Release Date: February 28, 2017
Blurb from Goodreads: 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 But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie.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.
Off the Ice is a sweet young adult, sports romance about Claire, who has always been associated with the weird drama kids because she wants to sing, and Tate, who is the hockey playing brother of Claire’s best friend.
When Claire’s father is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that they choose to operate on, she leaves university to help out with her family and an almost all-consuming guilt makes her decide to stay to help with the tavern while her father convalesces.
Tate loves hockey. His abusive father is Juniper Falls’ hockey darling so while Tate loves the sport, he also feels conflicted because people, especially his teammates, don’t know who is father really is.
For years Tate has crushed on Claire, but because she was a little older she was crushing on someone else. When they come together, it’s very sweet and they have a genuine rapport, which leads me to add that this is probably a young adult novel for the more adult part of the young adult crowd as there is a tastefully executed sex scene (tasteful, but passionate).
While there is considerable drama (cancer and abuse will do that for you), I never felt like it went to melodrama or real “angsty” moments. The drama felt legitimate with teenage confusion not being over just “romance” but more important issues like trust and responsibility and friendship and basically doing what’s right.
And, for the second time lately I’ve read a hockey novel (the other one was here Playing the Game (I forgot to put it under book reviews so it’s a chance you could have missed it and it too was really good)). I may be hooked on hockey books.
The writing was really good; it grabbed my interest and held on so that I wasn’t thinking about the mechanics of writing, which doesn’t happen as often as you might think.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
From Amazon: Off the Ice
rating: (4 out of 5 butterflies)