Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice

by Julie Cross
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Overview

Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross

Haley Stevenson seems like she's got it all together: cheer captain, "Princess" of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she's struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she's sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He's always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he's finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who's ready to break all the rules.

Each book in the Juniper Falls series is STANDALONE:
* Off the Ice
* Breaking the Ice

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633758995
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Series: Juniper Falls , #2
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 75,507
File size: 3 MB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.
JULIE CROSS lives in central Illinois with her husband and three children. She never wrote fiction before May of 2009, but since then, hasn't gone a day without writing. She is the author of The Tempest Trilogy.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

–FLETCHER–

Tap ... tap ... tap, tap ... tap ... taptaptap.

I zoom in on the purple ballpoint pen, willing it to stop, sending it silent threats. But it won't listen. It's currently under the mercy of the blonde occupying the seat in front of mine.

Tap, tap, tap ... tap, tap ...

Maybe it would be easier to deal with if a sense of rhythm were involved. Maybe it would be easier to deal with if I didn't have the hangover from hell. And if I hadn't gotten up at five in the morning to hit the weight room before hockey practice.

Taaap, tap, tap, tap ... tap ...

My head is seriously about to explode. I shift my focus to the garbage can clear across the classroom. At least the nausea (and puking) subsided by the middle of hockey practice. I need to hydrate right now. Unfortunately, I'm trapped in this classroom for another seventy-two minutes before I get a water break.

I'm barely paying attention to what Mrs. Markson is lecturing about, and she's been at it — emphatic arm-waving and all — for thirty-seven minutes.

Tap ... tap, tap ... tap, tap.

I try to focus on the flowchart explaining the U.S. government chain of command, but the damn pen won't shut up. I blow air out of my cheeks and wipe sweat from my forehead. I probably smell like a brewery. Or possibly the rancid beer spilled on the floor of said brewery. I shouldn't have gone out last night. I shouldn't have even been in Longmeadow last night. Longmeadow is for Saturday nights. Not Tuesday. Not when I'm enrolled in a stupid-ass summer-school course (which I only signed up for so I could have room in my schedule for a dual-credit college Calculus class this fall). Not when I'm working my ass off to earn a starting position on varsity this fall.

For three years, I've been fine with JV, fine with whatever amount of game time I got. But thirty seconds on the ice in the state tournament last March changed everything. I'm hooked. It's all I can think about. This fall is my last year playing hockey, and if the Otters make it to state again, I need more than thirty seconds of ice time.

Tap, tap, tap ...

The sun emerges from behind a cloud and floods the room, making it hard to read the flowchart projected on the wall. Mrs. Markson heads over to adjust the window blinds. The tiny break is a sign. An opening for me to take action.

Half standing, I lean forward and wrap my fingers around the hand gripping the misbehaving purple pen. The pen stills, and I sigh with relief.

Haley Stevenson jumps, like she'd been in a daze and I've just burst her bubble. "What the —"

"Your pen. It's distracting."

"Distracting?" She looks about ready to shove me out of her personal space — the smell is probably getting to her. "How can a pen be distracting?"

I move my hand over hers, forcing the pen to tap several times against the desk — and I make sure to create the most gratingly inconsistent rhythm possible. "That's how."

"I have not been doing that," Haley insists.

We're in the very back of the room, so only a few students take notice of my impulsive handling of the tapping situation. Most are still scrambling to copy down notes. Mrs. Markson could have a career as an auctioneer if she wanted, the way she spits out information like we've all got five brains we can simultaneously use. Normally, the first day of school is a dud. Nothing gets done. But with summer school, the first day equals the first week. No time for small talk or wasting time.

I'm leaning over Haley's shoulder, her big brown eyes staring up at me accusingly. I have a clear view of her notebook. The flowchart, or any of the other projected notes we've been reviewing for more than thirty minutes, is nowhere to be seen. But she has written her name in several different styles of cursive, sometimes including her middle name — Allison — and sometimes adding an initial. She's also doodled some hearts, a few badly drawn geometric cubes, and, crammed into the side column of the page, written with slanted print a "Hump Day To-do List."

