Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
As much as I love baseball, hockey and hockey players have slowly become my new boys of summer. The NHL’s “Hockey for Everyone” campaign during Pride month just further solidified that position. And we have some outstanding LGBT hockey romances to read and fall in love with, including Avon Gale’s Scoring Chances series.
Save of the Game by Avon Gale is the second story in that series (one I had somehow overlooked and now catching up on). And it’s another winner of a romance, contributing to the series and universe the author is building for this series and just an overall giangatic pleasure to read.
Picking up with the ECHL teams involved with a fierce rivalry and loss from last season (book one Breakaway), Save of the Game picks up with the aftermath with goalie Riley Hunter and his new roommate and teammate, Ethan Kennedy. Riley is one we started to get to know in Breakaway. There he was still a bit of an enigma. But here, we get the man and it’s everything I was hoping for. Complex, quirky as goalies are, unexpected, and compelling in his strange upbringing. I liked him to begin with and then fell in love the more the layers pulled back to reveal the heart of this man.
Where Riley is all quiet and interior walls, Ethan is all loud, prickly, and defensive in other ways. His barriers are obvious, his emotions thrown out there but as a man he’s as irresistible as Riley.Maybe it’s because Gale has written this man with a heart as big as the team he loves so fiercely. Given their diverse personalities, the march towards a relationship is as quirky, loud, funny, painful, and just plain amazing as they are.
There are wonderful other characters here. The teammates that will become important players in other stories or already have been, the families of both men who are vibrant characters in their own right. No one here is someone you will easily forget. Trust me on that. Everyone makes an indelible impression on you. On and off the ice.
Oh, but when they get on the ice! The action here is incredible, the pace as fast as you would expect, the games and flow is actually thrilling. Avon Gale can write hockey!
If I could buy a crazy Jacksonville Sea Storm jersey I would. I’m that nuts about this team. Even their rivals. There is something about the ECHL (Easy Come Hard to Leave as the East Coast Hockey League is known as ) that pulls you in and makes you a rabid fan. Avon Gale is one. She’s made me one too. This great series will go a long way to making you one as well and picking up the phone to see where your own ECHL team may be.
If you aren’t familiar yet with either Avon Gale or any of her hockey stories, here is a series to start with. I highly recommend them. Including Save of the Game, which I love. But start with Breakaway and work your way through. I have listed them all below! Enjoy!
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson, I love these covers. Perfect for the characters and do a great job branding the series.
Sales Links: Amazon
book, 200 pages
Published January 29th 2016 by Dreamspinner
Original Title Save of the Game
ISBN 1627980474 (ISBN13: 9781627980470)
Edition Language English
Series Scoring Chances #2
setting Jacksonville, Florida (United States)
New York State (United States)
Florida (United States)