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Amy Aislin – The Nature of the Game

Thank you for joining me to celebrate the release of my newest m/m sports romance, The Nature of the Game, and thank you so much to Posy Roberts for having me!

The Nature of the Game, book two in the Stick Side series, is a second chance romance. Six years ago, the main characters—Ash and Dan—were in a relationship that didn’t end well. They haven’t spoken since then and now, all of a sudden, they’re back in each other’s lives.

The inspiration for The Nature of the Game came while I was writing the first book in the series, On the Ice, which is where we first met Ash and Dan. On the Ice features Mitch and Alex; The Nature of the Game features Dan(Mitch’s brother) and Ash (Alex’s teammate).

If you’ve read On the Ice, did you catch the extremely subtle—almost glossed-over—reference to Ash and Dan’s past? Here’s the line, buried in the middle of chapter twenty:

“It was a long time ago, before I met my now ex-wife, when I spent a summer working in New York. He kind of looked like you, actually.” Yager gestured at Mitch with his beer. “Hair all curly and cute and soft.”

It was a revelation for me, because while writing On the Ice I had planned to eventually pair Dan with Cody, Mitch’s best friend. But then Ash said the line, the one above, and it clicked in my head, suddenly. Cody wasn’t the partner for Dan; Ash was. But could I make it work given the timelines I’d already established in On the Ice?

Turns out I could, whether coincidentally or some quirk of fate. And The Nature of the Game was born!

The Nature of the Game is out now and is available for purchase at Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.


The Nature of the Game


Series: Stick Side #2
Publisher: self-published
Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 7, 2019
Length (Print & Ebook): 87,000 words / 330 pages
Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance
Tropes: second chances
Warnings: N/A

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?


The Nature of the Game is a second chance romance between an NHL player who’s recently publicly come out as bisexual and a suncatcher maker stuck in a job he’s indifferent about. It features making amends, reconnecting over a late-night baking session, and proving that second chances are sometimes worth the risk.

Excerpt

Running a hand over his face, Dan glanced over to the hallway Ash had disappeared down, and then kept staring, waiting for Ash to reappear again like some smitten teenager who couldn’t control his hormones.

He was so very cool.

Tearing his eyes away, he scanned the restaurant, his gaze snagging on a woman sitting with a group of friends. In her early twenties, she had brown hair to her shoulders and purple glasses were perched on her nose. She sunk into her chair with a grimace when Dan caught her ogling him, her lips twitching up in embarrassment. Dan smiled back at her despite the across-the-room flirting doing nothing for him. All he could think about was Ash. Ash’s arms streaked with dust; Ash’s muscles straining as they moved furniture around; Ash’s laughter when Dan nearly swallowed a dust bunny; Ash’s mad scramble to the other side of the apartment when Dan came down the stepladder with the spider colony; Ash’s expression when he talked about hockey; the emotion in Ash’s eyes when Dan had shown up earlier.

It was Ash. It had always been Ash.

Dan’s smile grew when the man himself reappeared next to him.

“Who are you smiling at?” Ash stood next to the booth, hands on his hips. His scowl would scare small children away.

“Um, you?”

Assuming they were leaving, Dan stood . . . and ran into a wall of muscle when Ash didn’t budge. Ash was warm and big and strong, and Dan forgot all his words. He swallowed hard and told himself the shiver was from the air conditioning.

Ash looked over his shoulder, scowled some more, and growled, “We’re leaving.”

They left. The walk back to Ash’s apartment was silent but for Ash’s stiff shoulders proclaiming his unhappiness with Dan, dinner, or the world at large. Who knew.

“Are you okay?”

“Just…” Ash gestured wildly, arms flying. “I’m trying to sort some stuff out. In my head.”

“O…kay.” Whatever that meant.

Reaching Ash’s apartment, Ash slammed the door behind them and whirled on Dan, hands on his hips.

“Do you want to date women?”

“Like, right this second?” I only want to date you. “Not particularly.”

“What about the woman from The Tavern?”

“Who?”

“You know.” Ash’s gestured. “The one you were smiling at.”

“Why are you being weird?”

“I’m being weird.” Ash huffed and paced away. “You were the one eye-flirting while I took a two-minute bio break.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“No idea what I’m…” He trailed off, jaw ticking, his eyes fire and fury. Pacing back to Dan, he clamped a hand behind Dan’s head, pulled him forward, and kissed him.

Ash kissed him.

Ash kissed him.

Ash kissed him.

Dan stood shocked and immobile.

“Gonna kiss me back?” Ash murmured against Dan’s lips, walking him backward until his back hit the wall next to the door. “Or just stand there like a corpse?”

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.  

Giveaway

Win a Stick Side prize pack, including signed paperbacks of books 1 and 2 in the series, as well as some Stick Side swag! Contest open internationally. Enter via Rafflecopter. Contest ends at 12:00am May 12.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sales

On the Ice, book 1 in the series, will be on sale for $0.99 across all platforms from May 6 to 13.

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