I refrain from snickering at the "Hump Day" reference. I'm too old for that. But, while holding her pen still, I do read this very important life-changing to-do list consisting of seven tasks essential to one's mid-June Wednesday survival in Juniper Falls, Minnesota:

1. Write cheers for July 4th demo

2. Teach Kayla B. (and maybe Kayla S.) newest 3-8 counts of competition routine

3. Check UCF site for tryout/clinic dates

4. Day 5 of teeth whitening

5. Underwear drawer

6. Download calorie counter app Jamie mentioned

7. Tumbling at 6 then make dinner for Dad

It isn't really my style to engage in conversation during class. Especially to comment on this list. Where would I even start? I mean, what happens if you miss Day 5 of a teeth-whitening adventure? Or I could comment on the ambiguous underwear drawer. That one definitely has my pounding head working on overdrive. But I don't comment on anything.

Now that my concerns have been addressed, I let go of Haley's hand, freeing the purple pen, and she immediately gives two quick taps against her desk.

All right. That's the last straw.

I pluck the pen from her fingers, tuck it behind my ear, and sink back into my seat. "I'm gonna have to hang on to this until the end of class."

Haley spins halfway around to face me, the surprise in her expression telling me that the most recent taps hadn't been F-you taps. "That's my only pen —"

"Miss Stevenson," our highly caffeinated teacher says, looking right at Haley. "If the president and vice president can no longer serve, who becomes president?"

Haley's face flushes before she's even fully facing forward again. "Um ... the first lady?"

The entire class laughs. Our middle-aged teacher — who takes Civics very seriously — doesn't laugh. Her face pinches like Haley's answer causes her physical pain. "Look at your flowchart, Haley. The answer is right in front of you."

Mrs. Markson's already swiped the flowchart from the projector and replaced it with the Bill of Rights. In front of me, Haley's entire body stiffens. I guess that's what happens when you're consumed with thoughts about your underwear drawer instead of copying notes.

Jesus Christ. Now I'm consumed with thoughts of Haley Stevenson's imaginary underwear drawer (imaginary not because it doesn't exist — I'm confident that it does — but because I've never seen it before). My gaze roams from her ankles, traveling the length of her smooth, very toned, bare legs until I reach the hem of the frayed jean shorts resting high on her thighs. Shorts she'd never be allowed to wear during the regular school year. And yeah, I get this dress-code thing now. I'm completely distracted. I've never had a class with the Princess of Juniper Falls before. It's a small town — one middle school, one high school — so we've always been in proximity to each other, but never this close, I guess.

Two rows over from us, Jamie Isaacs shoots his hand in the air. "It should totally be the first lady. Or a vote. Women voting. A whole bunch of women all voting at once."

"Thank you, Jamie, for granting women the right to vote," Mrs. Markson says drily.

I'm about to laugh with the rest of the class, but my sluggish hungover brain is too busy catching the fuck up. What the hell is Jamie Isaacs doing in summer school? Didn't he graduate last week?

That's one of the downfalls of all those dual-credit classes at the community college, and spending all but one week of junior year practicing with JV. I'm not up on all the latest gossip. Not that I'm close enough to the inner circle to get that info anyway.

"What is currently the governing rule, not what should, may, or will be in the future?" Mrs. Markson continues, gliding down the aisles with the largest stride her knee-length pencil skirt will allow. "Civics is not about creativity. It's about understanding the law and our rights as citizens of this country. So, who can tell me the position that is third in line to become president of the United States of America assuming the first two were deemed unavailable?" She scans the room, and her gaze finally rests on me, a hopeful expression already forming on her face. "Mr. Scott?"

I can feel Haley's and Jamie's eyes on me. I lay an arm over my notebook and lean on it. After several seconds, I finally shake my head. Mrs. Markson rolls her eyes and turns around, heading back toward the front of the room. With a great amount of force, she snatches the Bill of Rights and slams the flowchart back into place. She grabs a red dry-erase marker and makes a big effort out of circling "Speaker of the House."

We go through eight more projector slides before we finally get a break. By that point, I'm close to passing out from dehydration. I stumble out of the room and lean over the water fountain, chugging for a good minute.

When I fall back into my seat, already regretting the water binge, Haley Stevenson is turned around facing me.

"I need my pen back," she says.

"Sorry. Can't do that." I flip over another page in my notebook (at this rate, I'm gonna need a new notebook for tomorrow) and rub my temples. "I've confiscated it for the greater good. Executive decision."

In a motion quicker than I ever would have expected from her, Haley reaches out and rips my glasses right off my nose. Her face blurs in front of me. She carefully folds my glasses and then drops them into the front of her backpack. The backpack is scooted over until it rests between her legs.

Haley folds her arms across her chest. "My pen for your glasses."

