REVIEW: Off the Ice by Julie Cross

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Title: Off the Ice
Author: Julie Cross
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Juniper Falls #1
Release Date: February 28, 2017

Synopsis

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 But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie.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.

Review

I’ve never made it a secret how much a love a good hockey story.  So when I discovered a new YA Contemporary series that centered around a hockey town I knew I had to check it out. And I am so glad that I did, because this book is so good!

Off the Ice takes place in Juniper Falls, a small town in Minnesota that lives and breathes pretty much nothing but hockey.  The high school hockey team is basically royalty, and a lot of the boys act like.  But then there are others, like Tate Tanley.  Tate is different.  He’s sweet and caring and not out to hook up with as many girls as he can possibly get.  And when he sees Claire O’Connor he can’t help but be just a little taken by his sisters best friend.

I really loved Tate’s character.  He’s a good kid, but troubled and hiding some dark secrets.  For the longest time he had no one to talk to about any of the things that were happening in his life, until he developed a relationship with Claire.  In Claire he finds someone he can trust and with whom he can discuss the demons that keep him from completely enjoying his life and hockey.  Plus, he’s just a really stand up guy!

And Claire!  Claire has seen her entire life turned upside down over the past year.  Her fathers diagnosis of a brain tumor has caused her to take a semester off of school, and she begins to question everything in her life.  She’s burdened with an incredible amount of guilt because she feels she was off having a good time at college while her father was suffering.  Tate helps her to find herself and deal with all of her issues and it’s incredible how strong their relationship is.

This story was just so good!  Julie Cross has created a wonderful world in this small little hockey town, and I loved getting to know both Tate and Claire, plus all their friends.  Off the Ice had everything I loved in a great YA Contemporary.  Love, drama, fun characters, and a quirky little town.  It was perfect!  If you love ya books that center around sports teams this book is definitely for you!

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