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Breaking the Ice

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Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with a smile. If she’s successful then she opens the door to other women being drafted. She can’t afford to think about what happens if she fails. All she knows is this: if she’s not the best then she doesn’t get to play. No pressure, though. Cover Artist: Natasha Snow Category: Literary/Genre Fiction Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 82100 Book Length: Novel Sex Content: N/A Orientation: Bisexual, Demisexual Identity: Cisgender


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Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with a smile. If she’s successful then she opens the door to other women being drafted. She can’t afford to think about what happens if she fails. All she knows is this: if she’s not the best then she doesn’t get to play. No pressure, though. Cover Artist: Natasha Snow Category: Literary/Genre Fiction Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 82100 Book Length: Novel Sex Content: N/A Orientation: Bisexual, Demisexual Identity: Cisgender

30 review for Breaking the Ice

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    4.5 Stars. I loved this! This is the best fictional sports book I have read in a long time. I just devoured it and was sad when it ended. I have to thank Joc for her great review since it got me to take a chance on this and if completely fulfilled my expectations. I do want to point out since I read so much lesfic that this book is not lesfic. The main character Sophie does not seem to be sexually attracted to guys so she may end up being a lesbian or maybe asexual, you just don’t know at this p 4.5 Stars. I loved this! This is the best fictional sports book I have read in a long time. I just devoured it and was sad when it ended. I have to thank Joc for her great review since it got me to take a chance on this and if completely fulfilled my expectations. I do want to point out since I read so much lesfic that this book is not lesfic. The main character Sophie does not seem to be sexually attracted to guys so she may end up being a lesbian or maybe asexual, you just don’t know at this point. Obviously, there is no romance in this book. However, this book is the first in a series and since this book did have the LGBTQ label on it maybe we will see a lesfic romance in the future. I would love that but I would read the next book in this series even without a romance. I’m not a big hockey fan, except when it comes to watching the women play in the Olympics. But even not being a huge hockey fan, I ate up every second of this book. There are a lot of hockey moments. This book might not appeal to everyone, but they are never boring. There was always something happening that made every moment on ice either interesting or exciting. The writing really appealed to me. This seems like it may have been a debut for Collins and it makes the book even more impressive for me. You feel like you are right there with Sophie through all the ups and downs as the first woman to break into a sport. I found myself smiling and I even cried a little, I just loved every second of this book. If you are looking for a good sports book about a kickass young woman trying to make her way, don’t pass this up. I’m really glad I read it and I cannot wait for book 2. An ARC was given to me for a honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joc

