High-Sticked is book five in Lily Harlem’s Hot Ice series, about hockey players. It’s also her first m/m title.
This is the story of Todd ‘Pretty’ Carty, who we’ve heard a little about in Teamwork, the previous book in this series. He’s moved to New York City and a new hockey team, and things are going great. He’s doing a shoot for Armani to help promote their latest fragrance for men, and he’s working with a top-notch photographer.
That photographer is British-born Matthew Foster, a gay man who’s fancied Todd since he first laid eyes on him. But he doesn’t think any more of it. Todd’s a notorious womaniser, so he certainly wouldn’t look at another guy… or would he? The story that follows is about how the two men eventually come together, and how that impacts them, their lives, their friends and family, and, inevitably, the media. It’s a really hard time for Todd, who’s coming to terms with his sexuality and his feelings for Matthew all at once.
Although this book, and all the others in the Hot Ice series are stand-alones, in my opinion, it’s much better if you read them all in order. As well as Todd, other characters from Teamwork appear in High-Sticked and you’ll have much more context and a richer experience if you know the full story. Plus if you adore the characters as much as I do, you’ll be really pleased to see them again and see what’s happened to them since the last book.
To me, it didn’t make the slightest difference that this is the first m/m in the series. I love Lily Harlem’s storytelling, the way she develops her characters, her plots, her writing style and her incredibly hot sex scenes. This was another excellent book in a fantastic series, and I can’t wait to see which character from this “world” that she’s going to write about next. Highly recommended.