Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book coming of age Contemporary DA Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Exploration Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hockey Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Humor Hurt/Abuse Hurt/comfort m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series

Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4) by Avon Gale

release day review

coming-soon

Dreamspinner Presents (in 12 hours!)

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/empty-net-by-avon-gale-7459-b

30368400Blurb

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).

Review

There’s a little teaser story that Avon Published called : Overtime you can get for free off her site (https://www.avongalewrites.com/) that is sort of a prequel to this story. You don’t need to read it, but it gives a little bit of foreshadowing to this story.

Technically you don’t have to have read any of the other books but… well… you’d miss SO MUCH and… those books are awesome so… just go read them and then come back to this 😉

Of course, after book three, we all want to see Drake find his HEA. And, he does. But with Laurent? Here’s an anti-hero if you ever saw one. He’s a total d-bag to Drake and his team, he never talks, doesn’t seem to care about anything and he’s a big jerk. Until one day Drake sees him in a different light and then it’s like a switch is flipped and suddenly it all makes sense.

Without giving away too much – from the blurb we can tell that Laurent has some “issues” and they’re pretty big. Only someone as relatively self-assured as Drake has a chance at cracking this guy open.

It was lovely to see more of Max and Misha. GAH! I love those two so much! Misha as the father figure seriously tugs at every one of my heartstrings.

There’s a lot of hockey in this book, maybe a bit less sex… not sure, but it didn’t stand out as it had in the others as much. Probably because of all the feels surrounding Laurent and his pain.

Avon is just one of those authors that hits all my buttons. Her dry sense of humor tickles my funny bone and when I read her books my husband has to tell me “no giggling” as I read in bed! (He’s kidding ☺ ) Despite the common theme of hockey and being gay in a very masculine sport she manages to come up with something new in each story and a way to make her characters even more interesting/funny/sweet/inspiring…

I really think that the relationship between Drake and Misha was almost as touching as the one Drake finds with Laurent and I was – of course – so satisfied by the way Laurent dealt with his own father.

This is another winner and highly recommended to fans of the series, the author, the sport, mm romance and laughter.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
4 stars Angst Level Audiobook Book College/University coming of age Contemporary DA Exploration Fade to black/No Steam Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hockey Homophobia Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mild/low level heat Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Review Copies second chance at love

The Understatement of the Year (Ivy Years Book 3) Audiobook by Sarina Bowen Narrated by Teddy Hamilton, Christian Fox

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Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Understatement-of-the-Year-Audiobook/B01H498RTA/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1467583639&sr=1-1

51qmGMEx4PL._SL300_Blurb

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.
Five years ago Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then he’s made an art of hiding his sexual orientation from everyone. Including himself. So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless.
For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.
John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched on to the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused. And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.
Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former…best friend/boyfriend/whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.
Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self-destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the understatement of the year.
Warning: Unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky T-shirts, and a poker-playing grandmother.

Review

From the blurb we can tell that this is a “second chance” love story. Two boys who fell for each other at the wrong time, have lived apart for years, are now suddenly thrown back into one another’s lives.

Rikker is out and proud, and Graham is still hiding behind beards and denial.

What proceeds is a long and angst-filled romance that hides behind closed doors for the most part, until Graham can’t stand the strain any longer.

**

I avoided reading this book originally because –though it got many 4 and 5 star reviews – several key issues made me cringe. 1) I don’t tend to like re-union love stories. I like the original blush of new love far too much to see lovers find one another again. 2) I didn’t like the YA aspect of this. Too much angst. Not enough sex. 3) The fact that it’s part of a M/F series written by an M/F author.

But… I love hockey stories. I love coming out stories. I LOVED Him by Sarina Bowen and finally – when this came out on audio it had two narrators which really flipped my switch when I listened to Him.

So, I gave it a go.

All in all it wasn’t bad. I agree with the preivous reviewers who noted that Graham and Rikker don’t act like teenagers, but young men with real life problems. However, I never warmed to Graham and felt like he was a big whiny baby for most of the book. Even when he finally makes the right decision, it wasn’t enough for me to really like him as a character.

Rikker was awesome and I wish he’d been more forceful with Graham and earlier on.

The other secondary characters are interesting, but since their stories are all part of the M/F series – I won’t be reading them.

I guess I enjoyed this, but I wouldn’t be tempted to read/listen to it again, because I was pulling my hair out over Graham’s ridiculous inner monologues.

Story 3 of 5 stars

Audio

The audio is the only saving grace (for me) with this book. I loved the alternating voices and really felt immersed in the story. I really liked how well both narrators captured the emotion and it’s great having two distinct voices tell a story like this.

