The Nature of the Game by Amy Aislin


Series: Stick Side #2

**PLEASE NOTE: Book 1 in the Stick Side series, ON THE ICE, will be on mega sale at only 99¢ May 6 – 13!
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Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 7, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): 87,000 words / 330 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Tropes: second chances

Warnings: N/A


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Book synopsis

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

Guest Post by the Author 

Thank you for joining me to celebrate the release of my newest m/m sports romance, The Nature of the Game, and thank you to Rainbows and Sunshine for having me!

The Nature of the Game is a second chance romance. Six years ago, the main characters—Ash and Dan—were in a relationship that didn’t end well. They haven’t spoken since then and now, all of a sudden, they’re back in each other’s lives.

Today, I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt from The Nature of the Game. For context: this is a flashback scene to when Ash and Dan first met six years prior to the start of the book.


The elevator was empty. Thank God.
Dan stepped inside, pressed the button for the ground floor, and slumped against the mirrored rear wall, tugging at his tie.
Twenty years old and he was already wearing a tie. It was suffocating.
A portent of the future?
He sighed and rubbed his forehead. God, he hoped not.
The elevator stopped on the fourteenth floor and someone got in. Dan ignored them, too focused on his own misery. Seriously, this day. You’d think he wasn’t going into his third summer working at the head office of his mother’s company. He’d screwed up one thing after another, and the day was only half over.
“That’s a lot of sighing you’re doing over there.”
“What?” He glanced over at his elevator companion, a tall guy—like, seriously tall—and huge to boot, with brown hair the color of milk chocolate and eyes to match. The guy was about Dan’s age with a charmer of a smile and a messenger bag slung over a strong shoulder.
“I said you were doing a lot of sighing,” the guy said. “Bad day?”
And it got worse as the elevator shuddered, groaned, and stalled.
Oh god.
All of a sudden, Dan was six years old, visiting cousins in California with his dad. A playground, crawling through a plastic tube that led from one section of the jungle gym to another. Earthquake. Small, yet enough to cause the jungle gym to shudder, groan, and come toppling down on top of him.
He’d later learned that he’d been trapped in the plastic tube for less than an hour. At the time, it had felt endless. No window. No way out. Not enough room to sit up or lie down, so he’d been curled in the fetal position as he banged against the plastic, begging to be let out. Begging for his dad.
Small enclosures made him sweat. Elevators were usually fine—the mirrored walls made the small space appear larger than it actually was. But elevators were most certainly not fine when they were stalled between two floors, the red numbers above the floor selection buttons flickering between eleven and ten. Were they high enough that they’d die if the cables snapped and they went plunging down, down, down, past the ground floor and into the parking levels?
He folded in half and stuck his head between his legs. “We’re going to die here.”
“Don’t be so dramatic,” his elevator companion said.
There was the sound of a click, and then a tinny female voice said, “Maintenance. How can I help you?”
“Yeah, my friend and I are stuck in the elevator between floors ten and eleven.”
“Can you tell me which elevator?”
“Uh, one of the main ones, but I don’t know the number. The last one on the east side.”
“Six,” Dan wheezed.
“Six,” the guy repeated. “You might want to send help fast. I think my friend’s about to hyperventilate.”
“I’ve never,” Dan huffed, “hyperventilated—” Huff. “—in my life.” He unfolded himself slightly, propping himself up with his hands on his knees.
“Can you tell me your names, sir?”
“I’m Ashton Yager. My friend is…” Dan’s companion—Ashton—bent and snagged Dan’s eyes with his own. “Dude, what’s your name?”
“Dan Greyson.”
“We should have you guys out of there in a jiffy!”
“A jiffy, huh?” Ashton stared at the elevator speaker, clearly unconvinced. “A jiffy like ten minutes? Or a jiffy like an hour?”
“Hmm, well, we’re looking into it on our end. Looks to be a simple malfunction, so maybe . . . a couple of hours?”
“How is that a jiffy?”
“How is that simple?” Dan countered.
Ashton grinned at him, seemingly delighted about something.
“Is there anybody in the building we should contact for you?” the tinny voice asked. Considering their situation, she was much too chipper.
“Nope.” Ashton popped the p.
“Could you let Greta Westlake know I might be late for our meeting after lunch?” Dan rose to his full height and rubbed his forehead. “She’s with Westlake Waterless Printing, eighteenth floor.”
“Will do! Hang tight, boys.”
Hang tight. Right.
“Hang tight,” Ashton repeated, letting go of the speaker button. “Where does she expect us to go?”
Amusement sparked in Dan, distracting him from his current circumstances. If he was stuck in an elevator for two hours, at least he had company. He held out a hand. “Dan.”


I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek! The Nature of the Game is out now and is available for purchase at Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.




Hands down I love this book!! This is the second book in the series and it can be read as a standalone. This is my first book by this author and I regret not reading her works earlier.

✔Second Chance
✔Dual POV
✔Hockey Players

This is an excellent read. I haven’t read Mitch’s and Alex’s book yet and I regret that. I think it would be better if you read the first book before reading this one.

Dan and Ash. I have no words. I read it in one sitting ’cause I just couldn’t put it down. They are adorable together. This book is the embodiment of angst with happy ending. Oh all the pining!!! There were times when I wanted to tell to stop being so blind.

I sort of like Kinsey already! I think he’s a good kind of asshole(Yeah those kind apparently exist) I’m looking forward to his book!!
*ARC provided by the author via A Novel Take PR in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

About Amy Aislin

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Connect with Amy

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Release blitz/blog tour giveaway

Win a Stick Side prize pack, including signed paperbacks of books 1 and 2 in the series, as well as some Stick Side swag! Contest open internationally. Enter via Rafflecopter. Contest ends at 12:00am May 12.
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