Burning Up the Ice

Devon Rhodes; T. A. Chase
Burning Up the Ice
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Totally Bound
Release Date
January 2015
Book 5 of International Men of Sports

Two men, two very different sports and one rink—sharing ice has never been so hot.

Olivier ‘Big Bang' St Pierre is back in his hometown while he recovers from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hockey's a contact sport—still, he didn't count on the locker room being dangerous. As a professional hockey player, he also didn't count on it being hard to find ice time. But when a rink shuts down unexpectedly in a winter-sport-crazy town, even being a big name won't help as people scramble for whatever they can get.

The first time Ethan Campbell hears from the local hockey legend he knew as a kid, Olivier manages to insult both his family's rink and his new sport—curling. So he's not exactly receptive when Olivier shows up in person to plead his case. He makes a sarcastic offer…and is shocked when Olivier takes him up on it. Ethan's bad experience with hockey had left him cold. But soon he and Olivier are burning up the ice.

Ethan is tied to his town, job and family, while Olivier will be going back to Chicago to rejoin his team as soon as he's able. It can't possibly last…can it?

Book Review by Pat Henshaw (author,reviewer)
Apr 03, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
163 people found the following review helpful
Until the guys had sex in the Zamboni, I was more than okay with this story. After that? I was a little uneasy because I was waiting for something else jarring and unrealistic to happen. Fortunately, nothing did.

When the Saskatoon Canada municipal skating rink becomes inoperable, only two other rinks are available: the private membership only club and Campbell's public rink. Once the happening place, Campbell's clientelle is now made up of curling teams and not much public business.

However, with the municipal rink closed, Campbell's is now packed with hockey teams wanting practice space and free skaters asking for time on the ice. Ethan Campbell, with the help of his sister Chelsea, now manages the place since their father had a heart attack and minor stroke, even though they like to make the older man think he's still the boss.

Having been seriously injured, NHL defensive player and Saskatoon native Olivier St. Pierre returns home to recuperate from his surgeries and regain his skating edge. A few years younger than Olivier, Ethan has always looked up to the hockey player and wants to accommodate his request for ice time, but the rink is overbooked the way it is.

Olivier, who wants to be as anonymous as possible as far as the NHL press is concerned so that he can heal in peace, has been outed by the members-only rink which invites the press in to watch Olivier skate and offers interviews, so he turns to Ethan's rink for privacy. Ethan offers him time at night after the rink is closed and promises to keep his rink time a secret.

What begins between the two men as admiration and respect quickly turns to lust and passion, starting with exploratory kisses and ramping up to Zamboni sex.

Thankfully, the story expands from their sexual compatibility and moves quickly to how they become friends, sharing acquaintances and memories of the town itself.

Ethan and his family, particularly his sister and father, are the solid, established clan whose interactions illuminate their joy at being together. Ethan is the glue that holds them together yet keeps them flexible enough to be individuals. With his laid-back manner and ability to find just the right compromise, Ethan epitomizes contentment until his family's rink is in demand.

Olivier as a touted professional whose parents are bookworm academics, both typical absent-minded professors who are happy to stay out of their son's way, is the lonely man in the spotlight. He doesn't flaunt his sexuality, but needs someone who supports him in every facet of his hectic life.

They are a pair made in heaven. Ethan shares the warm, organic family-based love that Olivier craves while Olivier provides the bit of spark and excitement Ethan needs in order to keep doing what may seem mundane.

Together they are the kind of romance couple who keep the genre going.
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January 28, 2021 11:33 AM ( EST )