REVIEW: 'On the Ice' by Amy Aislin
Title: On the Ice
Series: Stick Side #1
Author: Amy Aislin
Published: May 8, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance; New Adult
Length: 348 Pages
Tags: Gay; M/M; Demisexual; Comfort/Hurt; Athlete/Sport: Hockey; College; Friends to Lovers; Family Drama; First Time; Virgin; HEA
About On the Ice
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...
5 HEART READ
Author Amy Aislin delivers a biscuit in the basket with her humorous and heartfelt, On the Ice. The first book in her new Stick Side series, she beautifully sets up the shot right from the start. I could just see the testosterone driven college hockey teammates in the lecture hall, their total “guy humor” and immaturity on display. But more than that, she imparts their comradery, which is heavy throughout. Not to mention – Mitch - you get a true sense of who he is. The sweet side and the driven side. After all he has a five-step, ten year plan for his life goal… and it all involves hockey. There for a sports lecture, Mitch’s hockey crush unexpectedly shows up on the panel. Alex Dean is rugged and damaged, as hockey tends to do… but oh so sexy. As he approaches the NHL star with questions it’s “so Mitch” that you can’t help but laugh. Monopolizing Dean’s time with professional questions, his professor calls him out for wanting an autograph, to which Mitch responds, “Autograph? Why would I want his autograph?” Smitten by the good looking young man, Alex can’t resist a chuckle at his refreshing attitude to his “pseudo-celebrity status”.
Through six-degrees of separation Amy Aislin brings these two together for a face off that personifies what it’s like to fall in love.
Even though Dean can appreciate the good looking Mitch, as a demisexual there is no physical attraction. He desires a connection first, needs to be understood… plus he’s not looking to come out. Besides, Mitch’s hockey coach tells Alex, “’He’s arrogant, and loud. Thinks he’s God’s gift to the world.” But Dean is about to discover Mitch can play hockey and his persona is just that… false bravado, and one Mitch can’t let go of for fear of losing it all. His goals have overextended him.
Through six-degrees of separation Amy Aislin brings these two together for a face off that personifies what it’s like to fall in love. A love story where supporting characters help motivate and encourage the main players. It’s a little odd in the beginning stages when, only being four years apart, Alex refers to Mitch as the “kid” and he appears to be so much more mature. But, as things progress, somehow this settles and actually makes sense given the men’s histories.
It’s so refreshing to read a getting-to-know-you-romance and 'On the Ice' is just that. How sometimes a good friendship has the power to make you see someone in a new light, a glow you never would have imagined, because you are getting to know them from the inside out.
Alex reads Mitch’s persona like a playbook. He’s observant, watching every little thing about Mitch. Likes, dislikes, wants, goals, desires – and uses this knowledge not to impress, but to show he cares. Deeply. And when he himself realizes he yearns for the little intimacies of closeness - it’s not only surprising, but magical.
Mitch and Alex fall in love through highs and lows, happiness and sorrow, triumph and struggle while Aislin mixes in a little heat (not a lot of sex for those looking for it) and enough hockey play and lingo to keep the entertainment flowing. Plus she craftily highlights the mental, physical and emotional stress athletes put themselves through to achieve their goals.
It’s so refreshing to read a getting-to-know-you-romance and On the Ice is just that. How sometimes a good friendship has the power to make you see someone in a new light, a glow you never would have imagined, because you are getting to know them from the inside out. Habits, personality, family history – being there for one another through ups and downs. Building blocks - to a supportive, nurturing relationship. Every step along the way, second guessing your intentions, your feelings, but knowing in your heart it’s right. Isn’t that what new love is? Fear and hope.
A copy of On the Ice was provided to Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter, by Signal Boost Promotions, at no cost and with no expectations in return. We offer our fair and honest opinion on behalf of our readers.
Meet the Author
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.
For more from Amy be sure and visit her website.