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Tripping #1

Soft Hands

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He’s always hit them and quit them...

Xander Richards, a winger for the Wisconsin Wendigos, has a reputation for never sleeping with the same person twice. Some say it’s ‘cause he doesn’t have any heart, but if you asked him at his most honest it’s because his heart isn’t his own: he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend and former linemate, who’s now happily married and traded away to Seattle last season.

Playing the ice has always come easy...

When Xander asks out Jordan Darling, team trainer and massage therapist, he doesn't expect to get shot down. It’s a first, but it only makes Xander that much more determined to make Jordan his. But Jordan wants a relationship, not just the one-night stands that make up Xander’s sexual life.

Just when he thought his heart was on ice, love comes skating in...

What Xander doesn’t know is that Jordan has been nursing an unrequited crush on him for over a year. Lonely without his best friend, when he finally opens his eyes to what is right in front of him, the chemistry is undeniable. And for once, it keeps Xander coming back for more

Is Jordan the other half of his heart? Will Xander put his player days and ways behind him? Or will he push Jordan away to find someone who deserves him?

Find out in this steamy sports romance novel, filled with heart-stopping moments, heart-pounding sexual tension, and two hearts that just might be what the other needs.

193 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 14, 2018

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About the author

Ariel Bishop

21 books34 followers
Ariel Bishop is an American romance and erotica author who feels strongly that all love triangles are best resolved through healthy polyamory. She has been a reader of romantic and erotic fiction for the entirety of her adult life and draws on that experience as well as her own imagination to create original erotic stories

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5 stars
111 (27%)
4 stars
140 (34%)
3 stars
126 (31%)
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18 (4%)
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9 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 63 reviews
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,341 reviews306 followers
May 19, 2018
Good solid sports romance

This is a good, solid sports romance in that wonderful fictional land where professional ice hockey players can be bisexual or gay without the world caring.

It'd be great if that ever translated into real life but until then, books like this one will do the job. It does it relatively well, there's a couple of odd hiccups, but overall I enjoyed this romance.

It's a well crafted slow burn friends to lovers in essence. It takes time to develop and I liked that Xander took a while to realise he was demi-romantic.

There's not really much given over to the sport element in this book. The ice hockey element is just there as background noise really but it works for this narrative.
Profile Image for namericanwordcat.
2,442 reviews408 followers
March 24, 2018
I really enjoyed some of the smaller character details of this sports romance.

This is a erotic romance in the way that we see the one of the heroes together with other people before getting together with his forever guy. I think this took away from the overall story really and would have much preferred those encounters be off page.

Once the romance gets going it is really sweet and hot.

It is a great friendship and a great romance with nice layers to the characters that I don't wish to spoil.

The next books in the series looks to be poly.
Profile Image for Kendra T.
2,374 reviews31 followers
February 28, 2018
I am a total sucker for books featuring hockey players. I also only read M/M romance, so having girly parts in the first chapter threw me for a bit of a loop. Luckily, they didn't last long and weren't seen again (haha).

Xander is a self-proclaimed bisexual with no desire to settle down. He's a hot shot hockey player, and lives the crazy life. Jordan is one of the team's trainers, and is fortunate enough to have to massage hockey players every day (I think this could be one of my dream jobs..lol!) He is very attracted to Xander, but is more interested in relationships than in one night stands. When Xander asks him out, he turns him down because he doesn't want to be a notch on the bedpost. Over time, Xander and Jordan just become friends, until they slowly become much more. There was a lot of slow burn for these two.

I loved Xander's discovery of himself, and Jordan's patience (end eventual almost loss of patience). These two were so great together, and I loved watching them develop together. I loved how the couple was biracial, and the author did not shy away from gently mentioning Jordan's race up a couple of times. It was refreshing to see some diversity.

The author did a great job setting up the next book in the series, and I can not wait to see them all come together. Hopefully I'll get some more Xander and Jordan as well!

I am voluntarily reviewing a free advanced reader copy of this book received from the author
Profile Image for ash.
406 reviews13 followers
July 4, 2021
This was okay to fine. The writing was on the better end of what I've seen but I didn't feel particularly compelled by either of these characters because their lives felt so narrow despite the inclusion of friends outside of the work environment they share and it never felt fun or energetic or lively which is what I am always looking for in romance.

