Risking the Shot by Amy Aislin
Series: Stick Side #4
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: September 8, 2020
Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Cover by: Natasha Snow Designs
Time for distractions? Hardly.
A chance at making the playoffs? It’s a dream for NHL forward Taylor Cunningham that just might come true. If he can keep his eyes on the ball—ahem, puck. And study for midterms. Dakota Cotton, eleven years his senior, isn’t just a distraction, though—he’s everything Tay’s ever wanted.
Dakota has no interest in introducing someone who might not stick around to his four-year-old son. Been there, done that, with the divorce to prove it. But there’s something about Tay that hits all of the right buttons and has him wanting to take a chance.
As things heat up between them, and the pressure to succeed hits an all-time high, will they risk a shot at happiness or choke?
Shots on Goal (Stick Side #3) will be reduced to $0.99 from September 7-17 across all retailers.
Exclusive Guest Post by the Author
Thank you for joining me to celebrate the release of my newest m/m romance, Risking the Shot, the fourth book in my Stick Side series. If you like hockey romances, be sure to check it out. Risking the Shot has an age gap romance, a single dad, and a hockey player falling for a cake decorator.
Rainbows & Sunshine has allowed me to briefly take over the blog today, and I’m here to talk about the inspiration behind Risking the Shot. How, exactly, did it come to be, you ask?
It all started with a Facebook post. Someone in one of the book recommendation groups was looking for a book where the jock hits on the oblivious nerd and doesn’t care who knows. And I thought, well, I don’t have one of those…but I could write one. That’s totally up my alley!
In my brainstorming phase, Tay was the jock and Dakota was the oblivious nerd. But as their characters developed, Dakota turned into a single dad, which, in turn, led to this becoming an age gap romance.
And then, all of a sudden, Risking the Shot became the type of age gap romance with a confident older man (Dakota) who has no interest in relationships, especially not with a man 11 years his junior; and a shy and nervous younger man (Tay). The problem, however, was that when I started writing, Tay and Dakota were not developing into the characters I wanted them to be. Dakota was too stiff and bland. Tay was awkward and didn’t act at all like a twenty-three-year-old hockey player. The angsty book I was trying to write was not coming together the way I had envisioned.
About 13,000 words into writing Risking the Shot, I enlisted the assistance of my favourite beta reader—I desperately needed help figuring out what wasn’t working with this story. In the end, I realized that I needed to scrap most of it and start over. If you’ve ever written anything that you’ve had to scrap, you know how harrowing and soul-sucking it is to toss away words! And 13,000 is no small number. For me, it was more than two weeks of writing. And with a full-time day job, my writing time is precious and every word written is hard-earned. Discarding 13,000 words was hard.
But it was for the best. Because when I started over again, Tay and Dakota were much more interesting, and much more fully fleshed out. Tay was fun and enthusiastic and had lots of energy. Dakota was confident and more settled than Tay, but very willing for Tay to disrupt his safe life. Turned out that they both knew exactly what they wanted and they were both willing to risk everything to have it. The angsty novel I’d meant to write turned into a low-angst hockey romance featuring a single dad and, yes, an age gap of 11 years—but the age gap, it turned out, was not a big deal for either Tay or Dakota.
Whether you’ve read Risking the Shot already or plan to, I hope you enjoy it! I had so much fun writing this novel, and Dakota’s four-year-old son, Andy, makes it extra special.
Another wonderful addition to the Stick Side series! Tay and Dakota have chemistry oozing through the pages. That coat room and scotch!!! 🔥
✔ Age Gap
✔ Single Dad
✔ Cakes and Cookies
I loved Andy, Dakota’s 4 year old son. He’s absolutely adorable. I also really liked that there’s no miscommunication used to create conflict. It’s a welcome relief.
There’s some amazing secondary characters, especially Calder, Dakota’s cousin. (His story is a bonus via newsletter) Also cameos from the previous books. This book is written in dual POV and can be read as a standalone.
I really hope Stanton and Xappa get a story! Fingers crossed! Really recommend this series as a whole.
*ARC provided by the author via A Novel Take PR in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
Clearing his throat, he said, “What are you drinking?”
“Oban 14. Scotch,” Dakota added at Tay’s questioning look.
“Smells good.” The scent had been wafting in his direction since he first sat down, strong and vaguely smoky, peaty. It reminded him of Dakota for reasons he couldn’t name.
Scooting forward on the bench, their knees touching, he said, “Can I try it?”
Dakota’s gaze caught his, gray and shadowy and searching. Tay held it, refusing to break eye contact. Let Dakota see how attracted he was to him. Dakota must already know anyway. What was the point of holding back? Tay wanted Dakota and he wasn’t shying away from it.
Without looking away, Dakota leaned forward, bringing their faces within inches of each other. Dakota’s soft breath whispered across Tay’s lips, making his own breath catch. Holding his glass out, Dakota still didn’t look away as Tay brought it to his mouth, placing his lips over the outline of Dakota’s on the glass.
Dakota didn’t miss it, his smile turning knowing. The heat in Tay’s blood had nothing to do with the scotch.
Which, in itself, was… “Holy fuck, this is good.” Strong and smoky, yes—even the taste reminded him of Dakota—with hints of fruits and honey.
Dakota made a sound in the back of his throat, an acknowledgment that sounded like a groan. The heat in Tay’s blood spread outward, flushing his cheeks, dotting his temple with sweat. Fuck, it suddenly got very, very warm in this coatroom. Warmer still when Dakota’s gaze dipped down to Tay’s mouth.
About the author:
Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin/
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