An Ashlez Review: Goalie Interference (Hat Trick #2) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

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Rating – 5 out of 5 slapshots

It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn… 

Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.

Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom is looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.

Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.

In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.

I said this after the first book but I truly adore hockey romances, especially when they’re done well and have a lot of hockey in it – it’s like I’m in the game but not and it’s amazing.  The worldbuilding for the Venom is just amazing to me, the whole team and everything about them.
My brother was a goalie throughout his school years and I know what hard work and how hard they work to get where they are, and some of the descriptions in this book are so on par it’s unreal.
I loved Ryu he was my favourite side in the first book and I’m so glad I got to continue on with his story – he seemed so father figure and rigid and I’m glad to see Emmitt was so good at bantering with him – I loved the relationship progression of course, it felt smooth and easy.

Hockey fans/steamy romance fans ..definitely check out this book it’s 5/5 slapshots for sure!

Cover art: Goalies, so apt, but the contrast colours are so appealing and popping!

Sales Links: Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Expected publication: September 30th 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 1488053804 (ISBN13: 9781488053801)
Edition Language English
Series Hat Trick #2
Characters Ryu Mori, Emmitt Armstrong
setting Atlanta, Georgia (United States)

Hat Trick Series

Off the Ice

Goalie Interference

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : The Secrets We Keep by Rick R Reed

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Rick Reed delivers a powerful love story wrapped in a multitude of emotions. Jasper Warren, the principal character, is a young gay man living in Chicago with his bestie, Lacy. She’s perfectly happy tagging along as his wingman when he hits the nightlife Chicago offers. But when tragedy strikes, Jasper blames himself for not realizing how much Lacy really loved him. He’s spent most of his life alone, ever since his mother and younger sister were murdered and his father grew so remote, quiet, and introspective that he never interacted with Jasper, the only family he had left. He grew up in the same house as his dad but without the love and support one would expect from family. And, until she’s gone, Jasper never realizes she had become the family of his heart.

When Lacy’s uncle Rob befriends Jasper, the two bond over their losses. And, actually, Jasper wouldn’t mind more than friendship from the handsome, older silver fox. Those who enjoy family drama will love this story as there is both past and current familial drama as well as drama related to family of choice. The story primarily focuses on relationships: parents and children, friends and lovers, and, more subtly, a focus on the words and actions we use to hurt others, whether purposely or accidentally. In fact, sometimes, it’s not the action, but the failure to act, that causes the most harm.

Within the story, Rob, who happens to be a well-known author, cites the differences between fiction and real life and notes that “in real life, we need to think about using few words and making the ones we do use more meaningful.” So very true! Missed opportunities, lingering misunderstandings, and the complexity of our very human day-to-day existence can all cause far-reaching relationship problems. I loved the way the author wove these experiences into the story so readers could draw their own conclusions and see the life lessons as simply human experiences, for better or worse.

Over and above the outstanding plot, the author’s love for Palm Springs comes through loud and clear, as does his familiarity with the Chicago area.

Jasper’s fierce independent streak carries throughout the story, and there is a potentially happy future for him and Rob on the horizon, but he has also learned to value his self-confidence and his newfound positive relationship with his dad as the story closes. 

I highly recommend this to lovers of strong characters and those who enjoy age gap, hurt-comfort, redemption, and independence. 

The cover by Reese Dante, done in a black-and-white tone, features two men—one turned toward the camera, and one in side view. The overall effect is that of strife, anxiety, fear, and shame—all emotions evoked by the secrets they keep. 

Book Details:

ebook, 195 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN1 39781644055656
Edition Language English

Review Tour Goalie Interference (Hat Trick #2) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn (author interview)

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Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

Series (name + # in series): Hat Trick Series, #2

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: September 30, 2019

Print: October 1, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 75,000 words (approx.)

Print: 297 pages (approx.)

Subgenre: Contemporary romance, hockey romance, m/m

Warnings: tense family situations, racial microaggressions (called out on page)

All buy links or pre-order links:

Universal link: https://books2read.com/goalieinterference

Book synopsis:

It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…

Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.

Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom are looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.

Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.

