Today I am so pleased to welcome Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood to Joyfully Jay. The authors have come to talk to us about their latest release, Fire in the Ice. They have also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving them a big welcome!
From Montreal, we traveled to Toronto for games on Friday night and Sunday afternoon. We lost the Friday night game but redeemed ourselves on Sunday with a 3–0 shutout. I scored one of the goals and was glad to add a point to my season total.
Tyler and I were spending a lot of time together by then. On Saturday night, we went to dinner with some of the team, but when the group decided to go to a club afterward, Tyler and I went back to the hotel to watch a movie. My roomie, Cleevs, was with the group that had gone out on the town, so we went to my room. “Want some snacks?” I asked. “Got to have snacks with a movie.”
“Wonder what they have?”
We found the room service menu but decided we were still too full from dinner to order appetizers.
Ty called downstairs. “Any chance you could bring us some popcorn and candy?”
“And sodas,” I added. “Tell them to bring sodas.”
They delivered our order quickly, and we set up camp on my bed. Instead of watching a current release, we chose the old movie Revenge of the Nerds. Room service had brought an enormous bowl of popcorn, and our hands brushed repeatedly as we dipped in for more. We sat close together, and Tyler’s heat radiated off him. After finishing the snacks, we lay down. We weren’t touching, but just as our hands had found each other in the popcorn bowl, our legs, arms, and hips made frequent contact as we shifted around.
I eventually tired of the movie and decided some conversation would be good. “How are you liking the Barracudas?”
“A lot more than I expected to. The guys are all great, and we’ve clicked as a team. It’s almost like Birky and I have been playing with you all year.”
“I agree.” I found the TV remote, turned down the volume, and then stretched. My arm bumped into Tyler’s, and not feeling like moving it, I left it there. “You’ve been playing really well since you got to Bethesda.”
He pressed his arm against mine. “Think it has much to do with you, Nick, and me playing together before?”
“I’m sure that’s a factor. We were good in prep school. We’ve all improved our skills since then, but we’re still the same people.”
He turned on his side toward me, his knee bumping my leg in the process. “We were good friends in prep school, but we can be even better now as something else.” He moved his arm and traced a finger against the side of my hand. “I like you a lot, Kev. I always did, but things weren’t right for us a few years ago. Nicky and I were breaking up, and you were just coming out of kidhood.”
I snickered. “Kidhood? Is that a word?”
“I’m not a kid anymore.”
“Believe me, I’ve noticed.”
Things went quiet. The movie droned softly in the background, and just as I was trying to think of something to say, Tyler took my hand. I loved the warmth of his skin and the way our workout calluses scraped against each other. I didn’t even consider pulling away; Tyler Jensen wanted to hold my hand, and I liked it. Lacing our fingers together, I turned on my side to face him. “What are we doing, Ty?”
“Lying here enjoying being together.”
“But I’m nervous. I still like you a ton.”
“Would you… Could we…”
Emotion welled up inside me like a volcano ready to blow, and it was a moment before I could say anything. “What are you asking?”
“Maybe we could see each other? Find out what happens?”
I closed my eyes and moaned. For so long, I’d dreamed of hearing Tyler say those words, but I needed to make something clear. “I’m not looking for short-term. I know there are no guarantees, but I need to be sure you’re serious.”
“I don’t want anything short-term either.”
“There could be problems.”
He narrowed his eyes. “There could always be problems, but what do you mean?”
“Tyler, professional hockey might be welcoming gay men as players now, but I doubt it’s ready for two guys on the same team to be in a relationship.”
“We’ll keep things on the DL, at least until we’re sure of what’s happening. Come on, Kev. Please say yes.” He smiled again, and whatever resistance I had slipped away into oblivion.
I chewed my lip. “We have to go slow. That’s the only way we can be sure of things. As much as I want to have sex with you, I want so much more than just something physical.”
“I can do slow,” he whispered, letting go of my hand. “We’ll take it bit by bit.” He brushed a thumb across my lips, and I leaned toward him. We made contact, but I’d barely registered his warm lips on mine when the door beeped with someone using a keycard.
“Shit,” I said, rolling away from Ty. I’d waited for that kiss all my life, and it lasted two seconds.
Excerpt from Fire in the Ice
A Novel by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood
Copyright © 2021 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All Rights Reserved.
What if love threatened to destroy everything you’d worked for?
Hockey right winger Tyler Jensen isn’t thrilled to get the news he’s been traded to the Bethesda Barracudas. The team may be red-hot in the rankings, but there’s someone there he’d rather not have to see every day.
Defenseman Kevin Moore is one of the top-rated rookies in the country. He’s living the dream playing for the Barracudas—until he hears that his old high-school crush Tyler is joining the team. Ty was once everything Kev wanted, but their age difference got in the way. Tyler decided a three-year gap was too much and left Kevin behind.
In Bethesda, Tyler doesn’t take long to notice that Kevin has grown up into precisely the kind of man he can’t resist—brawny, brainy, and beautiful. Kev feels the pull too, and as the men become closer, they work hard to keep their budding relationship secret. Professional hockey may be welcoming gay players now, but Ty and Kev aren’t sure management would like the idea of two Barracudas taking teamwork to an entirely new level.
As the playoffs loom, news of their romance gets out. Ty and Kev, caught in a storm of controversy that threatens to destroy them, need a power play to save their careers. How will they find one before it’s too late?
Fire in the Ice delivers on the promise that second chances can work and dreams can come true. If you like exciting hockey, plenty of humor, a beautiful HEA, new adults, young athletes, and enough heat to burn down the house, this book is for you.
Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.
- Website: https://www.ryanandjoshth.com/
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- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18708074.Joshua_Harwood
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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- Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/ryan-taylor
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