Ice and steam meet in this grumpy/sunshine romance


Photo by Savannah Epperson

‘Icebreaker”, written by Hannah Grace, is the story of two opposites who come together without compromising their values.

By Savannah Epperson, News Editor



Witty banter and reassurances: the makings of a perfect relationship. (Photo illustration by Savannah Epperson) (Photo by Savannah Epperson)

Many romance novels include the trope of grumpy/sunshine. One character is the nicest person you’ll ever meet and the other character is a rain cloud that protects that sunshine. This story reverses that. Anastasia is an ice queen who keeps a ruthless schedule. Nathaniel is a ray of sunshine captain of the hockey team that wants to protect his ice queen. This story will give readers all the warm and fuzzies and lots of laughs.

“Icebreaker” by Hannah Grace was published on November 22, 2022. This novel is quickly becoming a Booktok favorite and no wonder: the story is great. Anastasia and Nathaniel are two people who occupy the same space and run in the same circles at their college, but Anastasia does not like hockey players, and Nathaniel is smitten with her at first sight. The two are thrust together after an incident that destroys one of the ice rinks at their school. 

Anastasia is an up-and-coming ice skater going for gold at the Olympics. She keeps her life on a schedule: when to eat, sleep, practice, and participate in spicier activities. Her life is neat and orderly, and her personality controlling.

Nathaniel is a ray of sunshine: a hockey captain looking to play professionally. He spent his entire life trying to achieve a dream that was not his, and as a result, lets loose at parties often.

The two find themselves in each other’s orbit and cannot seem to stay away. Anastasia is cold at first, but Nathaniel slowly cracks and softens her icy demeanor.

This novel is not recommended for anyone who is triggered by eating disorders or emotional abuse, as the main character experiences both. 

Grace’s writing depicts the type of love that can be found once in a generation. (Photo illustration by Savannah Epperson)

However, this is a light-hearted, reverse grumpy/sunshine romance that deals with more serious themes at times. Anastasia and Nathaniel bust their way onto the scene and hold the reader captive with their witty banter and reassurances: the makings of a perfect relationship. 

They also have some very affectionate and hilarious friends who also capture the readers’ attention. Their group is solid, and the friends love each other very much. There are some found-family vibes as this very protective group helps Anastasia deal with her toxic skating partner.

The other characters have their own stories within the story. Their plotlines are not just there for background; they are integrated into the story seamlessly. The two main characters have supportive and stern coaches, not abusive ones. Their friends tell them when they mess up and do not just let them get away with causing harm. Both main characters get along with one another’s friends – for the most part – and there is no cattiness between the female characters.

Overall, this story will give readers a warm, soft feeling inside and make them feel like true love exists. The two main characters are supportive of one another and their dreams. The main female character is allowed to be controlling without being “bossy”. The main male character is allowed to be soft and sweet without being a “simp”. The other characters add to the story instead of taking away from it and are supportive of the couple and their other friends.

Those who want to see an Ice Queen’s heart melt for her sunshine boyfriend should read “Icebreaker”