Thanks for joining Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn on the OFF THE ICE blog tour. In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide—and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.
Going to Professor Cruz’s office was probably a bad idea. The worst idea. No one had to tell Tristan that. He knew it as he walked down the stairs, as he surreptitiously checked the hall to ensure none of his classmates had spotted him following their professor, as he rapped a quick knock on the door and pushed it open to duck inside without waiting for an answer.
Professor Cruz paused in the middle of setting his messenger bag on top of his desk and stared at Tristan, surprise marking his features.
After a second, he cleared his throat. “What can I help you with, Mr. Holt? Office hours don’t start until two.”
Tristan closed the door and leaned back against it, his heavy book bag digging into his spine. “I wanted to ask what you thought of my presentation, seeing as I don’t think you actually listened to a word of it.”
Professor Cruz arched a dark, imperious brow and stopped fussing with his bag to meet Tristan’s gaze directly. “Excuse me?”
“I’m pretty sure you were too busy eye-fucking me and glaring at my cock to hear anything I was saying.” Tristan shoved his hands into the pockets of his sweats, and sure enough, Professor Cruz’s attention shot straight to his crotch. “I couldn’t find a clean jock before I left my apartment. I figured no one would care or even notice . . . but you did, didn’t you?”
A muscle ticked along Professor Cruz’s jaw, but he stayed silent.
“Yeah, you noticed,” Tristan went on. “That’s why you looked so mad the whole time. And maybe it means I’m kind of twisted, but that pissed-off scowl of yours never fails to make my dick hard.”
After another beat of silence, Professor Cruz shook his head. “This is extremely inappropriate, Mr. Holt.”
“I don’t think you really want me to be appropriate.” Tristan straightened and took a step forward.
Professor Cruz held up a hand, halting him in his tracks. “No. We’re not doing this here.”
Tristan allowed himself a smile. “Not here. But we are doing it.”
Professor Cruz sucked in a deep, slow breath and dropped his hand to his side. “Your final grade should be posted by Friday.”
And that was all he said.
Tristan’s smile dimmed. He’d swaggered in here like a cocky asshole, so sure of Professor Cruz’s attraction after the eye-fucking he’d received during his presentation. Now, his confidence wavered.
“Um.” He looked around the room, shifting his weight from one foot to the other as a flush crawled up his neck. His gaze settled on the album print hanging behind Professor Cruz’s desk, and he pulled back his shoulders, regaining some of his boldness. “There’s a Floyd cover band playing at Terminal West on Saturday,” Tristan said, referencing a popular Atlanta music venue. “I was thinking of going to see them. They’re supposed to be really good. I’m stoked.” Before Professor Cruz could reply, he added, “You should come and check it out.”
He forced himself to casually stroll from the room without waiting for an answer—even though a huge, humiliated part of him wanted to tuck tail and run like his ass was on fire.
He’d expressed his interest, possibly making a fool of himself in the process. Now the ball was in Professor Cruz’s court. If he didn’t show up at Terminal West, Tristan would call it a wrap and start getting the hell over this stupid crush.
Released: October 30th 2017
Series: Hat Trick #1
Published by Riptide Publishing
Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.
Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.
But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.
Reading Order & Buy Links
To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!