I was probably harder on this than normal because it felt subtly, but intensely homophobic to me from the jump and it colored my view of the book the entire way. The author goes out of their way to content warn for anal and oral sex between two cis men in a book that's very clearly a m/m romance, but then doesn't warn for oral and vaginal sex with a cis woman while claiming that the warning is for people who are sex-averse?

It then insists on condoms between those men during oral sex (a very very low risk behavior!) but then has Xander perform oral sex on that cis woman without a dental dam?

I know this probably seems nitpicky, but this is the kind of insidious homophobia that ends up hurting queer people - particularly gay men - and it should've been caught in the editorial process, assuming there was one. It's as simple as including a dental dam if you're insisting on absolute best practice/safest sex and probably dropping a line that Xander is on Prep like most of the guys with his kind of sex life would be.

Anyway! I will probably read more of Bishop's books since they're essentially free at the moment, so I guess we'll hope for better next time.
Profile Image for AussieMum.
1,330 reviews41 followers
June 18, 2018
This was a nice and fairly straightforward romance, where a hit-it-and-quit-it guy realises he's demi-romantic. There's little to no hockey but I liked the characters so I'm happy enough to continue the series.
Profile Image for the kevin (on brainrot hiatus).
946 reviews113 followers
January 11, 2021
Automatically, I am tragically forced to deduct a half star for being in third person present tense, as that tense is an abomination before god and all creation.

A cute hockey romance between a hockey player and the team masseuse - a combo I've never encountered before. It gives them a unique way to interact. There is very little (actually, I would argue no) hockey in this. It's just sort of the back drop which was a little disappointing.

I liked seeing Xander and Jordan build an easy friendship, and eventually cave to the physical attraction too. It never felt like a terribly deep connection to me, though I could also blame the third person present tense for that - it always feels sort of clinically distant to me. It keeps me out of the story. Regardless, it was a lighthearted connection, not necessarily a bad thing, just a thing. I would have liked to see more depth to it.

This is also a hockey universe where no one cares about sexual orientation, so there's no coming out problem or being found out problem, just the hazards of dating a colleague. (minor here)

I had hoped for some more colorful sex scenes following the one with Nick in the beginning, but it never quite made it back to that point in my opinion. Still decent steam, though I disliked having the book open with a MMF scene.
Profile Image for Nanna Sander.
665 reviews38 followers
October 9, 2018
3.5 stars.

Both characters were a bit of a conundrum to me. Jordan goes from being kinda subdued to being assertive, while Xander goes from being an out going player-type to being submissive and shy. It left me a little baffled and confused since they almost switched roles.
Profile Image for Paige.
858 reviews82 followers
September 9, 2021
3.5 stars rounded up.

The first few scenes threw my expectations for a loop — we started with an MMF between one of the heroes and hookups, then almost immediately went into a fantasy MMF between that same hero and his two best friends.

As a rule, I don’t like reading explicit sex scenes that aren’t between the main pairing, and this book is no exception. Start with him waking up between two hookups, sure, that gives us the characterization, but I’d really rather not see them actually fuck.

Also, this is the second MM book I’ve read in a few weeks that uses condoms for blowjobs. Do people (guys or gals) actually do that?

I did think Bishop handled the massage well. It walked the line of “this is a hot guy I get to touch him now” with “I am a professional this is my job” really way, and never crossed it for me.

I wish we’d gotten a bit more of Xander’s reservations and past hang ups earlier. As it was, him running away felt a tad over dramatic and out of character.

It was kind of fun reading an MM hockey book set in a fantasy world where homophobia doesn’t exist.

Overall, a fun read. I’ll keep going w the series.

Contains: Demiromantic/bisexual hero (can’t remember stated orientation of other), masseuse/trainer + athlete, MM (+MMF hookups only w one hero), friends to FWBs (sorta) to lovers

Steam: 4/5🔥
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Antisocial Recluse.
2,710 reviews
May 25, 2019
3.5 Demiromantic Stars

This was enjoyable, with likable characters in Xander and Jordan. Xander is kind of a hoe, sleeping with men, women or both but can’t find anyone like the best friend he’s still in love with. I really liked how the BFF and his wife interacted with him. Jordan was harder for me to like, because his internal thoughts about Xander were often negative. Of course, I liked the representation of someone on the ace/aro spectrum. There’s a number of sex scenes and the author uses a super-safe portrayal for them. I’ll try the next book and see how it develops.
Profile Image for JD Crittendon.
1,118 reviews10 followers
August 22, 2018
Sexy Love!

