Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Off the Ice
Authors: Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Series: Hat Trick #1
Heroes: Tristan Holt/Sebastian Cruz
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 283 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: October 30, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
Off the Ice is a very promising start to this new hockey-themed series. I was hooked on past hockey books by Avon Gale and was excited to get my grubby fingers on the one, too.It started off a little strange for me but once I got used to Sebastian’s “ways”, I was good to go. The BDSM factors are very tame compared to some stories, but the super controlling ways leaning towards humiliation took a few for me to wrap my brain around. Once I realized it was done out of love, and it was what Tristan needed, I was good to go.
Tristan is a young, professional hockey player. Young, hot, and very big. He is also super sweet and I fell for him almost instantly. He is also closeted. Sebastian is his summer school professor. Tristan wants to go back and finish his degree. What he wasn’t expecting was to find out he was more hot for teacher than he was for sociology. Sebastian is out and proud and a bit older than Tristan. He is also fearful of beginning something with a student that could jeopardize his tenure chances. This two really are not good on paper…they should not work, but they are combustible in the bedroom and that keeps them both breaking their own rules. Which eventually leads to feelings.
It took me a while to finish this book, but that was only because I needed to wrap my mind around their relationship. It wasn’t a bad one, just different for me. I’ve read many books by both authors so I knew I just needed to give it a bit of time, and it worked. I ended up really loving it and I think most readers will, too.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*We received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for fair and honest reviews.*