I stowed her annoying pen in my back pocket when I got up to get a drink. I reach for it, but hesitate. "No tapping," I warn.

My vision isn't clear enough to be sure, but I think she rolls her eyes. "I did not —"

"Yes, you did." I hold the pen out, but grip the end tight.

Haley does the same with my glasses, not giving them up quite yet. "You owe me some notes. I couldn't write anything down for the last like hour or something."

I lift an eyebrow. "I didn't realize you needed the pen to take notes."

"What else would I need it for ..." Her voice trails off, her neck and face turning pink. She drops the glasses onto my desk, snatches the pen, and turns around.

After my glasses are back in place, my forehead relaxes and I watch Haley turn several pages over in her notebook, hiding the "Hump Day To-do List" she made earlier.

If I were Jamie Isaacs — or any other guy on my team for that matter — this would be the point where I'd bug her relentlessly about the underwear-drawer mention. I might be vying for more time under the hockey spotlight, but I'm not Jamie Isaacs. I'm not the guy who cracks jokes all the time and always talks a big game. It used to bother me, I used to wish I were more like him or Leo or Hammond, but I'm over it now.

Mrs. Markson gives us a five-minute warning. Since I'm already in my seat, I'm debating getting in a short nap when Haley turns back around to face me.

"What now, Haley?"

She flinches in surprise. "Do I ... I mean ... have we had a class together before?"

Haley Stevenson doesn't know my name. And I used hers so easily it probably seems like I'm the type to silently worship the popular kids. Whatever. She can think that if she wants.

"No," I say, and she turns pink again. She's embarrassed by my assumed embarrassment. "Not in high school," I add, then wait a beat before finishing. "But in day care, you used to shove Cheerios up my nose."

Her mouth falls open, forehead wrinkling. "You're kidding, right?"

The reaction is satisfying despite my headache. I shake my head, but offer nothing more.

She eyes me skeptically. "I would remember that."

I shrug. "You don't remember my name, so maybe you forgot other things?"

Haley sweeps her hair up into a ponytail, tying it with a band from around her wrist. "Forgetting and never being informed are two different things."

The textbook lying on my desk provides an opportunity for me to look busy and end this chat. Even though I've enjoyed messing with her, the fact that she doesn't know my name is a bit of a conversation killer.

Ten seconds later, Haley shouts out triumphantly, "Fletcher Scott!"

I glance quickly around the room, taking in all the faces now turned toward us. I slide down in my seat. Clearly the conversation reins have been swiped from me. "Well done. Now turn around and take those notes you're so worried about."

But Haley doesn't move. "Coach put you on varsity right before the state finals. When Joey Petrie pulled his groin. I had to scramble to find you a locker buddy. Luckily Becca had some free time."

Too many people are looking at us right now. My gaze shifts to the clock above the door. Isn't it time for another flowchart? "Tell Becca thanks for the oatmeal cookies."

"Aren't they the best?" Haley sighs. "You're lucky, you know? All the guys fight over Becca —" Instead of pink, she turns bright red this time and then shakes her head. "God, I didn't mean fight over her like that ..."

"Like what?" I offer, playing dumb.

"Everyone wants Becca as a locker buddy," she clarifies unnecessarily. "Anyway ... so the cookies? I helped her with that batch. They were good?"

No idea. Considering eating them probably would have killed me. "Best oatmeal cookies I've ever seen."

She looks pleased with herself, and I'm hoping that will result in her turning around. "I still don't believe you about the Cheerios at daycare thing. So what else do you know about me?"

Apparently, I've stepped unwillingly into an I-know-more-about-you pissing contest. What do I know about Haley Stevenson? Probably not nearly as much as she assumes. First off, she really did shove Cheerios up my nose when we were three. I know she dated Tate Tanley for a long time, but they broke up.

The other thing that I know about Haley Stevenson: my fifteen-year-old cousin, Cole, is hopelessly in love with her. Though I doubt he's ever said more than two words at a time to her. I also doubt that Haley realizes rising-star freshman varsity player Cole Clooney is related to me.

Haley huffs like my silence proves her win.

"I know that you ..." I say, and Haley lifts an eyebrow, waiting. "Have tumbling practice at six."

Her mouth falls open. "You read my —"

"I also know that you should probably focus on note-taking instead of socializing." I wave my hand, suggesting she turn and face forward again. "Sounds like you have some catching-up to do."

She blows the loose hair from her forehead and waits, like she's considering this carefully. "Whatever."