Audio 5 of 5 stars

Overall 4 of 5 stars

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Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Heat Index Hockey m/m Mid level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Daily Dose Short Story: To Arizona by Meg Harding

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/to-arizona-by-meg-harding-7146-b

to-arizonaBlurb

Dustin Charleston has just been traded to the Arizona Hares hockey team. As an otter, he’s not too pleased by this. Arizona is dry, he’s leaving his home behind, and he has to move in with a stranger. Things take an even steeper plunge when he meets his roommate.

Chandler Kipling is the captain of the Hares, a least weasel, and he’s got a bit of a thing for his new teammate. Too bad that teammate seems to hate him. And Chandler’s romantic strategies leave something to be desired. Will Dustin be able to get the message he’s trying to send? With a little time, their nightmare might turn into a dream—if they can get past their differences.

 

Category: Paranormal, Werewolf/Shifter

Pages: 46

 

Review

This was an amazingly cute story about unique shfiters (otter, weasel, polar bear, hippo!) who are all on hockey teams. Dustin used to be in Michigan but he gets traded to Arizona. He’s upset because it’s his first trade and he’s worried about finding water for his Otter and finding new friends and also… being on a team with his nemsis, Chandler.

Well, Chandler ends up being his roomie, too and the two men instantly begin sniping at one another on and off the ice.

Eventually – the team helps them to realize why they fight all the time and we get a very HFN/HEA.

**

What I loved about this: It functioned well as a great, complete and solid short story. I never felt short-changed. It had super cute otter shifter play time in a pool! The shifters maintained some of their animal characteristics while human and they spent a lot of time as animals. (I hate shifter books that never shift!)

I thought it was great how the two finally got together – SO FUNNY and cute and sweet and sexy…

This stands out as being in my list of my favorites from this collection, it’s excellent and well worth the read. My only hope is that there will be more from this world in the future.

5 of 5 stars

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Categories
6 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book coming of age Contemporary Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hockey Hopelessly Crying Hurt/Abuse m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Paranormal Part of a Series Shifter

Embrace the Beast (Grizzly Rim Book 3) by Mia West

release day review

 

41z0e5rI8dL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb

Nate Landry is living a whopper of a lie. He’s an otter shifter, that much is true. Folks say he’s the best river guide in the region, with an uncanny knack for finding the hottest fishing spots. And he has a good friend again, a guy he likes more than he probably should. Everything will be fine, as long as nobody—especially Mac—finds out he used to be Charlie Beauchamp, an elite Coast Guard rescue swimmer who failed to save the one person he loved most. Then the real Nate Landry shows up and drags Charlie’s grief and shame out of the depths.

McKinley Greer knows how to keep a secret. Like where a bear shifter might find the best honey trees. Or why he brews beer but doesn’t drink a drop of it. Or that most of his favorite porn features guys who look a helluva lot like his best friend. But suddenly Nate isn’t Nate—he’s a freaking hero named Charlie—and when he begins to share his own secrets, Mac knows it’s only a matter of time before all the things he’s stashed in the darkest den of his heart get hauled into the light.

Review

I love this series! (Previous reviews https://openskyebookreviews.com/surrender-the-chase-grizzly-rim-book-2-by-mia-west/)

This is definitely a series to read in order, though you probably won’t be lost if you start anywhere.

We’ve already met Nate and Mac and wondered at the connection between the two. Well, this shows us their back stories and their present.

Mac is a bear shifter – grumbly, solitary, fiercely independent and hiding something. Nate is an otter shifter – social, touchy-feely, fun loving and hiding something. When Nate’s friend returns to Grizzly Rim with disturbing news, Nate’s story tumbles out and Mac is there to help him in a time of need.

The two explore another side of their relationship but without being completely honest the two won’t stand a chance.

**

One of the things I love about this series is that it’s sensual without being all about the sex. The relationship building is the key but we don’t lose any of the erotic nature to the relationship either.

Another thing I love about the series is how flawed our characters are. No one is the perfect alpha this or omega that. No body is the “top” to someone else’s “bottom”. Just two partners making a go of it – equals.

We also get to see a bit from the previous MCs – so that’s always fun – and see more about the town. But most importantly we get to finally understand what makes Mac and Nate tick and it’s a great story – but the author doesn’t pound away at us with the details – in fact we’re still left with several questions – but we know enough to understand and the rest we must fill in for ourselves. I love that. It gives room for interpretation and trusts that we can do that – no need to have it spelled out in block letter.

