REVIEWED by Jen B.
TITLE: Blood on the Ice
AUTHOR: Katriena Knights
PUBLISHER: Loose Id
LENGTH: 320 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 8, 2017
BLURB: The neutral zone is no place for a vampire…
A right wing for the Chicago Blackhawks, all Travis Payne wants is to see his name on the Stanley Cup. He certainly doesn’t expect to be attacked by a vampire on the eve of the Finals. But when he wakes up in the Warm Room of the Cook County Morgue, he knows his life will never be the same. Fortunately, Travis can still play hockey with the Chicago Cobras, the local vampire league franchise.
Cobras captain Marcus Antonius, a former Roman gladiator, is more than willing to help Travis adjust to his new life, his new team, and the erosion of his formerly flaming heterosexuality. Travis is a difficult student, though–all he wants is his life to return to normal. Unfortunately, learning to be a good vampire is even more complicated than following concussion protocols, and Travis will have to let go of everything to find a new normal.
Travis is a few short games away from achieving his goal of seeing his name on the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, when he decides to play good Samaritan by helping a woman being fed on by vampires, the vampires turn on him and he is turned against his will. He quickly finds out that life as he knows it will never be the same.
Luckily for him there is a vampire hockey league eager to snatch him up. Marcus, the Captain of the team Travis is transferred to, is tasked with taking Travis under his wing, to make sure he adjusts to the change in hockey, as well as his new life as a vampire. Travis has a bit of a hard time adjusting to and coming to terms with his new life. He has to learn to feed himself without hurting anyone, and quickly realizes that along with his new vampire cravings, he is also now attracted to men, or, more specifically, Marcus. He also has to make a few adjustments to his hockey playing now that he plays with others who basically can’t be hurt.
I enjoyed this rather unique story in that the vampires made a place for themselves with their own hockey league. There were still tensions between the humans and the vampires, and a lot of politics to go with it. Travis has a few fights on his hands – one with trying to get the recognition he deserves by having his name on the Cup, which the NHL seems eager to deny him, and the other with seeking justice for being turned against his will. I liked the various storylines or issues being dealt with which made it interesting. Travis and Marcus were great together, though we don’t get to see much depth to their relationship other than the obvious connections of being teammates and vampires.
This felt like it should be the start of a series, and I was a bit disappointed to find out it wasn’t. There are a few other interesting characters on the team, and I’d really like to see more of this world and how Travis and Marcus are making out a bit farther down the road. But, it was well written and steady-paced. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from Ms. Knights in the future.