Ice Hockey Heat: Part 1 by Gin LaSalle
Series: Ice Hockey Heat #1
Source: Review by Request
Copy Provided by the Author
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gay M/M Sports Erotic Fiction
Matt Perriseau, rising star forward of the Flat Top Rattlers, has it all going for him. His pro hockey career is taking off, but sometimes he can’t stop thinking about what he left behind.
Now he has no choice but to face the past when he’s up against his old lover’s team!
On the ice with Jakob Wikstrom in goal for the opposition, Matt finds himself distracted by memories of their secret romance. The tall Nordic god of a goaltender used to set Matt on fire, and the second they lock eyes across the rink, Matt knows that fire hasn’t gone out.
Ice Hockey Heat is a steamy tale of jock erotica that details what happens when old lovers reunite and can’t keep their hands off each other!
Buy This Book:
Buy the 3 Book Series Bundle
Ice Hockey Heat 2: Shutout is currently FREE on Amazon (for a limited time)
This was short, sweet, & steamy!
He could still remember the day he said goodbye to Jake, although at the time neither of them had realized it would be goodbye for real. They’d seen each other a few times since, but only for vanishingly short intervals. Texting turned out not to cut it as much as either of them thought it would, and between new teams and road trips and roommates and billet families, phone calls were more or less out of the question. A couple of the guys on the Bellevue Blades had known about them, but neither had ever officially come out.
Full Disclosure: I know zero things about hockey, but that didn’t reduce my enjoyment of this story in any way.
I thought the story was fun and sexy – I wound up reading all three stories in the Ice Hockey Heat series back-to-back in one evening.
Matt is living his dream of playing professional hockey. When he was drafted to the Flat Top Rattlers he was ecstatic until he realized his teammate Jake was drafted to another team.
Jake is the star goalie of the Spokane Sparrowhawks and Matt’s former secret lover. The two men played together before they were drafted – on the ice and in the bedroom. Jake was a steady presence in Matt’s life until they were split up a few months ago.
Despite their best efforts, the two drifted apart while training and getting settled on their new teams.
Now they’ll face off against each other for the first time as opponents on the ice. Matt can barely keep his head in the game as his mind flashes back to the last night he spent in Jake’s arms…
After the buzzer sounds, these two old lovers will find each other and be reminded of all the years they spent together.
After twenty minutes of play, the game was tied at nil. Both teams skated off and Matt ducked into the hallway, marching toward the locker room. He was satisfied with his individual performance, but the Sparrowhawks defense was doing a good job breaking up the play. Too many giveaways on the puck, too many missed passes, the usual complaints. He could practically hear Coach Leblanc say it all already.
He eased down onto the bench in the visitors’ locker room, pulling off his helmet and dousing his face with water, which sluiced through his thick curls and down along his neck. He mopped his face with a towel and listened as the coach started up his summary of the first period’s action.
Mentally, he found himself retreating again.
What was Jake up to, he wondered. Wikstrom wasn’t the type to sit back on his laurels and relax after one period of good play. After all, there were still forty minutes to go, and a nil-all score just meant that allowing even one goal could be the difference between victory and defeat.
He remembered Wiks’ funny little locker room rituals, how he’d slip his earbuds in and zone out to weird, bass-heavy trance music for the entirety of the ten minute break. He didn’t like to be interrupted, even by Matt.
Wonder what he’s listening to now, he thought. The break passed by in a blur and before Matt knew it, they were heading back out toward the ice.
The second period started off just like the first: a lot of dump and chase, a lot of missed connections, no real offensive momentum for either side. But with five minutes on the clock, the Rattlers caught a lucky break. Deep in the Rattlers’ zone, a ‘Hawks player fired off a pass that went astray. Before the Sparrowhawks could reform and regain control of the play, one of Matt’s linemates, Farris, was racing up toward the goal, flanked by only one defender.
Legs pumping hard, Matt raced down toward the other end of the ice, where Wikstrom lurked in net, waiting.
Cornered by the ‘Hawks defender, Farris whipped the puck backward to Matt, who approached the net at an oblique angle, looking for an opening. Jake was looking right at him. He couldn’t find a good angle for a shot, so he fired back to Farris and then closed in on the defender nearby. He had his back turned to the goal, crowding up into the defenseman’s space, when he heard the ping behind him and a small smattering of cheers.
Goal for the visitors!
Matt’s teammates swarmed together for the customary hug, and through the maze of white jerseys and gloves and sticks, he caught a glimpse of Jake glowering toward them.
The goaltender pushed his mask up, sweaty blond hair plastered to his brow, and snagged his water bottle off the net. He took a deep swig, head thrown back, exposing just the top of the slender column of his neck…
Matt had to force himself to look away, the image burned into his eyes as he skated back to the boards to fistbump the guys on the bench.
