Synopsis for Breaking the Ice (from Goodreads):
Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.
Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.
But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.
Other books in the series:
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Juniper Falls
Author: Julie Cross
# of Books: 3 (Off the Ice, Breaking the Ice, Book 3)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, Book 3, to be published
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Small Town
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 2017 – ongoing
Source & Format: Chapter by Chapter via Netgalley–eARC
I was really excited to read Haley’s story! She was a character that really grew on my in Off the Ice the more I learned about her and I couldn’t wait for her to meet her match. Plus, I’m a sucker for the “fall for your school partner” trope…
Like its predecessor, this book is a coming of age story for our leads. They each have their own things to work on as people so this story has a great balance between romance, character growth and just a touch of drama.
For this book in particular, I felt like the plot took a while to get established. I guess I just didn’t know where the plot was going to go and so it took me awhile to get into it. However, once we get there, the book is fantastic! The latter half of the novel is great and had me turning page after page.
I’ll start with Fletcher because he really surprised me. Talk about layers! He was unlike any other character I’ve ever read and I immediately fell in love with him. I loved all his secrets and his little Fletcher-isms. He has this confidence about him yet he’s vulnerable at the same time and I loved how Haley brought that out in him.
I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t like Haley when we first meet her Off the Ice. But she had this great character development in that first novel and it carries right on into this one. This series really succeeds in focusing on individual character stories and growing these characters in a way that doesn’t rely solely on the romance but enhances it.
My favourite part about the romance between these two is that they challenge each other in a variety of ways and that drives their individual character growth. They aren’t changing to be with the other person; they’re changing because they need to grow up as people and break the box they’ve put themselves in to be a better individual–something I think gets lost in a lot of YA contemporaries but doesn’t here.
It works here because this is very much a slow burn romance. These two have fantastic chemistry and attraction from the start but they take their time getting to those romantic feelings. Instead, they learn about each other and develop this understanding and respect that brings them closer together. You can’t help but root for them to fall in love as you watch that.
My Rating: 4.5/5
Off the Ice 4/5 | Breaking the Ice 4.5/5
If you want a YA romance that focuses on great characters and less on petty drama, I can’t recommend this series enough! It has a great balance between romance, characters, sports and just a touch of drama. Perfect for fans of small town romance!
Read if You Like: sports romances, slow burn romance, more character focused
Avoid if You: want more romance focused stories
- Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross
- The Perfect Game by J. Sterling (The Perfect Game Trilogy #1)
- Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (Hundred Oaks Series #1)
- All Lined Up by Cora Cormack (Rusk University Series #1)
Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!
Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.
Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.
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