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Publisher's Summary

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 his heart when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

©2017 Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn (P)2018 Riptide Publishing

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Quick Spicy Sports Rom Read With Some Complexity

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hat Trick #1

Kirt Graves narrates this with easily discernable character voices and obviously enjoyed narrating this as it comes across so clearly when you're listening. For me this was a fun, easy listen.

I loved the dual POV, though the focus is definitely more on Tristan and his progression.

I loved how Sebastian and Tristan are together. They have such obvious spark and chemistry.

There's dirty talk, some pretty hot teacher/student play, a bit of humiliation, and lots of sex...Do you love dirty talk and mild kink? Personally anything even slightly humiliating is not my kink, and listening to those scenes made me slightly uncomfortable, but that's about personal preference and not a knock on the writing. Tris and Seb are completely on the same page with what works for them and both love what happens during their sexy times.

If you are looking for a low angst, smoothly written, fun story with interesting characters, delicious dirty talk, some enjoyable kinky teacher/student play (without being icky) all combined with a nice, slight, age-gap you should pick this up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it! Perfect mm romance!

First of all, I love the student/teacher relationship. And I always love a good hockey romance. On top of that , I love m/m romance. So this was the perfect blend for me. Easy on the drama. Definitely recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story, amazing narration

I have zero interest in hocky, but in this story I actually enjoyed it. It wasnt that much of it untill the middle/end and I found it enjoyabell to listen to. I really liked the charachters, they felt really "real" with a good background and I loved there personalitys. One of the best things in this book was how they actually consider the consecuenses of there desitions. Like how Seb refuses to start anything with his student becouse of his goal of a tenuar. In most stories they would do the deed and fuck the rest. Comming out isnt a small thing and I can totally understand why Tristan hasnt told his hockey team, but even if I get that, he made me so mad whenever he and Seb were out eating and he worried someone would see him. Who a person love shouldnt deside someones future.
So to sum it up, I really liked the story, not what I usually go for but I really liked it.
Now the narrator: I love Kirt Graved. And I mean LOVE! His voice is amazing and whatever book he does he bring in his best and always blow my mind. Wish he could give out more books faster, but the wait makes them all so much sweeter! To be honest I dont think I would have picked up this book if Graves hadnt narrated it, but Im really glad I did. Really recommend it!