Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, 20-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.
©2015 Avon Gale (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
Really liked the story, and the audio book was just as good. Scott R. Smith's [another newbie to me] narration was a joy to listen to, his deep, raspy drawl for Jared and Lane's almost too excited higher pitched chatterbox voice were spot on, as was his lazy Southern girlish voice for Zoe. I loved listening to Lane/Zoe and Lane/Jared interact, so funny. If he is to be the series narrator, my bank account may well suffer, but I'll definitely be buying the audio books for the rest of the series. 4.5 stars from me.
I love this series. So I was a little worried about how the audio would go. Lane is an original one in a million and Jared is the marshmallow core surrounded by steel...so whoever narrated I was hoping would really bring the characters to life.
Scott R. Smith certainly entertains while keeping true to the quirks and idiosyncrasies of each character. I thought he perfectly captured Jared's voice, the way I pictured Lane's speech pattern in my head, and did a great job overall with all of the different character voices in the story.
I was also particularly pleased he brought heat and passion to the sex scenes in the story, and highlighted much of the humor with terrific uses of inflection and tone.
The only issue I can see with the narration is that Smith spoke a little fast at times, but it honestly didn't bother me. I mean, I would much rather have that than weird pausing and speaking so slowly the listener has to speed up the audio.
So, all in all, the narration for this was quite entertaining, fit the story, and I think Avon Gale ultimately chose well. I'm really looking forward to listening to the other stories in the series with Smith at the helm.
"Great Hockey Romance! Really Enjoyed!"
I always say that sports romances aren't really my thing, but I think I have to be changing my tune. Another hockey romance, another BIG success for me! This audiobook was fab!
Sometimes it takes me a little while to warm up to a book, especially an audiobook. That was certainly the case with Breakaway. At first I was really confused about the character of Lane. Is he supposed to be autistic or on the spectrum? Is he supposed to be simple-minded? Just socially awkward? What's his deal?? But finally I just decided that it didn't matter: Lane is Lane... weird and competitive and horny, and I simply took his character for who he was.
Same with the narration. At first, I found Scott R. Smith's reading style to be difficult to follow. I played with the speed a little bit, trying to find a way to "get" the reading, and I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it. I think it was the way he emphasized certain words that made it sound... less organic, for some reason.
However, his narration grew on me too. I just LOVED his voice for Jared (sexy and raspy), and I liked his cadence for Lane. His range of voices was very impressive, and I grew really addicted to listening to the audiobook. In fact, I'm waiting on the rest of the books until they come out in audio, just because I KNOW that Scott R. Smith will only get better and better.
I found the whole book to be really special. The romance was nicely done, and though there were a few bumps and miscommunications along the way, the majority of the book was drama-free. I appreciated that. It was a great listen with a nicely paced plot, and I gladly tuned in to the audiobook for hours on end, a sure sign of a successful story.
While it wasn't my favorite hockey romance (yeah, I'm looking at you, Him!!), I really enjoyed this one. If you are into MCs with no filter and fewer social skills, and an age-gap romance with a sexy, bisexual athlete (the bi details are very nicely done, BTW), you should pick this one up. And I'm beside myself with glee because I hear that this series continues being awesome with each passing book. SCORE!
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
"Excellent - Lane brought to life!"
I love this book both in print version and audio. I'm still tentative on audio books in general but the narrator did a fantastic job portraying the many different characters. The only character that I didn't "get" was Riley (Hunter). The narrator's take and portrayal of him was "interesting" - different to what I had in mind.
It's no secret I love adorable, clueless, socially awkward Lane. He's just so clueless and genuine you have to love him. Also, the supporting cast of characters were pretty solid and kept the story light, funny and fast paced.
Bringing a story to life is always interesting especially when it comes to inflection and accents etc. So hearing Zoe, whom I love, threw me for a loop because I'm not familiar with southern accents and it took some getting used to. Similarly, Riley's portrayal was different from what I imagined. Thankfully I still loved the audio version as well.
This book made me laugh from chapter 1 and I was still laughing at the last chapter.
Excellent book and excellent narration.
"One of my all time favorites- okay narration"
How do you review something you just love so dang much?!
This is one of my all time favorite books. Not just for this year but for all time. It hits all the right notes for me and I can’t say enough good about it.
First, the humor. Avon Gale just tickles my funny bone and I laugh out loud over and over with this story. Lane is ADORKABLE and he says all the (right)wrong things. Humor is tough and it takes someone with good timing as well as a good sense of the absurd to make humor work in writing. Avon has it in spades. Her writing is witty and sparkling and Lane is the perfect example of this.
Zoe, is Lane’s BFF and she’s MAGNIFICENT. God I loved this character. She’s sweet, and funny, and bi-sexual, and tatted up and tender… she helps Lane navigate all those “feelings” that people keep having and it’s both really sweet and super funny.
As someone who knows next to nothing about hockey, I can tell you that Avon managed to engage me enough with the sport that I felt like a “fan” for a minute but I never felt lost or overwhelmed.
There’s some great stuff in here: Good hockey, some Canada humor, a bit of parental angst and some hot, hot, HOT virgin sex with an absolute boatload of feels mixed in with tons of laughter.
But – and this is the most important aspect – the romance is soooo sweet. Jared and Lane together are exactly what romances are made of. They’re guys, but they’re sweet and sexy and sometimes they wrestle – so – you know – awesome!
I literally either bookmarked or highlighted something on nearly every dang page. It’s ridiculous how good this book is!
So… I’m recommending this book to fans of gay virgins, geeks, hockey, Canadians, humor, May/December romances and sweet love stories.
I’d seriously give this a 7 of 5 stars if I could… it was really, really amazing.