I have really enjoyed each book in this series and think Mia is a fantastic writer. I only wish there were more – NOW! Highly recommended.

6 of 5 stars

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Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Beast-Grizzly-Rim-Book-ebook/dp/B01FTGLKV2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1463672033&sr=1-1&keywords=grizzly+rim

Categories
4.5 stars Angst Level Book Christmas Contemporary Enemies to Lovers Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Hockey Holiday Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan New Adult Novella 20-160 pgs (20k-40k words) Purchased second chance at love Thanksgiving

GRL author: Rivals by Jeff Adams

 

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23555805Blurb

 

Mitchell Turner and Alex Goodman squared off over a face-off dot throughout high school. Their schools were cross-country rivals. Those face-offs were tough on Mitchell because he harbored a huge crush on Alex. High school, and college, are behind the guys and they meet unexpectedly on Thanksgiving Day, once again on the ice. Mitchell is home for the holidays and is thrilled to see his crush all grown up.

Alex asks Mitchell out for coffee to catch up. Could this be the start of something magical for the holidays…and beyond?

“Rivals” was originally released in 2009. This edition has two new scenes.

Review

This is a sweet short story – more of a fantasy really – there’s almost no angst or any real hurdles for our couple to overcome.

It’s merely the story of two old high school rivals meeting again later in life and falling in love.

It’s very sweet and a nice, fun read.

(FWIW the author tells us this was his first published story and it’s very good for being his first!)

4.5 of 5 stars

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Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Rivals-Jeff-Adams-ebook/dp/B00QH01D44

Categories
5 stars A Tour/Guest Post/Blitz adult - 18+ Angst Level Boss/employee Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Fan Art Gay Heat Index Hockey Hurt/Abuse Karrie Jax m/m Mid level angst Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Opposites attract Part of a Series Scorching/high heat

Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale

 

Releasing TOMORROW!

 

Dreampsinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7718

29361143Blurb

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 guilt-ridden years 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 to forget, but also a sleazy GM determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets the team, Misha revisits his darkest days, which might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

Review

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 damn funny you want to remember it all!

I love how clueless Max is about geography and anything “adult”.

“Russians were sneaky. No wonder they won the Cold War. Wait… did they?”

“F**cking Polish prick!” “We don’t bully because people are from other—countries?” Max looked briefly at Misha, who nodded imperceptibly. He found Max’s complete lack of understanding about world geography both exasperating and endearing.”

 

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.

“There’s pretty much nothing better than waking up every morning and kissing your best friend.”

I highly recommend this book and the entire series!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Reviewgrl2

GRL 2016 author!

 

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Categories
6 stars Angst Level Audiobook Bi-Sexual Book College/University coming of age Contemporary Exploration Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hockey m/m Mild level angst Morgan New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Purchased Scorching/high heat second chance at love Sports Virgin

Him Audiobook by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kenedy Narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan

audiobookreviewAudible link http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/HIM-Audiobook/B01BU9AY8C/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1457912624&sr=1-1

him audioBlurb

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

Review
Previously Posted here: http://kimichanexperience.com/him-by-sarina-bowen-and-elle-kenedy/

Abridged

Jamie and Ryan have been friends since they were 13 and playing with one another at a hockey summer camp for up and coming players. Ryan was the “bad boy” always pushing Jamie’s limits, and Jamie was glad to come along for the ride.

At the end of their last summer, before college, Ryan pushes Jamie one last time and the results are disastrous. Since then, they haven’t even spoken for the last four years. Now they face one another in a championship setting at the college level and Ryan is determined to mend fences.

Jamie forgives Ryan and the two start their friendship again. This time as coaches at the same summer camp.

Over the ensuing 6 weeks of camp, Ryan can’t hide his love for his best friend, and fortunately Jamie is receptive.

They spend the time exploring one another physically with the caveat that it all has to end at the end of the summer because Ryan can’t be OUT in his first year as a professional hockey player and … lots of other reasons.

But… there’s a surprise waiting for you… and a happy – very, very happy- ending!

**

WOW! This has to rank as one of the best books I’ve read this year and that’s saying a LOT!

It was full of humor, sports, warm moments with teenagers, super – I mean super duper- hot sex, tenderness and fun.

I highlighted so many phrases because the wit was outrageous!

My favorite is this:

Jamie chuckles. “You sure you don’t want to go the bisexual path? ’Cause I’m pretty sure you won’t have any trouble in the chick department.”

“S’all good. Wouldn’t be fair to the straight guys if I threw my hat in the pussy ring. They wouldn’t stand a chance.”

