Empty Net by Avon Gale ~ Book Review by Karen

empty-net-coverTitle: Empty Net
Series: Scoring Chances #4

Author: Avon Gale

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 09/02/2016

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary


partanburg 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.

Please be advised: This book does contain some non-graphic references to past childhood physical/emotional abuse as well as issues relating to ED (bulimia and restricted eating, disordered thoughts about eating).

My View:

For a while I’ve been frustrated by many of the contemporary romances I’ve read. The formulaic lack of communication, misunderstanding , separation and final get together on a big I love you can be difficult to take. Then I read this book.

I love Avon Gales writing, you do not need to know anything about hockey, but you do need to know about friends, family and loyalty to get this series.

Enemies to lovers is a delicious trope, and Gale works it well, Isaac/ Drake our blue haired goalie and Laurent/ Saint an apparently homophobic also goalie are terrific together. Once they get past enemies, into friends , the trust between them is wonderful to read- they don’t immediately share everything, but everything IS talked through. And while it’s in the main a fun read the serious issues do not disappear through love, Issac may be the impetus for Laurent to take action, but it’s the long haul that matters here.

This book, like the whole of the series is a breath of fresh air. I usually find it difficult to stick with a connecting series like this, but I can’t recommend this highly enough. I actually held my breath at one stage, thinking ‘this is it, classic break-up-to-get-back-together-again scene’ but it didn’t happen, they actually talked to each other, like people in relationships do.

It was also terrific to see an demisexual character.

Great book, great series.



Empty Net on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

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