Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Avon Gale for stopping by today.
Author: Avon Gale
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Genre: Bisexual, Contemporary, Romance
A Scoring Chances Novel
Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.
Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.
“So, was that guy your boyfriend or what?” Riley asked, out of the blue, when Lane was over playing Xbox. He spent a lot of time at Riley’s place because Riley lived by himself and liked to cook. Real food too. Not boxed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and a can of tuna, which was Lane’s only real culinary offering. That night Riley had made something with chicken—actual chicken—and a side. Like at a restaurant.
Lane had no idea what to say. Was it a trick? Lane gaped at him. His mind was racing, he had a sinking feeling in his chest, and what was he supposed to say?
“What guy?” There. That was a completely useless response.
“The one who plays for the Renegades.” Riley pressed some buttons and sighed when his goalie character failed to stop a shot from one of Lane’s players. “I don’t think Martin Brodeur would really have let in that goal.”
For a minute, Lane was really confused and thought Riley was calling him by the name of the legendary goaltender. “Why?” He was going to start hyperventilating or something. What should he do, and how did Riley even know about Jared?
Riley smiled. “It’s okay if he is your boyfriend, Lane. The Renegades’ player, I mean. Not Martin Brodeur. Though that’d be okay too. That’d be really cool actually.”
“How do you even know that? About Jared.”
“I saw you with him in Savannah.” Riley nodded at the screen. “You have to take the face off, or you’ll get a penalty.”
Oh, right. The video game. Lane hit some buttons, and then he thought about it for a minute—really thought about it. Riley was so calm. It was hard to tell if anything bothered him. But he didn’t seem upset or bothered by the idea of Lane being gay.
“Yeah,” he said carefully. “That’s my boyfriend.”
“I thought so,” Riley said. “You should pay attention, though. You just passed the puck to the other team.”
It was too hard to have a revealing conversation and play a video game at the same time. “Can we pause this for a minute?”
Riley nodded. “Sure. Do you mind that I asked you about it? I’ve been trying to figure out if it was okay or not.”
“It’s okay, I’m just surprised, I guess.” Lane shrugged. Now that they weren’t playing, he stared intently at the video-game controller, as if trying to discern its secrets. “Do you not want to be my roommate anymore?” he asked. It felt terrible to have it there between them—this thing that was a big deal and shouldn’t be.
Guess that’s why they call it being out. Lane hunched in on himself.
“Hey. Could you maybe look up for sec? Lane?”
Lane was horrified that he might do something involving emotions. But if a guy were going to have a problem with him being gay, he should look him in the eyes. Right? Right. Lane looked up at Riley and pulled his shoulders back into a challenging position.
“Whoa.” Riley held up his hands. “It’s totally fine with me, I don’t care. I just thought it must be weird. Because he’s on our rival team and he’s playing so well. Like, you’re probably glad but also want him to stop? That must be hard.”
Lane nodded. “You’re really…. That’s all you want to know about?”
“Oh, no. But it’s all I’ve figured out how to ask about. And yeah, I want to be your roommate. Actually I wish I’d asked you if you wanted to live here before Ryan did. I have that extra bedroom, and no one stays in it.”
“Yeah.” Riley studied him. “I won’t tell anyone. I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable.”
Lane shrugged that off. He wanted to ask Riley if he was gay, but he almost didn’t want to know. The idea that Riley might be totally straight and just that cool with Lane’s sexuality was almost too tempting, and he never liked to get his hopes up. But if Riley were gay, he would want to support him.
This shit was hard. Why couldn’t he just play hockey and go to bed with Jared, play video games with Ryan and Riley, have milkshakes with Zoe, and literally do nothing else, ever?
That is about all you do, though. But without feelings. Lane was arguing with himself. That’s what feelings did. They drove you crazy. He’d always known it, and here was proof.
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About the Author
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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