In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

About Avon Gale:

Avon Gale lives in a liberal Midwestern college town, where she spends her days getting heavily invested in everything from craft projects to video games. She likes road trips by car, rock concerts, thunderstorms, IPAs, Kentucky bourbon and tattoos. As a queer author, Avon is committed to providing happy endings for all and loves to tell stories that focus on found families, strong and open communication, and friendship. She loves writing about quirky people who might not be perfect, but always find a place where they belong.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary Agency.

Connect with Avon:

Twitter: twitter.com/avongalewrites

Facebook: facebook.com/avongalewrites

Newsletter: eepurl.com/bGLSrD

Instagram: instagram.com/avongale

Website: avongalewrites.com

***

About Piper Vaughn:

Piper Vaughn is a queer Latinx author and longtime romance reader. Since writing their first love story at age eleven, they’ve known writing in some form was exactly what they wanted to do. A reader to the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book.

Piper grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Chicago and loves putting faces and characters of every ethnicity in their stories, making their fictional worlds as colorful as the real one. Above all, Piper believes there’s no one way to have an HEA, and every person deserves to see themselves reflected on the page.

Connect with Piper:

Twitter: twitter.com/pipervaughn

Facebook: facebook.com/pipervaughn

Instagram: instagram.com/piper.vaughn

Website: pipervaughn.com

***

Teaser 

“Can I tell you something and you’ll keep your mouth shut about it?” Emmitt asked. “I’m serious, man. This cannot go beyond you and me.”

“Dude! When do I not keep my mouth shut?” Morley scowled. “Like, when are people gonna get it that I’m like, a good guy?”

Emmitt smiled. “You are. I know. Sorry, it’s just…I might be seeing someone.”

Morley stared at him. “Is it another dentist?”

It took Emmitt a moment to remember how he’d told Morley about his ex, and he laughed despite himself. “No. This time it’s actually a hockey player and…yeah.”

Morley did a fist bump and shouted, “People owe me money, motherfuckers!”

“What?” Emmitt hissed. “This is why you’re not getting any cred! People? Who, people?”

“On the Internet,” Morley said, mysteriously. “Don’t worry. I don’t use my real name.”

Emmitt just stared at him. “I don’t want to know about this. I don’t. I’m not asking. And I can’t tell you who it is, because he’s not out, so don’t ask, okay?”

“I won’t. But…it’s not the goalie on the Marauders, is it?” His voice lowered. “People write erotic stories about you two, bro.”

Emmitt blinked. “What? Where? Why?”

“Enemies to lovers, man. It’s a Thing.” Morley waved a hand. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Okay?” Emmitt gave a helpless laugh. “I don’t know what to even say about that, except I hope those stories end better than my relationship did. It’s not the goalie for the Marauders, by the way. Our archrivals? Give me some credit, dude.”

***

Author Q&A:

Piper Vaughn:

Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.

-Reading.

-Cross stitching.

-YouTube. I watch a lot of ASMR videos to relax, but I’m also really into cooking videos, crafting tutorials, music videos, and skincare vlogs.

-My cat. Look, she’s too cute to resist. She deserves all the pets and treats and love.

-Social media. Especially Twitter!

What is your ideal writing space?

In a perfect world, I’d have my own office, with a door that locked. There’d be a desk/work station, book shelves stuffed to the brim with paperbacks and knickknacks, a cozy reading nook in the corner for when I needed a break, a few plants near the window, and space to display all of the vintage typewriters I’ve collected over the years.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to travel, listen to music (my tastes are eclectic, but at heart, I’m still a 90s grunge and alternative kid), read, and marathon TV shows or true crime podcasts. I also love cross stitching, which I’ve only been doing for about 4 months now, but I’m totally obsessed with the craft and have amassed quite the collection of supplies and patterns and have even started hand-dyeing my own fabric and creating my own designs.

What drew you to this genre?

I’ve been a romance reader pretty much from the start, when I first got my hands on a few Harlequin category romances around the age of eleven. YA was a much smaller genre at the time, and while I was reading some of it—Christopher Pike, LJ Smith, RL Stine, Sweet Valley High, etc.—a lot of it also contained romantic subplots. At the end of the day, I just really enjoy watching two (or more) people form a connection and fall in love, with all the ups and downs that come along with that journey. And given that I grew up around a fair amount of death and violence, I really clung hard to the idea of happily ever afters. I still do.

