Title: On the Ice
Series: Stick Side: Book One
Author: Amy Aislin
Length: 348 Pages
At a Glance: On the Ice is a sweet, well-written romance that made me smile. And, I’m so excited that it’s the beginning of a series.
Reviewed By: Jules
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…
Review: Amy Aislin has written five books in the past year—four novellas and a novel—and I have read and enjoyed all of them. Always very sweet and sometimes a little bit quirky, I have found something to love in each and every one of her stories. Her latest book, the novel On the Ice, revisits two characters from her first novella, The Play of His Life. To be honest, I hadn’t even realized I was missing knowing Alex and Mitch’s story, but I’m so glad that Aislin decided to tell it!
The story itself is good; it was a nice, easy read that flowed really well. But, the thing I loved most about the book was the characters. I fell hard for these guys. Mitch is the left winger for his college hockey team, the Glen Hill Mountaineers. He’s at Glen Hill on a partial hockey scholarship and spends almost all his time that isn’t spent playing hockey on working multiple jobs to be able to pay the rest of his tuition and his living expenses. Mitch’s dream is to get drafted into the NHL, but he’s also working his butt off to earn a kinesiology degree so that he can have a career in sports science and rehab once his hockey career is over.
Alex Dean, a defenseman for the Tampa Bay Lightning, is visiting Glen Hill, Vermont, home of his alma mater, to see his beloved Grandpa Forest, who is in a long-term care facility in nearby Montpelier, and to sit on a panel as part of a kinesiology lecture at the college. At the lecture, Alex meets Mitch, who makes an…interesting first impression. In fact, Alex isn’t impressed at all at first with the young, brash student, but decides to give Mitch a chance at becoming friends when he gets roped into tutoring Mitch in creative writing by his buddy, who is Mitch’s TA.
The relationship between these guys is complicated from the get-go. Mitch has been hiding his true self since getting to Glen Hill. His mother and brother have done a number on Mitch with their treatment of him, making it difficult to trust people’s feelings for him. So, he has hidden himself away behind these walls he has constructed. No one except his dad and his roommate know the real Mitch. But, Alex can see that there is more there. Something he’d like to get to know. The other major piece of the puzzle is that Alex is demisexual. Even though Mitch is immediately attracted to Alex, the attraction is not immediately reciprocated. Alex only develops romantic feelings or physical attraction towards people with whom he has a strong emotional connection. So, they agree to work on a friendship and see what, if anything, develops from there. I loved the slow burn between these guys and how Aislin handled the building of their relationship.
It wasn’t only the main characters that were fabulous, however. The supporting cast was also so, so good. I LOVED Mitch’s roommate and best friend, Cody. Mitch’s dad was awesome, as was Alex’s mom. Alex’s bond with his grandpa was beyond special. And, there were some hockey teammates that were pretty darn great as well. I also love the setting, and the visit back to Oakville. And, I loved all the hockey. The author’s obvious love of the game always shines through in her books.
On the Ice is a sweet, well-written romance that made me smile. And, I’m so excited that it’s the beginning of a series. I have ideas for future book MCs that I would really love to see come true! Please, please, please give us Cody’s story soon! This one is a perfect, easy weekend read, guys. You should definitely check it out.
You can buy On the Ice here:
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