Review: Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Posted June 22, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 13 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Off the Ice
Narrated by Kirt Graves

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Hat Trick #1
Genres: M/M Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Riptide
Released on May 15, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

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
Audio #41
Books N Tunes #27 Van Halen’s Hot for Teacher Tune: 


  Review Rush by Nyrae Dawn 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Jenea Whittington
3 years ago

I enjoy a good opposites attract kinda read. This sounds like it would certainly be something I would enjoy. Thanks for the great review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

It was fun watching how it started out and knowing at some point there was going to be fireworks. 🙂

3 years ago


Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

An opposites attract type story is usually fun to read.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It really can especially when it starts out with a big misunderstanding. 🙂

Cyn @ Bookmunchies
3 years ago

I’ve really been feeling the sports romance and if it’s anything like Him than sign me up! Glad you enjoyed it!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

It falls in the same sub-genre as Him, but has a very different feel since half the book is acadamia, too. I think sports romance fans will like it, but also straight up contemporary fans, too.

Carole's Random Life
3 years ago

I am a big fan of hockey romances and this one sounds like it is well done. Great find!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I didn’t think I would be, but I love the hockey romances, too. This was a charmer. 🙂 I hope a certain other hockey player gets his story next. 😉

AngieElle @ Ba_BAMB
3 years ago

I had high hopes for this one, but it was a DNF for me. I found it just couldn’t hold my interest. If you do like this writing duo, though, I suggest trying Permanent Ink. It is so damn hot!

Great review, Sophia. I’m glad you enjoyed this one. 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh that really stinks, Angie. And you had high hopes, too. Sometimes it just doesn’t click been there. I’ve had my eye on Permanent Ink. Good to know I need a cold one near at hand if I go for it. 😉

3 years ago

HAH! I love your music choice for this one. I love hockey romances in m/m fiction and I really enjoyed this one, so I’m glad you mostly liked it too. I need more in the series!!


Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Agreed! His hockey buddy needs to be next. 🙂