BLOG TOUR ~ Crossing the Ice by Jennifer Comeaux (Review + Excerpt)
Release date: August 7th 2014
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Falling hard never felt so good.
Pair skaters Courtney and Mark have one shot left at their Olympic dream. They vow not to let anything get in their way, especially not Josh and Stephanie, the wealthy and talented brother and sister team.
The heart doesn’t always listen to reason, though...
The more time Courtney spends with sweet, shy Josh, the harder she falls for him. But they are on opposite sides of the competition, and their futures are headed in opposite directions. Will their friendship blossom into more or are their paths too different to cross?
About the Author
Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is traveling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing.
~Book Review~Love love love this book! As a newbie to the New Adult genre, I was apprehensive about reading about tons of sex with bad boys and indecisive good girls and tons of bad language spread throughout. Thank goodness for Jennifer Comeaux's books! I love that she weaves a good story with sweet and endearing characters you can't help to fall in love with. She carves a nice niche out in writing about the competitive world of figure skating and being a huge fan of the sport since I was little watching the Olympics with my parents, Crossing the Ice was a dream come true.
Josh was my kind of hero. Sweet, a bit shy but definitely endearing and a gentleman. I couldn't wait for him and Courtney to get together and I loved the way they got to know each other. It was like falling in love again which is why I love reading romance books that really focus on the romance. They had sweet chemistry that really made me see why they cared for each other and how good they would be together. I couldn't help gushing!
Years ago I bought Life on the Edge and it's been waiting for me to dive in. I don't know why I took so long especially since a young Emily and Sergei appear in that book and are the coaches of the young figure skaters in Crossing the Ice! Love that! It makes me even more eager to read back sort of like a prequel to lead up to the events of this book.
At this time I'm still reading the book because some books you need to let simmer and marinate like a find gourmet meal and this one was one of them. I'm already a slow reader but when I really enjoy a book, I take my time because I love being in the minds of the characters. The bummer thing is this is the last in the series when I finish, but the upside is that I have a lot of great reading to catch up to in this series and I can't wait!
Thanks Jennifer Comeaux for this wonderful series!
Content: Clean book except for a few minor curse words sprinkled throughout.
“Should I be worried about the lack of people here?” he asked. “I’m trusting your claim that this place has good food.”
“It gets really busy on weekends. There’s a guy that plays the piano on Friday and Saturday nights, and all the old geezers come out. It’s a totally happening scene.”
“Sounds entertaining. Anything’s more happening than what I’d be doing at home.”
“And what would that be?”
He took a sip of water and thought a moment. “Probably listening to my iPod on full blast so I don’t have to hear Steph watching reality TV at volume level fifty.”
“You should come check it out this weekend then. The piano guy’s actually pretty good if you can put up with some of the cheesy songs he plays.”
He leaned slightly forward. “After a lifetime in skating, I’ve become immune to cheesy music.”
One of the waiters interrupted us, asking me to fill a drink order for his table, so I slid down the bar to get the wine. As I poured two glasses of red, I glanced at Josh and caught him watching me. He quickly looked away to the TV behind the bar. Was I being too friendly, encouraging him to come back to the restaurant so soon? I didn’t want to send the wrong signals. He just seemed like he could use the company. I’d gladly help anyone get away from Stephanie.
I scooted into the kitchen to see if Josh’s dinner was ready and came out carrying a tray with his grilled salmon and asparagus. His eyes grew big as I set down the plate, and I parked myself in front of him, waiting for him to take a bite.
“You’re going to stand there and watch me eat?” he asked.
“Until you tell me how you like it.”
He smiled and tasted a piece of the fish. His eyes stayed on his plate as I sensed he wasn’t comfortable being watched. His strong jaw moved slowly, and I found myself studying his mouth for the first time. He had nice, full lips. The kind that were made for kissing…
Jeez, what are you, thirteen again? I backed off and picked up a dishrag to wipe a nonexistent spot from the bar.
Josh finished chewing and waited a long moment, not giving me any hint of his opinion as he continued staring downward. Finally, he placed his fork on the plate and looked up at me.
“It’s excellent,” he said.
I pumped my fist. “Success!”
“You’ll have to tell the owner you’ve recruited a new regular.”
“I will. Maybe he’ll give me a ten cent raise.”
He cut into his asparagus. “How long have you been working here?”