    My knowledge of ice hockey is pretty slim but I have watched one game but it didn’t help that the commentary was in Czech. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this anyway because I am a sports fan and always the supporter of the underdog. Sophie Fournier has been skating since she was a toddler and all she’s ever wanted to do was be a hockey player. She could easily join the women’s league but, like most women’s sports, it doesn’t pay well enough to do it full-time which means needing a job to suppl My knowledge of ice hockey is pretty slim but I have watched one game but it didn’t help that the commentary was in Czech. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this anyway because I am a sports fan and always the supporter of the underdog. Sophie Fournier has been skating since she was a toddler and all she’s ever wanted to do was be a hockey player. She could easily join the women’s league but, like most women’s sports, it doesn’t pay well enough to do it full-time which means needing a job to supplement one’s income. She’s worked all her young life to get a chance at playing for the NAHL but only one team, the Concord Condors, is eligible to draft women. Sophie’s season with the Condors had me riveted. It’s as much about her constant battle with all the opinions she’s subjected to as it is about hockey. The games and sequences were much slower than an actual match (which is a good thing because I didn’t even see the puck for the first 15 minutes) and written in such a way that I could envision what was happening even if I didn’t get all the terminology. Sophie is a really well-written character. She presents an astounding aura of control and maturity and at the same time there are moments when her youth shines through. Her relationships with her team mates are subtly portrayed and her insecurity about what they really think of her bubbles to the surface intermittently. She’s a powerful character and you can’t help but empathise with her. The story is about Sophie and her being the first woman to be in the NAHL and it’s a good one. If you like sports stories with ground-breaking underdogs, you’ll probably enjoy this. I’m not sure why it’s LGBTQIA section because orientation has no relevance or bearing on the story. Sophie’s relationship with the people around is critical to the story but there are no romantic entanglements. Four and a half stars rounded up. Book received from Netgalley and NineStar Press for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    This book makes me want to compete in a triathlon, go to the gym, join a softball team (that's what lesbos do, right?) all at once. I mean, I'm eating candy at my desk instead, but it makes me WANT to do those things. That counts, right? So I picked up this book because I love sports, and it's billed as LGBT. It's the first in a series (thankfully!), and there's really no LGBT theme happening in this one. No romance, no sparks, nada. I didn't care one bit. Yes, there's a lead in for what's to com This book makes me want to compete in a triathlon, go to the gym, join a softball team (that's what lesbos do, right?) all at once. I mean, I'm eating candy at my desk instead, but it makes me WANT to do those things. That counts, right? So I picked up this book because I love sports, and it's billed as LGBT. It's the first in a series (thankfully!), and there's really no LGBT theme happening in this one. No romance, no sparks, nada. I didn't care one bit. Yes, there's a lead in for what's to come in the next book, but this book isn't a romance - it's pure sports awesomeness. I'm not going to recap since others have done that so well already, but just want to say that if you're a sports fan, you need to pick this book up. Even if you're not a sports fan, this book is worth reading. I actually don't watch a lot of hockey, really only during the Olympics, and this book made me want to watch more hockey. It's more about Sophie's journey as the first women player in the league, and the balance of actual hockey and hockey terms wasn't a problem for me to follow. I absolutely devoured the book and was sad when it ended. I honestly wish I could pick up the next one right now! Well done on your debut K.R. Collins, you nailed it! Now hurry up with the next one in the series already! 4.5 stars. **Many thanks to Ninestar Press for providing me with an ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.**

  4. 5 out of 5

    Agirlcandream

    Loved it. Cannot say enough good things about this riveting page-turner. Being the first in any sport carries the weight for all that follow. Sophie Fournier is the Jackie Robinson of co-ed hockey at a major league level. She’s a ground breaker. She’s driven to succeed and make a place for women in professional hockey. She must deal with constantly being in the spotlight. Sophie cannot show weakness or complain as she reflects the future of women in her sport. Co-ed means change and in a testost Loved it. Cannot say enough good things about this riveting page-turner. Being the first in any sport carries the weight for all that follow. Sophie Fournier is the Jackie Robinson of co-ed hockey at a major league level. She’s a ground breaker. She’s driven to succeed and make a place for women in professional hockey. She must deal with constantly being in the spotlight. Sophie cannot show weakness or complain as she reflects the future of women in her sport. Co-ed means change and in a testosterone driven sport like hockey, the knives are out. She not only has to deal with insults on the ice but the practical jokes/pranks in the clubhouse can be malicious. I was impressed with the writing and how well the author conveyed the mindset of Sophie Fournier. I loved her drive and determination mixed in with her fear of failure and need to always be “on”, performing for the world and representative of all women hoping to play hockey in the NAHL. K.R. Collins has set the bar high for the beginning of this series. I look forward to seeing her allow Sophie to have some sort of life off the ice and out of the spotlight in the next book. ARC received from publisher via NetGalley for review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lexxi Kitty