From a crush to friends to lovers is Xander & Jordan love story.
A light read, full of sexy fun. Observations: this author loves the words ‘stupid and dumb’, a bit of overused to me. I also wonder about Brooke’s relationship to Xander. They seem like best friends beyond Justin. I like to know more.
Profile Image for caroline wilson.
557 reviews3 followers
February 14, 2018
I received this book from the author for an honest opinion
I really enjoyed this book I especially enjoy hockey books and with the winter Olympics on at the moment its the perfect accompaniment. Xander is a hockey player for the Wisconsin Wendigos, play boy who never sleeps with the same person twice and has a mind frame of sleeping with anyone he fancies as long as they don't encroach emotionally they can have him physically. The only person he's ever loved is his best friend who's happily married to a woman. When Jordan who is the wendigos massage therapist takes his fancy he's stunned when he turns him down not once but twice, no one has ever done that.
Jordan has had a secret crush on xander since he started working at the wendigos and when xander asks him out he's over the moon but still turns him down as he knows xander is a have your fun and leave them type of guy and he's hoping for so much more.
Having Jordan turn him down just makes him think about him more and its not until they decide to form a friendship that they realise how compatible they actually are.
I enjoyed both these characters and the secondary ones added a bit of humour to the mix. The book is set in the hockey world but its not the main draw of the book instead its the slow unveiling of the romance between the two characters. I enjoyed this and am looking forward to the next.
Profile Image for John-Torleif  Harris.
2,598 reviews11 followers
September 15, 2018
Good story

I know that as an erotic romance, this book is going to contain more sex than is typical, but there were several scenes in this book that felt more like they were inserted because we hadn't had one in a while rather than flowing with the story.

Xander and Jordan weren't as interesting a couple as I wanted them to be, but I enjoyed reading this story and plan on reading the next.
Profile Image for Lillian Francis.
Author 15 books96 followers
June 14, 2018
The author, by her own admission, is 'a romance and erotica author'. I think this shows in the sheer number of sex scenes there are in these two books. For my personal preference, there were far too many, but then I'm generally happy with two or three (or none at all), not one almost every chapter, but your mileage my vary. If you do like an abundance of sex scenes, rest assured they are very well done.

Soft Hands starts with Xander in a casual MMF threesome, then he fantasises a MMF threesome scene with his best friend, then, after we've met the other MC (Jordan), Xander picks up a guy in a bar and takes him home for a one-night stand. All these scenes take place in the first 23% and all are explicit. As a romance reader (as opposed to an erotica reader) I have no issue with an MC having sex with other people in the story (especially this early on, and since Jordan has already turned Xander down) but I'd rather it be off page. I'm not invested in these people getting together because there is no future for them and therefore don't want to read the intimate details.

Luckily Soft Hands got much better (for me) after the 40% mark when Xander and Jordan decide to just be friends. Unsurprisingly Xander stops sleeping around while he and Jordan get to know each other on a more platonic level of friendship, although those pesky things called feelings just won't go away. I ended up really enjoying their story.

I would say that the league they played in seemed to be a utopia for gay ice hockey players given the blanket acceptance they were afforded. Oh that it could be like that in real life, but a quick check of out gay hockey players gives a very short list that is predominantly female.

This book took about 2 hours to read, and is written in 3rd person (alt MC pov), present tense.
538 reviews
August 5, 2019
First of all this book has flaws (Jordan go from 27 to his thirties to 26 to name the one that shocked me the most) BUT if there's one thing that it did great was the black guy rep I mean a book with a black person without mentioning chocolate??? Hello ?? Without mentioning his race all the time but still acknowledging his race's struggle???

Also how did the author manage to not make me gag at the use of the present tense?

Finally I loved the drama free sport scene, I will be continuing this series!
11 reviews
June 14, 2021
Loved it!

