergei’s lips were numb.

About the Author

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world that can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook 

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

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An Ali Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by AE Wasp

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sometimes the toughest thing to have faith in is yourself. 

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat. 

Two years later, they’re teammates on the Seattle Thunder hockey team. 

Being gay is wrong, unnatural, and there is no room for them in his world. Paul’s heard that his whole life. So when it hits him that he is gay, he does the only thing he can: he shoves himself so deep in the closet he would need a map to find his way out again. 

When the chance to fulfill his lifelong dream comes along, Paul can’t say no, even if it forces him to share hotel rooms with the only man he can’t resist. It doesn’t take long for Paul to give into temptation and find himself falling in love with his brilliant, caring teammate. 

But as much as he cares for Paul, Robbie is finding it harder and harder to justify hiding who he is. It goes against everything he was taught was right. He feels like he has a duty to come out to the public. He’d be the first out gay pro-hockey player. 

If Paul wants to be with Robbie, he will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s believed in. If Robbie wants to be will Paul, he’ll have to do the same. 

It’s going to take them a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world. 
This was a good second installment to the Hot Off of the Ice series.  We met Robbie in the first book.  He was a teammate of Bryce’s and attended the big Thanksgiving dinner.  This book starts a few months down the road and Paul has just been traded to Robbie’s team. 
These two have a history and it didn’t end well.  Their new beginning doesn’t start well either.  After some fighting, the coach tells them they better work out their differences or else.  This begins a hesitant truce.  But since they are the newest team members they end up having to room together while they’re on the road.  One thing leads to another and soon they can’t keep their hands off of each other.  
This book was much more serious than the first book in the series.  This starts as an enemies to lovers and turns into a hurt/comfort trope.  There are two main issues going on.  One is whether either or both of them want to come out and how that will effect their hockey career.  The other is the religiously oppressive home that Paul was raised in.  Being someone who was raised in the same type of home, my heart went out to Paul.  I could understand the internal struggles that he was trying to work through.  I felt these were realistically done and I liked the entire overall plot line.  
The only thing I didn’t not care for was a side plot with Paul’s dad.  I felt it added some unnecessary drama and I found the entire thing unbelievable.  I also found his dad’s quick turn around on his views unrealistic.  I wish the author would have left that entire part out of the book to be honest.
 
We see a decent amount of Bryce and Dakota as well as Jake and Nikki.  Both of which I enjoyed seeing again.  While this book is the second in the series it can be read fine as a standalone.  
 
Overall I really enjoyed this and I’m excited to have found a new series and a new author who I like a lot.  I will definitely be looking forward to more books in this series.
 
Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix I like the cover a lot.  The colors stand out and are eye catching and the models match the descriptions of the MC’s.  I think the cover is a good representation of the story and it flows well with the previous book in the series.
Sales Links:
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Kelpie Press
ASINB075BQ57YV
SeriesHot off the Ice #2

An Ali Review: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by AE Wasp

Standard
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. He’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book.  This was a new author for me and I only picked this book up because it was about hockey (I’m a giant hockey fan) and I found it on Kindle Unlimited.  Once I started the story I couldn’t put it down.  I was immediately drawn into the world of these two wonderful characters.  I liked both of them from the very beginning and I couldn’t wait to see how things worked out.
Bryce is questioning his sexuality when he meets Dakota and has in fact been married to a woman in the past.  I thought the author did a very good job with this plot theme and she stayed away from drama and stereotypes.  I felt like the way things played out for Bryce were realistic and thoughtfully done.  These two were really sweet together and their chemistry jumped off of the page.  There are enough plot points to keep the story moving at a good pace and to keep it interesting but it was low angst.  
 
One of my favorite aspects of the story was how Bryce’s mother and ex-wife were portrayed.  So often in the m/m genre the women, especially exs and moms, are often portrayed in very negative manners.  The author didn’t go there which I can’t say enough positive things about.  The ex was a nice, kind woman who only wanted the best for Bryce.  His mother, and all his family actually, were open to him coming out and they welcomed Dakota in to the family with open arms.  It was all really well done in my opinion.
 
When  I had the chance to review book for this blog, in preparation for book two, I did a re-read of this story.  It ended up standing the test of time.  I ended up loving it just as much the second time through.  This is going to go on my “best of” list for this year and I highly encourage people to check this book out.
 

Cover Artist: Ana J. Phoenix:  I like the cover a lot.  The colors stand out and are eye catching and the models match the descriptions of the MC’s.  I think the cover is a good representation of the story.

Sales Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published June 29th 2017
ASIN B07339WG93
Edition Language English