    Briefly pushing aside the many frustrations and annoyance the beginning of the book put me through (to the point I was back to my old ways of using 'strong language' on Goodreads) - pushing past that to say: I believe this is the best book I've read this year. Frustrations/annoyances? I was caught up in the beginning just trying to figure out age levels and trying to figure out if the author was playing that old trick of using 'fake names' for real things (NAHL for NHL); creating a rival league ( Briefly pushing aside the many frustrations and annoyance the beginning of the book put me through (to the point I was back to my old ways of using 'strong language' on Goodreads) - pushing past that to say: I believe this is the best book I've read this year. Frustrations/annoyances? I was caught up in the beginning just trying to figure out age levels and trying to figure out if the author was playing that old trick of using 'fake names' for real things (NAHL for NHL); creating a rival league (again fake) for the NHL; or actually talking about the real life NAHL, which has been around 40+ years and is a junior minor league - and not even the tool minor league). Well it down right frustrated me, it did. Eventually I learned that it is a high level pro league, top tier. Not sure if the NHL is supposed to exist in this universe, or not, but there were vibes that the NAHL was relatively new-ish (older than 15 years, at least, but didn't seem to have the real NAHL's 40+ years).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    I can't imagine a better review than saying that I am now interested in hockey? I'm going to have to find some games to watch. Sophie is a top notch female hockey player that has entered the NAHL draft. She is so good that she is expecting to be drafted #2. I really had fun reading this. I'm totally into sports, so all of the game action was exciting. Not too long and descriptive. It was just the right amount of play to get across what was needed to move the plot forward each time. And I didn't I can't imagine a better review than saying that I am now interested in hockey? I'm going to have to find some games to watch. Sophie is a top notch female hockey player that has entered the NAHL draft. She is so good that she is expecting to be drafted #2. I really had fun reading this. I'm totally into sports, so all of the game action was exciting. Not too long and descriptive. It was just the right amount of play to get across what was needed to move the plot forward each time. And I didn't know a bit about hockey before reading this and still followed along OK. There was so much going on in this book and the pacing was fantastic. No long lulls. Literally everything just kept racing along with enough detail given to every component. The strongest aspect of this story was relationship building. There was a great cast of characters that truly added support when needed. I wasn't expecting anything LGBT because of the reviews I had read. But this is the first in a series, so I'm guessing we will see it move in that direction with future installments. And there was something that had me confused. They kept talking about a potential trade but it was previously stated that only one NAHL team petitioned to allow females on the team for the season. So I wasn't sure why a trade could even be a possibility. Maybe I missed something. Overall, I was fully entertained. I recommend this to sports lovers and those who love women that pave the way for other women. I received an ARC through Netgalley from Nice Star Press for an honest review

  7. 5 out of 5

    MJS

    ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I’m not going to bother with a big recap of this, because others have already done that. The basic premise follows Sophie through her first year playing hockey as the first woman to be drafted to the major leagues. The story is told in first person, so we get to feel and experience what Sophie does, this is effective in quite a few places, I admit to choking up a few times. I don’t know much about hockey, and in all honesty, I was a bi ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I’m not going to bother with a big recap of this, because others have already done that. The basic premise follows Sophie through her first year playing hockey as the first woman to be drafted to the major leagues. The story is told in first person, so we get to feel and experience what Sophie does, this is effective in quite a few places, I admit to choking up a few times. I don’t know much about hockey, and in all honesty, I was a bit bored by all of the hockey, I know this is about how Sophie goes in her first season, but there was so little outside of the hockey experience that I felt the book could have been more rounded if there had been more of her relating to her family and if she had any other interests in her life. I also found it difficult to keep track of her teammates/rivals, and drifted a bit during all the game/practice scenes the longer the book went on. Sophie as a character was great though. I loved how strong she was, and how she kept picking herself up and wanting to improve. I also liked her friendships with some of the guys on her team, and that her best friendship was with a ‘rival’, Dima was a sweetie. I’m not sure why this was labelled LGBT, Sophie shows no interest in any teammates/rival players (thankfully) and I assume the love interest will be Elsa in book 2 but this book didn’t really need that tag. Anyway, the book is well written, Sophie is a great character, and I look forward to reading more, but hopefully book 2 has a little something else rather than just hockey to keep me interested. 4 stars because this is a great debut novel.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tere