Avon Gale

Name the five biggest distractions from your writing.

Definitely video games. I love them, especially epic RPGs with a huge world map and a thousand pointless sidequests. There’s nothing I love more than fighting with my ragtag group of party members, gallivanting from town to dungeon, rage-quitting boss battles (they cheat!) and putting off saving the world to collect vegetables for that one merchant, or find the lost sheep of a poor villager. I love RPGs because they’re basically found family narratives with a strong emphasis on the power of friendship, which are also things I love to write about in my books.

After that, it’d have to be crafting — I like to knit, embroider, sew, paint, make jewelry, anything like that. I’m always up for learning a new craft (sewing and embroidery are my most recent) and I can spend a lot of time in our local yarn shop, the quilt store with the fabric I won’t let myself buy because I am still not that great at sewing in a straight line, or Michaels looking at embroidery thread.

YouTube — I watch a lot of YouTube videos, as the shorter format works well with my attention span. I love Jenny Nicholson, who has hilarious videos about bad fanfic, movies, and theme parks — I highly recommend her snark-tastic video about that awful “Escape from Tomorrow” movie shot guerilla-style in Disney parks.

My four month old kitten is also a distraction from writing, sometimes a welcome one and sometimes not so much. But it’s hard not to play with her when she’s so cute!!

For the last one, I guess I’d have to say cleaning. Sometimes I have found myself vacuuming instead of writing, in which case I’m sure somewhere my mom is weeping quality for the twelve year old I might have been, haha!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Video games are my biggest hobby at the moment, alongside with crafting (though the kitten makes doing that sort of hard, she likes to pounce on literally everything but especially string/yarn!). I also love to travel, especially road tripping to visit friends or go to concerts. I love to swim, either outside in a nice cold river/lake or at the gym. I obviously love reading, I still love my fandom and shrieking over fanart/fic, and I love watching horror movies. I’m pretty easily entertained, to be honest!

What drew you to this genre?

I’ve been a romance reader since I was about 11, and I started reading gothic romance (“The Lost Duchess of Greyden Castle” was my first!) and then moved on to contemporary and historical. I love character-driven stories, especially ones with a happy ending. Romance has always appealed to my positivity and inherently optimistic nature, and I love being able to write in the genre I’ve read and enjoyed for so long. I especially love seeing queer characters thrive and end up happy, those narratives were ones I didn’t have growing up and I’m committed to making sure they’re out there.

 

Don’t Miss Out on the Special Review Tour and Giveaway for The Secrets We Keep by Rick R Reed (Excerpt)

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Length: 195 pages
 
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
 
Cover Design: Reese Dante
 
Blurb
 

Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.


And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.


But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Excerpt
 

It’s always exciting for me, both as a writer and as a reader, when the two main lovers in a book first meet. In THE SECRETS WE KEEP, that first meeting is at a funeral home wake, for someone both men loved deeply (and for whom many of the secrets in the book are kept).

***



When he stepped out of the bathroom, someone was waiting for him. An older man.


Jasper tried to thread his way around the guy. “Did you want to go in?” Jasper gestured toward the open bathroom.


“No. I was waiting for you.” The guy eyed him. He was probably a good twenty years older than Jasper, but as inappropriate as it was at a time like this, Jasper couldn’t help noticing how sexy he was. Trim, a little on the short side, it was obvious, even in his impeccably tailored black suit, he was in very good, and very powerful, shape. Jasper was certain those weren’t shoulder pads testing the seams at the tops of his arms.


He had kind eyes. And they were the most amazing shade of pale gray. Jasper had seen a husky once with eyes like that; he couldn’t say he’d ever seen anything like it on a human being. Those eyes were mesmerizing, arresting, and chilling, framed in long, black lashes.


His hair was silver, shorn close on the sides with a bit more on top, spiked with some gel.


He wore a fashionable five-o’clock shadow that Jasper couldn’t deny he wanted to feel—either with his fingers or against his own smooth cheeks.


“For me?” Jasper smiled. “I’m sorry. Do I know you?”


