An Ali Audiobook Review: Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances# 5) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This was a really fun and entertaining read. It was a lighter installment than the last two books in the series and it was nice to get back to the easy flow of the first books. Troy and Shane are a bit older and their relationship is different in that it’s a coach/player dynamic. Fortunately the way it was done didn’t leave any creepy power imbalance vibes. Shane was older and close to retiring so he seemed like an equal to Troy. They were both also snarky and funny and I think I laughed out loud more in this book than any of the others. 

I enjoyed the humor and the easy way they came together. It’s nice to find romance books without all the angst and drama sometimes. My only complaint though was that these two were so snarky and teasing with each other that I didn’t feel a strong connection. I know that was their personalities but I wanted to see some sweet or loving or romantic declarations during their intimate times but we didn’t really get that. I new really felt a love match between them. A great friendship and some smexy times yes, but I wasn’t feeling the love even by the end.

This can be read as a standalone. There are some cameos by Isaac/Laurent and Misha/Max (which is always a treat) but this storyline works just fine on it’s own. We get to know a few other team mates a bit better and hopefully we’ll be seeing some of them getting their own books down the road. 
The audiobook was narrated by Scott R. Smith and I thought he did a nice job.  This series has used the same narrator throughout and I have to say I’m not a fan of that unless it’s the same characters.  When it’s different characters it makes me think “Oh that’s such as such from the previous book”.  So, the narrator’s voice and narration was fine but I would have enjoyed it more if it would have been someone else since these were two totally new (for the most part) characters.

If you’re a fan of the series I think you will enjoy this. If you are knew to this series, this one wasn’t my favorite, but it was still really enjoyable and I would recommend it.
The cover was done by Aaron Anderson and I love it.  I think the books for this series are some of the best in the genre.  They’re striking and they capture hockey perfectly.  
Audiobook Details:
6 hrs 50 mins
Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published December 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 26th 2017)
Original TitleCoach’s Challenge
ASINB078KKH2BY
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesScoring Chances #5

Piper’s Top Five NHL Defensemen and their release ‘​Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn ( tour and giveaway)

Standard

Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Riptide Publishing
Cover art by

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it here at Riptide Publishing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Piper Vaughn here today on her tour for Off the Ice.  Welcome, Piper!

Piper’s Top Five NHL Defensemen

Hi, all! Piper Vaughn, here! Thanks for having me today. In honor of Tristan Holt, who is one of the main characters in OFF THE ICE – and a defenseman for my and Avon Gale’s fictional hockey team, the Atlanta Venom – I’ve decided to talk a little bit about my five favorite NHL defensemen. If you’re an ice hockey fan and you haven’t heard of these guys, they’re all worth checking out! 😀

Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues

If you’ve already read OFF THE ICE and saw the dedication, you won’t be surprised to see Colton Parayko as the first name on this list. Avon and I have been open about the fact that Parayko inspired our character, Tristan, and the plot for the book itself. In interviews Parayko comes across as a genuinely nice, bashful, and humble guy. He’s also an amazing defenseman! This is his third season with the Blues, and he’s known for being a playmaker and with every passing season, becoming a more offensive defenseman. He isn’t scoring a ton of goals himself, but he’s getting assists and helping his teammates score, which is crucial. This past off-season, he even signed an impressive 5-year contract extension with the Blues, proof of their faith in him and his developing skillset. I can only see him getting better from here! And his smile is to die for.

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild

I have a thing for height differences and short, feisty players, and Spurgeon, clocking in at 5’7” (or 5’9”, depending which site you look at) is the shortest d-man on this list. You won’t necessarily find him among the NHL’s top 25 defensemen, but in my opinion, he’s vastly underrated and he’s constantly proving that size isn’t indicative of skill. He’s not a high-scoring defenseman, but he’s consistently good and puts up some respectable numbers in terms of goals and assists. Beyond that, he’s good at creating plays that lead to offensive chances, even if he’s not notching assists on those goals. In other words, he’s helping his team score! I only expect his numbers to improve over the next few years.   

