Cover Reveal and Excerpt: Broken Ice Mended Hearts by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood



Bethesda Barracudas Hockey #6

by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Cover & Excerpt Reveal

Release Date: March 20, 2024

Cover Design: Story Styling Cover Designs
Photo: Wander Aguiar Photography
Model: Tristan
Genre: M/M Hockey Romance Standalone
Trope: Second chance, age-gap, found family, college professor/student, HEA



My life is complicated.

Hell, I’m complicated.

I don’t know a life beyond how I’m perceived. After a devastating divorce, it looked like I never would.

Can a hockey fight change your life?

I may not understand my attraction to Sven Holmer, but I can tell you my obsession with kissing him started in the middle of a fight. When we met again, the conversation was easy, the banter effortless. Once stolen glances gave way to secret touches, I was more confused than ever. How the hell am I supposed to handle it when everything I’ve always believed about myself no longer fits?

Things are great… until they aren’t.

Our connection deepens with every minute we spend together, but like me, Sven is no stranger to betrayal and heartache. Between my stubbornness, his reservations, and the start of a new season, how can we survive months apart?

When tragedy strikes, all bets are off. I just hope it’s not too late.

Broken Ice, Mended Hearts features two thirty-something hockey players hardened by heartbreak. This compelling, angsty book includes a bisexual awakening, hurt/comfort, found family, first times, high heat, and a hard-earned HEA. Though it is part of the Bethesda Barracudas Hockey series, it can be read as a standalone.

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The sharp grind of skates cutting through the ice blended with the thunderous roar of twenty thousand Barracuda fans, drowning out all but the adrenaline-fueled rush toward the goal. Todd Cleever, my D-partner, had the puck, and his breakaway had caught everyone off guard. Twenty feet from our goal, a Congressman had tried to send a pass to his teammate, but Cleevs intercepted the puck and streaked away toward the Congressmen’s zone.

Sven Holmer, one of the Congressmen’s defensemen, had been shadowing Cleevs, and he proved to be the only player able to keep up with him. I chased our center, Nick Johnson, down the ice, hoping to give him cover. After crossing the blue line, Cleevs banked left toward the goal, giving Holmer the angle he needed to block his way. Nick and I approached from the opposite side, and when Nick called for the puck, Cleevs turned to make the pass. Holmer, recognizing the threat, changed course and headed in our direction.

Nick caught the pass and unleashed a shot on goal. Before the crowd could react to the puck finding the net, Holmer crashed into Nick. As the horn sounded, my vision turned as red as the goal light. I pushed off with mayhem on my mind, and by the time our teammates caught up with Nick for the celly, I was already in Holmer’s face. “You dumb shit,” I yelled. “He’d already made his shot.”

“Fuck you! I was doing my job.”

“Your job’s gonna get somebody hurt.” I shoved him backward. “Maybe you.”


“Eat shit, dumbass!”

He dropped his gloves and lunged at me, but the momentum nearly toppled him, and he grabbed me to keep from falling. As we teetered, I flung off my gloves and wrapped my arms around him to steady us both. When I was sure we weren’t going to fall, I let go with my right hand and pulled my arm back. I landed a powerful punch, and the impact resonated with the sickening thud of flesh against flesh. Intent on retaliating, Holmer struggled to break free, but his strategy shifted after I punched him again. Clutching me with both arms, he refused to let go.

“Get off, you son of a bitch,” I yelled, unable to break his vise-like grip. When we were on the verge of toppling over, I had no other option but to wrap both arms around him again. Locked in an awkward, hateful hug, we balanced each other as our enraged curses colored the air. While the crowd bayed for blood, I desperately tried to break free.

When we inevitably crashed to the ice, I found myself on top of him, poised for the advantage. I clenched my fist, ready to deliver another blow. My focus shifted abruptly when his brilliant blue eyes captured my attention. They shimmered under the unforgiving arena lights, looking as deep as the ocean. The fight’s urgency waned, and I froze in place, staring down at him. While I struggled to decide the exact shade of blue in his eyes, the game receded into the background.

His scent enveloped me, an intoxicating blend of sweat and testosterone, and I leaned closer. As I lowered myself, he molded his body against mine, the sensation reminiscent of a lover’s embrace. I tore my gaze from his eyes, only to be entranced by his pouty, pink lips, stained with a telltale hint of blood from one of my punches.

He ran his tongue over them, sending a surge of desire rippling through me. Incredibly, I longed to kiss him and relish the lingering traces of our battle. As he angled his head back and moved his hips against me, my dick thickened inside my cup. Shit, please tell me I’m not getting hard in the middle of a game.

Drawn by an inexplicable force, I lowered my head, grappling with the reality that I was about to kiss a man on national TV. My heart raced as he smirked—a daring challenge or an invitation to continue?—and a wisp of his hot breath caressed my cheek. Holmer’s eyes widened when a ref began tugging on my jersey and calling our names. We clung to each other, not wanting the moment to end.

“Break it up, guys. On your feet.”

We didn’t budge, and the officials struggled to lift me off him. After they dragged us both upright, a ref passed sentence: “Five minutes each. Fighting.”

Our eyes met again, and Holmer quirked an eyebrow. Just before a linesman swiveled me toward the sin bin, Holmer worked his lips into a small smile.

My heart hammered the entire time I was in the box. What the actual fuck? That was the damnedest fight I’ve ever had. One thing’s for sure, I need to get laid tonight.

BROKEN ICE, MENDED HEARTS: Copyright © 2024 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.

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About the Authors

Ryan Taylor met his husband and co-author, Joshua Harwood, in law school. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh love to travel. In addition, Ryan also enjoys swimming, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. They began writing to celebrate the romance they were so lucky to find with each other, and the sharing soon developed into a passion for telling stories about love between out and proud men.

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