Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Coach’s Challenge: by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances #5
Release Date: June 26th, 2017
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon

It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds out the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks have Troy thinking inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if he’s set to retire at the end of the season.

Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon, and with a team that doesn’t trust him, Troy, or each other. Despite his determination not to get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.

four-stars

I really enjoy this series, and for a time while reading this book I wasn’t certain on how I felt about it. Took me longer to get involved and invested into this installment. I had to warm up to Troy, and ended up liking the relationship between him and Shane. It didn’t help that the dirty talk was so much above board with these two. Good Lord, we needed a fan, and a spray bottle at times. Their quirky, dominating relationship worked well for me. It didn’t have the formula of the past 4 books, but I was okay with it. To be honest, I enjoyed most of the series but Power Play will always be my favorite. 

After reading 5 books, you’d think I would know something about Hockey. Nope, still clueless. Its okay though I just substituted it with other sports in my head. LOL. I really liked the idea of the guys being in their late 30’s, early 40’s. I like mature guys, and it doesn’t help that its their first relationship ever at this age. I really <3Troy. Not saying Shane was bad, I liked him alot. Dirty filthy Shane, but lordy he was freaking hot. Troy though comes off as this brash, careless, dictator. Well dictator was the last dude, but he’s very demanding and I guess him being so blunt takes people by surprise, but that caring side of him will win you over every time. Troy has his reasons and methods for being the way he is. Being a ex-pro hockey player and having dealt with the St.Savoy it only felt right for him being the head coach to take over the Ashville Ravens. They are the most hated team, and Troy is trying to do everything in his power to overcome that negative. When Shane is late his first day of practice, it doesn’t look to good for these two. We see right away their issues, but I seen the UST a mile away. Dude!! I had to fan myself. These two were so freaking explosive together! I will never look at another jigsaw puzzle with innocence again in life. I won’t spoil it for you guys! Avon did us justice!

Once I got involved in reading it, I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing these two together, and liked that they were so different from the other couples in previous books. I do hope Xavier gets him a gentleman. He needs one, or maybe a bad boy for his sweet self. I wouldn’t mind reading a Ben & River book. Didn’t see much of those two but the short instances definitely were impact. Fans of this series will truly enjoy this book. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

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About Avon Gale

Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen

Series:
Narrator: Nick Podehl, Saskia Maarleveld
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
The Shameless Hour Book Cover The Shameless Hour
The Ivy Years #4
Sarina Bowen
Contemporary Romance
Rennie Road Books
April 12th 2015
audibook
279

The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.

For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.

Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

Bella doesn’t want Rafe's help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can't be extinguished.

I really enjoyed this book. It challenged some stereotypes and prejudices I have about women. I do want to be less judgmental of women and more respectful even if the choices aren’t ones that I’d make for myself.

Bella (before): Just a common groupie. Everyone has a turn on that ride.

Bella (now): Independent, confident, unafraid.

I was entertained with drama between Rafe and Bella because it was cool having the guy be the clumsy and inexperienced one. Rafe was very sweet and sure about what he wanted. It was always something monogamous and committed. I don’t think Bella and Rafe grew that much as characters, but they certainly gave each other strength to go for what they wanted and eschew fear.

I think the author dealt with a very sensitive subject without trivalizing it. I was comfortable with how it played out and I am happy that Bella learned more about herself in this book. I didn’t really care for Bella in the prior books, but I grew to appreciate her more in her own book. She has a certain inner strength that can be overlooked because of her cavalier attitude towards sex. Rafe was a really great guy from a good mother and he really helped Bella see herself in a different light.

Sarina Bowen really creates an interesting college environment that is fun but has real life issues. I look forward to the roommate’s chance at love.

