Skater Boy: Hot Off the Ice Book 4, A.E. Wasp

Skater Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 4) by [Wasp, A. E.]

A man who lacks the confidence to ask for what he wants and another who wants only to give him the world.  Alex and Sergei have been friends for half their lives with distance, careers, and relationships never separating them for long.  One night, one fight, one momentous change in their lives could spell either disaster or the forever neither of them had the courage to reach for.

Sergei is a giant of a man with a heart to match.  Well, a, uh, certain appendage too...  He's loved Alex as a friend and brother since they first met and has always cherished their friendship.  Throughout the years he has been the one constant in Sergei's life.  A cancelled date gets Sergei an invitation to share Alex's amazing cooking and he jumps at the chance.  What he finds when he arrives, though, is nothing short of a disaster and the moment everything changes for both of them.

Alex is a former figure skater used to being the one to please.  His role in every part of his life has always been to earn the approval of those around him.  One exception has been Sergei's friendship.  Their bond is deep and lasting and no dream or night-time fantasy on Alex's part is going to derail it.  He's had Sergei's love for years and years and there's no more important person in his life.  Romances have come and gone and while he might have a crush on the giant bear of a man, he's always known that keeping that part of him a secret is for the best.  When his current lover proves to be the worst kind of snake his life is thrown into turmoil.  Realizing he has nothing to fall back on he entrusts his well-being to the friend who has always had his back, not fully realizing that Sergei's new-found realizations are going to rock Alex to his very core.

Just when things have taken a turn for the sexy (and incredibly sexy things have been...) and Alex and Sergei are finding their romantic footing in the new aspect of their relationship tragedy strikes.  Sergei's children are now without a mother and he has no idea what to do.  Alex becomes his rock and they decide that their couple is going to become a family.  Through their ups and downs they learn that support comes from unexpected places, family is more than blood, and love is bigger, more lasting, and important than approval.

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I fell in love with Sergei from the first page.  I also loved Alex with all his vulnerability, tense energy, and earnestness.  Them together?  Sublime.  Sergei's giant heart is everything Alex needs.  Alex is everything Sergei never knew he wanted.  Their chemistry was beyond hot and their tenderness was moving.  Aside from loving the MC's like crazy, Paul's moment was transcendent.  To be so young and so wise.  I loved what he had to say, it was absolutely perfect for the situation and the way he described Grace was simple, poignant.  He was great in his own story, Country Boy, and his inclusion in Skater Boy really showed his growth and maturity and how much he belongs to the Thunder family.

The way the proposal worked I felt was a bit rushed with the way it followed a freak-out, eloquent advice, and then a speech.  Having a bunch of tiny children sit and stay quiet for the length of the speech and proposal was a bit unrealistic even though the best of family and friends were in attendance.  I think it would have fit better if they were having a celebration of a different kind or after presents and cakes and the kids were off taking naps or something, or even on another day where all the advice could have been given time to sink in, meld, and create a solid assurance in his soul before he orchestrated the moment.

Having the proposal come from the person it did was spot on.  When a romance story opens we generally know right from the beginning who will be doing the proposing, whether for marriage, something long-term, or for the big change in their relationship dynamic.  What I love best is when it's not what we first think but rather it's the one who needs to do the asking.  Instead of following an unwritten rule or formula, Alex and Sergei exceed expectations and go beyond the formula to get what they need.

Alex and Sergei are made of win.  They're lovely human beings in their own right and then when they come together they make lives around them better.  Changing the nature of their relationship, they're both tender and incendiary.  When hardship finds them they work together to become stronger.  Their family is made up of blood relations and friends, but all by choice.  Whatever they face you see their bonds becoming deeper, sweeter, lasting.  I can't wait to read about their family in the periphery of Book 5 of the Hot Off the Ice series...maybe Joey and Liam's story?

*$4.08 on Amazon or FREE on KU!
 Skater Boy: Hot Off the Ice Book 4, A.E. Wasp

*Paul gives Alex insightful advice just when he needs it.
Find out why he's so young yet so wise in Country Boy...
Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 2) by [Wasp, A. E.]
 Country Boy: Hot Off the Ice Book 2, A.E. Wasp
Sometimes the toughest thing to believe in is yourself.

The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat. 

Two years later, they’re teammates and Paul is so deep in the closet he'll need a roadmap to find his way out again.

Robbie might be his compass. But to be with Robbie, Paul will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s ever believed in. 

It’s going to take a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world.

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