4 Hearts · YA Contemporary

Off the Ice by Julie Cross

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The NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Whatever Life Throws at You kicks off a brand-new series perfect for fans of Miranda Kennealy and Abbi Glines.

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

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Received ARC from Entangled Publishing and Netgalley 

Hello Gingers! Here is another one just for you.

Hockey can be an extremely violent sport. My first true encounter with the game is Hockey, is from my two nephews whom have been playing it since they were little. I know there is an entire subculture within the hockey world, that I am unfamiliar with, but this YA/NA gives a little perceptive into the stress of hockey and the intensity it can bring to those playing the game.

Our story is about a young man named Tate and the secrets he shares with Claire; his older sister’s best friend. She is a year older than him, but two grades above him in school. She is a drama nerd, performance guru, or theater freak, whatever you want to call it.

The story is told from the POV of Tate for most of it, but there is many chapters from Claire’s POV too. Tate has many things to overcome. He has family issues, especially with his father, hockey obligations, pressure for his team and the town on him. Than he has his feelings for Claire that he has tried to suppress for so long, but now that she is back in town he doesn’t want to hold back on the attraction that draws them towards each other.

Claire loves to sing, dance, and perform. She would be known as a triple threat in show-business. She’s got it all, and the brains to go with it. She received a scholarship to Northwestern and she loved her time there. But now she has to take time off to help out her family’s business. One quarter away from school turns into a longer deferment than she expected. When she finds out the financial obligations and the strain her family is under, due to her father’s brain surgery, she decided to stay and help.

Getting involved with Tate wasn’t part of her overall vision. When she left for school a year prior, he was shorter than her and scrawny. Now he is taller and built. Hockey bulked him up a lot, and her attract towards him scares her. What is more startling, is that when Tate flirts with her, she likes it and feels the flutters within her belly.  She also knows, there is secrets that her and Tate share that connects them. The secrets of his father and the struggle it puts on his relationship with his favorite sport. The father that only comes into town to boast his own ego and strut around his big name.

When Tate’s father starts to use Tate and his team mates in a negative way, Tate knows he can’t hold back any more. He won’t be able to hold the secrets that he has kept from his parents, team, and the town, any longer. Claire helps him. She knows ‘some’ of the situations with Tate’s dad, but not the full extent.  She tries to push him to talk to someone, but the more you push the more people pull away, especially if they are not ready to face the truth.

The story was gripping and I liked getting to know more about hockey. I am not very familiar with it, but when I get to read material like this, it helps.

Available on February 28 

4-hearts

 

 

Parental Advisory: Active Swearing, parental abuses, divorce, sex, heavy make-outs, drinking (Claire’s family owns a bar), bullying, attempted assault, physical violence,

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