On Thin Ice (Arctic Titans of Northwood U Book 6) by Hayden Hall

When Asher's new stepbrother sets the standard for what he wishes for as a romantic partner, knowing he can't be with Jordan makes Asher hate him more and more each year. Now they are living together, playing hockey together, and something got to give, but neither wants a possible relationship to be the reason for their family to break apart.

Jordan and Asher have shot to the top of my favorite couple of the series! On Thin Ice was an emotional rollercoaster and I was biting my nails up until the very end when they finally got their HEA!

From the blurb:

I’ve been in love with Jordan Mitchell since the moment I saw him.

He’s smart, handsome, and even funny when he feels like it. He excels at everything; whatever he touches turns to gold. He can’t do anything wrong.

When our parents got married and merged our broken families, I suddenly had a rival I could never compete with. And a heart-throb I could never be with. And I hate him for it. He doesn’t even see me.

Until one summer break… We’re alone in our parents’ mountain house. All we do is swim, sunbathe, and fight. And I’d rather be kissing him. Soon enough, the line between hate and attraction is too blurry to see.

It turns out that he’s just as messed up as me. And his sculpted body attracts me more than ever. With each day we spend holed up in the mountains, it gets harder to resist him. If I don’t do something, I might burst.

But the looming threat of destroying our family for a cheap thrill holds me back. There couldn’t be a happy ending to our story.

And all my choices are wrong.

For once, I’m going to need him to be in charge of what happens next.

On Thin Ice is the sixth novel in the Arctic Titans of Northwood U series and it can be read as a standalone. This novel is the most separated one from the rest of the series, taking place away from campus and hockey rinks. It’s a forbidden romance with a merged family theme, close proximity, endless pining, and Kindle-melting fire.

SNik's review:

Sixth in series (Arctic Titans of Northwood U), can be read as a standalone but might be more fun if read in order given the shared cast of characters. Stepbrothers - teammates - adversarial. Slow burn. Dual POV.

Asher is thirteen years old when he and Jordan are thrown together after their parents get married, a surprise and an awkward start to Asher’s crush on his older stepbrother. Jordan never feels like he and Asher are related, even years later when they are in college together, because he has always kept Asher at arms length due to an attraction to Asher that cannot be acted on.

There is quite a bit of inner monologuing and debating about betraying their family unit and worrying about how it will appear to others if they embark on a relationship. Asher’s pining is the one described the most and those feelings were relatable. When Asher and Jordan start a romantic relationship I enjoyed Jordan’s commitment to being together and his willingness to fight for a future.

Reed Kaye's review:

This series is best read in order. While not needed there are recurring characters.

This is such an emotional story. Right from the beginning when Asher and Jordan found themselves in the situation of being stepbrothers, they had an attraction that made them more enemies than friends even though their parents tried to get them together.

It takes a college summer vacation to make them own up to the reasons behind their behavior. Then their relationship takes a turn in a different direction.

Ash’s mom is a real example of someone I love to hate and Jordan’s dad is lovable.
This story brought up a few issues of the stepbrother issue. What is wrong or right.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's review:

"ᴊᴏʀᴅᴀɴ ᴡᴀꜱɴ'ᴛ ꜱᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ꜰᴇʟʟ ɪɴ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ. ʜᴇ ᴡᴀꜱ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀ ꜱᴜɴꜱᴇᴛ; ɢᴏʀɢᴇᴏᴜꜱ ᴛᴏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ᴀᴛ ʙᴜᴛ ɪɴᴄᴀᴘᴀʙʟᴇ ᴏꜰ ꜰᴇᴇʟɪɴɢ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ꜰᴏʀ ʏᴏᴜ. ʏᴏᴜ ᴡᴇʀᴇ ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ʜɪᴍ. ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇꜱᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴄᴏᴜʟᴅ ᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴅᴏ ᴡᴀꜱ ᴀᴅᴍɪʀᴇ ʜɪᴍ ꜰʀᴏᴍ ᴀ ᴅɪꜱᴛᴀɴᴄᴇ."

So damn much hidden beneath the surface with these two. For years both Jordan and Asher existed in the same house, haunting each other like ghosts in passing. Both of their pining for one another was locked down so tight that neither ever suspected how the other felt. In fact, both of them thought the other believed them to be not much more than insignificant. It led to a lot of animosity festering throughout the years they pretended to be a family.

"ʏᴏᴜ ᴀʀᴇ ᴍʏ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ. ʏᴏᴜ ᴀʀᴇ ᴀʟʟ ɪ ᴡᴀɴᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ ʜᴀᴠᴇ. ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍꜱ ɪ ᴅʀᴇᴀᴍ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ꜱᴏɴɢ ɪ ʜᴇᴀʀ ɪɴ ᴛᴏᴛᴀʟ ꜱɪʟᴇɴᴄᴇ. ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ᴍʏ ʜᴀᴘᴘʏ ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇ, ʙᴜᴛ ɪ ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ ʟᴇᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ꜰɪɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴏᴜᴛ."

I had picked up on Asher being in love with his brother from little bits in the previous books, but I did not expect that Jordan felt the same. He was damn good at hiding in plain sight so to speak. But he was also sick of it and when everything came to a head these two basically exploded. All their passion and lust for one another finally got the outlet it was looking for and man did it show in their steamy moments. Unfortunately, them being together came with a hell of a lot of familial guilt and worries about what their future held.

"ɪ ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴡᴀɴᴛ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜᴏᴜᴛ ʏᴏᴜ."

"ʏᴏᴜ ᴡᴏɴ'ᴛ, ʙᴀʙʏ ʙᴏʏ... ɪ ᴡᴏɴ'ᴛ ʟᴇᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ɢᴏ."

Things got pretty dicey for a bit near the end. It broke my freaking heart. These two boys loved each other so freaking much. It just made sense for them to be together in my brain. Hell, not once in the entirety of their parents relationship had they even acted like family to one another, never mind brothers. It wouldn't have even mattered to me if they did. They weren't even technically related. Sadly, that technical part didn't matter to some and both Jordan and Asher had to navigate that minefield unprepared. I was worried, but I shouldn't have been. These two had loved each other for years and nothing was going to come between them in the end. Not even themselves.

Heather's Review:

I've been waiting impatiently to see how the tension between Asher and Jordan resolved itself and I am not disappointed in any way shape or form!  I love that their relationship comes to a head with a little forced proximity away from the hustle and bustle of family and college...  but of course, there can't be an easy HEA for these two so the family drama, the tension and the guilt are epic and turn up the tension so well!

This book was a true roller coaster ride and an epic story that kept me glued to my kindle from start to finish.

On Thin Ice is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription