This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on May 15, 2018
Opposites attract, teacher-student, age gap, coming out romance ticked off many tropes I love or at least like. A new to me author and narrator just added to my curiosity. Not surprisingly, I had a good time with this one.
Off the Ice introduces two very opposite people who share the narration. Sebastian is a sociology teacher whose study focus is his own Latino LGBT community. He is persuaded to teach a summer school course to help ease the way toward tenure. He spots a laid-back young white guy in his class and the sparks start to fly in more ways than one when he forms assumptions. Tristan is a pro-hockey player, but unlike most he’s decided to go back to school in the off season and finish up his business degree so he’s ready whether he uses it after he retires or if his career gets cut short. He’s also harboring the fact that he’s gay from his family or anyone else. This doesn’t stop giving him a few hot for teacher fantasies.
The story would classify as a sports romance or a college romance as it brings together both. It doesn’t go into taboo territory with the teacher-student as the pair wait until after the class to explore their mutual interest. It’s mostly character driven and paces out gently as a result. There wasn’t anything innovative about the plot, but it never felt tired or over done. The conflicts between this pair are mostly overcoming one in the closet and one out, but both in careers that would frown upon their relationship for differing reasons.
In the meantime, they get up to some spicy hot bedroom antics and prove that appearances are not the way to determine who’s dominant and whose submissive. There is some kink in this one which I don’t mind though kink involving humiliation isn’t a turn on for me. It was handled well and fit the romance. I enjoyed that both had flaws and vulnerabilities, they came from two different places in their thinking, and both had some wonderful qualities that made me want them together so badly.
I loved the surrounding group of family, friends, and teammates. They were developed characters and the teammates’ stories mapped out with where the series is going.
Kirt Graves handled the narration work well. I had no trouble slipping right into the story and enjoying what I got from his low key way of bringing the story to the listener. He handled voices from both genders, the emotion of the scenes, and all the various characters well. I would definitely pick up other books he’s narrated.
All in all, this was an easy, quick listen that gave a good heart-felt and oh so spicy romance. This was my first time with Avon Gale’s writing though I’ve already enjoyed many of Piper Vaughn’s books over the years. Their a solid writing team and I’m looking forward to more from their Hat Trick series which I recommend to m/m contemporary romance fans who enjoy a smorgasbord of elements, but particularly hockey.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #195 NA
New Release #96
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