Breaking The Ice – Julie Cross – Juniper Falls #2 – Entangled Publishing – Published 26 December 2017
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.
Once again, Julie Cross delivers with a light-hearted, yet deeply emotional story that is so much fun. Sport, romance, coming of age, friendship, family, fears and dreams all come together in a story that lets you sink in to it and happily stay awhile. No matter how many Julie Cross books I have read and loved, still she surprises me with characters that are deeply layered and stereotype-defying, and romance that just knocks my socks off.
Haley Stevenson is failing her high school civics class, still reeling from a relationship breakdown, and is stuck in summer school trying to save her grades. But all everyone else sees is her ‘perfect’ exterior, Juniper Falls Princess and cheer captain. Fletcher Scott is determine to not attract too much attention, working his way to a more permanent spot on the school ice hockey team, helping his father, brother, and grandfather on the family farm, working, and adding a summer school course so he can continue with advanced college courses in his senior year. This summer promises a chance for Haley and Fletcher to look beyond first impressions and to challenge everyone’s expectations, including their own.
I have to admit that when I started reading Breaking The Ice I was a little worried that it was headed down the ‘dumb, blonde’ cheerleader route. I am very happy to say that not only did the book not do that, it called that ridiculous stereotype out and told it to back off. Haley is an athlete, a caring (if bossy) friend, and someone who is well aware of her faults and determined to change because of them. Fletcher is similarly a complex character – keen student, up and coming hockey player, quiet, and determined to stay off everyone’s radar. There’s also the mystery of his employment. Their developing relationship, the push and pull of their ‘should we, shouldn’t we’, and the time they spend really getting to know each other (not to mention their off the charts chemistry) makes their romance delightfully addictive.
There are many fantastic secondary characters in Breaking The Ice, some of which readers will recognise from the first book in this Juniper Falls series. However, while there are character crossovers, each story can be read as a standalone and in any order. I look forward to reading book three in the series and I’m intrigued as to who will be the main characters.
I really enjoyed reading Breaking The Ice, and highly recommend it for readers of mature young adult or new adult novels, and who enjoy sport, romance, and brilliantly crafted writing.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction/ New adult fiction.
Themes: Sport, Ice Hockey, Cheer leading, Allergies, High school, romance, relationships, friendship.
Reading age guide: Ages 14-16 and up. (Publishers recommend age 14 and up).
Advisory: Frequent coarse language, f*** (45), sh** (78), as***** (16), bit** (4), pi** (11). Strong, frequent sexual referneces, references to sexual relationships, implied and detailed sex scenes. Alcohol consumption.
Published: 26 December 2017 by Entangled Publishing.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 300 pages.