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Peek Inside Off the Ice

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat.

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All is fair in love and hockey… 

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

Each book in the Juniper Falls series is STANDALONE:
* Off the Ice
* Breaking the Ice
* On Thin Ice


5 stars: Everyone is in for a treat! Loved.” –Roni Loren, author of Crash into You

5 stars: “[It’s] Friday Night Lights but with Hockey. [...] There's drama. There's the love of the game. And there's romance.” –Elizabeth, Goodreads Reviewer

4.5 stars: Wow, this book had so much depth and heart. [...] This book has two characters dealing with some pretty heavy stuff, and I really loved how the author took us through that and the reactions and actions all made sense to me. It was just really well done. It made me feel for both of them, and I was intrigued with how they were dealing with it and how their relationship with each other would either benefit or hinder them.” –Lenore Kosinski, Celebrity Readers

5 stars: I just loved everything about this novel. The characters, the setting, the romance, the stakes–it all worked for me. And I honestly am so excited to know that there will be more stories set in Juniper Falls, it seems to me like it’s a town worth knowing.” –Eva Scalzo, Definitely, Possibly, Maybe

5 stars: “Cross does a great job of capturing the sweet, raw emotions of young love and coming-of-age through natural dialogue and real-to-life character reactions. The secondary characters keep this story moving as well. I’m excited for the next book in this series.” –Dawn Alexander,

4 stars: The absolute best thing about this book is that it is book one in the Juniper Falls series and that means there are going to be more books!!! Already I can see so many possibilities for secondary characters in this book to have a chance to tell their story and I can't wait.” –Madison, Madison’s Library

5 stars: “Readers will be drawn into the story and become invested in the character’s lives. Definitely recommend!” –Kristen Cambensy, Victim of Books

5 stars: “I really enjoyed this story though it’s a departure from the normal books I review and read.” –Sharon Moritz, Librarian at Oxnard Public Library

4 stars: There is so much to love about this book. Well-developed characters that jump off the page - check. Characters that don't act like spoiled twelve-year-olds all the time - check. Intriguing story - check. Swoony romance - check. Storyline and plot points that aren't overused - check. A good writing style - check.” –Hristina Petrov, I’ll Be Fine Alone Reads

5 stars: “Love love loved this! Julie has done it again!–Serenity, Lovely Reads Publishing

5 stars: Definitely recommended for hockey fans that are looking for romance based stories. It's a nice mix and I can't wait to see what Julie Cross has in store for the next installments.” –Samantha Myers, Pink Earmuffs

4 stars: Tate was such a great amazing book boyfriend. He was sweet, romantic, caring, everything that any girl would want.” –Christina Somerville, Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars: Grab your coats and your snow-shoes! This is the best kind of cold! Curl up and enjoy a sweet romance to warm your heart! I love Tate and Claire.” –Hadassah Harper, Haddie’s Haven

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633756564
Series: Juniper Falls, Book 1
Release Date: Feb 28, 2017
Page Count: 300
Imprint: teen
Genre: contemporary, sports romance, young adult
Tropes: forbidden love/off limits, friends to lovers

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on

Off the Ice was my first book from Julie Cross and I was completely enraptured. I loved how it was sweet and adorable, while also being deep and emotional. It was the best of both worlds. So if you're a fan of young adult, or sports romances, then definitely check this one out. I'm so glad I did!


By Irene March 07, 2017

4 stars

I really enjoyed Off the Ice by Julie Cross.
The storyline was well written, the characters Tate and Claire were likable, entertaining and I loved watching the relationship develop.

Overall, Off the Ice was a quick and heartwarming read, a great start to the Juniper Falls series.


Buy your copy n ...more

By Jamie :) April 03, 2020

4.5 stars

This was cute, I needed this ...more

By Siobhan March 09, 2017

I read Chasing Truth by Julie Cross a few months back and absolutely adored it so I was super excited to get my hands on this book, especially because I love me some hockey romance. While I did enjoy this book, and I'm definitely invested in this series, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed w ...more

By Hristina February 15, 2017

There is so much to love about this book. Well-developed characters that jump off the page - check. Characters that don't act like spoiled twelve-year-olds all the time - check. Intriguing story - check. Swoony romance - check. Storyline and plot points that aren't overused - check. A good writing s ...more

By Tanya (Girl Plus Books) February 28, 2017


Claire has returned home from college to help the family business while her father recuperates from a life-threatening illness. Assuming staggering responsibilities, helping run the business and dealing with financial debt, Claire is dealing with a lot. But spending time with Tate, the guy ...more

By Madison February 06, 2017

Confession: I didn't read the summary before deciding I wanted to read this book. All I needed to know was that it is written by Julie Cross and I was in. I love her contemporary novels.

At first, Off The Ice could have been any teen-y, high school drama, hockey novel. But let's not forget that it's ...more

By Danielle's December 11, 2017

Off the Ice is Tate and Claire.