I love the characters! The personalities were relatable and endearing! Some many different types of relationships without being overkill; great storytelling! I can’t wait to find out who is in book 2!
Profile Image for Meg.
1,033 reviews21 followers
September 30, 2022
First, this starts off with a🔥🔥. A very steamy MM hockey novella where the MCs develop their friendship based on NK Jemisin books? @roostercalls coming in strong with the extremely niche perfect rec for me with this.
15 reviews
February 13, 2018
Soft Hands is a great comfort read if you appreciate MM romance in a world of diverse ethnicities and sexualities...oh yeah, and some pretty hot smut. The book wastes no time diving straight into a steamy sex scene between Xander, one of the main characters, and his latest partners from the night before, setting the scene for easy and enjoyable sex throughout the story between eager partners who are great at communicating (during the act, at least) and always mindful of safe sex practices. In-between hotter interludes we get the sweet story of Jordan, a physical trainer and massage therapist for a professional hockey team who has a healthy social life and steady career but longs to find someone to settle down with, who is unfortunately crushing on Xander, the forward on his hockey team who prefers to take a different partner (or two) to bed every night and thinks he’s incapable of falling in love...or at least incapable of falling in love with anyone besides his married best friend who was just transferred to a different team.

Though Xander and Jordan seem like their romantic goals are completely incompatible, it’s a treat watching them strike up a nerdy friendship over books, TV shows, and cooking, interspersed with loaded massage therapy sessions and punctuated by angsty, guilty fantasies, wanking, and one-night stands until the sexual tension becomes too much.

If you’re into supportive and protective friends and family, some gentle exploration of identity, slow-burn friends-to-lovers romance, praise-heavy dirty talk, teasing, and the occasional hint of power dynamics and consensual roughness, I highly recommend this book. The author’s voice always makes you feel like you’re in good hands, with just enough angst to keep things interesting. Don’t let the hockey setting fool you - you don’t need to appreciate the sport in any greater capacity than as an excuse for well-muscled men to need shirtless massages daily from other well-muscled men. Often while moaning suggestively.

This is my first book from this author, an ARC I received at no expense to the author in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for X.
592 reviews
July 28, 2022
In general, a serviceable m/m sports romance. I’m definitely hitting a second wind in terms of this subgenre haha, I was bored of it for a while but I’m getting back into it!

This one was well-written in terms of the relationship, emotional arcs, and supporting characters, and I’ll probably continue with the series. However, it did implicate a few of my pet peeves:

1) Not to sound crotchety, but i don’t love when a narrative treats “naming” of an identity as an emotionally game-changing moment without any follow-through. Here, a big turning point/breakthrough has to do with someone telling a main character that he is aromantic. After hearing this and feeling that it’s right, all emotional barriers are lifted and this character magically is willing to commit and no longer devalues himself in a relationship context.

This approach always feels very handwave-y to me, since I have tended to find that in reality people’s big realizations about things like that… don’t actually magically solve all their emotional/relationship issues. Sure, there might be that sense of relief, but the work of unpacking what that means hasn’t even begun. It just strikes me as unrealistic not to acknowledge that aspect.

I guess you could say it’s an intentional authorial choice that any subsequent processing isn’t included in this story… but it doesn’t come across like that to me here.

2) Another ymmv-type thing for me with this book is a non-white main character who I kept forgetting was not white until the occasional line from him about white people or whatever. I can’t speak for people of color so maybe this is just my own ignorance or my own assumption that a character would be white… but it felt more like this character was written as a white person and then was given a few lines of dialogue in order to diversify him. I don’t know that his characterization really worked for me in this particular regard.

And finally, the ending was dragged out a little, but the book in general was pretty short so I didn’t mind it much.
2 reviews
February 14, 2018
4.5 stars
Xander is a one of the hockey players on the Wisconsin Wendigos, he flirts with everyone and never sleeps with people twice and he has only had romantic feelings for one person and that is his straight best friend.
Jordan is a massage therapist for the team, he has had a crush on the flirty forward Xander since forever and he really wants a relationship.

For Jordan it's sweet torture to work on a half naked, moaning Xander and keeping it professional is something he constantly has to remind himself of. Then one day Xander asks him out and Jordan immediately shoots him down. To have Xander for a night would be a fantasy, but Jordan doesn't want to be another one of Xanders one nighters.
To be turned down is quite a surprise for Xander, it even stings a little and he can't help that he's getting back at Jordan with little touches and a lot of moaning on the massage table. And he still gets the boot a second time with Jordan explaining that he doesn't want just one night.
Xander doesn't know why that bothers him and in a Skype session with his best friend Justin and Justins wife they give him the advice of getting to know Jordan instead and make a friend since they are not longer in the same city and Xander is lonely (on a side note, the wife Brooke is just awesome).

