A Scoring Chances novel.
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.
They must navigate not only 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.
©2016 Avon Gale (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
I've been nothing but impressed with this series. Fun and sexy. Lots of great humour with a serious twist or maybe a serious story with a comedic twist. Which ever it is it's such a great series. I also loved that Scott R Smith put on some additional voices for this book.
Yes, it's funny and warm, sexy and interesting. I loved this book. I've enjoyed all of Avon Gale's stories but this one seemed especially good in audio form.
The wonderful characters, given a distinct voice by Scott R Smith
An extra depth, a twist on the words that you might not have 'read' yourself.
I just loved Misha coming to terms with his guilt and realising he deserved forgiveness
Very worthwhile read.
"Thoroughly enjoyable listening experience!"
The third story in the Scoring Chances hockey series delivers another fun, funny, low angst, sexy as hell and thoroughly enjoyable tale as I've come to expect from Avon Gale. I loved the story.
The narration was ultimately enjoyable, and I can see adding this into my re-listen rotation. I loved his narration of the interactions between Misha, Max and the team, Smith's character voice for Belsy was spot on how I'd pictured him in my head, and I loved how Smith brought the romance between Max and Misha to life.
The only slight negative is I have to admit I was disappointed with the strength of Scott R. Smith's Russian accent for Misha. I felt like it kind of came and went getting a little stronger at times and barely distinguishable at others.
However, in the end it's Smith's obvious enjoyment of the story that comes through so clearly, making this a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
"Keep up the good work, Avon!"
Another awesome audiobook in what is shaping up to be a KILLER series! Hockey is my new crack, baby, and Avon Gale is my main dealer!
Power Play was surprisingly low angst, like the other books in the series, despite having the potential to be a total downer. This book was fun and sexy, with a smattering of seriousness and a big scoop of feelz.
Max is new to bisexuality, having discovered that he likes men as well as women after a particularly revealing trip to Mexico. He, like many other characters in this series, is pretty laid back about his sexuality, which I enjoyed. I also REALLY enjoyed seeing Max explore all the, ehem, finer facets of gay sex. I reeeeeeally enjoyed those parts! *nudge, nudge*
Misha is the more serious, broody character who needs to overcome some of his past issues. I liked him also, even though I preferred the lightness of Max.
I'm going to go a little against the grain, though, and say that I liked the first two books in the series better. While this book was solidly "very good" for me, the other books in the series were edging on 5-stars. Maybe I prefer players over coaches?
In terms of audio, I'm seriously loving Scott R. Smith's narration, which grows on me more and more with each book in the series. He did a great voice for Misha, and his sultry accent sold it for me.
I absolutely can't wait for the next audiobook in the series (enemies to lovers, anyone?!), and I hope that the awesomeness continues!
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
"Love, love this story. great narrator"
I love this series it combines hockey and a love story wrapped up in a great Storyteller I love this author and love this narrator. I highly recommend this series.
"A rating overall..."
Wow, this story was good. I was surprised when it started and was about the coaches of one of the rival teams in the league, because at this point I'm simply devouring the entire series and not paying attention to story blurbs. But it was a pleasant surprise...mainly because the intertwined backstory between Max and Misha is so good just in the angst that it adds to the characters.
Both of these guys were playing for the NHL when the accident happened...and it was an accident. A fluke hit that ruined Max's ability to play. Misha certainly hadn't meant to hit him in that way, but in the midst of the league trying to reinforce safety issues, they penalized Misha. He never played again. So the accident ruined both their careers through no fault of their own. That's not an easy history.
For Max, he has no hard feelings. Misha's feelings are pure guilt. And it takes a while for the two of them to work past all that. I loved that Misha was Russian. As a result, he doesn't let things slide by as easily as Max does. He's stoic and serious, whereas Max just lets things slide off his back. That made a great partnership between them. They truly balance one another out.
I loved so much about this book. Pretty much every thing about the story and the characters worked for me. I loved both of them so much and thought they were absolutely perfect together.
The narrator was perfect on this one. Misha is Russian and Scott R. Smith did an incredible accent for him as well as showing the perfect emotions through the inflections. Overall, this was one of those audiobooks that will remain a favorite for a long time to come. I highly recommend it.
"Another of the Same"
I've enjoyed this series though each couple seems to have one partner with the less smart/ strangely quirky partner. The basic make up of all three couples is very similar. Still, I liked these men and am invested enough to want more in the series.
Narration was good again but there was some moments when Max sprung an Irish lilt- a bit distracting. Otherwise, accents done well.
