Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn: Blog Tour, Double Reviews and Giveaway

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.

Thanks for joining Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn on the OFF THE ICE blog tour. In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide—and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

I love sports books, but I don’t really know a lot about hockey. Lucky for me, one of the MC’s doesn’t either. The authors took the time to explain the pertinent points of the game while keeping it interesting.

Tristan is a professional hockey player. He’s in the closet with both family and his career. He is going back to school to finish the degree that was interrupted when he was called up to the pros. His sociology professor is a scowly, hard ass that Tristan can’t help but be drawn too.

Sebastian, said scowly professor fights his attraction to Tristan tooth and nail. Its unethical to date a student in your class becomes his mantra. When Sebastian makes an unfair assumption about Tristan he is forced to admit that his feelings for the man aren’t entirely professional and that even a professor in sociology can stand to learn a thing or two.

Once the semester is over Tristan makes his move and Sebastian meets him out for a night of drinks and music. The two begin casually dating until it isn’t casual anymore and they both need to decide what that might mean. Sebastian is out to everyone, even his less than understanding family while Tristan is out to no one

Tristan will need to decide if Sebastian is important enough to turn his whole world upside down and Sebastian will have to decide if he can wait patiently for Tristan to come out on his own terms.

Such a great story. The hockey parts were written to be interesting and understandable even to a novice like myself. I didn’t have Google any mystery hockey terms. It definitely made me relate to Sebastian who isn’t a sports fan at all.

I loved the connection between Seb and Tristan. It never felt forced, the genuine affection hopped off the page at you. I love that Tristan’s family was so supportive and that the MC’s were able to figure it all out with out the big dramatic blow up.

4 pieces of eye candy

 

The story centers around Tristan, a 23-year-old pro hockey player and his 30-something sociology professor Sebastian. The two are immediately attracted to each other but because of the student-teacher thing they don’t pursue it. Oh yea, also? Sebastian makes a huge error in judgement about Tristan based on his looks: blonde jock type with a great ass — how could he possibly have a brain in his head? Yea, yea, Tristan’s heard it all before and after Sebastian puts his foot in his mouth, Tristan tells off the hot professor and wants nothing more to do with him. And yet. They can’t keep their minds and eyes off each other and once they’re clear of the prof/student relationship, they are full steam ahead. While their relationship is great, the two can’t see eye-to-eye on how public they want to be about it. Tristan isn’t out yet to anyone — not his family, not his teammates and not the public and doesn’t want to become the “NHL’s gay ambassador.” Meanwhile, Sebastian’s hard-won openly gay status has him refusing to get back in the closet, even for Tristan, whom he adores.

I like Tristan, he’s a laid back guy with brains to boot. He’s a jock but not a jerk, and wants to pursue his education in case hockey doesn’t work out for some reason. He’s close with his family and is looking for “the one.” Sebastian is a bit of a cranky control freak and he likes for that control to spill over into the bedroom, where Tristan can enjoy the freedom to submit and be bossed around. I’m not going to say Sebastian is my favorite character, but the “scowly, gay Puerto Rican” makes Tristan happy, so I can accept him as he is.  The character’s personalities don’t evolve much from beginning to end, but I liked that because they already are who they are and will figure out how to be together without changing who they are fundamentally. Besides, the real issue here is if they can — or should — compromise about Tristan coming out.

I’m not a big sports fan, but this was still an enjoyable read so don’t let that put you off. There’s quite a bit of sex, which is never a complaint coming from me. The writing is good and since I’m no true hockey fan, I’m sure I even learned a couple things; in fact, I even have a hankering to go to a game now. A cute, sweet, hot quick read; I liked it.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

About Avon Gale

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

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About Piper Vaughn

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.

As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.

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To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the review. This story sounds right down my alley, as I love sports romance. I’ve just added it to my TBR pile
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  2. Ginger Connatser says:

    Congrats on the new release! Sounds like a good book. colby69@verizon.net

  3. Serena S. says:

    Congrats on the new release! I can’t wait to read it!
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  4. ButtonsMom2003 says:

    Congats! buttonsmom2003 (at) gmail (dot) com

  5. Thanks for the reviews!
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  6. Great review! Adding this one to my list.

  7. Thanks for the reviews–I enjoyed this book a lot!

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