Review: High-Sticked by Lily Harlem

High-Sticked by Lily Harlem
Series: Hot Ice (# 5)
Release Date: June 21, 2013
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Pages: 191
Source: Book provided by publisher for review



Dating Todd “Pretty” Carty was a trailblazing, headline-grabbing ride that shocked and divided a team, a sport and a nation. While controversy ruled, our feelings exploded and we couldn’t deny the desire that sizzled between us. Nothing, however, was easy outside the bedroom. Not when my world-class, fearless athlete wanted to shout from Everest that he was in love with another man.

But laying my heart on the line and having my picture dominating the papers was worth it. Everything about Todd turned me on. His bold hockey skills, his courageous attitude and the way he melted in my arms when I kissed him. I melted too, because he knew how to press my buttons, remind me of the man I used to be and take me to those places where ecstasy ruled.

The world might have trouble accepting us, but we’d committed to each other, mind, body and soul, and nothing could change that.


Review:  Matthew is a photographer who knows his ideal companion is supposed to be rough and masculine rather than petite and feminine. That’s why he feels an instant attraction to NHL player, Todd “Pretty” Carty, never believing that his feelings could be reciprocated.

In this installment of Lily Harlem’s Hot Ice series, High-Sticked, Matthew and Todd explore the possibilities of a relationship amid a very public backdrop. While Matthew is perfectly comfortable with his lifestyle, the path to realization isn’t as smooth for Todd. The story line focuses sharply on Todd’s struggle to accept his sexuality.

There’s nothing typical about the two main characters. The writer uses an uber-masculine setting in the form of the world of hockey to prove that love can happen to anyone.

I found myself rooting for the characters as they faced the various challenges that accompany the professional athlete lifestyle. The book is packed with emotion, going beyond the surface to really explore what it is like to be a gay athlete.

As an experienced reader of erotica, this was my first official foray into the world of m/m literature. Although I have never experienced any emotional turmoil regarding my sexuality, I found it easy to identify with the characters because love is a universal language.

The photo shoot at the beginning of the story sets the tone for an attraction that is steaming hot. When the sparks of desire turn into a fiery inferno, there is no doubt that Lily Harlem has the ingredients for a truly satisfying read.