Off the Ice
By: Julie Cross
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Source: ARC from Entangled Teen Publishing
Goodreads Summary: All is fair in love and hockey…
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 But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie.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.
I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review from Entangled Publishing, so I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team there!
This is honestly one of the first sports romance books I have ever read. Sports aren’t really my thing (I never played any besides 3rd grade soccer), so I decided to take a chance on this book! First of all, the cover nudged me in the right direction. I love the couple on the cover, as well as all of the fonts and effects – letting my graphic design nerd run wild! 🙂
This story revolves around high school hockey star Tate Tanley, and college theater student Claire O’Connor. They have known each other for years, as Claire is best friends with Tate’s older sister. But Tate and Claire have had an underlying connection and attraction that finally comes to fruition during this story.
The love story itself is everything I wanted it to be. It is a great coming-of-age story for both characters, in a way, and they overcome so many obstacles to get where they are by the end of the book. However, I did have a slight issue with the ages of Claire and Tate. Claire is a college freshman, while Tate is a junior in high school. While I’m not trying to say that this sort of thing doesn’t happen in real life, for some reason I kept thinking “this would never work out” in the back of my mind. I can’t pinpoint why I wasn’t into it, but it was a very minor thought for me. The love story and attraction between the characters greatly won me over in spite of that issue.
There were a lot of storylines weaving in and out of this narrative. Tate is battling issues with his father – and abusive former hockey star in the same small town that Tate is playing in now. And Claire has daddy issues of her own – her father is battling the recovery of a brain tumor. Claire and Tate have their ups and downs both with each other and dealing with their complicated lives.
Overall, I loved this book! For my taste, I think there probably could have been even a little more of a focus on hockey. There was an ample amount of hockey games, practices, etc. but even a little more would have made this a stronger sports romance. The love story was definitely swoon-worthy, and the drama was just enough to keep me hooked!
Rating: 3.5 Stars