He simply smiled enigmatically. “Probably not. But I bet I know you. You’re Jasper, Heather’s roommate, right?”


“Yeah. And you are?”


“I’m Robert. Robert Burroughs.” He extended his hand.


Jasper gripped the warm hand, slightly soft and a little damp. He didn’t take his eyes off Robert the whole time, and the “whole time” was much longer than the duration of a handshake for most guys. It sent a shiver through Jasper.


“Burroughs?” Jasper had a terrifying thought. What if this is her dad? Good Lord, I’m flirting with Lacy’s dad! At her funeral! The very thought caused beads of sweat to pop out on Jasper’s forehead. He held in a giddy burst of laughter. “Are you, um, related to Lacy? Er, Heather?”


Please don’t say you’re her father.


“I’m her uncle Rob. Did she never mention me?”


Jasper wracked his brain. One thing neither of them did much of was talk about their respective families. They liked to believe they were each other’s family now, “chosen family” was the term they used. The idea, the memory of this, brought a lump to Jasper’s throat, bringing home for real that his best friend was gone. “I’m not sure.”


“It’s okay if she didn’t. I hadn’t seen her in quite some time. My schedule doesn’t afford me much opportunity to see family, as much as I might want to.” He smiled, and Jasper noticed the sadness around his eyes despite it. Robert went on softly, “I wish I’d had one more chance to talk to her, to tell her how I loved her. I’m afraid she didn’t know.”


Jasper nodded. “Me too. If I could just talk to her one more time, maybe we wouldn’t be here.”


Robert cocked his head. “No?”


Jasper didn’t want to disabuse him of the notion that Lacy had not killed herself, if that was what he was choosing to believe. So he simply said, “Who knows?”


“Heather used to write sometimes, a long time ago. She’d shoot me a text, you know, a birthday emoji or a holiday one. We were close when she was a kid. I used to take her places with me whenever I could. Her parents never really got her, you know?”


“Oh, I know.”


“They were always trying to change her. Like, she was left-handed naturally, and they worked and worked and worked on getting her to use her right. They tried to get her to hang out with what they deemed the popular girls. They bought her American Girl dolls when all she wanted was a set of paints and a good book, preferably horror. I could stand here all day and tell you how little my brother and sister-in-law knew their girl. But I won’t.


“I just wish I’d stayed in better touch with her. Once my career took off, back when she was just becoming a teenybopper, I kind of got preoccupied and we lost touch.” He paused and Jasper noticed the tears standing in his incredible eyes. Unexpectedly, he laughed. “When she was a little girl, and I mean like three or four, she would sigh and say, ‘Woe is me.’ What little girl says that?”


“Lacy. It so figures.”


“You call her Lacy. Why?”


“That’s how she referred to herself. She was even thinking of legally changing her name. She hated Heather.”


Robert nodded. “I get that. I never thought of her as a Heather. I’m glad she found something else.” He glanced over his shoulder into the viewing room. “I wish they’d respected that.”


I do too. Jasper felt, suddenly, even sadder. For his own loss, sure, but more for Lacy’s loss. The rest of her life. She could have done so much. She could have been happy. He just knew it.


He placed his hand on Robert’s shoulder. “Look, I intended to stay longer, but I need to get out of here. This place is too oppressive. And it honestly feels like someone else is being waked, not the girl I know. So I’m gonna book. But it was nice to talk to you.”


Robert nodded. “Will you be at the funeral tomorrow morning?”


The funeral was set for one of Rogers Park’s Catholic churches. Then they’d fly the body back to California for burial in the family plot.


It was all wrong. All not what Lacy would have chosen.


Jasper shook his head. “No. I don’t think so. This isn’t her. I think I’ll just remember her as I knew her.”


Jasper turned away, feeling on the verge of tears. He didn’t want to cry in front of Lacy’s uncle—or anyone else gathered at the funeral home, for that matter.


As he reached the door, Robert’s voice stopped him.


“Jasper?”


He turned.


“Would you mind if I came with you? I need to get out of here too.”

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words 5 star Review here.  We highly recommend it.

 

Real Men. True Love.


Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix.


FIND RICK ONLINE



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Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
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Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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