Series: Stick Side #4
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Cover by: Natasha Snow Designs
Time for distractions? Hardly.
A chance at making the playoffs? It’s a dream for NHL forward Taylor Cunningham that just might come true. If he can keep his eyes on the ball—ahem, puck. And study for midterms. Dakota Cotton, eleven years his senior, isn’t just a distraction, though—he’s everything Tay’s ever wanted.
Dakota has no interest in introducing someone who might not stick around to his four-year-old son. Been there, done that, with the divorce to prove it. But there’s something about Tay that hits all of the right buttons and has him wanting to take a chance.
As things heat up between them, and the pressure to succeed hits an all-time high, will they risk a shot at happiness or choke?
Clearing his throat, he said, “What are you drinking?”
“Oban 14. Scotch,” Dakota added at Tay’s questioning look.
“Smells good.” The scent had been wafting in his direction since he first sat down, strong and vaguely smoky, peaty. It reminded him of Dakota for reasons he couldn’t name.
Scooting forward on the bench, their knees touching, he said, “Can I try it?”
Dakota’s gaze caught his, gray and shadowy and searching. Tay held it, refusing to break eye contact. Let Dakota see how attracted he was to him. Dakota must already know anyway. What was the point of holding back? Tay wanted Dakota and he wasn’t shying away from it.
Without looking away, Dakota leaned forward, bringing their faces within inches of each other. Dakota’s soft breath whispered across Tay’s lips, making his own breath catch. Holding his glass out, Dakota still didn’t look away as Tay brought it to his mouth, placing his lips over the outline of Dakota’s on the glass.
Dakota didn’t miss it, his smile turning knowing. The heat in Tay’s blood had nothing to do with the scotch.
Which, in itself, was… “Holy fuck, this is good.” Strong and smoky, yes—even the taste reminded him of Dakota—with hints of fruits and honey.
Dakota made a sound in the back of his throat, an acknowledgment that sounded like a groan. The heat in Tay’s blood spread outward, flushing his cheeks, dotting his temple with sweat. Fuck, it suddenly got very, very warm in this coatroom. Warmer still when Dakota’s gaze dipped down to Tay’s mouth.
Dakota snuck an arm around Tay’s back. “Can I get you a beer?”
“Yes.” Head falling back, Tay groaned. “Also no. I really do need to go. I’ve got an early flight tomorrow and I want to get a reading assignment done tonight.”
“Right, I remember now,” Dakota said as Tay turned toward him, hands coming up to grip his biceps. Dakota’s went to Tay’s hips. “West Coast games.”
“Yeah.” Tay’s gaze dropped to Dakota’s mouth.
“Guess I won’t invite you to dinner tomorrow then.”
That gaze came back up, pleased and surprised. “Were you going to?”
“Well.” He brought Tay in closer, thigh-to-thigh, chest-to-chest, his blood heating when Tay’s hands inched up his arms and around his neck. “Andy wanted me to.”
“Oh, Andy wants me to come to dinner, huh?” Tay’s lips were a mere inch away now, slightly curved upward, amusement alight in his eyes.
“Maybe I did too.”
They were smiling when their lips met. Tay tasted slightly like the one beer he’d had with dinner and like something uniquely Tay. Fingers swept into Dakota’s hair and gripped, making him exhale sharply into Tay’s mouth. Thank fuck Tay had stayed.
Dakota’s arms crept around Tay’s hips, one hand sneaking under Tay’s sweater to run over his back, the skin smooth and warm. The other gripped a handful of Tay’s ass, bringing him that much closer and nudging their semis together.
Tay made a sound in the back of his throat, guttural and deep. It reverberated into Dakota’s bones and outward to the tips of his fingers. They were evenly matched in height; still, Tay rose up onto his toes as if that could bring them even closer together.
A shiver wracked Tay’s whole body. Gentling the kiss that had gotten more heated than Dakota had anticipated, he pulled back and swept his thumb over Tay’s wet lips. “Okay?”
“Yeah.” Eyes heavy-lidded, Tay smiled softly. “I’m just… I don’t know. Amazed.”
“’Cause my kiss was that awesome?” Dakota teased.
Tay let out a short laugh and cupped the side of Dakota’s neck. “It was pretty epic as far as first kisses go.”
Before Dakota could ask what was actually amazing, Tay kissed him again, tongue curling into Dakota’s mouth. Dakota moaned, inserting a thigh between Tay’s legs.
They kissed until Dakota’s mouth went dry, until his lips were sore. Until Tay lost his balance, clutching at Dakota’s shoulders with a laugh. He tucked his face into Dakota’s neck, the gesture so sweet and trusting that Dakota smiled against Tay’s temple.
Pulling back, Tay searched his face. For what, Dakota couldn’t tell.
“Can I take you out sometime?”
Entranced by Tay’s smile, Dakota cupped his cheeks. “On a date?”
“Mm-hmm.” A quick kiss landed on Dakota’s lips. “And then for our second one, maybe we can take Andy with us and go bowling or something.”
Tay was already looking forward to their second date?
More importantly, he wanted to include Andy too?
5 of 5 Stars
You know when you sit down to read a book and within the first few minutes you know you’re going to love it; the characters and their banter and the story is just perfect for you? This book was that for me…I sat down to read it and didn’t stop until I was done…in one day.
I love the banter between these two. I love that they don’t let communication issues or past hurts stop them from forging a relationship. Tay actually comes to grips with what he wants to do after hockey, so he has a bit of growth, but he was never really immature so retains his youthful exuberance and fun personality. Even though there is an age difference Tay and Dakota truly are meant to be together…they just fit.
Andy is an awesome character. I love that he’s included in their adult conversations and not treated like an afterthought…by any character.
These guys don’t feel done, this seemed more like a happy for now instead of a happily ever after, but maybe we’ll see them in a future book? Or maybe my expectations were different than what they should have been. I honestly thought there would be more to the ending.
The whole time I was reading this book, I felt like we should know Owen and Kas. So, I went back and looked…Kas was in the last book, Roman’s teammate in Vermont. Do they have a book somewhere?
And Staton and Xappa have some history, maybe not more than what was mentioned briefly here but I’m assuming they’re getting a book because the tension was thick with these two.
I’m assuming Calder and Lacroix are getting a book, although at the end of this book we find out there is a bonus scene about them so maybe not a whole book. I’m also interested in Desie who is hinted about in this book.
Either way, I’m loving this series and in it for the long haul.
Read the Series
Book 3 – Shots on Goal is on sale for $0.99 now through September 17!
About the author
Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin/
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