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks

Burnzie is easily one of the top defensemen in the NHL and well-known for his skills as much as his impressive beard and his toothless grin. Burns is the ultimate offensive defenseman. He scores a lot of goals and notches even more assists. He’s also a goof, and I love his sense of humor. I’m a Sharks fan mostly because of him. Plus, I’ll never forget how supportive and awesome he was with his former teammate, John Scott, during the All-Star Game a couple of years ago. It was, hands down, the most memorable all-star game I’ll ever watch, and Burns was a big part of that.

Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild

When I think of Ryan Suter, one word that comes to mind is solid. If you know your hockey history, you’ll know Ryan Suter is the son of Bob Suter, who played as part of the “Miracle on Ice” team in the 1980 Olympic Games. Much like what I’ve read about his father, Suter loves hockey, his family, and is a humble and dedicated player. He’s a point-scorer, whether it’s goals or assists, and he’s a reliable offensive defenseman – evidenced by consistently solid numbers and his participation in the NHL’s All-Star Games three times in the last 5 seasons. He’s not a flashy player, but he’s definitely a difference maker, and I’ve liked him since I watched his episode of “Becoming Wild” a couple of seasons ago.

Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets

Werenski is the youngest d-man on this list. He’s only 20, but last year he led the NHL rookie defensemen in points. He made a huge impact on the Blue Jackets and was even nominated for the Calder Trophy, which goes to the rookie of the year. To no one’s surprise, last year’s winner was Auston Matthews, who is an incredible player, but it’s still impressive Werenski finished third in the voting! I love bb!players and seeing them do so well. He has an exciting future ahead of him, and I’m really looking forward to watching him develop.

And those are my top five, although it wasn’t easy to narrow it down. The league is filled with so many talented players, and I have a soft spot for defensemen and goalies… but the goalies I’ll save for another post. ;D

 In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide—and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.

About Off the Ice

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/off-the-ice

About Avon Gale

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.

Connect with Avon:

Website: www.avongalewrites.com

Blog: www.avongalewrites.com/category/blog/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/avongalewrites

Twitter: @avongalewrites

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/avongalewrites/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/avongale/

 

About Piper Vaughn

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.

  • As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.

 

Connect with Piper:

Website: http://pipervaughn.com/

Blog: https://pipervaughn.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pipervaughn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipervaughn

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pipervaughn7/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piper.vaughn/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104698982870458063898

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

RIPTIDE TOUR Avon Gale on The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (A Tour Dates novel)

Standard

The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Natasha Snow

Read an Excerpt/Purchase it Here at Riptide Publishing

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host the tour for The Love Song of Sawyer Bell (Tour Dates #1) by Avon Gale.  Check it out below and don’t forget to enter the giveaway.

✒︎

About The Love Song of Sawyer Bell

 

Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary.

 

 

Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry.

 

But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart.

 

Now available from Riptide Publishing

 

About Avon Gale

 

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.

 

Connect with Avon:

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of The Love Song of Sawyer Bell! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 30, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

An Ali Release Day Review: Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances #5) by Avon Gale

Standard
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
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.
This was a really fun and entertaining read.  It was a lighter installment than the last two books in the series and it was nice to get back to the easy flow of the first books.  Troy and Shane are a bit older and their relationship is different in that it’s a coach/player dynamic.  Fortunately the way it was done didn’t leave any creepy power imbalance vibes.  Shane was older and close to retiring so he seemed like an equal to Troy.  They were both also snarky and funny and I think I laughed out loud more in this book than any of the others.  If you are a hockey fan you will really appreciate some of the remarks (& if not you’ll still be entertained).
I enjoyed the humor and the easy way they came together.  It’s nice to find romance books without all the angst and drama sometimes.  My only complaint though was that these two were so snarky and teasing with each other that I didn’t feel a strong connection.  I know that was their personalities but I wanted to see some sweet or loving or romantic declarations during their intimate times but we didn’t really get that.  I new really felt a love match between them.  A great friendship and some smexy times yes, but I wasn’t feeling the love even by the end.
This can be read as a standalone.  There are some cameos by Isaac/Laurent and Misha/Max (which is always a treat) but this storyline works just fine on it’s own.  We get to know a few other teammates a bit better and hopefully we’ll be seeing some of them getting their own books down the road. 
If you’re a fan of the series I think you will enjoy this.  If you are knew to this series, this one wasn’t my favorite, but it was still really enjoyable and I would recommend it.
Cover:  This cover was done by Aaron Anderson.  I loved this cover and I think that this series has some of the best covers in the genre.  They are artistically striking but they also really represent not only the plot of the books but of the sport itself.  Every one has been fresh and different but equally good.
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published June 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635337662
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesScoring Chances #5

