Author: Avon Gale
Narrator: Scott R. Smith
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Release Date: 10/11/2016
Length: 06 hours 22 minutes
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.
After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.
Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.
Karen reviewed the eBook of Power Play here.
I enjoyed this story much more than I expected to because I’m not usually a fan of sports stories. I took this one because I’d never read anything by Avon Gale before and had heard good things.
The hockey angle didn’t overpower the romantic angle whatsoever and instead complimented it perfectly.
… in Max Avon Gale has created a caring and delicious character. The premise of the book is simple, Misha caused Max’s accident at a hockey match, and both of their hockey careers came to a close. The accident exacerbated Misha’s unbelievable sense of Russian guilt, and yet freed Max. Both men went into coaching, and found themselves as head and deputy coaches to a failing hockey team, the Spitfires. Max has been recruited specifically because of the accident and to cause publicity with Misha; but as they they get to know each other they realise that not only to they make a great team as coaches; they are also attracted to each other.
Max’s bisexuality is dealt with in such an accepted way, and in fact his acceptance of himself is one of the most attractive things about the book, Max is happy. He doesn’t really have issues, he faces things head on and pretty much says and does what he feels to be right. Once of the most endearing characters I have come across in contemporary romance in a very long time, he talks, he listens…
Max and Misha are a FANTASTIC couple and I loved their realism. I will definitely check out other books by Gale.
BTW, I haven’t read or listened to any of the other books in the series and had no problem enjoying this one. It’s a true standalone though I suspect having read the others might enhance this tale.
I’ve listened to one other book narrated by Scott R. Smith and enjoyed it. I thought he did an even better job here. He’s definitely a narrator I won’t hesitate to listen to again. Nice tone and timbre and played out the emotions perfectly.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
One random commenter with thoughtful, relevant comments will win a $25 gift certificate each month in 2016.
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