Review: Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross

Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross

Series: Juniper Falls #2

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Release Date: December 26, 2017

Format: eARC

Source: Entangled Publishing

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner. 

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.

Having read (and totally enjoyed) Cross's Off the Ice earlier this year, I was excited to return to Juniper Falls. And Haley and Fletcher's story did not disappoint.

Fletcher keeps a low profile and does his best to steer clear of his small town's gossip mill. So when popular girl Haley, head cheerleader and Juniper Fall's Princess, asks him to be her partner for a summer school class project he's wary of any involvement. But Haley is persistent and before he knows it they're meeting for study sessions and maybe she isn't the snobby mean girl he assumed she was. Even so, Fletch has plenty of reasons to keep his distance - he and his family have been burned by gossip before and he can't afford to take any chances. He's better off keeping most people at arm's length and not getting too close... right?

Haley was forced to face some hard truths about herself after a break-up. Now she's determined to ace her summer school class and get into a college with a top notch cheerleading squad. Fletcher Scott seems like the perfect class partner but he's stand-offish and secretive. The more time they spend together the more she appreciates the glimpses she sees of another side of Fletch, but Fletch makes no secret of the fact that while he has no problem hooking up, he has no interest in dating. And now the girl who'd sworn off boys until college is falling for the guy who is determined to keep his secrets.

I really loved Haley and Fletcher - separately and together. They were both complicated, flawed characters that felt so realistic. Haley defied the mean girl/cheerleader stereotype and was refreshingly self-aware. Fletcher was dealing with issues that were literally life and death and was, understandably, unwilling to take chances. I loved watching as these two slowly got to know one another and overcame their preconceived ideas about each other. The evolution of their relationship felt so genuine and was filled with flirty banter, hurt feelings, honesty, and some seriously swoony moments. 

One of my favorite aspects of Breaking the Ice was the cast of secondary characters. From Haley's friends Jamie and Leo, to Fletcher's dad and grandpa, this was a group that was equal parts supportive, understanding and willing to give a dose of hard truth when needed. Getting to revisit favorite characters from Off the Ice was a total bonus.

While Breaking the Ice is the second entry in the Juniper Falls series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. Readers who enjoy realistic YA romance will surely enjoy Haley and Fletcher's story as much as I did. 


Note: An advance reader copy was provided by Entangled Publishing. This in no way changes my opinion of the book or the content of this review.


  1. Fletcher's family was quite interesting. They were manly men who talked. A lot and about feelings. I loved this book and really enjoyed getting to know the Juniper Falls gang better. Can't wait for book 3!

    1. Loved Fletcher's dad and grandfather. They were total feminists even if they wouldn't necessary label themselves that way. :) I already want book 3, too!

    2. YES!!! They were totally feminists. I enjoyed the first book, but Cross took it to the next level with this one, and I am with you -- book 3 now!

  2. I love when a book has a good set of secondary characters. Glad you enjoyed this one. Great review!

    1. Thanks Grace! I'm a sucker for a good "supporting cast" and this one definitely had that.

  3. This sounds like a perfect summer read to me, definitely adding it to my list! Thank you for sharing :)

    1. This would be an awesome summer read! Especially since it takes place during summer school. Hope you'll enjoy it if you get around to reading it.