Author: Avon Gale
Narrator: Scott R. Smith
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Story Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 2.75 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 3.0 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 09/12/2016
Length: 06 hours 22 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
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.
The Jacksonville Sea Storm is back for another season of minor league hockey. This second installment of the Scoring Chances Series by Avon Gale focuses on goalie Riley Hunter and his roommate, Ethan Kennedy. As their friendship develops into something more, the action both on and off the ice heats up and takes them both a bit by surprise.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of this series, Breakaway. Despite some issues with the narration, I loved the balance of the hockey action and the developing romance between the main characters, so I excitedly jumped into listening to this second installment, Save of the Game. Although fairly good overall, it simply wasn’t as well written as the first.
There is plenty of ice time, which I love. As a follower of a major league hockey team, I enjoy reading about the game from the player’s perspective, and Avon Gale really delivers here. From the technical execution of plays to the locker room banter, both of the books I’ve read from this series provide great sports action without overdoing it. The players all have distinctive personalities, and I enjoy how Ms. Gale provides a brief glimpse of them as a set-up for future stories within the universe she has created.
I also love the characters here, both main and secondary. Riley and Ethan are likable and fun to watch as they negotiate their budding relationship. What I felt was lacking here was a deeper expansion of their backgrounds and how they became the men and hockey players they currently are. The reader gets a just a glimpse of Riley’s privileged home life and his estrangement from his family. It would have been more satisfying to see that part of his history developed further. I think it might have made Riley’s struggle to hide his wealth more understandable and would have helped to create more sympathy for his character. The same holds true for Ethan’s character, as I would have liked to see how he and his single mother cultivated the relationship they have. A deeper knowledge of these two main personalities would certainly have made for a stronger connection to them. Unfortunately, it felt like this was sacrificed for the constant sex and talking about sex. I liked the mild BDSM elements woven into the intimacy of the relationship; however, I felt the sexual aspect of the relationship overshadowed important character development here.
Overall, I am enjoying this series, its players, and the direction the characters are taking. I am excited to continue with it and look forward to seeing how other couples connect and how the Sea Storm does in the next installment.
I had issues with this narrator in the first book, but I thought perhaps it was just me or that the second book would be an improvement. Unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case. The inflections this narrator uses feel overzealous and inappropriate for the subject matter and voices of the characters. The accents are over the top as well, particularly those created for Zoe and Ethan’s mom. I feel the narration is detrimental to the story overall, and though I will continue to enjoy this series, it will not be through the audio versions of the books.
I would like to thank the author for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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