When Xander decides to follow their advice and he and Jordan starts a friendship they find out that they both like the same things in books, films and tv shows. And while they are getting on really well the sexual tension grows until they can't keep their hands of each other. Now they just have to decide where this is going.

I really like this book (hockey books are one of my favourites), Xander and Jordan are hot together, the side characters are awesome, the sexual build up is great and I love the demiromantic thing.

I received an ARC of the book for and honest and unbiased review
Profile Image for Ashley.
Author 5 books23 followers
March 29, 2018
This had everything that I wanted in a book. There was tension between the man characters, attraction, pining, figuring things out and actual romance that led up to the steamier scenes! And I read it all in one sitting. I loved it, don’t judge.
One thing you should know, there is a scene in the beginning that involved a female so if you’re a stickler for the books needing to be 100% M/M it might bother you. Honestly I forgot about it until I sat down to write my review.

Xander Richards is what you immediately think of with a pro-athlete. He takes care of his body, lavishes in the attention given to him and relishes in his sexuality. What I found quite interesting was he’s demisexual. Like how awesome is that? I consider myself a demisexual so to see someone write about it had me excited.

Then there’s Jordan Darling, a Louisiana boy. Oh my gosh, does this get any better? (I live like an hour from Baton Rouge so I spazzed a little) There were a lot of little details that definitely showed he was from the south. His calls with his Nana, the food, and the sense of family he has.

Jordan fights his attraction to Xander because he doesn’t want to be another one night stand. He wants more. He fights that attraction at every turn and corner because Xander is constantly there. Any scene that had Jordan massaging and working Xander’s shoulder was delicious to me. They had to fight their attraction, remain professional and not do anything inappropriate.

What I absolutely loved? The fact that Xander was a geeky hockey player. He loves to read and watch all the shows I like. It was nice to see a more introverted relationship portrayed throughout this. I just wanted to shake them at times and say, “talk to each other!”. But they get figure their stuff out.

So the question, should you read/buy this? Yes. If you like hockey with your romance read this!
Profile Image for Natosha Wilson.
1,274 reviews14 followers
May 27, 2018
I loved the push and pull between the two men in this book. This was a good read and I enjoyed every moment of it. Ariel Bishop did a great job of writing this book. The only thing that I can say that I did not like about this book is the fact that the transition from one moment in time to the next was not there. Instead of making a new paragraph, the moments in time just kind of ran together and confused me a few times through this read.

Xander is a true playboy. He is not one that does repeats with men or women. He believes himself to be in love with his best friend but what he does not realize is, the love he feels for Justin is not real, true love but the love of a best friend.

So when Xander feels and overwhelming attraction to Jordan, he believes it is because he only wants to get in his pants. When Jordan turns him down and let’s Xander know that he is looking for something that Xander cannot give him, a relationship, Xander is thrown by this.

Even still Xander does not give up hope. Instead he decides to become friends with Jordan instead. This friendship is easy in some ways and not so easy in others because both men are so attracted to one another. When both men finally give in to their attraction, it is mind blowing for both of them. The only problem is Xander still knows he is not what Jordan needs or wants because he is still not the relationship type.

Can two men that want each other but want different hinges find a way to make things work between them? This was such a great read. I truly enjoyed this book and would have given it a 5 star rating but the transition I talked about earlier is what kept me from doing so. Other then that, this was definitely an incredible read. I really enjoyed it. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Was given this galley copy for free for an open and honest review