I sigh with relief when she finally turns, giving me a view of the back of her white tank top again. Our break ends, and Mrs. Markson goes back to her lecture.

For a while, I'm taking notes and enjoying the quiet. My body relaxes, and even my headache begins to fade.

The peace lasts about ten minutes. Then I hear the tap, tap, tap again. Not from the pen this time, but from Haley's leg bouncing up and down.

Hopefully, Mrs. Markson is willing to edit her seating chart. Otherwise, I'm never gonna make it through the summer.

CHAPTER 2

–HALEY–

I can't believe he read my list. Could I get any more cliché? God, what a disaster.

I'm too distracted the rest of class to actually learn anything. I've written random words in my notebook, but most likely I'm missing too much information for any of it to make sense. And to make matters worse, when I'm walking out of the classroom, Jamie beside me and Fletcher Scott two paces in front of us, Mrs. Markson stops me.

"You two ..." Her eyes narrow at Jamie and me. "Given the fact that you both are taking a second stab at this class, I highly recommend that you seek out different partners for our group work, understood?"

Jamie laughs, his head still held high. I turn bright red, of course. I hate this part of my life. The part that defies the typical Juniper Falls Princess résumé. Over a hundred years of princesses in this town, and I bet not one of them dropped out of Civics because they were getting a D. And that's without even mentioning how much I had to pester Mr. Smuttley, our guidance counselor, to get him to remove evidence of that D from my transcripts.

Now that I think about it, changing a transcript might be illegal. Does this mean I can't run for a political office?