    Excellent! Well, I’m not a hockey fan. Like not even a little. I know there is a goalie and other people skating around. The team with more goals scored in a game wins. That sums up my hockey knowledge. This book was fantastic though. One does not need to be a hockey fan to enjoy. Sophie Fournier is a talented hockey player that happens to become the first woman drafted in the most prominent hockey league in North America. This is quite the story of her first year in the league. Not at all good an Excellent! Well, I’m not a hockey fan. Like not even a little. I know there is a goalie and other people skating around. The team with more goals scored in a game wins. That sums up my hockey knowledge. This book was fantastic though. One does not need to be a hockey fan to enjoy. Sophie Fournier is a talented hockey player that happens to become the first woman drafted in the most prominent hockey league in North America. This is quite the story of her first year in the league. Not at all good and happy experiences, but the brutal truth Sophie endured. From the press, her teammates and her rivals, she had to fight against everyone and everything to prove she belongs in the league. Sophie’s character was well done and shows such resilience throughout the story. The secondary characters are also fantastic, even the rivals and naysayers, who were downright frustrating. The struggles presented are real and no doubt endured by all women in all the male dominated professions. The game action was great and even without fully understanding it, I could feel the rush of excitement of the plays/games narrated. This author simply did a phenomenal job. There is no romance at all in this book. Was only frustrating since I was expecting it for some reason. Otherwise this book will appeal to everyone out there, not just hockey fans.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie L.

    5 stars Calling all hockey fans, Breaking the Ice, the debut book by K.R. Collins is a wonderful read about hockey, strong female, friendships, rivalries (good and bad), and more hockey. It’s just so good! You do not know how long I’ve been waiting for a book like Breaking the Ice. As a woman, a lover of hockey and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this book hits all the right notes. What can I say, this story had me hooked from the start with our MC Sophie Fournier in all of her six feet, 200 po 5 stars Calling all hockey fans, Breaking the Ice, the debut book by K.R. Collins is a wonderful read about hockey, strong female, friendships, rivalries (good and bad), and more hockey. It’s just so good! You do not know how long I’ve been waiting for a book like Breaking the Ice. As a woman, a lover of hockey and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this book hits all the right notes. What can I say, this story had me hooked from the start with our MC Sophie Fournier in all of her six feet, 200 pound glory about to be drafted into an all-male hockey league. From the get-go you are rooting for Sophie to get that top pick and Ms. Collins has you sitting on the edge of your seat during the draft. While the story is very hockey-centric, which I fear may turn some people away, I thought the hockey games, the practice, team-building was written so beautifully and engaging. Even if you aren’t the hard-core hockey fan, I still recommend you pick up this book because it’s much more then about hockey. It’s about following your dreams, overcoming challenges even though it seems that the world is against you, it’s about finding your inner-strength and keeping true to yourself. It’s also about building a home and finding and building upon relationships/friendships and just ahhh! This book just hits so many high points for me I don’t even know how to write it all down. The characters, omg the characters. Collins has a diverse cast and you will fall in love with many and you will come to hate some just as much. Sophie. My Sophie, I am so proud of her. She’s like a little baby you’re watching grow up through the story. She’s already learned so much in her time previous leagues on how to act around all the men, how to deal with the media and sometimes I forget that she’s only 18 yet she is so tough and mature. The relationships in the story has to be one of my favourite points in the story. Sophie-Matty (the team captain), Sophie-Ivanov (the lovable rival), and Sophie-Colby (her brother), and the Liney (line mates) are all great relationships that help shape Sophie. Breaking the Ice is not much of a romance story and it suited me just fine because I found the friendships much more heart-warming. Although I do hope that Collins will be releasing a sequel because I would love to see how Sophie-Elsa plays out because I’m sensing someone has a little crush. All in all, I have to say that this book has to be one of the best of 2019 so far and I hope Collins will continue on writing brave/strong women in the hockey world. It is a definite must-read for hockey fans! This book was given to me by Ninestar Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  10. 4 out of 5

    A.W.