Profile Image for Karen Lane.
929 reviews
May 31, 2018
4.75 Stars.
This is the first book I’ve read from this author, and I will continue to follow her. Soft Hands ticked a lot of my boxes. I love sports stories, I love athletes, and I love ice hockey, so 3 big ticks. I really liked Xander, he comes across as a ‘player’ on and off the ice, but he has a heart of gold, and once he falls, he falls hard. Jordan is the quintessential doubter. He doesn’t believe in Xander or his ability to commit to him, throw in the fact that he shouldn’t fraternise with a player because he works for the team as a therapist, and we have a few issues. I did find it interesting that in the Wendigo’s universe and their league, it seems to be very acceptable to be gay, so there wasn’t any bigoted behaviour, which is nice to a point, (in a perfect world) but potentially a little unrealistic. Jordan has had a crush on Xander for a while, and he believes his feelings are unrequited, Xander asks him out but Jordan shoots him down at first, thinking he wouldn’t be able to cope but he soon realises a little of Xander is better than nothing at all, so here is where things heat up and their personal relationship develops. I loved the massage sessions, and when they first get together it is seriously hot, and just gets hotter as the storyline progresses. We have the standard small misunderstandings, but it doesn’t bog you down, and the eventual self-awareness and self-discoveries that bring them closer together is really well done. I loved the development of the two main protagonists, but I also liked the secondary characters, who you can no doubt assume are the next book in the series. This is a good solid sports story, a little slow burn, sexy time’s, friends to lovers, easy to read well written novel.
Profile Image for Emma.
782 reviews54 followers
June 25, 2018
Started poorly but finished well - 2.5* rounded up

The beginning of this book is all sex. Way too much sex. I was so bored that at about 25% when exactly one thing had occurred other than sex I was ready to pull the plug. I decided to finish the chapter and it all started to change by then.

Xander is a bi-sexual hockey player in some alternate reality that makes that a non-issue. The whole team knows and apparently does not care. The book opens with him waking up with a couple that he had a ONS threesome with the night before. This leads to the first sex scene as they get busy again and if you don't like lady parts it is time to skim over a few paragraphs. They mention they won't go to the press so presumably a threesome is a possible issue. He treats them nicely but makes it clear that after they leave he won't be seeing them again.

Jordan is a massage therapist and trainer for the team. He has a crush on Xander so we get treated to some of his fantasies. Did I mention how bored I was at the beginning. Xander asks him out on a whim and Jordan is tempted but he is not interested in one night with a colleague so he says no. Causing Xander to go out and pick up someone else and we inexplicably get to read about their hookup in great detail. Other than introductions to side characters that is all that occurs for the first quarter of the book. And then Xander asks Jordan to be his friend and everything started to click.

I really enjoyed the two men getting to know one another and becoming real friends. So often this is just ignored in romance books. Eventually Xander finds himself really in love with Jordan and figuring out his own sexuality in a bit more detail. All leading to a very nice happy ending.

In the end I liked it well enough to read book 2.
Profile Image for Serra ᵔ·͈༝·͈ᵔ.
276 reviews16 followers
June 5, 2018
This could have easily been a 5 star read for me. The only reason I’m deducting a star is because the beginning of the book had several sex scenes between Xander and other people in explicit detail and I really didn’t like that.

However, the story truly picked up after the first quarter. I adored the slow building of Xander and Jordan’s relationship, it was the perfect execution of friends to lovers and the escalating sexual tension between them had me at the edge of my seat anticipating the moment they snapped. And snap it did! The sex scenes, and the sensual massages, between them were really hot while maintaining the emotionality.

I’d expected Xander to be a cocky jock and he pleasently surprised me. I ended up liking him a lot, he was a bit of a player but he was also very attentive and caring, a secret nerd too! When it was revealed that it was the best plot twist and a great reversal of the playboy trope. I liked Jordan just as much, he was so endearing and I appreciated him being determined to priotize his own needs, but at the end he just couldn’t resist the pull between him and Xander. Who can blame him?

Overall, this was a story that kept getting better as I read and I ended up loving it more than I thought I would. There were some editing mistakes but those were few and easily ignored. I appreciated that it was a light read and that homophobia wasn’t an issue. Sometimes I just want a peaceful world where being queer isn’t a big deal, and Soft Hands delivered that to me.

I also have to say that I just love the cover.
Profile Image for Laurie.
172 reviews25 followers
February 14, 2018
This is a story about wanting what you can’t have. Xander identifies as bi. With a smorgasbord of willing partners, he doesn’t do repeats. Ever. Which means a revolving door of people. When his best friend’s girlfriend tells him to go make friends, he thinks of Jordan. He has always had a spark of interest in Jordan, the massage therapist for the team. He knows better than to bed someone he works with, but what can it hurt? When Jordan says ‘no’, of course Xander wants him even more. What he doesn’t know if his want is as a friend or more.

Jordan wants the whole domestic package. The husband, kids and a home. He won’t be another one of Xander’s one and done conquests. He turns Xander down when he asks, being honest about what he’s looking for. If only Xander doesn’t do the one and done. Because Jordan is really attracted to him. So, when Xander asks to be friends, how can he say no to that? But constant proximity to Xander wears him down.