Maybe if I had aced Civics, I'd be able to answer that question.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Breaking the Ice"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Julie Cross.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Breaking the Ice 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
CarolineA 7 months ago
This is my third YA hockey book, though the content of this one feels more like a NA book. I don’t even like hockey, but all of these fabulous hockey themed books make me wish I did! This is very much a hate to love romance. Fletcher just wants to be left alone and Haley just wants to pass her summer school class. Haley wants to use Fletcher for his smarts, while Fletcher resigns himself to trying to help his cousin, who’s got a huge crush on Haley, get some face time with her. Somehow this unlikely couple falls in love. Haley is a pretty straight forward character. You love her or you hate her. Fletcher is frustrating because he’s very secretive and harbors animosity toward his town due to rumors about both his parents and grandparents. He has a top secret job, which will keep you guessing the entire time until the job is revealed. Overall this was an incredibly fun, sweet, and sexy book which I devoured. I will absolutely be looking for more books from Julie Cross in the future. Due to some of the sexual content in this book I would recommend this one for upper-teen and adult readers.
sincerelykarenjo 11 months ago
4.5 - Undoubtedly Swoony, Funny and Adorable! Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross is hilarious, entertaining and absolutely adorable! I enjoyed every minute and honestly cannot wait to read more from this series and author. This book had my heart melting from the start. It’s super cute, fun, and filled with sweet moments that made me smile. I thought the writing was fantastic. It had a nice flow and was easy to read. The plot wasn’t as predictable as some other YA contemporaries and I found myself pleasantly surprised with how everything played out. Once I really got into the story, I could not stop reading. I don’t want to give too much away, but there were some insanely steamy scenes that had me glued to the pages. I actually reread some of them a few times just so I can enjoy the FEELS because I wanted MORE! Not that there weren't enough, but who doesn't love going through some AMAZING GOOD FEELS!?!? I sure do and loveeeee to experience it over and over again. I definitely shipped Haley and Fletcher and thought they were perfect for each other! She’s popular, sweet, a bit stubborn, and totally lovable. He’s quiet, smart, talented, mysterious, and undeniably charming. Together, they have this exhilarating chemistry that will make you swoon like cray cray! I loved all their interactions and the push and pull between them was just so darn adorable. Really loved them together! Their relationship was incredibly cute and endearing! This was a fluffy, funny, and exciting book. I loved the writing, the characters, the friendships, the romance and the ridiculously delightful push and pull between Haley and Fletcher. I adored this book with all my heart and can’t recommend it enough. If you’re looking for something fun to read with a little steam, some laughs, and a lot of swoon, then add this book on your TBR! I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the Publisher, Entangled Teen via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really loved this story line. G reat writer.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Oh, this series--it continues to give me all. The. Feels. Seriously. All of them. I'd be perfectly okay if every single young adult in Juniper Falls got their own book--really. I loved Fletcher and Haley. When the book opens on day one of summer school and her pen tapping is driving him nuts, my first instinct was, "but who's the heroine going to be?" and LOL, of course it was her! At first glance, these two couldn't possibly work...and for a lot of the book, Fletch would agree with you 100%. (Haley, naturally, is savvier than that. She figures it out much sooner.) It got harder and harder to watch him fight to keep himself apart from everyone, Haley included--that poor girl! Fortunately, he figures it out just in time, and oh that ending... Happy sigh. You could absolutely start the Juniper Falls series with this book, but so much of it will be that much more satisfying if you've read book one ( Off the Ice ) first. Haley was Tate's girlfriend for a lot of OTI, and other events from that one are alluded to from time to time. To be honest, I kind of wished I'd been able to binge read the series--re-read the first one before reading the second--because it's been awhile and the details of book one had grown a bit fuzzy in my brain. Plus, this series--have I mentioned that it gives me all the feels? ;) Anxiously awaiting book three! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion. 4 stars — Earlier in the year I read book 1 in this series and really enjoyed it, despite it being very different from YAs I usually read. And so I was excited to see another book set in the town of Juniper Falls. And this one was similarly engaging and yet SOOOOO different!! Honestly, I couldn’t put it down…I was up until 4:30 am finishing the book because I just kept telling myself “one more chapter” until there were no more chapters left. Fletcher and Haley were seriously unlike most teenagers I read…but they felt very honest and authentic. They were both EXTREMELY flawed and occasionally made me want to hit them over the heads, but I also felt for both of them and the struggles that they were going through. It felt kind of like a coming of age story for both of them, even though this is definitely a grittier book…more mature young adult than just young adult, you know? But that also just made it feel more real and authentic. And their chemistry with each other was fantastic…I really felt how they were drawn to each other, despite some reservations. I adored Haley, which surprised me a little. She has a lot of qualities that might normally annoy me, but she is just so genuine and sincere that you can’t help but love her. Her peppiness and overachieverness and just constant overthinkingness was crazy. Like, I was seriously worried that those things would overshadow the rest. But I LOVED that the author sort of explored the reasons for these qualities in her personality…she really made me think about all the other effects ADHD could have on a person’s life. I really loved that. And honestly, the depth with which Haley loved her friends