*Audio copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*
Book 3 of Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series takes us to another ECHL team. I was a little sad to not have all the previous guys back in the story but, we get a whole new team to learn about! The Spitfires are the worst team in the league and owned by a wealthy jerk who hires Misha and Max to coach his team. He has little interest in them coaching and more interest in playing off their history to get people to attend his games. Both Misha and Max played professional hockey, until during a game they were involved in an on ice incident that ended Max's professional hockey playing career and even Misha's because of guilt. Unfortunately for the owner, Max doesn't hold Misha responsible for his injury and has moved on with his life. But Misha has a long life of feeling guilty. Misha and Max are really completely opposites. Max is light-hearted, has fun, is a people person and goes with the flow. He gets in over his head many times but because he's trying to do a good thing. He has zero knowledge about geography or the world. He has a family that is very liberal, who loves him and won't love him less for being bisexual. Misha is a Russian full of angst with a troubled past, raised by a gangster who was not happy his son was gay. He's quiet and keeps all his emotions bottled up. He's stoic. And though he feels he's not a people person, he's a protector to those he cares about.
As with all of the books in this series, there were some really funny moments that made me laugh out loud. This has happened with each of these books I have listened to. But it certainly isn't all light-hearted fun and bench clearing brawls. There's a lot of seriousness surrounding Misha and him accepting himself, along with the issues that come from his past and an issue with a team member. There is so much emotional depth in Avon's men, that I feel invested in each of them.
So far all of the Scoring Chances books have been narrated by Scott R. Smith. I enjoy his narration for the most part, but he really is terrible at accents sometimes. I thought that with the last book, but this one was really obvious. Max is from Minnesota but I thought the accent most of the time was more Canadian. And Max's mother, father, brother, sister-in-law and niece didn't have an accent so at the Christmas scene with the whole family, I was focused more on why Max had such a different accent from his family. The narrator didn't do a bad job with Misha's Russian accent and seemed to be able to do a deeper accent when called for.
I haven't read these books so I'm not going to choose between which version is my favorite, but I truly enjoy how these characters are brought to life through audio. Honestly, why not get the books and audio versions of each and make your own comparisons!
Overall: 4.5 stars
Performance: 4 stars
Story: 4.5 stars
"A MUST READ!!"
What a fantastic addition to this exciting series!!!! Scott Smith did an amazing job with his Russia accent very sexy!! Looking forward to Drakes story, hopefully on audible soon.
"Love this series - NOT the narrator"
In the same universe as Jared, Lane, Ethan, Riley and Zoe we have two coaches this time, Max and Misha.
Max was injured years ago by Misha in the Stanley Cup playoffs in such a way that he can never play pro-Hockey again. Misha, as a result of his part in the injury, retires as well after that fateful game.
Now, a conniving team owner puts the two of them together as coaches, hoping to stir a media controversy to bring in fans to watch his struggling hockey team.
At first the two are leery of one another, but never fighting. Slowly, as the season moves on they begin to rely on the other as friends and then, bravely, Max hits on Misha and then all bets are off!
I cannot say enough good things about Avon Gale’s writing. She uses humor, fast-paced dialog, solid hockey knowledge and great timing to grab you right from the beginning and immerse you in her stories.
In this case we have Max who is so easy going it’s almost unbelievable. But that’s the perfect foil for Misha who worries over every little thing. I liken Avon’s writing to Max in that both are warm and inviting, clever and funny but straight forward, no B.S.
Misha, with his secrets and his past in Russia (Yeah, Max, the real Russia!) is the dark to Max’s light and the deep to Max’s sometimes superficial. Max is easy to love and great for morale. Misha has deep thinking and strategies and passion that binds people to him.
I really appreciated the fact that she gave us a new team (which means she had to develop an entire new set of characters- hard!) rather than continuing to add bi-sexual men to the team we knew – thus making it a bit more fantastical and incestuous. This way we get a whole new bunch of guys to learn about and love. The work was totally worth it!
I highlighted like a fiend in this book – Avon’s dialog is like that – so dang funny you want to remember it all!
I love how clueless Max is about geography and anything “adult”.
This story had an underlying tone of seriousness to it – probably Misha’s doing – that I really appreciated. It made Isaac’s story and Misha’s so much more riveting and the story was richer for it.
I highly recommend this book and the entire series!
6 of 5 stars
Max is from Minnesota. I’m not sure what accent the narrator was going for but it does not sound good. Misha sounds – ok, pretty good in fact. My main problem with this narrator is that he has no differentiation in his speech pattern. Every sentence ends on an up swing. Everything is like “Hey, did you know they have PRESENTS in there?” Like it’s a positive, question. He doesn’t do romantic or high emotion well at all because it’s all the same intonation and pacing.
I love these books SO much, so I grit my teeth and bear it, but really, I don’t like this narrator and I wish there’d been someone else available for this series. ☹
2 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars for the Audio
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