It was fun to watch these two discover how much they have in common. And for Xander to realized who he is and grow as a person. Wonderful story, with great characters. The opening of this story was unexpected, with lady bits involved. Not what I expected in a M/M story. But it’s over soon and doesn’t really take away from the rest of story.
Profile Image for Edga.
1,657 reviews18 followers
February 20, 2018
When I read the blurb for this I wasn't expecting such a sweet romance. Initially,when the the book opened with a MFM sex scene, I immediately thought, 'not for me!.' However, the scene didn't last too long, and I carried on reading. I'm really glad that I did.

I really liked the main characters, this surprised me, cos after the opening scene, I was prepared to really dislike Xander. However, I totally misjudged him and ended up enjoying both him and Jordan as a couple. They were quite realistically written, and, despite their differences, were well matched. Once the story got going, they were so adorable together.

Jordan, although attracted to Xander, wants to settle down and have a family, Xander is his total opposite. Jordan is totally not willing to compromise. When he's approached by Xander, he closes him down. The story develops from here, and their dealings with each other, though down to earth, are quite sweet.

I really like sports romances, so this aspect added to my enjoyment. I thought that the book struck the right balance of sport and romance.

I thought that the side characters were very well written, particularly Jordan's Nana, and Xander's friends, Justin and Brooke. The story developed well throughout, it was nice to follow the development of Xander's character and his attitude change towards Jordan.
865 reviews1 follower
June 8, 2018
This is the first book in The Tripping Series. An interesting book the writing was okay. There are places that need some help though. There are paragraphs that in the same paragraph two unrelated events are happening. It can be a bit confusing going from the locker room to a hotel room with two connecting sentences in the same paragraph. There is also some wrong word usage like coach instead of couch. The plot was entertaining and it was steady throughout the book. I found the story and characters likeable. This story wasn’t what I expected, and I had a problem with some of the beginning. It was Xander’s actions of a sexual manner. I know that a lot of people won’t have a problem with it, but it just isn’t for me. I thought that in general the flow of the book was off. That there was an imbalance of the story and the sex scenes. The characters were developed and thought out. Although I would have liked more about their backgrounds. Xander Richards and Jordan Darling are the MC’s of this book. There was humor, teammates, friends, hockey, one-night stands, sex, an MMF scene, hockey, massages and more in this book. I voluntarily read an advance copy of this book for an honest review.

Profile Image for Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews.
2,683 reviews121 followers
May 15, 2018
I love a good romance involving hockey players. And this one did not disappoint.
In the beginning, Jordan has a big crush on Xander, which isn't easy to handle at times since he is a massage therapist for Xander's hockey team.
When Xander asks him out, Jordan says no. He knows that Xander is a big flirt, who sleeps around a lot, and never does repeats. He does not want to be stuck working with Xander after being a one night stand. Jordan is looking for someone to marry and have kids with. Xander is not.

When Xander's friends suggest he just be friends with Jordan, he agrees. And they start to hang out a lot. Eventually, they start sleeping together. Xander still thinks they are just a short term thing. He isn't looking for love.

In the end, he discovers that he is demi-sexual. And now that he has gotten to be so close to Jordan, he is falling in love with him.

I found this book to be very good. It flowed well, the sex was hot, and I was really routing for their relationship to work.

I also really enjoyed the secondary characters, Xander's two best friends. They provided some great humor and insight into Xander's life.
Profile Image for R.
1,738 reviews
May 21, 2018
Xander's trying to forget that his best friend, the man he loves, just got married. He's a love em and leave em kind of guy. Men or women, he isn't picky. He's a hockey player so finding bed partners isn't a problem. He comes across as a jerk.

Jordan is the team massage therapist, getting his hands on Xander every day is torture. He's carried a gigantic crush on him for a while. When Xander asks him out, he turns him down flat. Not about to be Xander's latest one night stand.

Xander likes Jordan and can't understand why he won't go out with him. Xander complains to his best friends new wife that he is lonely. She tells him he needs to make a friend. He makes overtures to Jordan and they start hanging out. Jordan knows it's eventually going to hurt but can't help himself. What theoretically starts as friendship turns into something more. Till Xander runs away.

I like sports stories with sexy clueless guys. This was a fun read for me.

Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads.
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