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Monday, February 27, 2012

Home Ice by Kate Sherwood

Home Ice by Kate Sherwood
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary, Sports
Length: Short Story (67 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Cactus

When they were young men playing on the same hockey team, the heat between Jason and Mike had been almost enough to melt the ice they were skating on. But Mike went off to be a star in the NHL and Jason stayed behind to start his life as the dedicated, deeply closeted coach of the town’s junior hockey team.

Now Mike is back in town and Jason finds that their passion burns as hot as ever. But they’re both still in the closet, and when Jason is threatened with exposure, he freezes. The flames of desire can’t melt Jason’s fears but maybe, just maybe, the warmth of love will thaw the ice.

Jason's old flame returns and their chemistry is still hot enough to melt an ice rink. Jason and Mike had a brief fling as teenagers and then went on to separate lives. Mike got married, had a special needs child, and played in the NHL before retiring. Jason got injured and went onto coaching. Now they’re both back in their hometown, single, and realize their chemistry is as strong as it ever was.

Home Ice is a contemporary sports story staring two athletes. It’s a pretty common take on hockey, based in Canada, and doesn’t deviate from the expected. Jason and Mike reconnect and get hot and heavy almost immediately. Their relationship is never a fling this time around and both men are serious from the start. They fit together well and enjoy lots of sex so the story doesn’t dwell too much on their actions or describing how the relationship comes to be, it simply is love from the first hand job.

That’s not bad if you don’t mind an instant relationship. Adding a minimal amount of tension to the story are some homophobic crazy hockey parents. I say minimal because the issue is brought up and handled within a few pages. Instead the real strength of the story is on the actual sport itself and the teenagers. The scenes of practice and between the teens themselves are a bit idealized but they’re nicely handled and fun to read.

Home Ice is a bit of a mixed bag. It has some great moments of fun and humor within the sports details even if the actual romance falls short of truly satisfying. For my taste, it happens too quickly and there’s no background or existing emotion to make their instant love more plausible. The story, told from Jason's POV, moves at a comfortable pace and the instances where Mike and Jason get together are very nicely choreographed.

If you're a fan of sports themed romance you should give Home Ice a try. There's a whole bunch of "Head, head, heart" packed into this little book.

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