Tense Attraction OFF THE ICE–A Review

Hi there! Today, I’m starting something I’d like to go back to from time to time, feature weeks! This week, I’ll be sharing reviews/alerts that highlight athletes and I’m kicking this “Sports Week” off with a review for a new M/M contemporary hockey romance from the writing team of Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn. OFF THE ICE is a new collaboration that came out a couple months ago. It’s also a coming out story, which is always fun to read. I really loved PERMANENT INK by this team and I wasn’t let down with this new story. If you like M/M hockey romances I’d highly recommend BREAKAWAY by Avon Gale or THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR by Sarina Bowen, too.

About the book:
Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules

My Review:
Tristan Holt is a pro hockey player in Atlanta on his summer hiatus and taking college courses to finish his degree in business management. He’s interested in his sociology class, and his sexy professor, Sebastian Cruz, an out and proud gay Puerto Rican man who never quails at speaking truth to power. Prof Cruz can’t help noticing fit and burly Tristan, either. Unfortunately, Sebastian makes some wrong assumptions, and levels an accusation that reveals all of his own prejudices.

Tristan not only calls Sebastian out on it, he accepts Sebastian’s apology, and that allows Tristan to feels safe enough to not only reveal his hidden sexuality, but also his deep attraction. Not that they can do anything about it. But…summer school is over soon, and Tristan wouldn’t mind his austere professor taking him well in hand. If Sebastian is willing to take that next step.

The chemistry between them is intense, and their mutual love of classic rock and muscle cars helps draw them closer. Tristan is a 23 year old pro athlete, and Sebastian is a mid-30s professor, but they share a love of learning, too, and Sebastian’s prejudices are settled once he gets to know Tristan up close and very personally. The biggest hurdle they face is Tristan’s unwillingness to come out. There are gay players in the NHL, but none of them are out and on an active roster; Tristan doesn’t want to be the vanguard player. Tristan hasn’t even come out to his parents or teammates, and he’s rather confident they won’t mind. Sebastian isn’t pushing Tristan to come out…at first, but, the longer they date, the more Sebastian realizes that he can’t just be Tristan’s public “friend.”

This conflict felt real, as did the anguish. They have to take a step back, and think about their lives, careers and goals. Sebastian takes the advice of his good friend to really examine his motives, and his decisions. Sebastian is a prickly guy, who is sometimes self-righteous, but he’s also humbled by Tristan’s quiet dignity, and his kindness. Sebastian wishes his relationship with his own parents was as loving and accepting as Tristan’s is with his family. Tristan’s personal life and his professional face are two very separate spheres, but he recognizes the need to be honest with his closest friends and family. I liked how this shook out, with Tristan being happier in his relationships. There’s a lot of hot moments, and some good discussion of prejudice, in the context of wealth, power and professional sports. I’m looking forward to reading more in this new series. Expect some interesting power plays in the bedroom and on the ice, and teammate shenanigans. There’s heart with the heat, and even a “hot for teacher” reference that brought me back to sixth grade.

Interested? You can find OFF THE ICE on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

About the Authors:
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.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

You can find Piper online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Writing a New Life Story in PERMANENT INK–A Review

Hi there! Today, I’m featuring a review for a new M/M contemporary romance form the writing team of Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn. PERMANENT INK is the first book in a new Art & Soul series and features an older-younger romance that’s hot enough to burn up the pages. I’ve loved solo reads like BREAKAWAY and WOOD, SCREWS AND NAILS from these authors in the past, so I was eager to read this new collaboration.

About the book:
At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

My Review:
Poe Montgomery is wearing his father’s patience very thin. He’s 23, virtually jobless, and just got picked up, again, for making graffiti art–criminal mischief, in this case. His father, Landon, pours out his woes over Poe’s aimless life to his best friend, Jericho McAslan and Jericho feels a kinship to Poe’s situation. Jericho had been a handful, and far more trouble to his caregivers at a younger age than Poe is now, but he’d been given the opportunity to learn the trade of tattooing and it saved his life. Now, twenty years later, Jericho’s in position to pay it forward, and offers to take Poe on as a receptionist at his tattoo parlor, with the bonus that if he is diligent Jericho will offer him an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist.