and took care of them was truly inspiring. It wasn’t just that she was trying to achieve some goal, she genuinely cared about her friends and wanted them to succeed. She had such a fragile and breakable heart sometimes, and she broke my heart with how she thought about herself, especially wrt her academics…not to mention the fall out from her breakup with Tate and what happened in the last book. But it was so satisfying to see her grow throughout the book too! Fletch was a different animal altogether. He was so messed up from his childhood and his allergy issues, it was heartbreaking to see inside his head and his genuine lack of trust for the people of Juniper Falls, and his very skewed views of relationships. He really just took so much of what his family went through to his heart, and stubbornly wouldn’t let go. Sometimes I felt like his situation was just a bit odd and unbelievable…NOT the allergy stuff, that was super well done and I loved how that was explored (and all the different ways it affected his life). But the part with his job. I just can’t imagine that in real life… I tried to suspend my disbelief, it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility…but I don’t know. It really did make him grow up in a different way, and yet stunted him in other ways. I would have loved to see it though, hoowee, talk about sexy. I did really love Fletch’s determination to make the Varsity team though, and prove that he’s more than his medical issues. And even though it dragged out longer than I would have liked, I appreciated how flabbergasted he was by the new friends that I don’t think he realized he was making. Again, it broke my heart. He was so freaking stubborn, and damaged, and man could he be a je
Steph_B More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next story! Plot Twists = Awesome! And Totally Fun and Unexpected! Romance = It's a slow, bumpy, but totally sweet ride! We are talking more than your average teen summer fling here. Fletcher Scott and Haley Stevenson are flawed but likeable characters that have great chemistry. The plot was just a touch predictable, however, it still drew me in and kept me wanting more. Thanks to Entangled for offering this story to me for review!
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
Everything I loved about the first book, OFF THE ICE, and none of the things that bothered me, are included in this second book in the series. I absolutely adore this installment by one of my favorite young adult authors, Julie Cross. To say that Juniper Falls Princess, Haley Stevenson, and nerdy Fletcher Scott are opposites would be the understatement of the century, yet these two mismatched personalities are clearly soul mates. While they have gone to the same school for years, Fletcher avoids the social universe that Haley orbits in, so when they wind up in the same summer school Civics class, things heat up. Fletcher can't ignore the fact that he's attracted to Haley, but isn't willing to change his ways to act on that attraction. Haley is infuriated by Fletcher's obvious interest and unwillingness to do anything about it. But Fletch has issues. Big ones that Haley will learn about in the worst way possible. But Fletch also learns that Haley is anything but the self-absorbed, superficial princess he's always believed her to be. Julie Cross ramps up the angst in this book and it's as delicious as anything she's ever written. Plot For a romance, there was a fair amount going on. Haley has a personal journey as does Fletcher, but in addition, they both have external goals, including Fletcher's position on the hockey team and Haley's need to get a decent grade in Civics over the summer. Each subplot impacts the main storyline, making for a wonderfully plotted teen romance. The Characters I absolutely adored both characters. Haley took a good few chapters to grow on me, but Fletcher is total book boyfriend material from page one and only gets hotter through the story. Both have plenty of depth, though Fletcher has a lot more layers, which makes him infinitely intriguing. It was fun to see Tate Tanley, Jamie, Mike, Claire, and the rest of the group from the first book again, and it was especially nice to see Tate and Haley get a little closure on their relationship after it ended so abruptly in the first book. World Building Once again, the author drew me into the world of amateur hockey. It may not be a big sport here, but she has a way of making me want to watch it whenever I read one of her books. There's also a little bit about Fletcher's secret life that rounds the story out nicely and seems particularly well researched. Top Five Things I Loved About BREAKING THE ICE 1. Food allergies. As the mother of three children with Celiac disease, it was refreshing to see this addressed in an open, honest, and non-judgmental way. 2. Heat. For a teen romance, there is plenty of heat without ever crossing a line. I love the way Julie Cross is able to consistently bring this in her books without it ever feeling stale. 3. Fletcher. One of the more interesting protagonists I've read in a long time. He's introspective, angry, angsty, and oh yeah, hot. 4. Haley. I wasn't sure how much I'd like the Princess of Juniper Falls, but she made me care about her more than I thought I would. 5. Fletch's job. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that the scenes at his place of employment are among my favorite in the entire book. Bottom Line BREAKING THE ICE is a wonderful young adult romance with plenty of heat and with a little something extra, that I won't spoil, but you'll know what I mean when you read it. Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Teen romance dealing with some sensitive issues . . . This is the second in a series of standalone teen romances and has ‘real’ teen characters, flaws and all. Haley Stevenson has been the ‘Queen Bee’ in Juniper Falls, but is struggling to achieve the GPA she needs, has relationship problems and is having to attend summer school in an effort to enable her to achieve her personal goals. She’s also determined to avoid distracting male influences until she gets to college. In her Civics class she is paired with Fletcher Scott, a quiet, studious guy who also enjoys hockey but seems to spend most of his time on the bench. He’s determined to make the hockey team and achieve his academic targets without being distracted by his beautiful, attractive, study partner…. She’s Miss Popular, he’s Mr Invisible - what a great recipe for opposites attracting! This story deals sensitively with a number of issues including learning disabilities, bullying and living with severe food allergies. The latter issue is particularly pertinent to me as someone very close to me has such allergies - though not to as many allergens as this character, so I found it very easy to relate to the parental concerns and problems he encountered. The chemistry between the two main characters was fantastic, especially as they were so reticent to become romantically involved with each other. I thought the revelations from the past were superbly handled, showing how guilt and getting to know others can alter attitudes and relationships. So, if you’re looking for a feel good teen romance which also deals with some pertinent issues in a sensitive and informing way as part of the storyline, grab yourself a copy of this engaging story! I requested and received a copy of this novel, via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
