Off The Ice (Tosha’s Review)

Title: Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) (Re-issue)
Author: Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 25, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Sports Romance
Page Count: ~70,000 Words
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


(Previously published; newly refreshed by the authors)

He’s hot for teacher

NHL star Tristan Holt may be at the top of his game, but he’s already thinking one play ahead. Hitting the books in the off-season means he’ll have a business degree to fall back on when it’s time to hang up his hockey skates.

But his straightforward plan is complicated by his undeniable attraction to his sexy sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Impressed by Tristan’s brain as well as his brawn, Sebastian can’t help lusting after the gorgeous jock. With tenure on the line, Sebastian won’t break the rules by becoming involved with one of his students—at least, not until the end of term. Once final grades are posted, though, their naughty mutual fantasies can become reality.

Tristan’s not sure he’s up for being the poster boy for openly gay hockey players, but Sebastian’s never been the type of man to keep his sexuality—or his relationships—in the closet. For Tristan, being with Sebastian might mean risking more than just his heart.

This book is full of anguish and personal demons. What would you do if you were gay but could not tell anyone because you are a professional athlete? Then when you are not looking for love you find it but you do not know what to do because you also love your career? Would you choose love or would you stay in the closet for the career you love as well? Well that is what this book is all about. It was a good read about figuring out how far you are willing to go to have both your career and the love you have found.

Tristan is a professional hockey player. He is also gay. The biggest problem is no one, including his family knows that he is gay. So far though it has not been an issue for Tristan because he is not in any kind of relationship. Tristan has recently decided to finish the business degree he started when he was drafted. His first course is sociology. And the professor is a no nonsense type of man.

Professor Cruz, AKA Sebastian, believes in the course he teaches. He expects his students to give 100% if they want to pass his course. So when a student shows up to his class each time in sweats and t-shirts, well Professor Cruz gets a lesson in his own course. After having Tristan in his class Sebastian finds he judges Tristan on his appearance instead of who he truly is. So when a case of plagiarism happens involving Tristan and another student, Sebastian automatically believes Tristan is the one who did wrong. But that is not the case and Sebastian finds he is more human than he actually thought he was.

To make matters worse Sebastian finds himself attracted to Tristan. Though Sebastian feels the attraction is returned by Tristan, but while he is a student there can be nothing between them.

Once classes are over, Tristan is going to make his move and hopefully Sebastian will want to see if the attraction is more between them. These two men get closer and closer to one another as time goes on but there is still the major factor between them that they seem to not be able to overcome. Tristan is in the closet and Sebastian is out. So how do they get past it?

Can two men that love each other but have such a big obstacle between them overcome and end up together in the end? Or is this an obstacle that just cannot be overcome?

This was a good read about personal demons and choices. It is not easy to choose between a career and the man you love. This is a book about finding what matters most to one person and how far they are willing to go to have all the happiness possible. I enjoyed this read and look forward to more books in this series in the future.

Hat Trick series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Off The Ice provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


Hello, I am an avid reader of male/male books. I do not have a favorite genre when it comes to male/male books because I love all of them from romance, dark reads, paranormal, shifter, threesome, whatever I see that catches my eye at the time. I read books about rock stars, CEOs, military, cops, and just the original plain old good boy types of books. Basically when it comes to a book, I read whatever I am in the mood for at the time. So my tastes varies from day to day and sometimes even hour to hour.
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