Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
By Amy Aislin
Stick Side, Book 5
One wrongful arrest ruined Kris Xappa’s image—and made his NHL team look bad. Now, with orders to keep his head down, the last thing he needs is to develop feelings for his younger teammate—and best friend’s brother. The fact that he can’t stop thinking about their one illicit kiss doesn’t mean anything.
Rory Stanton is perfectly capable of taking care of himself and doesn’t need his brother’s best friend keeping an eye on him. Sure, he likes having Kris’s attention, but he’d rather have it for entirely different reasons. Too bad that one kiss they shared wasn’t enough to convince Kris to take a chance on him.
When an injury lands Rory in Kris’s care, will these teammates be able to see past the obstacles to become a two-man team?
At some point while Kris had been occupied—or possibly when he’d been sitting here feeling sorry for himself—Rory had brought a bowl of grapes and blueberries to the table, as well as two sets of cutlery, two tall glasses of water, three different types of jam from the fridge, and two empty mugs. The smell of percolating coffee hit and Kris almost wept.
Rory was surely here because Emery had asked him to come, but Kris didn’t give two shits about his motivations. As long as Rory fed him, the man could come by anytime he wanted.
“You look like you need this.” Rory set Kris’s plate at his elbow. “And about twelve hours of sleep.”
“You’re not wrong. Thanks for this.” Closing the laptop, Kris shoved it aside and brought his food closer.
“Maybe stay away from fast food breakfast sandwiches in the future.” Rory wrinkled his nose. “That thing looked like poison.”
Kris chuckled and shoved half a toast in his mouth, not bothering with jam.
Rory Stanton was one of those cute as button types. High forehead, small nose, big brown eyes. In Rory’s downtime, those big eyes were usually covered with glasses. Today, he wore his contacts, which meant he’d been outdoors. He’d complained, more than once, about the annoyance of changing from prescription glasses to prescription sunglasses and back whenever he went from indoors to outdoors to indoors again. He always seemed to smell like sunshine and grass, and his dark brown hair was constantly in a state of dishevelment.
“You got a bit of a burn on your nose,” Kris said, pointing his fork at him.
“Damn.” Rory’s eyes crossed. “I do? Didn’t think I’d need sunscreen for an hour of street hockey this late in September. Ah well.” Unconcerned, he dug into his meal.
Kris stood, retrieved the ketchup from the fridge, and proceeded to smother his eggs in it.
Rory stared at him. “God, you’re disgusting.”
“Ketchup brings me joy.”
For some reason, Rory thought that was hysterical and he dissolved into snorted, hiccupy giggles. The same kind that had left Rory a snorting, laughing mess at last year’s Christmas party.
The same night he’d kissed Kris.
If Kris had thought about that sloppy, back-of-an-Uber kiss more than once in the intervening months, well . . . it wasn’t Kris’s fault. Despite tasting like a barroom floor, that kiss had awoken something in him. Not feelings. More of an awareness of Rory as something other than Kris’s best friend’s little brother. An awareness of Rory as a fully grown man.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Two-Man Team, Amy is giving away 2 signed copies of the release!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!
Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c8c1c64120/?
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.
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[I received a digital arc for an honest review]
Two-Man Team by Amy Aislin is the fifth book in the Stick Side series. Kris Xappa has found himself at the tail end of bad press after trying to help de-escalate a fight at a friend’s bar. He is now trying to keep his head down and finish out his final season without being labeled a troublemaker. He finds himself being tasked with caring for his best friend’s younger brother and teammate, Rory Stanton, after he breaks his leg. After a precarious drunken kiss, Rory finds it hard to ignore the growing affection he feels towards Kris as he cares for his safety and well-being while he heals. Kris is not “out” so the closer they get the harder it is to hide the secret of their ever strengthening relationship. But news finds its way of getting it out and Rory and Kris must decide where their futures lead.
Kris Xappa is a good guy wrapped in a bad boy exterior. He regularly volunteers with organizations he has founded and is working on a non-profit to run after retiring. He has always known Rory through and recalls the struggles Rory faced with bullying in his younger years. Once Kris allows himself to open up his protective heart to the now adult Rory, he finds himself drawn to the sunshine and positivity that Rory brings to everything. Their compatibility and chemistry translates to high heat bedroom scenes and warm and fuzzy moments in between.
Kris did the complete opposite of what he expected. He lifted an arm and said, “Get over here.”
“Yes,” Rory said under his breath, drawing the word out. He snuggled up to the warmth that was Kris.
Rory Stanton is such a sweet man who only finds himself hurt when helping an elderly neighbor decorate. He hesitates to have Kris watch over him while he recuperates because he knows he has feelings for Kris and doesn’t think there’s any chance of them being reciprocated. Rory can take care of himself and has worked through his childhood struggles with bullying but watching him lean into the care and comfort Kris provides was so sweet. Rory can’t put his past completely behind him and is shocked as his new found family of teammates fully embrace his creativity when it comes to painting wooden trains. Rory brought so many smiles to my face while reading because his charm was palpable.
“We should get going,” Rory whispered against Kris’s mouth, the taste of him making him light-headed. Good thing he was still leaning against the dresser.
“Mm-hmm.” Kris kissed him again, smiling into it, then brought him in for a hug. Oh god. This was comfort and familiarity and a sense of rightness and belonging that pulled sharply on old wounds. Rory buried his face in Kris’s shoulder and wanted to hang on forever.
Amy Aislin’s hockey world is one of those familiar places that just feel so good to go back to. Toronto’s team is filled with familiar faces from previous books that provide support to these MCs as they work their way through their careers as professional hockey players as well as their relationship. This book would be considered low angst from an action perspective but had plenty of emotional moments where you felt for both Kris and Rory.
4 stars for Rory and Kris finding comfort and love with a side of snuggles and waffles.