Tate is the backup hockey goalie. He is in his junior year at high school. His dad is famous in the ice hockey world and he lives with his mum and stepdad. He's dating one of the most beautiful girls in school and is doing pretty well academically. To the outside worl ...more

By Lynndell February 28, 2017

Actually, 4.5 stars!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Off the Ice by Julie Cross. This first book in her Juniper Falls series is told by Tate and Claire through alternating points of view ...more

By Melissa (YA Book Shelf) February 23, 2017

Drama, characters with story lines that go well beyond the surface level whether the novel is in their POV or not, and realistic dialogue and situations make Off the Ice a hit with me. The Friday Night Lights with hockey comparison is particularly apt because there is a balance between the sports an ...more

By Deborah April 26, 2019

Claire O’Connor’s back in Juniper Falls because of an all hands on deck family emergency. Helping get her family’s restaurant and sports bar back on solid footing after her father’s stroke is more important than being at school. Tate Tanley was her best friend’s little brother and when she catches s ...more

By Taylor February 28, 2017

Originally posted on: Taylor Fenner's Bookish World

One year ago eighteen-year-old Claire O'Connor left her small Minnesota town to study music at Northwestern University. The night before she left two events forged the path that would set the course of her return to town. After a near hook up with L ...more

By Jessica March 06, 2017

I don't know what it is about athletes, but I am a sucker for a good sports romance. I was obsessed with Julie's Whatever Life Throws at You and couldn't wait to read her YA hockey romance!

Claire O'Conner has always had big dreams of singing and performing and finally getting out of Juniper Falls. B ...more

By Jenn March 01, 2017

3.5 Stars

I love that hockey books are becoming a thing. As an avid hockey fan (go Sharks!), I was sad to see so many sports romance books that only revolved around football or baseball, and when hockey was used, it was just a general mention. "He played center." "The game was exciting." No details, ...more

By Deniz December 11, 2017

Off the Ice has been on my TBR since I heard the about it. I planned on reading it as soon as it was released last February.
In fact, if you would have asked me last week, I would have told you, I am pretty sure I read it. Yet somehow I didn't. Don't ask me why. But let me tell you, if you interested ...more

By Roni February 15, 2017

Beta read this one for Julie. Everyone is in for a treat! Loved. :) ...more

By Kelly December 14, 2017

Check out this, other reviews, and more fun bookish things on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

I'm going to start off my review by saying that I'm not really one for sports romances or books that are centered around sports. I've never really cared for sports in general, so reading a ...more

By i fall in love book blog February 24, 2017

3.75 Stars

3.75 Stars? I know it's a strange rating, but I couldn't decide between a 3.5 and a 4.

Off the Ice is a mature YA romance. It deals with some extremely hard subjects and those subjects play a very large part. The romance was a little lacking, but the kissing was good. I found the characters ...more

By I'm All Booked Up June 24, 2020

Claire O’Connor never fit in with her peers. That’s why she’s leaving high school early for a dual enrollment program at Northwestern for talented performing arts students.

The night before she leaves, her friends throw a party that most of the school attends. There she sees her best friend’s younge ...more

By charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow) January 11, 2019

Galley provided by publisher

Actual rating 3.5

Rep: mlm side characters

This was a really cute read and, as a plus, had plenty of hockey being played in it. Off the Ice tells the story of Claire, a music student back in her hometown following her dad's operation, and Tate, a hockey goalie, who gets a s ...more

By Elizabeth December 25, 2016

I first ready this story in its primal stages as one of the first completed drafts Julie did in May 2015. It's changed a lot since then but I still love it (and I think it got even better as I'm upping my rating to five stars rather than its previous four).

As for this reading, I was doing so mainly ...more

By Katherine March 09, 2017

One night a year ago, Claire and Tate had a moment together that they never told anyone else about. Nate has always had a crush on Claire, but she just thought of him as her friend’s younger brother. Now, Claire is home from college to help with her father’s recovery and Nate is a matured junior in ...more

By Roxanne February 28, 2017

I'm always pretty excited to read a new Julie Cross book because I know I'm in for a great time. Nobody does character development and steamy YA quite like she does, and "Off the Ice" was no exception. I devoured this book in a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed my time with it, but most of all, ...more

By Jilianne March 11, 2017

Massive thank you to Entangled Teen for providing me with an eARC, I just apologize for taking so long to finish reading this book.

Despite being extremely busy at school, it was the perfect time for me to read this book because I was craving a contemporary romance and this book definitely solved tha ...more

By Katrina February 27, 2017

This review was originally posted on Bookish Things & More Review
This book was a pretty quick read.  I've read a few hockey books before, but none in the YA genre. And good gravy, it may be more intense than the Adult hockey books I've read.

I really liked both Tate and Claire.  They tiptoe the line ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.62 avg rating
Julie Cross

About the author

International Best Selling, NY Times Best Selling, USA Today Best Selling Author

Julie Cross

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.

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