TheThoughtSpot More than 1 year ago
Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross! Fletcher seems to have many things he wants to hide and Haley has a good heart and great values. The two of them are working on a class project together and sometimes get along fairly well and at other times they can barely tolerate each other. I enjoyed Off the Ice (the first book in the Juniper Falls series) immensely and Breaking Ice is just as good, dealing with bullying, sexuality, family, learning disabilities and the stressful experience of intense allergies. Unique aspects of solitude and the consequences of social and parental pressures are addressed also. I love the dancing and the teacher who’s willing to work with and help her students based on their individual needs! The only drawback is the often used f-word, which I felt was unnecessary to the story being told. 4.5 stars for a thought provoking story! *I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A young adult romance with hockey? Sign me up! Haley is the Juniper Falls Princess (yes, that's really a thing) and Fletcher is a JV hockey player who keeps to himself. Normally, they'd never even be at the same party, but they end up in the same summer school Civics class, and Haley decides that Fletch's nerdy self is the perfect project partner to bring up her GPA (she even gives him a project partner invitation, complete with glitter and calligraphy). Haley is peppy, pretty and near-perfect, all those princessy words. At first this seemed like just another popular cheerleader falls in love with the nerdy guy stories, but it's so much more. Each time one layer of the story is peeled back, you find another layer underneath. Why does Fletch keep to himself? What happened in third grade? Why's Haley in summer school? Why does Fletch suddenly want to play on the varsity team? What's Fletch's mysterious job? “Can you promise me that if I kiss you, it’ll just be for fun? That I won’t keep feeling things after?” And the angst, oh the teen angst. Normally I avoid angst like the plague, but in this case, it didn't really bother me that much. Haley and Fletcher are both facing serious issues, and the alternating view points of the chapters helped ground me in the story. It was also surprisingly sexy, despite being a YA. It takes for-ev-er for the main characters to kiss, and the slow burn will-they-or-won't-they was well done and had me trying to sneak in chapters whenever I could. Fletch is just plain swoony! There are also, of course, several Important Issues covered, most of which I won't mention to avoid spoilers. I will say, however, that I especially enjoyed the thoughtful discussion around bullying, from both the bullied and bully's perspectives. “Maybe if I say exactly what I’m thinking, stuff won’t build into big imaginary relationships inside my head. A guy can be hot and sexy without being a marital prospect or a soul mate. Right?” Though this is the second in the series, I read it as a standalone. It worked fine for me, but it was obvious there was some backstory with Hailey and some of the other characters of the previous book. In fact, I enjoyed this book so much, I immediately went and put the first book on hold at my library as soon as I was done. As for cons, it felt like some of the plot points (like Fletch and the varsity team and Haley's suspected issue) needed more closure. Also, without going into too many spoilers, I found it surprising that none of Haley's friends or teachers suspected what Fletch figured out after working on a project with her for, what, a week? Overall, this was a surprisingly lot of fun, and it kept me guessing how things would turn out. I'm eagerly anticipating reading the first book in the series! I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A young adult romance with hockey? Sign me up! Haley is the Juniper Falls Princess (yes, that's really a thing) and Fletcher is a JV hockey player who keeps to himself. Normally, they'd never even be at the same party, but they end up in the same summer school Civics class, and Haley decides that Fletch's nerdy self is the perfect project partner to bring up her GPA (she even gives him a project partner invitation, complete with glitter and calligraphy). Haley is peppy, pretty and near-perfect, all those princessy words. At first this seemed like just another popular cheerleader falls in love with the nerdy guy stories, but it's so much more. Each time one layer of the story is peeled back, you find another layer underneath. Why does Fletch keep to himself? What happened in third grade? Why's Haley in summer school? Why does Fletch suddenly want to play on the varsity team? What's Fletch's mysterious job? “Can you promise me that if I kiss you, it’ll just be for fun? That I won’t keep feeling things after?” And the angst, oh the teen angst. Normally I avoid angst like the plague, but in this case, it didn't really bother me that much. Haley and Fletcher are both facing serious issues, and the alternating view points of the chapters helped ground me in the story. It was also surprisingly sexy, despite being a YA. It takes for-ev-er for the main characters to kiss, and the slow burn will-they-or-won't-they was well done and had me trying to sneak in chapters whenever I could. Fletch is just plain swoony! There are also, of course, several Important Issues covered, most of which I won't mention to avoid spoilers. I will say, however, that I especially enjoyed the thoughtful discussion around bullying, from both the bullied and bully's perspectives. “Maybe if I say exactly what I’m thinking, stuff won’t build into big imaginary relationships inside my head. A guy can be hot and sexy without being a marital prospect or