    I have to admit I was slightly disappointed that there was no romantic interest for the main character but that was quickly forgotten as the description of hockey and the story more than made up for that fact. Looking forward to reading more from K.R. Collins. Review also posted here: https://wp.me/p4Pp9O-M2 I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    What a great book and really hope that this is made into a series! I could not put the book down and read it late into the night, needing to know what was next for our heroine - Sophie The story of the first woman to be drafted into the NAHL (North American Hockey League) and the trial and tribulations of the rise to success. The pressures of finding her groove, fighting the public persona's and press and just trying to prove her worth among her teammates was riveting. I loved Sophie's perseveranc What a great book and really hope that this is made into a series! I could not put the book down and read it late into the night, needing to know what was next for our heroine - Sophie The story of the first woman to be drafted into the NAHL (North American Hockey League) and the trial and tribulations of the rise to success. The pressures of finding her groove, fighting the public persona's and press and just trying to prove her worth among her teammates was riveting. I loved Sophie's perseverance, her spunk and how she kept her eye on the prize. I wanted to throat punch some of the players and how they treated her but also was happy to see those that supported her. Sophie was one tough cookie and loved taking the journey with her! No romance, just pure hockey which I loved. An amazing book and look forward to hopefully reading more in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Galadriel.

    I received this book in exchange for an honest review (thanks Netgalley and NineStar Press!) and woah. It's been an amazing journey. At first I was reluctant because I know nothing about ice hockey, but just like the TV show Pitch (forever missed), the idea of a woman breaking into a man's world was alluring. Instead of baseball, we have ice hockey and the first woman drafted in a man's league. Not everyone is happy about that, as you can imagine. But she doesn't let the haters bring her down, a I received this book in exchange for an honest review (thanks Netgalley and NineStar Press!) and woah. It's been an amazing journey. At first I was reluctant because I know nothing about ice hockey, but just like the TV show Pitch (forever missed), the idea of a woman breaking into a man's world was alluring. Instead of baseball, we have ice hockey and the first woman drafted in a man's league. Not everyone is happy about that, as you can imagine. But she doesn't let the haters bring her down, after all... it's nothing new in her life. It was a pleasure to see her make friends (and enemies) along the journey, and there's something about books about sports that is just *so* cool, I ended up wishing I knew how to skate so I could try this. Despite not knowing most of the terms, I got used to them and oh, I got so invested in the sport! Its fast pace, the concept of being part of a team, relying on people and people relying on you... It was tagged lgbt, so maybe we'll see some of that in the next book? But honestly, if we don't, that's totally okay. I loved being part of Sophie's life, her struggles and her wins. And right I'm more excited about her not being the only girl in the league than on her finding love. Anyway, I'm super excited about the second book. I have no idea when that will happen so waiting will be hard... but so is hockey! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cariadne

    Last fall, I had done a bunch of research about women, leadership, inequality. In this research, I often stumbled across women in sports, like Hope Solo talking about the loneliness of fighting for what was right for her female athletes. These are women who became the leader/1st and were set as the example to represent other women or future women. Interestingly, this book picked up on all those nuances. The loneliness; being the exception, but the exception means special accommodations and possib Last fall, I had done a bunch of research about women, leadership, inequality. In this research, I often stumbled across women in sports, like Hope Solo talking about the loneliness of fighting for what was right for her female athletes. These are women who became the leader/1st and were set as the example to represent other women or future women. Interestingly, this book picked up on all those nuances. The loneliness; being the exception, but the exception means special accommodations and possible resentment; working harder to prove your worth; the scrutiny; being the role model all the time and the exhaustion of it. Once you read this book (thank you NetGalley), you will understand why the 3rd person narrative works so well in telling this story of a brave and fearless woman. I look forward to book #2.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lillian Hovey

