Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
Published: January 1st 2023 by Simon & Schuster UK
Rating: ★★★★ (4)
Genre: New Adult // Contemporary Romance, Spicy Reads, College Romance
Quick Thoughts: A beautiful, hilarious and heartfelt book that you’ll fall head over skates for.
18+ This book contains explicit content. Not Intended for younger readers.
About The Book:
Anastasia Allen has worked her entire life for a shot at Team USA.
A competitive figure skater since she was five years old, a full college scholarship thanks to her place on the Maple Hills skating team, and a schedule that would make even the most driven person weep, Stassie comes to win.
Nathan Hawkins has never had a problem he couldn’t solve. As captain of the Maple Hills Titans, he knows the responsibility of keeping the hockey team on the ice rests on his shoulders.
When a misunderstanding results in the two teams sharing a rink, and Anastasia’s partner gets hurt in the aftermath, Nate finds himself swapping his stick for tights, and one scary coach for an even scarier one.
The pair find themselves stuck together in more ways than one, but it’s fine, because Anastasia doesn’t even like hockey players…right?
When I first heard of Icebreaker, I wasn’t sure it was going to be my kind of read. I don’t typically read sports romances at all—however, something about it just yelled out to me. Maybe it was the reverse grumpy x sunshine, the rave reviews and TikToks, but next thing I know I’m adding it to cart and shelving it with my TBR stack.
Anastasia Allen has dreamed her whole life about making Team USA and making her parents prouder than ever as a competitive figure skater. She’s on a full scholarship thanks to being on the Maple Hills skating team, on a tight schedule that leaves little room for distractions or free time. Nathan Hawkins is captain of Maple Hills Titans ice hockey team, levelheaded and a friend to everyone, but somehow his path doesn’t cross with Stassie until one of the school’s ice rinks becomes destroyed and the hockey and figure skaters have to share a rink. But first impressions aren’t great, and a wedge forms between them that feels as if it will never soften—that’s until Nate and Stassie’s best friends begin to date and they find themselves in each other’s company more often, Stassie’s walls gradually coming down to let Nate see the caring, big-hearted girl within.
They soon become romantically involved (with some very spicy/blush-worthy chapters) and everything seems like it’ll be okay: that’s until Stassie’s red-flag-wearing skating partner claims Nate sabotaged him, ending with him being hurt and out of play. Stassie doesn’t know who to believe when Nate and his team declare innocence, but soon enough Nate offers to help her practice with him benched for her partners injury, showing her that he always steps up when it comes to her. Through trips to meet each other’s Parents and many explicit nights together over festivities and holidays, Stassie still struggles to let herself feel loved. But Nate can’t help himself from falling more and more in love with her—only when it’s time for the biggest day of her life and it doesn’t end up the way she thought, and Nate can’t fix it though he tries, it leaves everything Stassie worked so hard for hanging in the balance.
Overall, Icebreaker felt like the start of something wonderful. Through learning curves of body issues, commitment fears and what it takes to be the best at what you do whilst still finding time to live, there was a soft and spicy love story that made me smile and laugh throughout. Nate and Stassie, through alternating POVs, show their opposing personalities and how it seems like they shouldn’t be together but are also somehow perfect for one another. Their friends were just as entertaining and I can’t wait to read more from the Maple Hills residents (gimme some Lola and Henry stories please!!) I was at first very afraid of the size of the book as it does feel too long to begin with, but by the end I was glad it was a big book because we got to meet so many faces and see an epilogue that made my heart soar. A beautiful, hilarious and heartfelt book that you’ll fall head over skates for.
About The Author
Hannah Grace is an English self-labeled “fluffy comfort book” author, writing predominantly new adult and contemporary romance from her home in Manchester, England. When she’s not describing everyone’s eyes ten-thousand times a chapter, accidentally giving multiple characters the same name, or using English sayings that no one understands in her American books, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two dogs, Pig and Bear.