So the problem with being in love with a book and having read it several, several times is that you have the MCs sort of already voiced out in your head. To me Lane has a distinct voice as does Zoe. The others not nearly as much, except for maybe Riley… When I saw this was in audio format I FLIPPED OUT because now I can listen to one of my favs over and over and over right? Welllllllll – it seriously pains me to say this, but I am disappointed. The narrator simply did not get Lane the same way that I interpreted him. He didn’t get his blabbering or his cluelessness or his ability to put his foot in his mouth over and over… and it shows in how he’s voiced. He did a great job with Jared and I LOVED Ryan. They were just right. But Lane … he’s my guy and I had high hopes for him. Then there’s Zoe. To me the narrator absolutely missed the mark with Zoe. He made her a Southern Belle while I think of her more as a Southern Red Neck with an Education and Attitude. It’s hard to explain, but her voice sounded off to me as well.
Now – don’t get me wrong – I listened and really enjoyed this for the most part and if you’re new to the story, it’ll probably be great – but I was hoping for something a little different. It’s still a wonderful story and well worth listening to.
4 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars because the book is so dang good.
I love Breakaway and the Scoring Chances series. Scott R. Smith did a great job with the narration! Every character had a distinct voice, and I loved the energy of his performance. Jared was my favorite. The narrator made him sound super sexy, and he also did a great job bringing Lane's awkwardness to life. I can't wait to see what he does with the rest of the books in the series!
"Funny, sweet sports m/m love story"
Young Lane is not off to a good start with his professional career on a minor league hockey team. His teammates hate him because he's got absolutely no filter and is quirky to say the least.
He picks a fight with the rival team's brawler in an effort to change things up and somehow ends up hooking up with the older man after the game.
Jared is in his last years in the league, old and jaded in his early 30s. But the youthful, gawky but very cute and talented Lane somehow creates sparks when they are together.
The reading is low key and not overly dramatic. It does the humorous dialog justice.
Hands down, this is easily one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. This narrator was phenomenal...his voices for Lane and Jared made the book so freaking good. I loved this story and characters.
This is one of those books...the story so unlikely to work as a romance novel, but it does and OMG, I don't know if I've ever smiled and laughed out loud as much as I have with this story. Lane...is young...and brash...and he has absolutely no filter. He's also a jock and may not be the absolute smartest guy around. All of that combined makes him fabulously funny. He's just so young and naive. He says things that most other people wouldn't even think, but he doesn't mean any harm. He's just a sweet young thing...without a filter. I loved him so, so much.
On the other hand, there's Jared. He's the team veteran. The team enforcer. He fights. He disciplines. He knows his place on the team. The two play on opposite teams and meet when Lane decides to use Jared to make a point to his teammates (who hate him because he doesn't ever consider what he says before he mouths off.) And I love how much Lane throws Jared at first. He has no idea how to take this young guy, but then things start to get really 'good' between them.
Seriously, I have so much love for this book. It was phenomenal. Some books are hard to judge whether that would be the case when I listen to them on audio because the narrator adds so much emotion and inflection to the character. The book was great, but the narration made it amazing. Definitely one of my favorite reads/listens for the year. I loved this book and HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!!
*** Audio copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie in exchange for a fair and honest review.***
Breakaway is Book 1 in Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series and is narrated by Scott R. Smith. This introductory book introduces you to the ECHL league, an affiliate of the NHL. Lane Courtnall is a young, skilled player drafted from Canada to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm. Lane is awkward and prone to say whatever he thinks with no filter or tact which led to him being alienated by his teammates from day 1 on the team. He decides during a game that the best way to get his teammates to like him is to get into a fight with their rival team, Savannah Renegades enforcer, Jared Shore. Jared is coming close to the end of his career and isn't happy that the new upcoming star of the league decided to chose him for a fight. When they run into each other at the bar, he quickly learns that Lane is clueless about the reasons he didn't appreciate the fight. But he's also attracted to Lane, though he's always hidden his bisexuality from him team. And it's not long before neither Lane or Jared can deny their attraction or feelings for each other.
I've actually read this book and was not a fan of Lane's. I didn't find him endearing or amusing at all but I have to say I feel differently after listening to the audio version of the book. The narrator did a great job of bringing the characters to life off the page, and made Lane seem less annoying and more quirky. I really enjoyed Smith's narration and thought he did a great job on this book. The narrator was able to easily voice each of the characters that let you recognize when they were speaking without needing to see their name in print.
There are a lot of great characters in this book. Jared is a saint in this book to put up with, let alone fall in love with Lane and all his quirks. He was able to nurture and help Lane grow while still appreciating the weirdness that is Lane. I loved Lane's best friend Zoe. She was so funny and without her help, Lane would not have come as far as he had.
The book is a great introduction to hockey and the author offers a little background at the beginning to help those who are new, or unaware, how the ECHL works. The book is a great mix of friendship, romance and hockey without being overwhelming in one area. And I felt like there was really good set-up with future books (I haven't read them yet, but I plan on it!) to make this series just get better with each book! And I'd definitely listen to the audios of those as they become available. You should definitely check out this audio and series by Avon Gale!
Overall: 4.5 stars
Performance: 4.5 stars
Story: 4.5 stars
This was awesome. I actually laughed out loud on several parts. I will be getting the next one. The narrator was awesome as well.
"Not sure why I hated it!"
I got through one third of the audio book. I just can't finish it. I can't tell if the main character is a complete idiot or if it's just the narrator who makes him sound such an idiot. I'm willing to give the author another chance because I enjoy a sports themed m/m romance. But, next time, I'll read instead of listen. I do plan to make a note of the narrator to make sure I sample anything else he reads.
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