Crossing Blades (Arctic Titans of Northwood U Book 1) by Hayden Hall

Two insecure guys meet as kids and become bffs. As they age, the friendship changes and then one breaks the other's heart. Crossing Blades is the start of a new series from Hayden Hall.

From the blurb:

This year is my last chance to take the Titans to victory. I cost us the cup last year, but I’m not making the same mistake again. And I’m determined to get drafted by the end of this season.

The success I anticipate is built on three years of razor-sharp focus and hard-earned respect. Not to mention how much of my personal life I sacrificed for hockey. The Titans trust me to lead them and I won’t betray that. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Until the former love of my life and current arch nemesis, Cameron Martinez, skates back into my life. His very presence throws me off balance. His intense gaze and aggressive, dominant, and possessive streaks feel like a lasso pulling me toward him.

It only takes so many shared showers and locker room encounters before I’m too weak to continue resisting this pull.

But we both know there is no future for us. Our ambitions have always left a trail of ruin and heartbreak in their wake. Why should this time be any different?

Except I can’t think straight when he’s around. And every private moment we share makes me forget why I’m even here in the first place.

Crossing Blades is the first book in Hayden Hall’s Arctic Titans of Northwood U series of gay, college hockey romance novels. Expect fiery encounters on and off the ice, bickering enemies with a single, steamy way to vent, a second chance at greatness and love, and the emotional rollercoaster of self-discovery, acceptance, and growth into adulthood. Crossing Blades can be read as a standalone.

Reedkaye's Review:

This is the first in a new series. Two guys who grow up with totally different issues at home have an attraction as kids and become bff’s. Neither have planned on more, but as they become older, their friendship changes. During their senior year of school, Cameron breaks up with Riley and both go to separate colleges.

Later, while playing hockey in college, Cameron transfers to the school Riley is captain of the hockey team. Things between them do not go well. Both are insecure guys to begin with, and Riley has no intention of Cameron breaking his heart again. They carry on to the point that there is the threat of being tossed off the team and ruining their futures. 

Crossing Blades is a highly emotional story. Between both feeling unwanted by their families and not completely comfortable at college, I wanted so badly for things to somehow go right for both guys.  The author did a heartfelt job with the ending.

This is a great beginning to the series. I’m anxious to see the next in the series.

Rating: 4 Stars

Heather's Review:

As the first book of this new adult/college sports romance series, Crossing Blades starts with a bang... high school hook-up buddies, one who wants to get closer, the other who wants to break away from everything and leaves the other in the dust...

A rocky reunion, a gossipy teammate and years of hurt feelings, young angst and chemistry all battle on the page in a compelling way - this book was a quick read because I just couldn't put it down.  It felt like you were right there with these two college kids trying to reach for their dreams and protect themselves from past hurts.

Crossing Blades is a great start to the new series and if you like college hockey drama, you'll love this book.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Crossing Blades is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.