“About two years. My dad was laid off from his job, and things got pretty tight, so I looked for something that could fit into my training schedule.”
“Is he still out of work?”
“No, he found a job in Boston — that’s why my parents moved. It’s just not as good a position as he had before so I needed to keep working.” I folded the dishtowel and hung it under the bar. “They’ve been really good to me here, letting me take off for competitions and always giving me the dinner shift on weekdays.”
“It still has to be tough working all night after skating all morning.”
“There are some mornings I really hate the alarm clock.” I laughed. “But I try to keep a consistent schedule — leave here by ten, in bed by eleven, so I can get eight hours of sleep.”
“Your life sounds as exciting as mine.” He smiled.
“At least you’ve been to college already. You must’ve had some exciting times there, right? Frat parties, football games…”
He stared at his glass and traced the rim of it with his thumb. “With skating always coming first, I didn’t really have the typical college experience. It was pretty much train, go to class, eat, study, sleep.”
I eyed him with one brow skeptically raised. “Not even one night of drunken debauchery?”
He slowly shook his head. “I’ve never had a drop of alcohol.”
“Really? You knew how to order a scotch.”
“It’s my dad’s favorite drink.”
I studied him harder, and he looked down and reached for his napkin. I’d thought I had limited social experience, but Josh might be even more inexperienced than I was. Even I had gone through the ritual of sneaking into a club and getting sloppy drunk (okay, it had only been once, but still).
“Wanna try some vodka?” I joked and pointed to the line of bottles behind me.
His smile returned. “I’m good, thanks.”
“Okay, you just let me know because I make a mean Moscow Mule. At least that’s what my customers tell me.”
I gave him space to finish his meal while I organized glasses at the other end of the bar. When I went to refill his water, he was on his last piece of fish.
“I’ll be tempted to have this again this weekend, but I’m curious if everything else is just as good,” he said.
“So you’re definitely gonna come for the big entertainment?” I realized after I spoke how excited I sounded.
Josh apparently picked up on it because his grin grew a little wider. “I’m psyched for the blue-hair crowd and the cheesy music. Sounds like this will be the hottest spot on Cape Cod.”
I laughed and moved over to the cash register. “Can I get you anything else? We have some yummy desserts. Not that I eat them on a regular basis,” I added hastily.
“I’ll wait and splurge this weekend. Gives me something else to look forward to.” He paused and grimaced. “How sad is it that one of the highlights of my week is dessert?”
“Hey, I’ve been known to take an hour to eat a piece of cake just to make it last. There’s no shame in anticipating and appreciating dessert.”
I gave him his check and carried his plate to the kitchen. When I returned, he was standing and putting his wallet into the back pocket of his jeans. I brushed aside the twinge of sadness I felt because he was leaving and marched confidently toward him.
“Thanks again for the recommendation,” he said. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Bright and early!” I chirped a little too enthusiastically.
He walked away, and I bopped myself on the head with the bill folder before opening it. As I counted the cash, I realized Josh had left double the expected tip. What the hell? Was he pitying me?
I squeezed the money in my fist and hurried for the door. Josh was a few steps into the parking lot. I called his name, and he spun around.
“What is this?” I held up the cash. “I didn’t tell you about my dad losing his job because I was looking for a handout. I don’t need your charity.”
He looked stunned. “I… I didn’t… that’s not why I did it. I heard you say that old guy only gave you a dollar, so I wanted to give you what he should have. What you deserved.”
The tension in my body melted, and I softened my voice. “You didn’t have to do that. You can’t cover every cheapskate that comes in here. You’ll be broke by the end of summer.”
His lips twitched upward. “It just didn’t seem right.”
“Well, thank you. Mr. Mayer owes you a drink. A non-alcoholic one.” I smiled. “And I owe you an apology for getting all defensive.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s forgotten.”
I let out a breath. “Good.”
We stood quietly, making the crickets chirping around us sound even louder. Josh fiddled with his keys and took two small steps backward.
“So… goodnight again.” He slowly walked in reverse toward the row of parked cars.
When he eventually turned to his car, I went inside and thumped myself on the head again, that time with the heel of my hand. What was it about Josh that threw me off balance and made me act like an idiot? If anyone else had left me a humungous tip, I’d be dancing around and bragging to Meredith.
Me and hot rich guys apparently weren’t a good combination.