Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M sports romance from Avon Gale. As you know I adored her hockey playing hunks in SAVE OF THE GAME so I was ecstatic to get my hands on POWER PLAY. So, so good! I’m not even a hockey fan, and I treasure these stories!
Check out the excerpt below and enter to win the first TWO books in the series, too!
About the book:
A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.
After spending guilt-ridden years for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.
Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime to forget, but also a sleazy GM determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets the team, Misha revisits his darkest days, which might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.
How about a little taste?
“I’d never watched this, you know.”
“The YouTube video?” Misha had seen that too. It was filed with angry commenters yelling that he should be deported back to Russia.
Misha blinked. “You’ve seen the commercial, though. Yes?”
“Yeah, I wish I could say I haven’t seen that. But I meant, I didn’t watch this until a few months ago. They played that game on the NHL channel, so I watched it.”
It never occurred to Misha that Max wouldn’t have seen it, but then he remembered that Max was the hero, not the villain of the story. Misha watched the hit play out on the screen. What must that feel like, to watch the moment it all ended? When Max hit the ice, did he know that game was his last? Did Misha know it was his? How had he felt? He couldn’t remember.
The scene switched to the replay. Misha watched dispassionately, retreated into the blinding pain of his migraine, and told himself that it was all right to suffer, that he should, that he deserved it.
Max paused the video. “Look. See what I have there?”
Misha blinked. He had not expected questions. “I—what?”
“The puck, Misha. The puck. Your hit wasn’t late.”
Oh. “Yes. I know.”
Max stared at him. On the television screen, their younger selves were suspended at the moment everything changed.
This is the third book in a series and can be completely enjoyed as a standalone.
Max and Misha are new coaches on the Spartanburg Spitfires low-pro hockey team. They were competitors back in the NHL, and both of their careers ended at the same time, due to the same injury–a hit that Misha put on Max caused him to have a bum knee and decreased peripheral vision.
They returned as coaches, and their new boss is hoping that sparks will fly by reuniting them on the ice. Not so much, however. Max and Misha are consummate professionals. Misha’s the head coach, and Max is his assistant. They work well together, building a team of misfits into contenders through solid fundamentals. Misha’s known his whole life that he’s gay–it was one reason he fled from Russia as a teen. Max always considered himself hot, but he’s had some experience with men, and both of these guys find the other attractive.
They try to hold off their lust, for the team’s sake, but it’s too strong. Plus, working together really strengthens their mutual regard. They realize they work in complimentary fashion, and that’s to the teams benefit.
I really loved the development of the love story here. They are strangers in a strange land, so to speak, and their lust is a constant presence. I liked how Misha took the lead when necessary to build something with Max. And, I loved how Max accepted Misha’s terrible history with grace and recognized the strength it took for Misha to survive in terrible circumstances–this back in Russia. They have a great influence on their goalie and captain–the irreverent Isaac Drake of the blue hair and lip piercings…(expect him to find love int he next book in this series!!). It was so fun how the whole team knew about Max and Misha, and wanted them to stay together because Misha was a more gentle coach when he was getting regular loving! Ha!
I loved that there was a great team dynamic in the story, how they banded together against all odds. Even Jack Belsey, smarmy manipulative owner of the Spitfires was rendered likable, the bastard with the heart of gold, if you will.
Of this series I’ll say one thing: More. I want more. I adore it all, and I honestly don’t give a fig about hockey! I’m so captivated by the struggle, and the stories, that the sport is low on my list of issues. I’ve learned more about hockey from reading these books than 40+ years living in Chicago and bearing witness to several Blackhawks Stanley Cup runs. That’s a testament to the writing, and creating a world that is accessible to all readers, not just those who love hockey. Highly recommend.
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win the first two books in this series, BREAKAWAY and SAVE OF THE GAME.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the author:
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.