Viral Hockey Romance “Unsteady” by Peyton Corinne Drops Today — Read an Excerpt! (Exclusive)

Lace up your skates and get ready to fall for Sadie, Rhys and the world of Waterfell University

<p>Peyton Corinne; Atria Books</p> Peyton Corinne and the cover of

Peyton Corinne; Atria Books

Peyton Corinne and the cover of 'Unsteady'

If the hockey romance trend has your heart doing triple axels, slip off your skate guards and glide out to grab a copy of Unsteady by Peyton Corinne. The viral TikTok sensation is released by Atria Books today — and PEOPLE has an exclusive excerpt to give you a taste of what the steamy story has in store for readers.

Rhys Koteskiy is back — at least, he’s supposed to be. During last year’s Frozen Four, Waterfell University hockey captain and NHL legacy Rhys got slammed with a concussion. Now, he's not sure he'll ever play again.

Related: PEOPLE Picks Our Staff's Favorite Romance Novels

Figure skater with an attitude Sadie Brown has also got a lot on her plate: mountains of debt, custody hearings for her younger brothers and skating practices, not to mention the coursework she promised herself not to fall behind on this semester.

When she witnesses one of Rhys's panic attacks and tries to help, they find themselves drawn together. Their feelings, not to mention everything else going on in their complicated lives, might put them on thin ice. Can they help each other heal, or will the sparks melt their chances?

Get to know Rhys and Sadie below in a sneak peek of the BookTok favorite.

<p>Atria Books</p> 'Unsteady' by Peyton Corinne

Atria Books

'Unsteady' by Peyton Corinne

Rhys might as well have a sign plastered across his forehead saying KISS ME. And I should be wearing one that says THIS IS A HORRIBLE IDEA.

None of this has gone according to my plan.

Seeing him like this makes my chest ache, hunched over in just his sweatpants and an athletic tee stretched across the broadness of him. With his head in his hands, fingers scraping through the thick, unruly brown locks, and breath shuddering from the tight line of his lips.

“Make This Go On Forever” is playing in my right ear, the music of Snow Patrol kicking up in intensity every few moments, feeding the energy between us.

My previous hookup experiences have been quick, handsy, in-the-dark moments, usually over before they really began. They’re a personal favorite distraction when I feel so much it seeps from my home life into everything else.

But the way Rhys is looking at me isn’t just lust—it’s that desperation I know so well in the darker parts of my mind that close me off from everything.

The need to feel something, just to ground myself. 

I have to remind myself of what this is before I dare to touch him. To let myself be this for him. He’s a popular hockey player with a mask that must be as good as gold. I’ve seen him vulnerable, repeatedly now, and I know he won’t ask outright, even as he leans in a little closer.

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So I match him, breath-for-breath, move-for-move, until his tensed forehead is pressed to my own, the sweat on his brow now cold in the chill of the room.

His breath is minty and cool as it puffs against my lips, and I know how terrible this is, how much I truly should pull away, take back my headphones and dial in my focus, skate off my bubbling emotions like I usually do—but something is keeping me here, drawn to his deep well of hopelessness like a moth to a flame.

I can’t save him, even if I wanted to. If anyone needs saving, it’s Oliver and Liam, and it’s definitely not my place to try to hold up the drowning hockey boy in front of me now.

He needs me.

Yeah. Sure. For this, maybe.

It isn’t slow, just a hitch of my breath before I shove myself into him, lips meeting his with no hesitation, only need.

A low moan rasps from his throat that sounds like absolute relief, and then he’s responding, giving me back the passion I’m feeding him until it feels like we’re part of a continuous loop. His hands reach for my waist, pulling almost harshly; I seat myself across his hips, legs straddling him on the low bench. His back hits the lockers behind him as the skates half-tied on his feet dig into the rubber mat flooring.

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Pulling back to look down at him, I take in every detail: the thick brush of his dark hair falling over his forehead, the pink flush of his cheeks, and the darkness of his swollen lips that are lightly open, huffing quickened breaths. His hands are still bracketing my hips, making me feel so delicate with the way they span the entirety of my waist as they move upward.

“Is this what you want?” he breathes out, voice raspy, as he gazes up at me with half-lidded eyes. I reach out for him, but he catches my wrist and holds it. “Tell me.”

My voice is gone, my mouth so dry it feels like I’ve gone months without a drop of water. I can only nod.

A breathtaking smile I’ve never seen before breaks through Rhys’s lips, two dimples showing in his cheeks as he laughs and closes his eyes before pressing his mouth to the skin of my wrist and muttering against my pulse, “Good. Me too.”

I can’t decide what I want to do with him first.

Excerpted from Unsteady, Copyright © 2024 by Peyton Corinne published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Unsteady is out now from Atria Books, wherever books are sold.

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