Poe is a little sulky about the prospect, but he soon is intrigued by the art happening all around him. And, it helps that Jericho is exactly as sexy up-close and personal as Poe had found him when Jericho would pop over for beers with his dad. In fact, Jericho thinks nothing of the age gap between them, and he’s not shy of his interest. Jericho’s undeniably turned on, but he’s also put off by the prospect of damaging his friendship with Landon, and also with the power imbalance in their work relationship. He turns Poe away again and again, but Poe’s attitude only gets worse, and he’s soon in trouble again with his tagging pals–mot notably Blue. Blue wants all of Poe’s attention and he’s not afraid to demand it, which makes their friendship uncomfortable for the first time in years. Blue doesn’t want Poe to learn how to tattoo, or to find a job where he can be supported by his art–because Blue thinks they ought to suffer for it, and it’s all a little off-kilter. Poe hadn’t seen how out-there Blue was until he stepped away and got perspective. He wants a good life, with a good man, and Jericho finally comprehends how good he and Poe could be together. And, it’s super-duper hot, folks. The best of Daddy porn on the page.

I don’t want to give away too much more, but I will say that Blue messes things up for Poe and Jericho big time, and it surely ties into the next book in this series. I’ve read a few tattoo-artist romances this summer and this ones just delightful. The age difference was fun to observe, and the relationships between Poe and his dad, Landon, and Landon and Jericho are really awesome. Landon became a father at a young age and raised Poe without help for nearly all his life. The lack of maternal coddling in their youth is a bonding point for Jericho and Poe, and the way Landon manages to not punch Jericho in the face for “exploiting” his boy is charming. I liked all these characters and felt like they were real enough I’d go have a beer with them anytime. I look forward to the next book where I expect Blue will get a strong lesson in adulting, and love.

Interested? You can find PERMANENT INK on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

About the Authors:
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.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

You can find Piper online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Finding Love Despite an EMPTY NET–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M hockey romance from Avon Gale. EMPTY NET is her fourth book in the Scoring Chances series, and really a fantastic read. It’s find to read on it’s own, but might be better enjoyed after reading POWER PLAY. I’ve enjoyed BREAKAWAY and SAVE OF THE GAME, so I couldn’t wait to continue this series.

Empty NetAbout the book:
Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain Isaac Drake ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him – no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.

Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse, constantly treated like a disappointment on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist, and Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold Laurent—or their relationship—together.

Please be advised: This book does contain some non-graphic references to past childhood physical/emotional abuse as well as issues relating to ED (bulimia and restricted eating, disordered thoughts about eating).

My Review:
I really enjoyed this tender and tumultuous M/M hockey romance. This is the fourth book in a series, and features the characters from Book Three, POWER PLAY, though the romance involves a separate couple.

Isaac Drake knows who he is: a professional hockey goalie who’s out-and-proud, even if he’d rather forget his rentboy days. He lives with his coaches, Misha Samarin and Max Ashford, who are an out-gay couple, and he hopes to find a man with whom to share some of his life. Isaac is not happy when he learns that Laurent St. Savoy has just been traded to their team. Laurent said some pretty hateful, homophobic slurs the last time he played the Spartanburg Spitfires, and there is no love lost between the staff, team–and Laurent.

Laurent is a man of many secrets. He’s young, and talented, but he’s mostly just glad to not be living with his abusive father any longer. He’s also attractive, and mean–as he’s been trained to be. His father, who was also his lifelong coach, rewarded cruelty in his players, and regularly beat or tortured Laurent if he was too good, or too bad, on the ice. Working with men who hate him is nothing new to Laurent, and he’d love to make amends to his Spitfires teammates, if he thought it would make a difference. Instead, he drowns in self-loathing and assuages his guilt by disordered eating behaviors.

