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Ratings and Reviews (5 7 star ratings
5 reviews
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4.7 out of 5
7
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Slow-burn done right

    My feelings for On the Ice ended up mirroring the slow burn romance portrayed on the pages. I was a little nervous through the first few chapters because, while the characters were detailed and developed on their own, I wasn’t quite feeling that spark for the characters, the couple, or their story. Yet, without me even realizing it, the story took hold and I was completely engrossed in Mitch and Alex. On the Ice details a romance between a college hockey player and a current NHL player. I love hockey and enjoy many hockey romances, but I was pleasantly surprised at how different this book was from most in the trope. Not only did the author develop the characters as complex people outside their sport, but the path of their romance was both believable considering today’s professional sports environment and so different from the norm - especially within the m/m genre. Additionally, On the Ice features a demisexual hero. I really liked how the romance shifted to respectfully portray Alex’s sexuality, as well as touch on the adjustment’s Mitch made in order to acknowledge Alex’s needs and boundaries. And I loved that this slow burn romance capitalized on the more relaxed timeline and pacing, developing a palpable chemistry and highlighting the bond between Alex and Mitch. By the time these two officially got together, I was incredibly invested in them, making the romance more memorable. So what kept this from being 4+ stars? Unfortunately, a lot of the details about collegiate hockey simply didn’t work or were inaccurate enough to niggle at me. While I understand creative license, when things don’t add up, it pulls me out of the story. I still really enjoyed the book and loved the characters but those particulars sometimes make the difference between 4 and 5 stars. That said, this title is the first of the Stick Side series and, considering how much I enjoyed the book and the secondary characters, I definitely plan to keep up with the series. If you’re a fan of slow burn or sport romance and want a unique set of characters and storyline, On the Ice is worth the read. *Received eARC via LesCourt Author Services. The PA and author had no influence over this review*
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Wonderful slow burn romance - I loved it!

    I'm not sure my review can do justice to this book. I loved this story so much; it really twisted me up. There is so much emotional stuff going on – not just between Mitch and Alex, but also with their families. I think I used nearly an entire box of tissues while I read it; there were both sad and happy tears. I knew before the first chapter ended that this was a story I was going to love. The blurb for the book is great but there is so much more to the story. Mitch's supportive father, his witch of a mother and his brother who won't speak to him all factor into who Mitch is and why he puts on a front with everyone. Only a few people really know the real Mitch. This is a really slow-burn romance. When they first meet, Mitch comes on to Alex really hard but Alex just isn't interested. It isn't until Alex begins to see flashes of the real Mitch that he even wants to be friends. We learn fairly early on that Alex is demisexual – he doesn’t experience sexual attraction unless he’s formed a strong emotional bond with the other person – but Mitch wants a relationship with him anyway and he's willing to invest the time needed for Alex to find out if he can develop such a bond with Mitch. The author lets us know that Mitch and Alex were side characters in an earlier novella of hers and she never intended to write a book for them but they just wouldn't leave her alone (and I'm so glad they didn't). Because they were already married in the earlier book On The Ice takes place back in 2008/09 when they first meet. The epilogue takes us to 2015 and I loved how it wrapped things up for us so that we know how Mitch and Alex are making their lives together work with their crazy schedules. This is a story that's going to stick with me for a while. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***
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    kinda creeps up on ya!

    Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. Mitch is working two jobs to put himself through college, and get himself in the NHL league. He puts on a front for everyone and anyone who pays him any attention. But Alex sees Mitch, like SEES him, as he really is and Alex wants more. But both young men are fully aware that coming out might jeopardize both the positions in the league. I made a new shelf, just for books like this! It's title?? Kinda-creeps-up-on-ya! Because that is just what this book did! It creeps along, slow, slow, fast, fast, slow. The emotions build along the same, and then, THEN?? I ran out of book! You get sucked in so far, you can't see a way out, except to keep on going and see how it all turns out! I loved Mitch, with all his fronts and faces he presents to everyone else. I loved that Alex saw, immediately, past those fronts and faces. Loved that Alex makes it clear to Mitch, while he finds him attractive, there can be nothing between them without the EMOTIONAL connection. And Mitch would rather take the nothing, and have Alex in his life, than just the sex, and lose Alex along the way. I find myself: me, a middle aged English woman, connecting with Alex on a much deeper level than I expected to. Alex is demisexual: he loves people, not genders. But he won't have sex with just anyone, he needs that emotion connection that Mitch is chasing with Alex. And I think THATS what I connected to, the fact he needs that emotional connection. I did love the epilogue! Loved that, even though these guys could have lost their league places, they followed their hearts! There is a little bit in the front of this book, that tells you Mitch and Alex pop up in another book by Aislin. They are already married for 6 years in that book, and this is the story of how they got together. I'd like to read that one too. From what I can see, the first I have read of Aislin, another new to me author who blew me away. 5 stars, that creep up ya!!
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    A Great Slow-burn with Hockey

    Hockey romances are one-click purchases for me, so I was looking forward to reading this novel from the beginning. One the Ice is a prequel of sorts to Aislin’s novella, "The Play of His Life" which is set in 2017. In the novella, Alex and Mitch are minor characters who have been married for several years. After reading the novella, I wanted these two to have their own story. So, I am thrilled that Aislin wrote this novel. "On the Ice" is set in 2008/2009 and tells how they met. While there is some hockey action, this slow burn romance focuses on Mitch and Alex’s relationship. Mitch is sitting out part of the season on the injured reserve list. He needs a tutor to pass a class. Mitch hits on Alex right away, but Alex rebuffs him. Alex is demisexual; he only develops sexual attraction once he has made an emotional connection. Mitch is intrigued enough to wait. As we watch their relationship develop, we meet Mitch’s awful snob of a mother who hates that he plays hockey and seemingly everything else about him while his brother has distanced himself. Mitch just wants someone to love him. Luckily, Mitch has let enough of himself slip through his defenses that Alex wants to be his friend. Watching these two overcome the hurdles of being a gay hockey player, a crazy family, and Alex’s sexuality make this a very satisfying slow burn. I would love to read more in this universe.
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    Awesome!!

    This is one of the best hockey romances I’ve read. Highly recommend
7

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