A Lila Audiobook Review: Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale and Kirt Graves (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder’s ultimate goal is to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home, in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his tastes.

Whiskey Business is a sweet, simple story of two men searching for their place within their families’ legacies. It has a bit of a supernatural feel, closer to magical realism than any paranormal tint. But overall, it only enhances the reading experience and adds to the town’s legend and unusual inhabitants. All the puns based on the Gallows Grove’s name and history give the story a comedic relief and sense of home.

Most times, I prefer one MC over the other, but in this case, Adam and Ryder are equally loving and interesting. There aren’t the traditional men portrait in most romances and perhaps that adds to their charms. Yes, their story follows a traditional trope, but they add their own spin.

All the secondary characters and the town itself play an important part in this story. It’s a novella with all the components of a well-written novel. There’s no angst or deep sadness, but the MCs longing for a legacy of their own without erasing their families’ achievements is a constant they both dealt with. And to make it all better, we get a very sweet HEA.

This is my first audiobook by Kirt Graves and I enjoyed the distinction he created between the main characters. The play of words he used to highlight the author’s words in this matter and how important the accents were to understand the differences between those living in different part of the state was excellent. The secondary characters were as well developed.

I’m not familiar with Aaron Anderson’s work, but this cover goes perfectly with the story and its simplicity.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | iTunes | Audible

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Kirt Graves
Length: 6 hours 14 minutes
Published: April 18, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B06ZYDB6ZV
Edition Language: English

An Ali Audiobook Review: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Standard
Rating 4.5  out of 5 stars
empty-net-audioSpartanburg 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.
Two of my favorite things in the world are hockey and books. When you combine them together I’m in heaven. This was the fourth book in my favorite hockey romance series. At the end of the last book there was a pretty ugly game between two rival teams and goalie Laurent St, Savoy crosses the line in a big way. The beginning of this story starts with Laurent being traded to the Spitfires and being expected to play with a bunch of guys (& coaches) who hate him. 

Laurent is aware is behavior was deplorable but he has some serious issues and desperation made him act like he did. Issac Drake wants to ignore Laurent all season and just play the game but as team captain that’s kind of hard to do. When circumstances bring Laurent’s issues to Issac’s attention he finds he can’t turn his back on his new teammate. 

Issac and Laurent become friends and Issac slowly convinces his other teammates and coaches to give Laurent a second chance. Much of the story is about Laurent learning to deal with his issues and stand up for himself. Over the course of the story the two young men fall in love and develop a relationship.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s my second favorite of the series. It tackles some pretty serious issues in a well thought out manner. The progression of Issac and Laurent’s relationship was realistic and I really loved them together. In addition to their relationship there were also some very touching moments between Issac and his coach/mentor Misha. Those ended up being some of my favorite scenes in the entire book.

As usual this author writes great hockey scenes and it’s apparent that she not only knows the rules and regulations of the game but her love for it jumps off every page at you. As a fellow hockey lover that means a lot to me. There’s nothing as exciting as the big games and/or the big wins in sports stories. 
The three previous books in the series can be read as standalones and technically this one could too but I think you would get more out of this story if you read the previous book first. There is a lot of back story on Issac and his coaches that you should know. 
This story was narrated by Scott R. Smith.  I thought he did a good job with both of the MC’s as well as all of the side characters.  I find that this narrator is consistently good with his books.

Again, I love this series and this was another great installment. This is a definite recommend from me and may be one of my most enjoyed audiobooks of the year.
 
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson:  I really like this cover.  It’s a great cover for a story about two goalies. 
Sales Links:
0dbe2-dreamspinner2blogo
Audiobook Details:
6 hrs 38 mins
Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published September 2nd 2016)
Original TitleEmpty Net
ASINB01N31AV7C
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesScoring Chances #4

An Ali Release Day Review: Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
whiskey-businessRyder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder’s ultimate goal is to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home, in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his tastes.
What a fun and entertaining story this was.  I was hooked from the moment these two met.  They immediately dislike each other but are immediately physically attracted to each other and that’s a plotline that I love.  They go back and forth making each other crazy.  One minute they can’t stand each other and are bickering non-stop and then the next they’re struggling to keep from acting on their fantasies.  The sexual tension and chemistry between the two jumps off of the pages. Once they give in to each other, it alternates between sweet scenes of them falling for each other, with steamy scenes that burn up the pages.
As a back drop there is this very quirky town and it’s very quirky inhabitants.  It is so well done I could picture it all in mind.  Complete with pun filled store names.  I could also picture the creepy doll filled room and while I hate dolls, it did lead to some very entertaining scenes.
I really enjoyed this and don’t have any complaints about this book.  I thought it was really well done and a fun, low angst read.  Something I would definitely recommend.
Cover by Aaron Anderson:  I like the cover a lot.  It’s unique and it fits the plot perfectly.
Sales Links
0dbe2-dreamspinner2blogo
65a2f-waxcreative-amazon-kindle
9e7ee-all2bromance2bbutton
Book Details:
ebook, 104 pages
Expected publication: December 28th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634778995 (ISBN13: 9781634778992)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStates of Love settingKentucky (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
power-play-audioA 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.
When I read this the first time I enjoyed it but it was my least favorite book in the series.  I had a hard time connecting with Misha.  Since then I’ve read the next book in the series, Empty Net, and Misha played an important role in it.  I loved him in that book and I think it had a positive influence on me and made this re-read a good thing.  That combined with the fact that I was listening to it on audio made everything stand out more and I was completely invested in Max and Misha’s love story this time around.
 I think this author does hockey stories better than any other author I’ve read in the hockey romance genre. She knows her game and her love for it comes through. If you’re not a fan the details aren’t overwhelming but if you are a fan there are all kinds of comments about teams/players etc that will make you smile. You know you’re reading something by a true fan. I loved the part of the story about the team and their journey from underdogs to a winning team. Those scenes were great. I especially love the game scenes on audio and I say this in every review, but it’s like listening to a hockey game on the radio.  I love them and I find myself totally rooting for our guy’s teams.
This was narrated by Scott R. Smith (as is the rest of the series).  He has an odd cadence to the way he speaks but once I get used to it each book I end up enjoying it.  He does well on different voices and you never get confused as to which character is speaking.  I enjoyed the narration a lot and I think it enhances the story.
Cover by Aaron Anderson:  I really like the cover.  It’s simple but striking at the suited figure is appropriate since this book focuses on the coaches not the players.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
Listening Length: 6 hours and 22 minutes
Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published May 9th 2016)
Original TitlePower Play
ASINB01M0DX4KX
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesScoring Chances #3 settingSouth Carolina (United States)

An Ali Audiobook Review: Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) by Avon Gale and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