Isaac isn’t happy with his teammates, who bully Laurent for suspected homophobia. His attitude toward Laurent changes when he learns that Laurent’s a victim of abuse. While Isaac’s parents did him wrong in many ways, he didn’t suffer abuse at their hands, and his compassion allows Laurent to make the first friend he’s had in his life. Laurent cannot believe that Isaac would show him any compassion, but soon this friendship is the best and brightest part of Laurent’s dark life. Preserving this relationship becomes paramount. He’s not even bothered that Isaac is gay, or finds him attractive; Laurent thinks he might find Isaac just as attractive. He’s never had a girlfriend, or a boyfriend; never felt worthy of being loved after years emotional abuse from his father, so attraction is a foreign concept to him. But he knows that Isaac is a good man, and Laurent feels safe with him. It’s easy to explore his sexuality, slowly, with a patient Isaac.

The story is less about the romance, though it develops naturally and beautifully, and more about Laurent becoming a better human through interaction with Isaac, and regular therapist visits–suggested by Isaac. The team comes around and supports him, and his coaches are really standing behind him throughout. That said, Isaac is a blue-haired white knight, and Laurent is grateful for his intervention, even as he resents the need for it. I really enjoyed the adversarial dynamic they had going. And I loved how Isaac broke down their barriers in simple, but effective, ways. It seems that Laurent is demisexual, which means he’s only able to experience attraction to people with whom he forms an emotional bond. And–boy howdy!–do he and Isaac bond! It’s sweet and frustrating and sometimes really sexy. As I’m no expert on the array of sexualities, this seemed a reasonable fit for Laurent, who’s had little affection in his life. I swooned for Isaac petting Laurent’s hair like a cat–and that being so charged because Laurent was attuned to being touched only in malice and anger. The end is really sweet, with Laurent taking charge of his life for the first time. Isaac is a delicious hero. Yum.

Interested? You can find EMPTY NET on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a copy of POWER PLAY.
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.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Get BREAKAWAY for a Steal!

Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a contemporary M/M sports romance from Avon Gale. As you know I adored her hockey playing hunks in SAVE OF THE GAME and POWER PLAY so I went and picked up the first book in the series, BREAKAWAY. The fourth book, EMPTY NET, just released yesterday, and I’m nearly finished with it, as well. So, so good! I’m not even a hockey fan, and I adore these stories!

Breakaway (Scoring Chances, #1)About the book:
Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.

My Review:
Lane is a young closeted gay man who’s on his own for the first time in his live. He’s moved from Canada to Jacksonville, Florida to play for the Sea Storm, a minor league hockey team in a place where people hardly understand the concept of ice. It’s a total culture shock, but Lane’s generally flummoxed. He’s got no filter, and is awkward to the point of /facepalm + Oh man!. He can’t help pissing off everyone in his vicinity with his unconscious lack of tact. In a last ditch attempt to win some favor, Lane, a superlative forward and primo scorer takes on the goon for a rival team, Jared Shore.

Jared isn’t sure what to make of young, virile, talented Lane. But he doesn’t kick the man out of bed. To be the only man that Lane’s ever been with? Seems like an empty net opportunity, but he’s also got to learn to tune out Lane’s odd chatter, at times. Lane’s ashamed of being gay, afraid that his parents will disown him–something he really struggles with even though he’s supporting himself now. Jared helps him to see that being an adult means coming clean with his fears and insecurities, and that helps Lane grow as a man and a player. It’s all good preparation for Lane when he gets The Call bringing him up to the big time, a few games in the NHL. Jared’s an amazing support and together they are able to deal with Lanes parents. I have to admit that was so much sweeter than I had expected. Poor Lane, he tortured himself for so long, and for no reason! I loved Lane, even when I wanted to smack him. He did crack me up with his completely outrageous conversations.

This is a very tender read, considering the guys are grown adult hockey players. I loved how the romance built a little at a time, as Lane and Jared are players on different teams and have lots of forced separations due to schedules. It made their brief trysts so much sweeter, and that was really fun to experience. Also fun? Lane and his new sexual experiences! I do love me a virgin, from time to time. I’m not a hockey fan at all, but this one put me in a smiling frame-of-mind and gave me warm feels despite all that ice.

