{Review/Giveaway} CROSSING THE ICE by Jennifer Comeaux

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

   THERE WAS NOTHING QUITE like the sound of ten thousand people gasping at once.
   Especially when it was because my butt had just slammed into the cold, hard ice.
   I scrambled to my feet and caught up to my partner Mark as fast as my skates could take me. I’d dreamt of this day all season — skating in front of our home American crowd at the World Championships in Los Angeles. But the dream had quickly become a nightmare. Two falls already in our free skate and we still had one more throw jump remaining.
   Courtney Elizabeth Carlton, you are going to land this throw if it’s the last thing you do!
   Mark set his hands on my hips, and we glided on a backward curve until he sprang me into the air. The bright lights and the large Staples Center crowd blurred around me as I pulled my arms in tight and spun three times. My right blade hit the ice for the landing, but my body tilted dangerously forward.
   A surge of panic took hold of me, shaking me into action. I touched the ice to steady myself, and I sighed with relief as I avoided splatting again.
   Small moral victory.
(Pages 6, US e-book edition)

I am a sucker for novels about ice skating and gymnastics. I'll tell you that right up front. They're my favorite sports, and I always begged for (but never got) lessons as a child. There was even a figure skating series (I forget the title now) that I used to read as a kid, and over the years, I followed those girls all the way to the Olympics. I still adore both sports--and reading about them, too. Jennifer Comeaux has been on my radar for a long time because she's previously written another figure skating series. When I heard about the tour for CROSSING THE ICE, I immediately wanted to take part and finally have a chance to read her!

Courtney has always dreamed of going to the Olympics. She finally has a second shot at making the team this year with her pairs partner Mark. They botch World Championships, however, which means the US can only send two teams to the Olympics, not three. One of those spots is almost guaranteed to reigning champions Rebekah and Evan. The other spot could be theirs, but they're neck and neck with another team, sister/brother combo Stephanie and Josh. When her coaches Emily and Sergei decide to bring Stephanie and Josh to train at their rink for extra "motivation" to get Courtney and Mark to step up their game, the pressure is on. The only thing worse than working with the competition? Having romantic feelings for Josh, feelings that Courtney shouldn't act upon. Josh is the competition, after all. Plus, how can the two ever be together if one of them is destined to lose out on the Olympics?

I was a huge fan of Josh in this book. CROSSING THE LINE is tagged "New Adult," so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. A lot of the books in the genre are...not great. There's just so much drama, and the guys aren't always nice and down-to-earth. It's not a genre I read often. I make exceptions for ice skating books, however! I was pleasantly surprised, too. The book is very straight-forward, and while you have a typical "mean girl" in pairs competitor Stephanie, her brother Josh is wonderful. He's really shy and quiet, but he's really thoughtful and kind. He has some melt-worthy moments, and Court has a great guy on her hands. The few times they're on the ice together are like magic because they're completely in-sync, and I really wished fate had gone a different way in life and made them partners, rather than competitors. I guess I have that same romantic vision of falling for your partner that Courtney mentions always having, lol. Blame the movies!

I really liked the way the story came together and evolved. Even though elements of the story are predictable, there are enough surprises to keep readers wondering until the very end. I'm really happy with something that happened toward the very end of the book, which finishes everything well. At the same time, it made me hope that I wasn't done in this world, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there would, in fact, be a sequel. Poking around at Comeaux's other skating series, I realized that it's a prequel series revolving around Courtney's coaches Emily and Sergei. Apparently, a younger Courtney even makes an appearance! I don't feel that I've missed out on anything by reading CROSSING THE ICE before LIFE ON THE EDGE and its sequels. The two are completely independent of one another and companions rather than a direct continuation. At the same time, I have even more interest in going back and reading Comeaux's previous series now, and it's already been on my radar for quite some time! One of these days...!

by Jennifer Comeaux:

I turned to Josh with my arms folded and my head cocked to the side. “So, you’re an athlete, a dancer and a musician? If you tell me you’re a skilled artist, I’m gonna have to hate you.”
He laughed. “I can barely draw a stick figure.”
“Whew.” I swiped my hand across my forehead.
“Even if I was the next Picasso, though, I wouldn’t have told you.” He paused and held my gaze. “I don’t like the idea of you hating me.”
My stomach fluttered. Josh didn’t often make extended eye contact, but whenever he locked those sinfully blue eyes on mine, I became a mesmerized puddle of swoon.

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( lots of kissing )
Language: PG ( Nothing too bad that I can recall )
Violence: G ( Nothing bad that I can recall )
Other: --
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover will attract ice skating fans. I always grab books with skating covers. I like the way there is a heart etched into the ice around blurb, showcasing the fact that there will be romance on the ice.
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Jennifer Comeaux
Release Date: Aug. 3, 2014
Publisher: Jennifer Comeaux
Received: For Review

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?
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. 
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  1. Thank you so much for the amazing review and for being part of the tour, Bonnie!! I hope you'll get a chance to read the Edge series one day! :)

  2. Great review, Bonnie! I never read a book about skating but I love books that have to do with any sport or art (like dancing etc) so this one has been catching my eye. I like that even if it's NA, it's not all about the drama and sex. Josh sounds like a great character, especially!


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