    The Summary: Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with a smile. If she’s successful then she opens the door to other women being drafted. She can’t afford to think about The Summary: Sophie Fournier is the first woman drafted into the North American Hockey League. Playing hockey is something she’s done all her life, but she faces new challenges as she finds her place on the struggling Concord Condors. She has to prove herself better than her rival-turned-teammate, Michael Hayes, and her rival-turned-friend, Dmitri Ivanov, and she has to do it all with a smile. If she’s successful then she opens the door to other women being drafted. She can’t afford to think about what happens if she fails. All she knows is this: if she’s not the best then she doesn’t get to play. No pressure, though. The Short of It: The fact that I finished this book at 3:30 in the morning on a workday, the morning after I decided to start it, realized I could manage *maybe* a few hours sleep before I had to wake up again to start my day, and decided “Yes that was absolutely worth it” is perhaps the most glowing review I have for Breaking the Ice by K.R. Collins. It’s not so often these days that I stay up from dusk until dawn because I absolutely need to see a book through to the end right this moment, rest, work, and every other real world circumstance be damned, so when that does happen, I always make note of the book responsible as being something particularly special. Rest assured, Breaking the Ice is absolutely something special. The Long of It: What makes this book special? It’s a sports novel, which is a genre that I as somebody who doesn’t follow traditional sports at all have a strangely deep fascination with. However, unlike many sports novels, it manages a feat I consider especially valuable within the genre - it remains interesting and engaging without demanding a deep, or even really a basic knowledge of the sport in question. Hockey is perhaps a particularly good choice of sport for managing this, as the combination of blistering speed, high-octane action, and a healthy dose of violence have in my opinion always rendered hockey one of the easier sports to just dive in and watch and enjoy without really understanding the game as it plays out in front of you. The nuances of strategy aren’t so important as the speed and intensity playing out right in front of you and it is this feeling that Breaking the Ice replicates especially well. The hockey scenes in this book (and there are plenty of them) are cinematic, and from our perspective seeing everything through protagonist Sophie’s eyes, we experience that intensity, the frantic pace of the game and the desperate moments on the ice intimately. This brings us to the second thing that makes Breaking the Ice special, which is that before being a novel about hockey, this is a novel about Sophie Sophie, the first female player to ever be drafted into the NAHL, who carries the burden of representing the entire female gender within the eyes of the hockey-loving population, who faces discrimination and harassment and so many people telling her “you don’t deserve to be here” even as she proves time and time again that she doesn’t just have what it takes to be good, she has what it takes to be the best. Hockey is the vessel for this character-centric journey, and the fact that Breaking the Ice never strayed from placing Sophie, her character development, and her various relationships with the teammates, friends, and family surrounding her above the game that acts as the framework for her story is something I value tremendously. Speaking of Sophie, she is just an exceptional character overall. She isn’t always likeable; sometimes it seems like she’s awfully out of touch with her emotions, and at times she makes decisions that will frustrate many readers to no end, but this all contributes to making her feel real. She’s a girl who loves hockey with all her heart, who wants to spend her whole life playing it, but her status as the first woman to break into the big leagues means she has to be so much more than that, and *that* struggle more than anything else is what carries this book forward. Sophie is also surrounded by a fairly strong supporting cast of characters. I can’t really give the supporting cast the same glowing endorsement I’ve given the rest of the book, because at times these characters seemed to just blend together, and especially in the earlier parts of the book, didn’t really stand out from each other. Lack of proper introduction seemed to play a role in this. One of the stand out moments for me that highlights this issue was actually a rather nondescript passage in the book, during one of the games in which Sophie passes the puck to a character named X. I actually paused my reading and jotted down a note in by notebook to let the publisher know that i thought I’d encountered a moment where a placeholder name hadn’t been replaced with an actual name. It wasn’t until quite a bit later in the book when X appeared a few more times that I realized X was actually the nickname for one of the players on Sophie’s team. I couldn’t even tell you if his real name ever came up; I spent most of his appearances just trying to figure out who on earth he was in the first place. When they’re given proper time in the spotlight and allowed to develop, some of these supporting characters shine. Ivanov was simply delightful, and I loved the dynamic of ‘we’ve been painted by the casters as huge rivals but screw it let’s just watch TV together and be friends’. As far as Sophie’s teammates are concerned, team captain Matty was somebody I really liked. Garfield, Zhang, and Kevlar were important nods to other minorities who face less overtly visible discrimination and harassment than Sophie. Other side characters such as Merlin were great fun once we go to know them, and through their interactions and relationships with Sophie contributed to making her the complex and dynamic protagonist that she is. The Verdict: I think highly of this book. Very highly. I wavered between 4 and 4.5 stars for a good long while, and though I ultimately settled on a 4 star rating, that has less to do with quality and more to do with impact. Breaking the Ice is a fun, exciting, quality read about the very real struggles and challenges faced by a woman breaking into a space dominated by men, framed as a sports novel. However, I typically reserve 4.5 star reviews for books that either totally transform or subvert my expectations for the genre. Breaking the Ice, though excellent, did not do that. Make no mistake though; if anything about this book catches your interest even a little, and even if you don’t think anything about it does, this is a book that is absolutely well worth reading. 4 out of 5 stars This honest review was provided in exchange for a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley You can find more of my reviews on my review blog https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ladylilac...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Halah

