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

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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:
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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 Alisa Audiobook Review: A Forced Silence (Zero Hour #1) by Cate Ashwood and Scott R. Smith (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

a-forced-silenceFor paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

 

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.

 

I enjoyed listening to this story.  Sam has been living openly since he left home for college and doesn’t want to hide himself while Adam has been hiding himself from everyone afraid to lose his job or family.  Sam and Adam used to be best friends with the same person in school, however were never friends themselves in fact Adam used to go out of his way to make his life horrible.

 

When this story starts Sam has grown a lot from the awkward and shy teenager he was when they were in school, but Adam has moved farther from his attitude he had in school.  I could feel both of their emotions, Sam absolutely loves the Adam he knows in private, but it tears him up to not show it in public.  Adam is constantly feeling down about not being there for Sam out in the open.  The story was left open and I hope I can see more of these characters in the future.

 

Scott R. Smith did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I was able to keep track of the stories and characters which is always nice.  He was able to portray the characters emotions in his reading.

 

Cover art by Melody Pond is nice and I wouldn’t change it.

 

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 47min
Published June 3, 2016 (ebook first published December 11, 2015)
Edition Language: English