a soul mate. Right?” Though this is the second in the series, I read it as a standalone. It worked fine for me, but it was obvious there was some backstory with Hailey and some of the other characters of the previous book. In fact, I enjoyed this book so much, I immediately went and put the first book on hold at my library as soon as I was done. As for cons, it felt like some of the plot points (like Fletch and the varsity team and Haley's suspected issue) needed more closure. Also, without going into too many spoilers, I found it surprising that none of Haley's friends or teachers suspected what Fletch figured out after working on a project with her for, what, a week? Overall, this was a surprisingly lot of fun, and it kept me guessing how things would turn out. I'm eagerly anticipating reading the first book in the series! I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Breaking The Ice is more than your average summer fling. I adored this story. Fletcher and Haley I connected with them. Their story, though a bit complicated, was so full of heart.  Fletcher is one of those guys that keeps people at arm's length. Haley is the popular girl in the small town. There’s just something so genuine about this story. I felt the connection, but also there was a ton of humor. I laughed out loud quite a few times. I felt like I was hanging around them myself. As a reviewer, it’s super important for me to feel the connection with the characters and their story. This is the first book I’ve read of Cross’s. I didn’t read the first in the series, which I usually do. But I just jumped in. So you could read this as a standalone. I will most likely go back and read the second. The story was written exceptionally well. It starts out as this summer fling but turns into this beautiful story about really going for what you want. Not letting fear stop you in any way. Overall, I have to give this Five Boundless Stars.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I loved the synopsis of this one and was really eager to get to it. Love love loved Haley and Fletcher. She’s sweet and the town princess and maybe a bit nosy. He’s guarded and smart and has some secrets. Together they have a delightful push and pull that wasn’t too drama-y. Oh and the UST is practically palpable. Plot wise, it wasn’t quite what I expected. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it went somewhere else. There was some conflict and ridiculous behavior that made me want to push some characters, but for the most part, it was fluffy. Overall, it was a fun story and I really enjoyed these MCs. I would absolutely love a Jamie book, so I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed. **Huge thanks to Entangled Publishing for providing the arc free of charge**
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
LOVED this one!! Fletcher and Hailey are amazing characters and I adored how they just seemed to fit each other. This is a great story of how things aren't always as they seem. Hailey seemed to have it all. Cheerleader, town princess, everything's good. Not so much. She's really struggling with school and she finds herself in summer school retaking Civics. That's where she meets Fletcher. Well, not really meets him. She's known him forever but she's never really known him. He's one of those people who always just seems to be in the background. Now he's her study partner and she's finding him fascinating. A great YA read and one I think everyone will enjoy.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"Breaking the Ice" is a great contemporary YA romance about Haley and Fletcher, told in alternating viewpoints. Haley and Fletcher are taking a Civics class over the summer; Haley is taking it to improve her GPA (hopefully) and Fletcher so that he can fill his schedule with more advanced classes during the next school year. They end up sitting next to each other in the class, and although Haley doesn't really remember him, they go back to preschool when she shoved Cheerios up his nose. Haley has sworn off dating so that she can improve her GPA and hopefully get into UCF, which has a great cheerleading squad. She has always struggled with school, and so she really needs to turn things around in this summer class if she has any hopes of getting into UCF. She decides that Fletcher is her best chance of doing better in the class and makes him a fancy invitation to convince him to be her partner for the class project. Luckily, he accepts, but as they get to know each other better, she finds that she is in for more than she bargained for and that Fletcher Scott is hard to resist. Fletcher is happy to keep a low profile and stay out of the small town gossip. He has no interest in dating (but doesn't mind hooking up). He has always done well in school academically, but now he's really hoping to be able to make the varsity hockey team (hockey is The Sport in Juniper Falls). Although he is about to enter his senior year, he has been on the JV team- in part because of his size and in part because of the allergies/asthma he has. Fletcher has a bunch of deadly food allergies that make his life much more complicated, and the coach can't seem to look past them. This summer, Fletcher intends to show him he is much more than his allergies. At the same time, he can't seem to ditch Haley, who is intent on working with him for the class project- and eventually, he starts to realize that he doesn't want to. Overall, it was a really sweet romance that built very, very slowly between two people who were reluctant to trust and enter into any romantic relationships. As a warning, there is a lot of underage drinking, some bullying (past), and some sexual content (not too explicit but some descriptions). One plot line that wasn't totally wrapped up was the potential diagnosis of ADHD, which would have been nice to see with a visit to a doctor or therapist, and continued with treatment strategies as an example. Other big plot lines were all wrapped up, and although this is part of a series, it works easily as a stand-alone. I would recommend for older teens due to content (as mentioned above), but it was a really enjoyable romance all around! I am excited to see how this series will continue in the future. There were a lot of really awesome side characters, and I assume they will be getting their own stories as this continues. Additionally, as this story revolves around hockey, even though it takes place during a summer, it seems to be a great winter read- and the romance will definitely keep you warm and cozy! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.