Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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.
This was a re-read for me and I have to say I enjoyed it just as much the second time around. The story follows socially awkward Lane as he starts his professional hockey career and experiences life away from home for the first time. Lane and Jared meet on the ice and then have what they think is going to be a one night stand. As it turns out they really like each other and the relationship ends up turning into something more. The story is partially about them falling in love but it is also about Lane learning to accept who he is and find his way as an adult. It’s also about Jared learning not only about falling in love with a person again, but also falling in love with the game again.
There are a lot of things I love about this book. Firstly it’s written really well. It has engaging characters with well done dialogue. There are some funny scenes and some smexy ones. All are done equally well. I also enjoy that there is no real angst or drama. It’s two adults who fall for each other, communicate in a mature manner and slowly build a relationship. My biggest joy in this book is this author actually knows hockey and her love of the game jumps out of every scene where they’re on the ice or in the locker room. Her writing is such that if you do not know or like hockey it will still all make sense and you won’t be over burdened with facts. But if you are a hockey fan you will catch a bunch of inside jokes and you’ll really appreciate the passion that goes into the game scenes. I really enjoyed the romance between these two but the part that brought tears to my eyes was certain events that happen to Jared as he plays.
The audiobook was narrated by Scott R. Smith and he did a good job with the story. Each of the voices was unique and I never had a problem telling who was talking. I really enjoyed the game scenes on audio. It was like listening to the games on the radio when I was a kid and on my phone app now. I’d find myself all caught up as if it was a real game going one. I enjoyed the audio as much as I did reading it when it first came out.
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson.I love the cover. I think it’s gorgeous and it is a perfect representation of the story. One of my favorite covers of the year last year.
Audible Audio, 8 pages, 7 hrs 33 mins
Published August 9th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 27th 2015)
Edition LanguageEnglishSeriesScoring Chances #1 settingFlorida (United States)