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

US (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

US: by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Series: Him
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Pages: Format: eARC
Published By:
Purchase Links:
AmazonB&N • iBooks • KoboRel

Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves–Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It’s not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn’t help that his new job isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they? When Wes’s nosiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

three-stars

That’s my underwhelmed face. dammit, why do I always do this to myself? I put all these great first books in a series on a pedestal and build the second one so high up in my mind, and then when I read it I’m left pissed off. So note to self dummy don’t do it anymore. I’m a little perturbed. This is two authors who I have never read before, and what they were able to do to book one says a lot. The one thing that I loved most about book one was that they were MEN. They didn’t compromise their genders and make them into female characters with male body parts in my opinion. They were men acting, and talking men so I expected the same thing at least for this book. And that’s the conundrum for book two. Where the hell was the communication at? Did we trade in talking things out for copious amounts of sex. Le Sigh, sex doesn’t fix every damn thing. I was exasperated by the amount of sex that was in this book. It didn’t seem special to me anymore. It totally lost the magic juju from book. Another thing, what the hell happened to Jamie. He had a total personality reboot. I didn’t like it, and change him back please.

Let’s start with Jamie. Jamie who was easy-going, laid back, communicative, and honest must have taken a break off from book one going to book two. I didn’t like how he was portrayed in the story. The plot was so/so throughout the story, but then we have more often than not the entire story dealing with Wes. But when it came to Jamie his part seemed mediocre at best. He came off like the angry, jealous spouse something that I could never see him be. His descriptions from book one doesn’t compute to who he was in this book. I do think it was a bit unfair to let it go on so long with them not talking things through. It kind of made a downcast cloud over the entire story. It seemed like the authors then decided to make it every new adult cliché by making the two characters have copious amounts of sex instead of trying to communicate our issues to each other. It was so frustrating to read. Everything wasn’t on Jamie, because while he wasn’t adamant to change at least Wes noticed the problem. Wes did try on numerous times to communicate with Jamie.

Oh my goodness Blake really! I mean at the end yes he was worth it, but up until those parts he was so annoying. Now this is where I was angry the most, because neither Jamie & Wes forced the issue of him giving them space. They could have easily told him to give them an hour or that he was being forceful on their space. But nothing happened. I know from all of this is seemed like I disliked everything about the story, but I did like some parts. It just seems like the bad outweighed the good for me. They did have some sweet moments between each other and those were very special. I liked the last 25% the best and it definitely stuck with me.


EXCERPT

At long last, I’m twenty paces away, then ten. Then I’m opening our door. “Hey babe!” I call out like I always do. “I made it.” I drag my duffel over the threshold, then toss my suit coat on top, abandoning these things beside the door, because all I need now is a kiss.

Only then do I notice that our apartment smells amazing. Jamie has cooked dinner for me. Again. He is the perfect man, I swear to God.

“Hey!” he calls, emerging from the hallway leading to our bedroom. He’s wearing jeans and nothing else except—and this is unusual—a beard. “Do I know you?” He gives me a sexy smile.

“I was going to ask the same thing.” I’m staring at the sandy-blond beard. Jamie has always been clean-shaven. I mean—we’ve known each other since before facial hair. He looks different. Older, maybe.

And hot as blazes. Seriously, I can’t wait to feel that beard against my face, and maybe my balls… Jesus. The blood is already rushing south, and I’ve been home fifteen seconds.

And yet I’m just stuck there in the middle of the room for a moment, because even though it’s been eight months since Jamie and I started up together, I’m still a little stunned at my own good fortune. “Hi,” I say again, stupidly.

He walks forward, his easy gait so familiar that my heart breaks a little bit. He puts his hands on my traps and squeezes the muscle there. “Don’t go away for so long. If you do that again, I’m going to have to sneak into your hotel room on the road.”

“Promise?” I ask, and it comes out like gravel. He’s close enough now that I can smell the ocean scent of his shampoo and the beer he drank while he waited for me.

“If I ever get a winning lottery ticket and a day off, I’ll do it,” he says. “Hotel sex after a game? Sounds hot.”

Now I’m measuring the distance to our sofa and counting the layers of clothes I’ll need to remove in the next ninety seconds.