    I was so excited to read this book. At the end i was a little disappointed because a huge part of me had an idea of what this book was all about. I don't know if this is a serious of books- book one. As indicated. If not then I don't see how this one is under LGBT tbh. The whole book was beautifully written with the object of showing us Sophie's character. Its like her diary. At one point I got confused, maybe to the lack of concentration. but the number was her year of birth yet she said someon I was so excited to read this book. At the end i was a little disappointed because a huge part of me had an idea of what this book was all about. I don't know if this is a serious of books- book one. As indicated. If not then I don't see how this one is under LGBT tbh. The whole book was beautifully written with the object of showing us Sophie's character. Its like her diary. At one point I got confused, maybe to the lack of concentration. but the number was her year of birth yet she said someone had played for 22 year which is more than her years in Earth. that got me in super messy mood. However I think they're talking about 2011 not 2019. So not important observations but in general i like to know the age and the character's physic to helps me imagine or understand their way of thinking Another thing that bothered me a little- because I have 0 interest in hockey. There's too much hockey. Don't get me wrong I liked the book. Actually her media answers were really impressive at times and her inside thoughts were also quite mature for an 18 years old kid. but if you're in it for romance or typical LGBT book it's not for you. IF theres a next book i hope to see a development in her. she's kinda missed up here and dark so seeing how this one will go is getting me excited again. thank you for the author for giving me this free copy in exchange of honest opinion

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vilma Davidsson

    This ARC was given to me by Ninestar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I was blown away by how incredible good "Breaking the ice" turned out to be once I started it. I read the whole book in one sitting, I just couldn't make myself stop reading it! From the first page I was hooked. I love how strong the main character Sophie is and her determination to achieve her goals no matter the obstacles standing in her way. She is so strong and I will live on the girlpower vibes she sen ¨This ARC was given to me by Ninestar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review¨ I was blown away by how incredible good "Breaking the ice" turned out to be once I started it. I read the whole book in one sitting, I just couldn't make myself stop reading it! From the first page I was hooked. I love how strong the main character Sophie is and her determination to achieve her goals no matter the obstacles standing in her way. She is so strong and I will live on the girlpower vibes she sends out for a long, long time. It is a lot of hockey, but I found myself enjoying every part of it; from the practices and the games to the team itself. The banter between the teammates is hilarious and I could find myself smiling like an idiot. This brings me to the best part of the book, the relationships. This isn't a book centered on romances, but about friendships (and rivalries). The way it all builds up feels so real and beautiful, it shows how life isn't always easy but good things will still come to you in time. I will definitely pick up Collins' next book. I mean, how can I not when her debut novel was this good? It is an easy, funny and amazing debut. I can't wait to see what she writes next and I am already desperately waiting for book two about our amazing badass hockey star Sophie.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tiffaney

    First let me say that this is probably one of the best fiction sports stories that I have ever read. It took a while for me to get into the groove of the authors writing style but once I did I was engaged and couldn't put it down. Breaking the Ice is a story about Sophie Fournier the first woman drafted into the NAHL (North American Hockey League). We began to follow her journey at the exact moment she is being drafted until the end of her rookie season. We go though her trials and tribulations First let me say that this is probably one of the best fiction sports stories that I have ever read. It took a while for me to get into the groove of the authors writing style but once I did I was engaged and couldn't put it down. Breaking the Ice is a story about Sophie Fournier the first woman drafted into the NAHL (North American Hockey League). We began to follow her journey at the exact moment she is being drafted until the end of her rookie season. We go though her trials and tribulations. Her trying to prove herself as player. I didn't read reviews prior but the story is labeled as LGBT. I also didn't know this is being made into a book series. (yay!) OK. First there's absolutely zero romance in this story. Not even a hint to future love interest. Nope. Nothing. We don't even know Sophie's sexuality. Reading the story I assumed she was asexual. But who knows? Demisexual? I don't even know what that is. 🤔LOL Even if you're not a hockey fan. Read this story it will definitely make you interested in the sport. *** ARC kindly provided by Netgalley and NineStarPress

