Stick By Me (Desert Ice Hockey Book 1) by Christie Gordon

Stick By Me is the first in a new hockey series, a spinoff from the previous Rock U series. This is Leo and Archer's story, low angst with a nice friends to lovers vibe. Great start to the series.

From the blurb:

Hockey is my life, until I meet an adorable nerd. But he doesn’t date men. Can I convince him to take a chance?

Hockey was everything, but now I’m questioning if I’ll ever make it to the NHL.
I need to find a life.
In comes a stunning guy in designer jeans and hair so dark and silky, I struggle to keep my fingers to myself.
We connect at an animal rescue, where I accidentally soak him with a hose. I give him my team shirt to make amends.
The vision of him in my clothes stirs a primal urge in me.
When he mentions he’s queer, my heart skips a beat. But he’s only interested in a hookup.
Game on.
Will he accept my challenge for a date?

I’m having a moral dilemma. I don’t date men. I have an out and proud brother and, in my family, it’s complicated.
Then Archer comes along, eyeing me like a piece of candy and daring me to date him. Yeah, I’m interested.
Problem is, the dare goes awry. I find myself falling so deeply for Archer, there’s no turning back.
When his life goes off the rails, I’m forced to make a decision and fast.

Stick By Me is the first book in the College Hockey series, Desert Ice Hockey, and is the follow up to the Rock U series. It features a dependable nerd and a rebel jock, opposites attract, found family, hurt/comfort, and a secret relationship amidst the backdrop of the holidays. Desert Ice Hockey follows a group of queer hockey players, known as the squad, while they each battle for their HEA.

Buy now to explore a world where emotions run as high as the heat, and hockey isn’t the only game in town!

Rogue's review:

- college
- hockey
- bi-awakening

This is the first in a new series, and it's a spin off from previous Rock U series with some recurring characters from that series in this book. This is Archer and Leo's story, both appeared previously, and briefly, in the previous series but this is their story. Archer is a hockey player and out and proud. Leo is bi-sexual but not out. They have an instant connection when they meet but Archer thinks Leo is straight so they start out as friends, and I really liked that for them that they had that base to work from.

I also liked the cast of side characters, Archer's hockey squad of queer friends who really looked out for Archer when they thought Leo was hiding their relationship, and of course Remy and Axel (Leo's brother) who feature in the Rock U series. The story is low angst with a fair amount of heat between the two as they explore their physical relationship. There's only one slight roadbump which is easily resolved, and there's good communication between the two.

This is quite light, low angst, medium heat and a great start to a new series with plenty of scope with Archer's squad for more stories, and I'm here for them.

Heather's review:

Christie Gordon has leapt from Hot Rock to Cool Ice with this spin-off series featuring Leo, Remy's brother and Archer, the hockey player who started out infatuated by Miles...

This universe has such a diverse cast of characters and it enriches the storyline here, knowing that both of these characters have backstories in the previous series, but truly meet and connect for the first time in this book.  I have always felt sorry for Leo and the burdens he carries, which definitely shone through as a major factor in this story.  Archer is adorable and the connection definitely sizzles between these two men.

I am looking forward to seeing where the series goes next, and can't wait to see what new characters are added to this 

Stick By Me is currently available as an e-book, paperback, hardback, and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription