A MelanieM Review :Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) by Avon Gale

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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 Details:

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)

Scoring Chances Series

Breakaway

Save of the Game

Power Play

Overtime

Empty Net

Coach’s Challenge

An Alisa Review: Hidden Hearts (Bad Valentine #3) by Clare London

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Accident-prone Ethan has a dating history that reads like a disaster movie script. Strong and silent Kel can’t seem to master the necessary small-talk on a proper date. When they both get signed up anonymously for a Valentines’s night event—”for those with an adventurous spirit but an open diary”—they never imagined they’d be matched. They never imagined the romantic sparks would fly. To be honest, they never imagined they’d survive the week.

A catalogue of disasters dogs the footsteps of their blossoming romance, including a coffee date with food allergies as an added extra, an intimate dinner that strays too close for comfort to chopped chillies, and a sensual massage with hot wax candles that threatens to alert the local fire brigade.

But if they can hold tight to their sweet, surprising, yet single-minded attraction – they might just survive this Valentine’s Day with something very special to look forward to.

Oh gosh, I loved this story.  Ethan isn’t who Kel would have usually gone for but they connected immediately on their blind date.  Kel is everything Ethan has dreamed about but never thought he could have.

I liked how this was a bit opposites attract but they connected so beautifully.  I loved how Kel didn’t even blink at Ethan’s clumsiness and wouldn’t let it scare him away.  And the best part an epilogue, it always wraps a story up nicely to me.

The cover art by Jordan Castillo Price is cute and I love the visual of Ethan.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 68 pages

Publication: February 1, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Bad Valentine #3

A Stella Review: Renaissance (Village Love #2) by Lillian Francis

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Smudge really needs to get laid, if only to stop himself wondering about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and why he keeps running away.

After his tumultuous teenage years, Smudge has settled into his quiet life in the sleepy English village of Slopy Bottom. He’s his own boss with the time and space to indulge his artistic creativity. And he has friends. He’s happy. Satisfied. Lonely. And the pool of potential soulmates is almost non-existent. His friends, Rick and Mal, flush with their own happy romance, keep trying to set him up with the most incompatible men, and he’s never finding true love on Grindr. Hell, he’s not even going to manage a hook up based on the kinky messages he’s been getting recently. He’ll just have to slake his desire to find his own HEA in the pages of bosom-heaving romance novels.

Raleigh is the darling of Slopy Bottom’s blue rinse brigade: church organist, mobile librarian, and apparently wedded to his trademark cardigans. He seems to be the polar opposite of the artistic Smudge, whose brightly coloured mohawk and piercings should be a red flag to Raleigh. Yet he’s yearning for company too. It’s just that Raleigh has less expectation and definitely less courage to chase after it, for reasons that he keeps very close to his chest. Reasons that don’t stop him from being drawn irresistibly to Smudge.


Smudge is sure that the way Raleigh runs from him whenever he sees him is cruelly deliberate. A reflection on his bad boy looks and his disdain for Raleigh’s precious church. So why can’t he stop thinking about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and his delicate body? Then Raleigh offers an olive branch of sugar and caffeine, Smudge’s favourite combination, starting them on a road to an awkward truce. And when they are conned into working together on a community project at the local hospital, the proximity ignites a spark that can’t be ignored. But navigating the murky waters that could take their relationship beyond tentative friendship all depends on whether Raleigh can release his secret fears – and whether Smudge is the man to share and allay them.

Renaissance by Lillian Francis was a pure joy to read. I was waiting for Raleigh and Smudge’s story since I first met them in the previous book in the Village Love series. I am very happy the author quickly fulfilled my wish. I loved this new release so much.

This is an “opposites attract” story, Raleigh is the perfect and so beloved librarian of Sloppy Bottom, Smudge is the strange owner of a print shop, full of tattoos, piercings and colorful hair. When these two world will be brought together, something special will happen. I loved them because I love my characters to be damaged like we all are, it makes them real, although I could have saved Raleigh from the deep pain of his past.

The relationship was slow at start and developed, Raleigh and Smudge are really together just at the very end of the novel, plus there is no sex scenes and it was perfect. Imo it shouldn’t have been different and I want to thank the author for the respect she showed to Raleigh with this choice.

The writing was so engaging, it made the reading easy to follow and I particularly enjoyed it in the descriptive scenes. With her style Lillian brought me to Sloppy Bottom and its people and it was a great place.

In Renaissance I found Rick and Mal from Resonance and Resistance, I saw how happy they still were together, how their relationship has grown and become more solid. And then I met some characters I so want and hope the author will give them their own HEA, like Adam and Trevor and Jason and PuondingTorque. I’m so curious to see what she can come up with.

I feel to highly recommend Renaissance by Lillian Francis, one of the best book I read in 2017.

The cover art by Garrett Leigh follows the style of the covers of the series and I quite like it since it’s different.

Sales Links

amazon square borderSW border

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 298 pages

Published April 1st 2017 by Finally Love Press

ASIN B06XZX5MMJ

Edition Language English

Village Love series

Resonance #0,5

Resistance #1

Renaissance #2