The last year of time and the rigours of professional training had honed the angles of Jake Wikstrom’s face, lent him a mature, almost aristocratic profile. He’d always looked like that–tall, stately, Nordic even as a teenager–but he was nothing short of gorgeous now.
Matt Perriseau sank onto the bench and licked his lips, fiddling with the tape at the end of his stick. He couldn’t get that picture out of his head and he felt an uncomfortable stirring in his cup. Jesus, if this wasn’t the least appropriate time for that.
Interview with Gin LaSalle
If you were to describe your book in only one word, what would it be?
Sporty. You know, like Sporty Spice.
What would you say inspired you to write it?
My lifelong love of hockey combined with my decision to try writing erotica as opposed to purely nonfiction.
What was the source of inspiration for Matt Perriseau?
Matt’s sort of an everyman jock in a lot of ways. He has feelings but he’s not so great at talking about them. He ignores his problems until he can’t anymore. I wanted Matt to be a character that readers could relate to—I’m sure we’ve all met someone like that. Or BEEN that person.
How about Jakob Wikstrom?
Jake stems more from the mystique of the hockey goaltender. There’s a lot of superstitions about goalies and they have a reputation for being a little crazy. Jake’s just a regular guy, but he’s got some personality quirks.
Have you ever played hockey?
I play roller derby, which is as close as you can get in places that don’t have women’s leagues!
What made you decide to use hockey as a central theme?
I’ve always loved hockey and I think it’s a great environment to explore m/m themes. There’s the fact that teammates spend so much time together, plus the pressure of having to hide any potential relationships from the rest of the team, the staff, and the media.
What is your all time favorite book?
Probably Catch Twenty-Two by Joseph Heller. It’s just masterful storytelling and the book stays with you so long after you read it.
What made you pick that one above all others?
It’s rare that a book leaves such an impression on me that I think about it often even when I haven’t read it recently, but Heller’s characters just stick in your brain.
What made you decide to become an Author?
I’ve been writing professionally for over a decade, but it wasn’t always fiction and some of the freelance jobs I worked were really unfulfilling. I decided to make the leap to self-publishing erotica and eventually romance so that I could have more creative freedom.
Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
Yes! I feel like self-publishing in particular has forced me to be less of a perfectionist. There’s an axiom that says “don’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” which is how I used to feel about my writing. I used to revise things endlessly until I lost confidence in them completely. Now I revise my work, send it to one editor, and fret so much less.
What would you say was the toughest part?
Taking that first step and hitting ‘publish’ on my first story— which Ice Hockey Heat #1 incidentally was — because of all the inherent anxieties that come with being an erotica author. I detailed a bit of the anxiety I dealt with in a blog post over on Dirty Discourse.
Society has saddled everybody–women in particular–with a lot of unfair double-standards that apply to sex. Erotica isn’t exempt from that. Overall, learning to set my anxieties and societal preconceptions aside and just embrace the fact that it’s okay to write the word “cock” was a huge turning point for me.
Have you ever been hit by the infamous writers’ block?? What did you do to escape it?
Other writers reading this might hate me, but I don’t find myself suffering from writers’ block often. Usually it’s the opposite problem: too many ideas and only so many hours in the day! But sometimes I do get discouraged and suffer through slumps. Reading good writing is always the best cure for that, because reading things that other people have written well inspires me to want to achieve that level of quality with my own work.
Was there ever a time, during your work for this book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
I just about threw my laptop across the room when Photoshop crashed midway through my designing the cover for the Ice Hockey Heat bundle. Fortunately writing this book came easily to me, but I was about ready to submit it to Amazon with a big black box for a cover or maybe a photo of my middle finger.
What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
I’m still halfway sort-of-kind-of employed at my day job, but I’m fortunate enough to be able to work part time and fill most of my days with writing. Aside from that, I do cover designs for other self-publishing authors and dabble in blogging.
When I’m not doing anything writing-related, you can probably find me drinking and watching sports on TV.
How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
Bad reviews and harsh criticism are a part of writing life. Never put your work out there expecting praise and puppies and rainbows. But even acid criticism can be helpful. At the heart of most bad reviews I’ve gotten is at least a small nugget of wisdom I can take away and use to improve my writing. You have to view that feedback as a potential for growth rather than someone trying to tear you down.
And if it IS just some asshole trying to tear you down, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t please everyone. A lot of people will write bad reviews for erotica books simply because they don’t like the genre or they hate how “dirty” books are. I’ve even gotten one scathing email from someone who wasn’t so keen on the idea of two guys getting it on.