Standard
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
save-of-the-game-audioAfter 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.
I loved this book just as much the second time around.  I read this book when it first came out and then jumped at this chance to review the audio version.  I’m glad to say it stood the test of time.  This remains my favorite in this series for a couple of reasons.  First off, there is very little angst in this book.  Neither of the two guys has ever been with another guy before but there is no drama surrounding this.  They discuss it like adults, determine they care about each other and want to see where it goes, and then they just get on with it.  No internal or external angsting.  I also enjoy the way the other characters in the book respond to them.  Their friends accept their status with few questions and one of my favorite scenes in the entire book is when Ethan takes Riley home to meet his mother and to come out to her.  It was a bit funny and a lot beautiful.  In a genre that is filled with stereotypical evil mothers, it was a refreshing change to see a wonderful, accepting mom who just loves her son.
There are some other issues both of the guys are working on but again, it’s done through communication.  Ethan’s storyline in particular was interesting too me.  Usually in sports books the MC’s are completely obsessed with their sport and this was different.  Ethan was able to say he really wasn’t as devoted as he needed to be and maybe he needed to look at some other options.
As usual with this author’s book you can tell through the writing that she is a hockey fan and her love of the game comes through in the writing.  If you’re not a hockey fan though you will not be bogged down with facts and details and you’ll be able to enjoy the book without any problems.
This audiobook is narrated by Scott R. Smith and I felt like he did a really good job.  He did both of the MC’s, including Ethan’s New Yorker accent, really well.  He also did a good job on the side characters, including the females (which not all male narrators can do).  Something about listening to these on audio makes the game scenes stand out more to me.  It’s almost like listening to games on the radio (well, actually on my phone app).  Listening to well done audios also make the romantic scenes seem even sweeter and the smexy scenes even hotter (& this book has both).
Overall this was a great read.  I loved the plot and loved the narration and I highly recommend checking this out.  This is the second book in a series but can be read as a standalone.
Cover by Aaron Anderson:  I love this cover.  It was one of my favorite covers of the year.  It’s a great representation of both the game of hockey as well as the story.  I also find it very visually appealing.
Sales Links
Audiobook Details:
6 hrs 22 mins
Audible Audio, 7 pages
Published September 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press, LLC (first published January 29th 2016)
Original TitleSave of the Game
ASINB01LTDEJWQ
Edition LanguageEnglishSeriesScoring Chances #2 settingJacksonville, Florida (United States)
New York (United States)

A Lila Audiobook Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale and Derrick McClain (Narrator)

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

let-the-wrong-light-in-audiobookAvery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

Let the Wrong Light In is a hard story to rate. This is my first Avon Gale book and I enjoyed it. The writing is good, well-paced, and the narration helps the feel of the story. The way the office works, the interactions between the characters, and how they work on the projects seems too convenient for the sake of the story.

It was hard to pinpoint Avery’s age and his real status within the company. Architecture is one of those professions, like medicine, in which practitioners tend to be older than average. For me, Avery read more as a young intern. He had too many layers protecting his heart, and there wasn’t enough time for them to be peel back. We get an idea of how good he can be when in a committed relationship, but not enough time to get invested in him/them.

Malin screams Christian Grey–a broken man with a hidden golden heart; only reachable by a young, sweet, and rebellious young man. He has the perfect apartment, house, cars, life, etc. but nothing makes sense to him anymore. He even needed Avery to reconnect with his family and smile again.

The BDSM aspect was something else that didn’t work for me. Unless the story is label Erotica with dub-con or non-con, I prefer to stay away. I like my relationships to be SSC or RACK. And in this case, it was none. Yes, we get to see the concern from Avery’s friends because of this, and Avery’s internal thoughts about it, but Malin having a hard time dealing with people isn’t a valid reason to ignore simple basic standards.

The last part of the story, when we get away from the wild kink and the walls between the main characters, was sweet and gave the story the little boost it needed. I think we needed a little more of Malin’s story early on to wrap it up even better. And Avery’s friends were great too.

I enjoyed Derrick McClain’s narration. He did a good job giving each character a distinctive voice. From all the characters, I think Malin was my favorite. His personality went well with the performance.

The cover by Aaron Anderson shows Avery through glass panels, which plays an important part in the story. The top part has a city line sketch.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Derrick McClain
Length: 5 hours and 35 minutes

Published: August 25, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01KZNJCU0
Edition Language: English