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The Nature of the Game by Amy Aislin
With everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?
Series: Stick Side (book #2)
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Length: Novel / 87,000 words / 330 pages
Pairing / Genre(s) / Keyword(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.
Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.
When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?
Rolling over, Ash exhaled into his pillow. His brain wouldn’t shut off, and he was not only wide-awake, but bored to boot. And kind of hungry. He could go for a run, expend some energy, down a bowl of cereal when he got back, then pass out.
Good plan. But he didn’t want to go for a run by himself in the dark. It was creepy.
Throwing on running shorts, a T-shirt, and a hoodie, he went down a flight of stairs barefoot and knocked softly on Dan’s door.
Nothing. Not even the sound of bedsprings squeaking as the room’s occupant got up to answer the door.
Ash knocked again, louder.
Tap, tap, tap.
Still nothing. Ash debated going back to his room and trying to sleep, but he’d tried for almost three hours to no avail and was tired of his own thoughts.
He knocked again.
Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap—
The door flung open. “What?”
Ash grinned at Dan, the kick in the gut at the sight of him still unwanted, but not unexpected. He wore a bright red onesie of all things. It even had footies. Ash swallowed a giggle—Dan already had murder in his eyes.
“It’s two in the fucking morning,” Dan growled, curls a mess, eyes squinting against the hallway light.
“Come for a run with me.”
“No.” By the tone of Dan’s voice, Ash suspected he really meant No, I will not go for a run with you in the middle of the night, you asshole, are you crazy?
Dan flung the door closed.
Ash caught it before it slammed in his face and entered Dan’s darkened room, only to find his potential jogging companion crawling back into bed. His very large, very long, very comfy-looking bed.
“Dude, you got a California king.” Ash shut the door behind him, plunging the room further into darkness. The only light came from the bathroom, the door of which was halfway closed. “Mine’s just a double, and my feet hang over the end.”
“Swell,” Dan said, already under the covers.
Ash lay down on the other side of the bed.
“What are you doing?” Dan asked.
“I’m bored.” “How is that my problem?”
“You’re here, I’m here…”
“That doesn’t answer my question.” Dan rolled onto his side, facing Ash, eyes closed and blankets up to his chin. “Unless you’re here for a booty call, in which case I could be persuaded.”
Surely he was half asleep and hadn’t meant to say it, but either way, Dan’s words sent heat through Ash’s veins. The space between them went taught, crackling with life and energy.
Where would they be right now if they’d stayed together?
A dangerous thought, that.
He poked Dan in the nose.
One eye slitted open.
“I’m hungry,” Ash declared.
The other eye opened. “I could eat.”
☆ Interview ☆
How do you handle writer’s block?
I’m a panster, not a plotter, so I always start out writing a novel not knowing where it’s going to go, but also not fully knowing my characters either. I’ve found that when the writer’s block hits, it’s because I’m not yet fully acquainted with my characters. I don’t know them well enough. What do they really want, both internally and externally, and what’s preventing them from getting it? Once I have that nailed down, the story starts to develop much more smoothly.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
The Nature of the Game is my eighth published novel, which is how many books I’ve written. I’d say my favourite is On the Ice. Not only was it the easiest book for me to write—I was very intimately acquainted with the characters before I started writing—but it’s the book of my heart. It’s a slow-burn, friends to lovers story with a flirty college hockey player who meets his match in a demisexual NHL player. There’s a small part of me in most of my books, however certain facets of who I am are strongly reflected in both Mitch and Alex (the main characters in On the Ice), so it’s also a very personal book for me.
Do you have a favorite cover from one of your books?
My favourite cover from my books is the cover for As Big as the Sky, which was released in August 2017. My cover designer, Melody Pond, took my instructions and gave me back something that was a hundred times better than I’d imagined. The pink cover, flowers in the foreground, and house in the background perfectly set the mood of this low-angst, feel-good novella.
Secondary Characters: Why they are important to the story?
Secondary characters in my stories can be sources of conflict or sounding boards. In The Nature of the Game, my secondary characters take on both of these attributes. For example, one of the secondary characters in Dan’s life is a source of pain for him. By contrast, the secondary characters in Ash’s life are supportive, and help him talk through things he’s dealing with.
What’s your favorite scene from this book?
Well… [insert giggles]. My two lead characters are both bisexual men, however neither one has ever had sex with another man. My favourite scene in The Nature of the Game is one where they discover the joys (and trepidations) of anal sex. It’s quite a funny scene, if I do say so myself.
Meet the Author
Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.
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2 thoughts on “RELEASE BLITZ – The Nature of the Game (Stick Side 2) by Amy Aislin – #Interview #Excerpt #Sale #Giveaway”
I’m an Amy Aislin fan! I haven’t read either of these two, but I won On the Ice in the takeover I won 5 books, so I’ve got it on my e-reader, ready and waiting 🙂
Hockey stories are so popular lately, and these look particularly good! 💞