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Author's Notes:
Ice Devils is an enemies-to-lovers romance featuring scorching athletes, light-hearted comedy, riveting hockey, sweet-steamy romance, and a beautiful HEA.

Book Info

Wainscott Press
25 March 2022
Book Type
Heat Level


How can Blake and Sako get past mutual contempt and old wounds to find their perfect happy ending?

When winger Blake Conti signs with the national champion Bethesda Barracudas, he isn’t looking to get involved with anyone. Still bruised from an old relationship, his focus is on playing hockey. But when one of his new teammates turns out to be the hottest man he’s ever met, Blake wonders if he should reconsider his aversion to romance.

Mark Sakamoto—Sako—one of the Barracudas’ rising young stars, is immediately smitten with Blake. Deeply closeted because he fears revealing his sexuality to his family, Sako resists his attraction by using scorn and insults to push Blake away. Hurt by Sako’s behavior, Blake reacts in kind, and the two men are soon at war.

Just as their fighting threatens to disrupt the team, the unexpected happens, and Sako and Blake bond over a silly prank. Their newfound camaraderie soon develops into a relationship, and the men become inseparable. With “ice in public, heat in private” as their motto, they keep things secret, but as they fall for each other, Sako knows he has to tell his family the truth. He dreads their reaction, but it’s the only way he and Blake can live happily ever after.

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ICE Devils


What inspired the storyline for Ice Devils?

Josh: We’ve always been fascinated by enemies-to-lovers stories. Honestly, I doubt it happens that often in real life, but that makes it all the more fun to read.

Ryan: I read a story on a gay blog about two soccer players who were infamous among their teammates for being at each other’s throats all the time but eventually became lovers, and then husbands. I thought we could write a book like that.

Josh: Ryan showed the article to me, and I agreed it was worth a try. We had a lot of fun writing about Blake and Sako and are glad the story worked.


When did you know this story was about Blake and Sako?

Ryan: We’d wanted to have Blake as a main character since we wrote Nice Catching You. He was such an asset to that story, and a wonderful friend to Nick, that we knew he’d be back.

Josh: We also knew we wanted to write about Sako, who made appearances in Fire in the Ice and Ice Angels. As soon as we started writing Sako’s first chapter—which turned out to be chapter two in the book—we just knew his boyfriend had to be Blake.


Who wrote which character?

Ryan: For the first draft, I wrote Sako, and Josh wrote Blake.

Josh: After the first draft, we both made a lot of contributions to both characters.


Who did you model the main characters after?

Ryan: I could tell you, but I’d better not say.

Josh: Let’s just say they’re two people we admire greatly.

Ryan: Actually, I think “inspiration” would be a better word for the real-life guys than “model.” Our friends are great guys, but there’s a lot involved in being a main character in a romance.

Josh: The guys, who don’t know they were the inspirations, gave us a great start and some good ideas along the way.


Did the storyline stay on course or did the muse surprise you with any plot twists?

Josh: There were some surprises along the way, for sure. We had a very neat plan for what would happen when, and how the story would work itself out, but Sako and Blake had other ideas.

Ryan: They always wanted to go in a different direction than we had in mind, and now that the book’s done, I’m glad we listened to them. It’s a much better story than the one we outlined.


Excerpt from Ice Devils

By Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood



The locker room was empty when I got back there, and I dressed quickly. I was standing in front of my stall, buttoning my shirt, when someone called my name. Looking around, I was surprised to see Sako standing in the doorway. His hair was a mess, his face was sweaty, and his eyes were wide. The tank top he had on was soaked, and the way it stuck to his torso emphasized the hard muscle underneath.

I looked away, determined not to stare. “I didn’t know you were still here. Been in the gym?” I slipped on my loafers.

“Yeah.” His voice was low and husky. “I needed to ride the bike and clear my head.”

“Did it work?” Unable to resist, I turned my gaze back on him.

“No.” His hands were at his sides, and he opened and closed them repeatedly while his eyes darted around the room. “Anybody else still here?”

“No. You all right, Mark?”

Instead of answering, he rushed toward me and grabbed my hand. “Come here.”

He tugged, but I stayed put. “What?”

“Come with me.” He tugged harder, almost pulling me off my feet. I was too shocked to say anything as he dragged me into a small room used to store spare equipment and closed the door. Meager light filtered in through ventilation panels, and after he turned to face me, I looked into dangerous dark eyes while his thick musk filled the air.

He licked his lips and smiled. “I’m glad you’re still here.”

“You are?”

“Yes.” He leaned forward and brushed his lips against mine before backing his head away to look at me again.

I was too shocked to move. “Mark?”

“I’m really glad you’re still here.” He caressed my cheek and smiled again.

“What’s going on?” I whispered.

He wrapped his arms around me, and my legs turned to jelly. “What the hell are you doing? This isn’t—”

He shut me up by pressing his mouth against mine. I wanted to tear away, to yell at him to go to hell, but I wrapped my arms around him and kissed him back instead. I didn’t understand what the fuck I was doing. Sako and I weren’t even friends. In fact, we were probably enemies. We certainly weren’t the kind of people who kissed each other.

Pulling away from my lips, he licked the corners of my mouth. Even as my brain cried foul, I hugged him tighter, not wanting the moment to end. He kissed me again, but when his tongue probed against my lips, I pressed them together. I didn’t want Sako’s tongue in my mouth. But if that was true, why did I relax enough for him to sneak inside? I may have hated the bastard, but the thrill of him possessing me that way shook my world.

I deepened the kiss, and my tongue dueled his until I found my way inside. His smell, sweaty and sharp with need, ignited an explosion of desire, and I shoved him into a wall of boxes stacked against the storage lockers. Trapping his hands, I probed every corner of his mouth while he moaned. Time stood still until he grunted and jerked his hands free. He swiveled me around like a rag doll until I was the one pinned against the boxes with my hands clamped under his. Fire shot through me when he moved his hips against mine and our cocks ground together.

“Stop!” I yelled. “I hate you!” Just as quickly, I called out again, “Don’t stop! Please!” He didn’t react at all, and I realized the voice had been in my head. We were locked in a kiss that had my mind doing somersaults, and I wondered if we’d keep playing bump-and-grind until we both came in our pants.

ICE DEVILS: Copyright © 2022 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All rights reserved.

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Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.

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