It’s important to remember that I write for myself. If I’m satisfied with the product I’m putting out, other people are welcome to their opinions, but at the end of the day my goal is to improve my writing and enjoy myself while doing it.
Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next from the Ice Hockey Heat series?
I do have an idea for some more stories featuring Matt and Jake in the future, especially after the scene at the end of Ice Hockey Heat 3 where Matt makes an important decision once and for all.
What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside from this series?
I’ve started another hockey series, this one a little kinkier, that explores a young rookie’s slow descent into the world of BDSM at the hands of his older teammate. I’ve also recently finished a draft of a lengthy erotic romance piece that is about to go through its first round of revisions. At any given time I’m juggling 3-5 things. It’s kind of exhausting!
How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to when you hit ?Publish??
You know, I couldn’t tell you for certain. I wrote the first installment of Ice Hockey Heat fairly quickly, but my usual editing style is “write something, then shelve it for at least a week so you can come back and revise it with fresh eyes.” I shelved it for a bit longer than that while dealing with my worries over whether or not I should write erotica in the first place.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Years. Sometimes it feels like I’ve had ideas percolating in my head since the dawn of time!
Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
At the moment I do all of my first pass-through editing and all of my formatting and cover design by myself. I do have a copy editor now, although I didn’t when I started.
How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I’ve worked with professional editors for my nonfiction work in the past and it was all about networking. Nothing was worth more to me than the personal recommendation of a friend whose word I trusted AND whose writing looked great. To me that was worth a lot more than reading testimonials on some website.
Where is your work being distributed (Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, etc)? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
I chose Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited to start because I’m a KU subscriber as a reader and wanted to try that distribution channel. After all, if it doesn’t work, you can then spread your work out to other publishers after that 90 day period.
If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I’d do it all sooner! Seriously, I sat on whether or not to write erotica for a good three years. What the hell was wrong with me? Also, I probably wouldn’t try to write and format everything in Google Docs. I love GD but its formatting issues cost me some grey hairs.
If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
For myself? I wish I could live for several hundred years without getting old and decrepit. I think we live in a really exciting time and I’d love to be around for more of the future.
For the world overall? I wish humanity had a greater base level of empathy for one another. I think that could do wonders.
If you were stranded on an isolated island, what?s the one item you?d absolutely wish to have with you?
Sunscreen. I was actually stuck on a Pacific Island for a week once without it. The results were not pretty.
Name your favorite fruit.
Hockey season. 😉
How about favorite time of the day?
Whatever time it is when I have my first cup of coffee.
Were you a Girl Scout?
I was! I made it through Brownies but was kicked out of Daisies due to… ehm… “disciplinary issues.”
Favorite food for breakfast?
I usually don’t eat breakfast. I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t really get hungry until about noon. But I do love a big buttery croissant.
What is the latest book you’ve bought and read?
Koko by Peter Straub. I enjoy stories about wartime ghosts and someone recommended it.
What was the last book you absolutely fell in love with?
The Gun Machine by Warren Ellis. Ellis has a fantastically economical prose style and the book explores some themes I really dig. Plus it’s got some great female characters and the main character is a wonderful departure from cop clichés even though it’s a cop story.
Is there a book you keep meaning to read, but haven?t gotten around to it? Don?t worry, we all have ridiculously long TBRs!
Oh god, where do I even start? I keep hearing great things about [Ancillary Sword] the sequel to Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie but I’m afraid to start it because then it will be over so soon. The first one was fantastic.
Do you recall the first piece of Erotica you ever read?
I do, actually! It was Milan Kundera’s The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. I stumbled across a copy in my mother’s closet when I was twelve.
Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
I’m a sucker for lip balm and anything hockey related.
Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Coffee or tea?
I consume both in equal amounts. Commonwealth represent!
Sweet or salty?
Together they’re even better.
Drama or comedy?
Cats or dogs?
Have a bit of both, but if I had to choose, cats.
Do you have a favorite quote or personal motto?
Be afraid, then do it anyway.
Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Cups of hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps, curled up by the fire, cuddled up with my partner or a good book.
Do you have a favorite Book Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
I’m going to admit my ignorance here for all to see and say I don’t even know what that is!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
80s hair metal. Loverboy, Steel Panther, Van Halen…
Favorite Swear Word?
Cock. Of course.
Gin LaSalle is giving away all three books in the Ice Hockey Heat series to one lucky Smutsonian Reader! Enter here:
About the Author:
Gin LaSalle has been writing since the Oilers last won the Stanley Cup. She lives in a cozy cabin on a snowy mountaintop. It probably doesn’t need to be said that she’s a hockey fan.