I heard about Iced Out by CE Ricci months ago and saw a few bookstagram friends rave about how much they loved this mm hockey romance so I put it on my tbr. I thought pride month was the perfect time to read it!
The novel follows Quinton de Haas and Oakley Reed, both hockey players at Leighton University and seniors. The two may be teammates, but they can’t stand each other and have been enemies since high school when they were hockey rivals. Playing for the same college team didn’t end their feud though.
Quinton comes from a wealthy family and his parents are largely unsupportive of his hockey career and were not very present during his upbringing either. His parents just expect him to graduate from college, get over this hockey phase, and join the family business. He’s also got a reputation as being the bad boy of hockey and being a hot head on the ice, always getting into fights. Off the ice he is known to hook up with girls, but hasn’t done any serious relationships.
Oakley on the other hand comes from a hockey legacy family and they are very supportive of his love for hockey. His father is a retired NHL player. His uncle was an NHL player too and is now his coach. Oakley is seen as a nice guy and level headed. He’s also openly gay.
At the start of their senior year and new hockey season, Oakley and Quinton run into each other at a party and can’t help but get in each other’s faces, insulting each other, frustrated with the losing streak their team is on. Their hate for each other reaches a point where they end up hooking up in the bathroom! The next day, the team wins. Athletes are pretty superstitious and the two start to think that their spontaneous hook up helped them win. Now, they need to keep secretly hooking up in order to keep winning. But can they keep it to purely hooking up for their superstition or will feelings get involved?
I really liked this book. For one thing, sexuality was not an issue in this book. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and there to be a major conflict over people finding out that Quinton is bi, but that didn’t happen so if you’re worried about that, don’t worry. It is not an issue at all and all the characters are either gay, bi, or straight and don’t care about any else’s sexual preferences.
It was a fun enemies to enemies with benefits to lovers, sports romance and I really liked both Quinton and Oakley. I loved seeing them get to know one another and realize they may have misjudged the other for years. It was nice to see Quinton come to terms with his sexuality since before Oakley, he had never even considered being into guys. And I liked seeing Oakley let loose a little and not have to be so in control of everything.
The conflict did cause the typical third act breakup and the whole situation actually made my heart ache. But if you didn’t already know this, I actually love books that make my heart ache as long as it’s a guaranteed HEA! This one has a HEA so don’t worry!
This was my first mm sports romance and I loved it!
Read this if you want a spicy, mm sports romance with the enemies to lovers trope!
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