MtSnow reviews ‘Breakaway’ (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale. Audiobook released August 9, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press. Narrated by Scott R. Smith. Length: 7 hrs 33 min.
Why Mtsnow listened to this story: I had a little trouble figuring out what I’d like to do for RGRs theme this week which included rereviewing a book someone else has already reviewed. But, since I had just listened to another hockey story, and REALLY liked it, and already had this in my audio library, I figured I’d give it a go! I have to tell you, this series was addictive and actually got even better as I worked my way through the rest.
A copy of this audiobook was purchased by the reviewer at own expense.
Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-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.
Canadian NHL draft pick Lane Courtnall is 20 years old and has absolutely no social skills or filter. He blurts out what he’s thinking at all times, including comments about not thinking he’ll be in the minors very long to his new teammates. He didn’t mean that he thought he was better than everyone else, but realizes, too late, that that’s how he sounded. And none of his teammates want anything to do with him. They didn’t like him. At all. So he does something drastic.
And it works. For his team. But it takes him awhile to figure out that what he did was at someone else’s expense. Namely Renegades defenseman Jared Shore.
Jared is 31, a veteran of more than 10 teams, older than most of the other minor league players and known best for one thing. Fighting. And this pipsqueak kid throws down his gloves to pick a fight on the ice. And this kid sets up a punch and hits Jared. Bigger, tougher, older dude. Who laughs at Lane, and takes him out with one hit.
So, Lane thinks his self-sacrifice is a way to get his teammates to respect him. But it doesn’t work. At least not the way he thinks. Or does it? At least it gets him to open his mouth and own up that he realizes he made a crappy first impression. This gets him accepted, and he gets a roommate.
With the way this story begins, I was trying to figure out if this kid was really as clueless as he seemed. When it became clear he was, there were many laugh out loud moments! And Jared. He’s a dry sarcastic jerk that is actually a nicer guy than he wants anyone to know.
So, we have a clueless gay virgin, and a cynical, horny bisexual dude, and I loved how they ended up getting together. And the way that Lane uses the excuse that he’s Canadian as to why he’s clueless, its hilarious. And Jared. He tries to give Lane some well-meaning advice. After Lane just offers him another chicken nugget, trying to be friendly. He calls Lane a weirdo, or maybe a robot.
I don’t want to give much away except to say that, this author sets this story up with just enough gameplay to make things interesting without boring a person that may not be too into sports. And the way these guys are so opposite, but so fit together. Later. Pretty bumpy in the beginning though. Mostly from Lane’s cluelessness..
I enjoyed meeting both these guys’ parents, best friends (I loved Zoe, the sweetest tattooed, red-headed bisexual waitress, ever!) and teammates. Their characters really fill out this story and do a great job of setting up the rest of the series. So much so, I had to go out and buy them all, and listen to them back to back.
This series has funny parts, isn’t too angsty, at least in this book (the books following deal with some deeper issues after the first one). I think the author does an excellent job of making each story so different that it’s easy to want to keep going.
The audiobooks had a new-to-me narrator that does a pretty darn good job of making you forget you’re listening to a guy reading, and actually personifies each character VERY well. His southern accents are a bit over the top, but work here. Highly recommend this series, especially in audio, and I will be looking for more.
9 of 10 pots of gold = 90% out of a 100% or equal to 4.5 of 5 stars
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.