Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Breakaway by Avon Gale Audiobook Review

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.

Length: 7 hrs, 33 mins
Narrator: Scott R. Smith

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I absolutely LOVED this audiobook. My past experience with hockey romances, whether they were M/M or M/F, is that most have been serious romances. If one considers the amount of pressure a professional athlete faces, this makes sense. Even those romances that included moments of humor tend to do so in a way that would be natural in most people’s lives irrespective of their career. But in the case of Breakaway, I spent so much time laughing at the stuff that came out of Lane’s mouth that I almost feel like I should label the book as a romantic comedy as well. The best part of the humor is that it occurs because Lane is socially awkward and lacks a filter, often speaking what he thinks without consideration as to how it will sound, and this results in some rather hilarious and off-the-wall comments that don’t feel over-the-top or forced simply because it’s just the way Lane is. He’s not malicious and there’s not a mean bone in his body, he’s just a guy who doesn’t see the world the way most of the people around him do. And I loved him for it, just as I loved Jared for loving Lane for who he was – even if there were times that it was obvious that Jared didn’t know whether he wanted to laugh at Lane or throttle him or do both. Thankfully for all involved, including myself, he just chose to love him.

I have to thank the author for the league explanations at the very beginning of the book because while I understand the concept and existence of feeder leagues, I had no idea that there was a feeder league (ECHL) for the feeder league (AHL), and this knowledge helped me understand the significance of several events in the book, such as the camaraderie between players off the ice who are at each other’s throat on the ice. As someone who grew up in the Panhandle of Florida, I found the references to the heat and humidity to be spot on and hilarious, and actually giggled at several of Lane’s observations and experiences… bless his heart. That Gale included two bisexual characters – Jared and Zoe – allowed for some fascinating conversations regarding bisexuality, as well as some hot fantasies on Lane and Jared’s part. The author does a nice job of balancing on-the-ice time with off-the-ice time so that we get to see Jared and Lane as fully developed characters. Because I felt like I knew them as people and not just as athletes, I enjoyed watching them fall in love and begin building a future together. The epilogue was great and I really hope that future books in the series will give me the chance to catch up with them.

The chemistry between Jared and Lane is great and Smith does a wonderful job of conveying it, so good in fact, that I had to stop listening a time or three because I was afraid that someone would question my flushed face. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Smith brings Lane, Jared, and Zoe to life. He does such a good job with Lane’s character that I could feel Lane’s confusion when he didn’t understand what he did wrong, how he made someone mad, or hurt their feelings, and his frustration when he couldn’t figure out what to do or say to fix it. In the same way, I was right there with Jared and Zoe when they had their “WHAT???” moments after Lane would say off-the-wall things. I had a blast falling in love with Jared as he fell in love with Lane because it was clear that the things about Lane that frustrated Jared, were the very things that he loved Lane for. Gale created some great characters in Breakaway and Scott R. Smith’s narration has me ready to dive into Save of the Game right now.

Also Available in the Scoring Chances Series

Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Empty Net post.

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 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. By day, Avon is a hair stylist who loves her job, her clients, and the opportunity to spend her time being creative and making people feel happy and look fabulous.

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.

Connect with Avon

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale to read and review.

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