Another is:

Wes pushes his finger in deeper, rubbing that spot that makes me see stars. My prostate. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me the prostate was some kind of magical pleasure zone? Are there unicorns and orgasm fairies dancing around in there?

It’s so refreshing to see the bi-curious guy just go for it. I truly believe he’s an honest-to-God bisexual and that’s uncommon for this genre.

The ending was awesome – realistic, touching, sexy and sweet.

I can’t rave about this enough and I hope this writing duo make many more books for us to enjoy!

6 of 5 stars!

Audio

Well, these two authors are genius and managed to get two narrators – one for Jamie and one Ryan. Lordy. My personal fav was Jamie – his voice is deep and growly and resonant and … YUM! Ryan’s is a close second – both actors do a terrific job with the humor, the emotion, the smexy times and are incredibly easy to listen to. My only wish is that instead of splitting it up by chapter, each narrator could have voiced the dialog specific to their character throughout – BUT I know that is a lot harder to do. In the end it still really works and is an AMAZING way to enjoy this great book. I’d give it 6 of 5 stars as well!

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Categories
4 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book Contemporary Gay Heat Index Hockey Insta Love m/m Mild level angst Mild/low level heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Teacher Valentine's Day

Lucky in Loveland by K-lee Klein

lucky in lovelandBlurb

Book 1 of the Welcome to Loveland series

Loveland, Colorado is a special place all year around, a community of creativity and art, with scenic views and majestic mountains. But the town really shines once a year, on Valentine’s Day.

Lucky Roberts has lived in Loveland his whole life. He has good friends, strong family support, and is all about keeping his community fun and alive. The only thing Lucky has been “unlucky” with is love. But rather than avoiding February fourteenth in his hometown, he throws himself into helping others deliver their messages of love.

Enter Jack Canon. Jack moved to Loveland for a fresh start, in both his personal and professional lives. After a tough year, he’s finally hoping to just blend in, maybe carve a little niche for himself that his parents would have been proud of. What he didn’t expect was a pseudo-lumberjack with a killer body and shy smile to turn his world upside down – and he sure didn’t expect to like it so much.

When Lucky meets Jack, he feels like a thirteen year-old with his first crush. He’s clumsy, stammering, and the first greeting out of his mouth is a less than articulate, “Wow!” Words like adorable and manbun suddenly become part of his vocabulary as he discovers a deep, hidden need to romance the hell out of Jack.

And what better way to do that than during the most romantic season in the City of Love?

Review

This is a very sweet, almost zero-angst love story about two guys who find love in Loveland!

Jack is a new kindergarten teacher and painter in town and he meets Lucky when Lucky comes to the school to do a demo on hockey.  Jack is adorable with a man bun and paint under his fingers.  Lucky is big and bulky but warm as a teddy bear.

Lucky is part of the “founding fathers” of town, practically an institution himself, and so far he’s been very “unlucky” in love.

The two begin dating and the only stipulation is that there’s no sex – Lucky wants a relationship not just a hot night between the sheets.

As their relationship strengthens so does Jack’s desire to stick around as he learns more about this quirky guy and town he’s fallen for.

Highly recommended for lovers of easy, sweet, and funny romances – and a chance to learn about Loveland, CO!

4 of 5 stars

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Reviewed by Morgan

Copy Generously Provided by Author for Honest Review

Amazon link

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BPQJ2G0?keywords=k-lee%20klein%20loveland&qid=1455817309&ref_=sr_1_1&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

Categories
5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Bi-Sexual Book Contemporary Dreamspinner Exploration Fan Art Friends to lovers Gay GFY/OFY Heat Index Hockey Karrie Jax m/m Mid level angst Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Sports Virgin

Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) by Avon Gale

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Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7362

SaveoftheGameLGBlurb

After last season’s heartbreaking loss to his hockey team’s archrival, Jacksonville Sea Storm goalie Riley Hunter is ready to let go of the past and focus on a winning season. His new roommate, Ethan Kennedy, is a loud New Yorker with a passion for social justice that matches his role as the team’s enforcer. The quieter Riley is attracted to Ethan and has no idea what to do about it.

Ethan has no hesitations. As fearless as his position demands, he rushes into things without much thought for the consequences.Though they eventually warm to their passionate new bond, it doesn’t come without complications. While trying to financially help Ethan, Riley must hide his family’s wealth so as not to hurt Ethan’s immense pride. For their relationship to work, Ethan will need to learn when to keep the gloves on and let someone help him—and Riley will have to learn it’s okay to let someone past his defenses.