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    A fast read through an entire season of hockey. I wouldn't normally care anything about hockey, but the narrative swept me along into the inspirational-sports-zone to the point where I became deeply invested into whether Sophie's team was going to make it to the playoffs, which was totally unexpected.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Pinto

    This was a surprisingly great read! FYI, there is no romance involved, which I didn’t expect. However as a hockey lover, I really enjoyed the story of a female breaking into the “nhl” and the challenges she faced along the way. The author definitely knew her hockey stuff. Thank you for the arc!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarita Chapdelaine

    This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent start to a new series and it is one of the best stories I have ever read. I loved everything about it, I was fully engaged from the very first page and I could not put it down. It is beautifully written, sweet, gritty, emotional, inspiring, intense, full of hope, proves that dreams can come true with a lot of hard work, has a nice balance of enough hockey while still makin This book was provided by the author via IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent start to a new series and it is one of the best stories I have ever read. I loved everything about it, I was fully engaged from the very first page and I could not put it down. It is beautifully written, sweet, gritty, emotional, inspiring, intense, full of hope, proves that dreams can come true with a lot of hard work, has a nice balance of enough hockey while still making the MC the main focus and all of the characters are amazing. Sophie is everything I want my own daughter to grow up to be and she is truly inspiring while still being true to herself. She has a lot to deal with for someone so young and I like that she has a mature outlook on life as well as the grit to stand up for herself. I love how accepting most of her new teammates are even though she still has to prove herself to earn the right to be a part of the team. There are some sad moments and also a lot of uplifting ones as Sophie has to work harder, be stronger and fight more than her male counterparts do to be considered part of the team. Because she is a woman she has different rules and standards but she is more than up for the task of proving to everyone that she is exactly where she belongs. I laughed, cried and was angry on her behalf more times than I can count but the overall feelings I was left with were happiness and hope for the future of sport to be more inclusive and accepting of everyone. I can't wait to read the next book in this incredible new series.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Hebert

    I enjoyed the strong female lead with many platonic male friends. I admit I'm not a hockey fan, so the technical language frequently went over my head, but this book is perfect if you're interest in that. The story felt very real because not everything went Sophie's way, and I appreciated seeing a character face overwhelming pressure and overcome challenges. There wasn't any romance, which I did not expect. Curious to see where the rest of the series goes. I loved Ivanov!!! Book received from Net I enjoyed the strong female lead with many platonic male friends. I admit I'm not a hockey fan, so the technical language frequently went over my head, but this book is perfect if you're interest in that. The story felt very real because not everything went Sophie's way, and I appreciated seeing a character face overwhelming pressure and overcome challenges. There wasn't any romance, which I did not expect. Curious to see where the rest of the series goes. I loved Ivanov!!! Book received from Netgalley and NineStar Press for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patricia OHara

    Fascinating story The storyline was consistent but a little slow moving. The main character was portrayed with a finesse in a mans world. Breaking through the tradition, the anxiety experienced, and the pain of rejection a possibility made for a dramatic story. If you’re looking for a juicy romance then this book is not for you. I found the book refreshing and interesting. Am looking forward to reading more by this author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Valentine Wheeler

    So I love inspirational sports stories. I love ladies fighting to be in traditionally male groups. And I LOVE SOPHIE. Couldn’t put this down. The characters are so fantastic and real, and the story manages to be believable and edge-of-your-seat fascinating even to my very-limited hockey knowledge. CANNOT WAIT for book 2 (and how about three and four and... I want so many more!!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth Younge

    This was so mediocre and i just did not care about the characters. Normally I enjoy sport romances but i got 60% of the way through and there was no romance at all. I came for some action but there was nothing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Peche Esse

    4.5 stars but ... the first female pro NHL equivalent skater ... motivating and a good story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katie Andy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Decoo

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gretal

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hunter

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ty

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