 

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Lucky in Loveland (Welcome to Loveland #1) by K-Lee Klein

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Lucky-in-Loveland-e1455027955742Lucky in Loveland by K-Lee Klein
Series: Welcome to Loveland
Release Date: February 13, 2016
Pages: 120 • Format: eARC
Published By: K-lee Klein Books
Purchase Link: AmazonARe

Loveland, Colorado is a special place all year around, a community of creativity and art, with scenic views and majestic mountains. But the town really shines once a year, on Valentine’s Day.

Lucky Roberts has lived in Loveland his whole life. He has good friends, strong family support, and is all about keeping his community fun and alive. The only thing Lucky has been “unlucky” with is love. But rather than avoiding February fourteenth in his hometown, he throws himself into helping others deliver their messages of love.

Enter Jack Canon. Jack moved to Loveland for a fresh start, in both his personal and professional lives. After a tough year, he’s finally hoping to just blend in, maybe carve a little niche for himself that his parents would have been proud of. What he didn’t expect was a pseudo-lumberjack with a killer body and shy smile to turn his world upside down – and he sure didn’t expect to like it so much.

When Lucky meets Jack, he feels like a thirteen year-old with his first crush. He’s clumsy, stammering, and the first greeting out of his mouth is a less than articulate, “Wow!” Words like adorable and manbun suddenly become part of his vocabulary as he discovers a deep, hidden need to romance the hell out of Jack.

And what better way to do that than during the most romantic season in the City of Love?

three-half-stars

So this was all kinds of adorable and being the first read from the author for me, I am intrigued.

Lucky in Loveland is a sweet tale of two men trying to not screw things up in a town that is made for love. Literally, like made for love.

Told from the Dual POV’s of Lucky our resident larger than life in all ways hockey coach and Jack, our pseudo hippie Kindergarten teacher we get to see each side as the boys navigate their way around each other and the town’s notorious affair with Valentine’s Day.

I really loved Lucky. He was a tough to get a hold on early in the story but once you get that he is kinda like a big kid that you want to cuddle and make laugh, you get why Jack would fall for him.

Jack… He is a Kindergarten teacher with a man bun… need I say more? I mean, that alone scores points in my book but Jack has moved to Loveland for a new start and his reasons made me want to hug him to. Actually I just wanted these two to hug and hug a lot and them hug some more, possibly naked. What can I say? When you have a romance surrounded by snow you need to pull off all layers, not just the emotional one, to get to the raw… where was I again?

This was a slow burn romance but it couldn’t have been told any other way. Both Lucky and Jack have their reasons for wanting to take things slow and I adored how they did it. Lucky with his surprise dates and all they are and Jack with, well Jack with the way he sees Lucky, it was just lovely to read these two and watch their awkward flirting, love of breakfast for dinner and intimate moments.

I hope there will be more from these two in the series as I am not quite done with them yet.

 

About K-Lee Klein

K-Lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember.

She lives with an patient husband who totally does not get her thing for gay men, two spoiled but wonderful sons (who don’t get it either), and two also spoiled, but beautiful cats. Her days are also filled with many texts and phone calls with her daughter who has already left the nest, and an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small, bouncing off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.

After finally throwing caution to the wind, K-lee’s first story was accepted and published in December of 2011, and since then she’s been lucky enough to be picked up by several publishers. She’s thrilled to be substituting her previous jobs as a hockey manager/coach, school band volunteer and overall chauffeur with her passion for writing beautiful, emotional men.

Among her favorite sub-genres are rockstars, cowboys, shifters, and opposites-attract relationships. But to be honest, she’s open to almost anything if it involves messing around in the heads of her characters. She’s also big on series–because she has a hard time letting her characters go–and is usually working on a handful of stories in various stages of completion all at the same time.

Cover Reveal – US by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Do you like hockey?

Books about boys who play hockey?

Books about boys who like other boys who play hockey?

Did you love Him and want more? 

Do you we have a treat for you! 

We at Oh My Shelves are happy to share and squee and drool over the cover for…

 

US

by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves–Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It’s not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn’t help that his new job isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they? When Wes’s noisiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

 

Coming soon to warm your heart and heat up your e-readers… March 8, 2016

 

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.