Review

We met Riley and Kennedy in book one – Riley is sort of ambiguous when it comes to his sexuality and Kennedy identifies as straight. They end up rooming together when Kennedy has trouble finding a place to land and Riley likes having a roommate.

They end up becoming really good friends but Riley isn’t sure there might not be some underlying other… to their relationship.

One night things get … interesting… and Kennedy isn’t willing to let it lie. He confronts Riley about what’s between them and this starts their mutual exploration into a relationship beyond friendship.

**

Avon Gale recently told us on FaceBook that she’s gonna devote even more time to writing – THANK GOD! I think she’s amazingly gifted. Humor is – hands down- the hardest thing to communicate in writing and she EXCELS at it.

“Riley gave him the keys, and Ethan came back with some beer, a piping hot pizza, laundry detergent, and fabric softener—something Riley didn’t know about until he moved into his first apartment, because he’d had to look up how to do laundry on the Internet.

They ate pizza, did their laundry, played Grand Theft Auto, and watched hockey. Sometimes Riley looked over and caught Ethan watching him, and vice versa. They both pretended not to notice. It was clear, unspoken guy language that meant “If we don’t talk about it, it didn’t happen.”

**

“Yeah. I mean, come on. This is a sport played by a bunch of guys who hang around each other and compete all the time. You tell me you don’t think sex gets mixed up with that, and I’ll make you talk to Lane about feelings again.”

**

“How’s being gay going?” Lane asked him at one point, and Zoe immediately lectured him about ignoring the existence of bisexuals.

Lane listened like a hockey player getting a lecture from his coach and then turned back to Riley and said, “So?”

Zoe sighed. “This is when I don’t miss you.”

 

What I loved was that these boys were up front and honest right from the start – no hand wringing and wondering. It felt so authentic. They talked like men/boys and acted like men/boys and as a result the story just felt so natural and plausible. Even though it’s essentially a double GFY which – in theory – is like the storybook unicorn.

There are a lot of feels in this book too – and super hot smexy times – it pretty much has it all!

Of course we get to see more of Lane – who is my personal favorite character – maybe of all time (there are a couple others who rival with him but he’s up there) and we get to see all that sweaty hockey action, as well.

Another proof of a gifted writer (and storyteller) is that someone like me – a non sports person – READS the hockey stuff! And I understood it! Woot!

It can be hard to follow up a great book – sequels get a bad rap – but this absolutely does it’s job and keeps the awesomeness flowing! This is a great follow up to Breakaway – and since that was my all time favorite book of 2015 you know that means something!

I highly recommend this to fans of hockey, sweaty jocks, people with a sense of humor and anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together!

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

 

Categories
4 stars Angst Level Audiobook Book coming of age Contemporary Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Exploration Gay Heat Index Hidden Lovers Hockey Homophobia Hopelessly Crying m/m New Adult Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Scorching/high heat Virgin

Enforcing Emory Audiobook by Mickie B Ashling Narrated by John Solo

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7323

EnforcingEmoryAUDLGBlurb

Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.

Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.

While the attraction is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.

Review

(Book previously reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/enforcing-emory-by-mickie-b-ashling/)

Abridged

Emory and Nik become neighbors. Emory is 18 living at home and training for the Olympics. Nik is 20, a professional hockey player in the bush leagues.

This is a case of opposites attract but full of similarities. In their own ways, both fathers are bigoted, though Emory’s dad eventually gets over it and Nik’s dad seriously goes off the rails into psychotic. Nik is engaged to a woman and in denial of his sexuality (and a gay-virgin!) and Emory is super-flamboyant to the extreme and NOT a virgin.

The boys feel instant attraction and though it is fairly dangerous for Nik , they begin a relationship. There is a lot of drama about the families and their approval. Danger surrounding Emory’s Olympic games and his risk as a homosexual in a homophobic country. Danger surrounding Nik’s career (hockey) and his coming out to his father. Lots of steamy sex. Some very sweet and tender moments between the boys. And a nice if unrealistic ending that will make you smile.

I really appreciated that the relationship develops fairly quickly so most of the struggle is the couple working out how they can be together given the obstacles they face.

I enjoyed Nik and Emory but the fathers felt a little too much like caricatures to feel real. Though I enjoyed the resolution it felt a bit rushed at the end and a little too “easy”.

All in all it was a good book and I enjoyed it.

Audiobook

John Solo tries to do a Russian accent and he mostly succeeds. John has a great general narrators voice- good with emotions, timing and his voice is nice to listen to. I think that this is a great way to experience this story and I enjoyed it.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review