Ice on Wheels by Aurora Rey
Brooke Landry takes two things seriously – her job and her place on the Big Easy Bruisers roller derby team. She’s equally frosty as a top real estate agent and a talented jammer who always wins in both arenas. When Riley Fauchet takes Brooke out in the championship game, her body and ego are bruised, but she’ll live to skate another day. The following season when Riley shows up as Brooke’s new team member, she can’t think things could get worse until Riley turns up as part of the sales staff at Brooke’s office. The infuriating part is Riley seems to make friends everywhere she goes with her easygoing and charming manner. Brooke’s glacial demeanor amps up when she realizes she’s attracted to her nemesis. Will Riley thaw Brooke’s icy heart, or are they destined to be at odds both in and out of the rink?
Private Equity by Elle Spencer
Cassidy Bennett is the indispensable assistant to the notoriously standoffish and successful venture capitalist, Julia Whitmore. Despite Julia’s aloof demeanor, Cassidy can’t shake the desire she feels for her demanding boss. Julia’s delightful daughter, Lily has captured Cassidy’s heart as well. Julia unexpectedly escorts Cassidy to a lesbian night club posing as her girlfriend so Cassidy’s best friend doesn’t set her up with yet another nightmare of a blind date. After an innocent dance heats things up, Cassidy hopes that Julia’s frosty façade might be melting. To her dismay, Julia is business as usual the next day. Cassidy’s resigned to being nothing more than Julia’s right hand woman even after Julia and Lily accompany Cassidy on an awkward visit to her childhood home. Will Cassidy ever be more to Julia than a dedicated employee, or will she remain a cog in Julia’s growing empire?
Closed Door Policy by Erin Zak
Caroline Stevens returns to college after her life’s upended by a workplace shooting and a sudden divorce. She’s excited for this new chapter in her life until she meets her tough creative writing professor, Dr. Atlanta Morris. On the first day of classes, Atlanta takes one look at Caroline and knows she is exactly the type of woman who could jeopardize her job. Student/teacher relationships are a sure way to sabotage a career. Atlanta goes out of here way to keep her feelings for Caroline at bay the only way she knows how – a series of F’s on Caroline’s assignments and forced disinterest as her academic mentor. Caroline’s never been attracted to a woman before, but Atlanta has her feeling things she’s never experienced. It’s even more confusing because Atlanta is the same age as her daughter. Is their awkward student/teacher relationship all Caroline and Atlanta are meant to have, or will their chemistry in and out of the classroom thaw Atlanta’s subzero attitude?
I’ve never been one for ice queens. Slightly aloof main characters are more my style, but boy howdy these three prickly women made me sit up and take notice. Brooke, Julia, and Atlanta are undeniably alluring despite their arctic dispositions. Each of them is superbly complicated, and I think I would have been just as hung up on them as Riley, Cassidy, and Caroline. Watching the shifting dynamics between these couples was delightful.
The Writing Style
I expected top notch writing from Rey, Spencer, and Zak and I wasn’t disappointed. Each author brings their own style to the novellas making this a winning collection. The stories are unique while maintaining the collection’s theme. Bonus for me – there’s plenty of sexy bits in this compilation.
I was happily surprised when I got to Spencer’s story. Private Equity is written in first person from Cassidy’s point of view. Cassidy speaks directly to the reader and it’s both endearing and hilarious. Honestly, it had me laughing out loud at times.
The only con I can come up with is I so wish these three stories were full length novels. I enjoyed each one of them, and I wanted more of these delicious characters.
I completely enjoyed reading this novella collection. Hot Ice is seven kinds of fun. Each story has its own flavor with distinctive characters, and the chemistry between the leading ladies is delicious. The plots couldn’t be more different, but the ice queen theme ties them all together. It’s a strong compilation, and now I’m determined to read more books from each of these fantastic authors.
Excerpt from Hot Ice by Aurora Rey, Elle Spencer, and Erin Zak
Meanwhile, my boss, Julia Permafrost Whitmore, has apparently created a backstory for a relationship we aren’t in.
Seriously, though. Why me? This is a far cry from the world I live in by day. You know, the world where my boss is not only not my girlfriend, but who is actually a model of professionalism and self-control. What was I thinking, bringing her to a place where self-control is frowned upon? A perfect example being the dude who just ran past us in his tight briefs and combat boots with the words dance, suck, repeat written on his chest in black Sharpie.
Julia casually sips on her martini, acting as if that didn’t just happen. Meanwhile, I can feel the heat working its way up my chest and neck. I feel so embarrassed right now, I could die. Also, I’m a terrible liar. Surely, Sarah’s going to realize this whole thing is a farce and hate me for it. Not to mention what it could do to my working relationship with Julia. Honestly, I’d rather be sucking on that girl’s infected nose ring than sitting here pretending that my boss is my girlfriend. I need my job, damnit. Also, I just grossed myself out.
Before anyone can start hammering me with questions about how I met Julia, I stand and offer my hand. “Let’s dance.”
Julia’s eyes widen. “What?”
I motion with my head and mouth the words, We need to talk, Jujubee.
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Note: I received a free review copy of Hot Ice by Aurora Rey, Elle Spencer, and Erin Zak. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site.