Interested? You can find BREAKAWAY on Goodreads, and for a single DOLLAR on Dreamspinner Press through 9/4. Regularly priced on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

SaveoftheGameFSPowerPlayfsSAVE OF THE GAME (Scoring Chances #2) is also on sale. Catch my review here, and pick it up for $2 on Dreamspinner Press.

POWER PLAY (Scoring Chances #3) is ALSO on sale. Catch my review here, and pick it up for $3 on Dreamspinner Press.

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.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Finding Love on the POWER PLAY–Review and Giveaway!

BannerTemplate-19Hi 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!

PowerPlayfsAbout 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.

“The hit.”

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.

My Review:
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.

Interested? You can find POWER PLAY on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

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.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

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Love’s the SAVE OF THE GAME–Review & Giveaway

SotG-BannerTemplateHi there! I’m so excited to share my review of a fantastic contemporary M/M hockey romance from Avon Gale. SAVE OF THE GAME features a focused and lonely goalie and the brash and loyal enforcer in a gay-for-you romance that blows the doors off this subgenre. Both Riley and Ethan are bisexual, as they learn when their friendship becomes…more. It’s the second book in a series, and fully enjoyable as a standalone.

Check out the excerpt and get in on the giveaway below!

SaveoftheGameFSAbout the book:

After last season’s heartbreaking loss to his hockey team’s archrival, Jacksonville Sea Storm goalie Riley Hunter is ready to let go of the past and focus on a winning season. His new roommate, Ethan Kennedy, is a loud New Yorker with a passion for social justice that matches his role as the team’s enforcer. The quieter Riley is attracted to Ethan and has no idea what to do about it.

Ethan has no hesitations. As fearless as his position demands, he rushes into things without much thought for the consequences.Though they eventually warm to their passionate new bond, it doesn’t come without complications. While trying to financially help Ethan, Riley must hide his family’s wealth so as not to hurt Ethan’s immense pride. For their relationship to work, Ethan will need to learn when to keep the gloves on and let someone help him—and Riley will have to learn it’s okay to let someone past his defenses.

My Review:

This is the second book in a series, but is fully enjoyable as a standalone.

Riley and Ethan are teammates in Jacksonville’s ECHL (semi) pro hockey team, The Sea Storm. East Coast Hockey League is the equivalent of AA baseball, it seems. These guys play for love of the game, and in the hope of getting lifted into the AHL, and maybe one day, but probably not–the NHL. Riley’s a goalie, it’s his life’s ambition, and he loves it. He’s worked hard and trained all off season to be better than ever, and he’s in peak condition.

Riley’s in a different place than most of his teammates–he’s loaded financially–and he doesn’t want anyone to know that. He’s always had to hide his wealth in the attempt to fit in better, but when Ethan needs a place to live, Riley’s right there willing to offer his spare room. Riley loves taking care of people, and he gets particular pleasure caring for loud and exuberant Ethan. Ethan’s a goon. He’s big and bulky and the first guy to throw off his gloves and defend himself or a teammate on the ice. It’s a small coincidence that Riley’s got a kink porn file that features guys that closely resemble Ethan…

This is a gay-for-you romance between two newly bisexual hockey players. Both Riley and Ethan have never been with a man, but their close friendship allows for an even closer bond to develop. At first, it’s a surprise, with kisses and some petting, but this quickly escalates to far, far more. I’ll be honest, I was captivated watching them explore their completely new sexual desires. They have lots of questions and concerns, which they face together. In the end, they decide to take it as far as it will go, and that’s pretty dang far, yo. The slow burn was so delicious, and this one’s all about the feels. Riley’s life has been heavy on money, light on love. Ethan’s family has always struggled financially, but overflows with love. Riley’s practically adopted by Ethan’s rowdy sisters and straight-shooting mother the first time they meet. I really enjoyed seeing him be adored by someone.

This book spans a season filled with ups and downs, and more winning than losing. There are some incendiary sexytimes, and the love story is sure to please. I wanted it to never, ever, end. Good thing it’s an HEA. I expect we’ll get peeks of these two in further books in the series, as there are some decent cameos of the couple from book one, BREAKAWAY, in here.

Interested? You can find SAVE OF THE GAME on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of TWO copies of 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.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

 

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