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.

Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) 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.

Title: Empty Net by Avon Gale
Series:  Scoring Chances #4
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner

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)

three-half-stars

I’m annoyed. I guess I should get that out first. I’ve had nothing but hits with this series, and book 3 is my all time favorite. I’m annoyed for many reasons concerning this book. It took me 7 days to read this book. A big surprise for me, I was not able to put up with the antics of the first half. I went from rage, anger, annoyance, guilty and a slew of other emotions. It took a lot for me to not DNF this book. I knew it was a part of me in the first two days, but I did a normal thing by trying to read something else. I succeeded in that, and read a few other books. That lead me to believe that it wasn’t just me.

I did not connect to the book until the last half, and I enjoyed it. I’m so conflicted on the rating to actually give the book. I want to be as fair as possible, but it’s half because I didn’t care for the first half which is important. I needed to be drawn in by both guys, and for me this entire book seemed liked redemption for Laurent. In the mist of him gaining his confidence and learning about his sexuality, I feel like Issac was forgotten completely. I could be wrong here, and maybe his job the entire book was to be support for Laurent. He did a great job on that front, but where was Isaac in all of this? Do a few sexual experiences, and helping Laurent equals “Issac time”? I’m trying really hard to understand, but I’m not getting it at all.

I feel like Issac experiences were left out or on the back burner. No, I didn’t expect him to have some made up stuff happen for the book, I kinda just needed him to have a little independence in his book. I wanted to see a different side of him, and while he was a great support system, and eventual boyfriend I feel lost on his behalf. Again, these are all my perceptions and I’m definitely in the minority according to the ratings. Even after reading the ending, I felt nothing. No connection really, and I didn’t feel quite satisfied. I still look forward to more in the series. I might re-read this someday and my feelings could possibly change. Who knows?

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.

Power Play 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.

PowerPlayLGPower Play by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances, Book Three
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe B&N • iBooks

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 years guilt-ridden 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 trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

five-stars

So this might be my new favorite of the series. It might be a Hockey Series, but this one hockey is in the background to the wonderful relationship between Head Coach Misha and Assistant Coach Max. It seems hard to top each book as you go in the series, but for me the was the ultimate best. I did not want it to end at all. It was so good from beginning to end. I loved both characters equally well, and I might slightly adore Misha more because of his Russian heritage and background. Instead of playing both guys are retired and have a sort of history together. Max’s accident and career ending injury coincides with Misha winning the Stanley Cup. This one I understood clearly, hockey isn’t my thing so it was great seeing this from a different point of view. I love that we got both guys point of views and clearly we get to see the build up from sort of enemies to trying to be friends to admitting the love for one another. Which in hindsight wasn’t that hard for Max.

Let’s talk characters. I love the way each guy in this series is different from others. Max is awesome. In the beginning I couldn’t really get a good grasp on him, but once he started going he was amazing. I loved his openness about Bisexuality. He admitted certain things to himself and came to the conclusion of it’s what he likes. Misha is definitely my type of man, the silent and broody types. The guys with the thousand I stare. Misha was really quiet and he held most things close to his chest. After everything he went through in his teenage years and to come to America and being able to have some freedom kinda through him for a loop. He seemed so close off and stoic but I think first and foremost he needed a friend and that was definitely Max.

Misha still holds himself responsible for Max’s injury. I’m glad the conversations were had because I didn’t want it to linger over the entire book. The chemistry was off the charts hot. I loved them together. It was sweeet times and off the chart smoldering times between these two. I enjoyed the characters as well, Besley might be a skeevy perv but when it counts he comes through. I can’t wait to see a Drake book. I’m feeling him and his room-mate. Those two definitely have the potential. Great seeing Ethan!!!! All in all I really liked this book. It’s by far the best in the series and definitely re-read material. It’s going to be hard to outdo it in my opinion, but I have super faith in Avon!

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.