Empty Net by Avon Gale ~ Audiobook Review by Queue

Title: Empty Net
Series: Scoring Chances, Bk 4

Author: Avon Gale

Narrator: Scott R. Smith

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Release Date: 01/10/2017

Length: 06 hours 38 minutes

Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance

Summary:

Spartanburg 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.)

Story Review:

Karen reviewed the eBook here. I loved the book almost as much as she did which isn’t to say it’s not a magnificent story because it totally is.

The fact that this is the second story in this series I’ve listened says a lot because I do not normally enjoy sports stories. But Gale’s writing and her stunningly realistic characters totally wow me.

There’s so much in this book and the hockey aspect of it is almost immaterial. The story tackled subjects you don’t normally see in MM books, namely an eating disorder. It worked here well and totally made sense for the character.

Like Karen I loved the issues Gale tackled as well as the inclusion of a demisexual character.

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.

Narration Review:

Scott R. Smith did a fantastic job with the narration here. He created different voices for the two main characters and I never had trouble figuring out who was who. I really enjoy listening to his voice.

Links

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

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

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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