4.5 stars adult - 18+ Angst Level Author Provided Book co-workers to lovers Contemporary Dee Dreamspinner Enemies to Lovers Gay Heat Index Hockey Humor m/m Men In Uniform Mild level angst Monthly Theme Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words) Part of a Series Scorching/high heat Sports Standalone

Men In Uniform: Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances #5) by Avon Gale

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents


It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds out the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks have Troy thinking inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if he’s set to retire at the end of the season.

Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon, and with a team that doesn’t trust him, Troy, or each other. Despite his determination not to get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.


Avon Gale is one of my favorite authors – ever! She is very gifted at writing humor and romance – together – which isn’t easy. But – in addition- she really knows how to pull at your heartstrings, too. And then you’re laughing through tears which is an amazing feeling.


I love her hockey series best (so far). Her love of the sport is evident and it comes through in her writing.  Since I’m such a fan, it’s hard not to compare one book to the other – though each book is very different. So, I distance myself from my fangirl-love and try to look at each story on it’s own merits.


So, if I’m not comparing this story to others in the series, and I’m looking at this as a book on its own – there is absolutely no question that it was EXCELLENT! There’s a lot of humor and the hockey is good. The general storyline is also solid.


My favorite aspect of this particular couple is their need to bicker with one another. It’s pretty hysterical – and then – all of a sudden – they’re having some really hot sex! The chemistry between these guys is phenomenal. (There is a particular scene where some tender things get expressed in the middle of fight – EPIC – so funny!)


I’ll only say that the lack of a character like Lane or Max is really the only thing that makes this “not my favorite in the series”. Neither of these guys is nerdish or terribly awkward and I ADORE those types of characters, so… But that’s about it. This is wonderful and everyone who loves this series MUST read it and yet it stands alone beautifully as well.


4.5 of 5 stars


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Review by Dee

Another excellent addition to the Scoring Chances series!

Shane is a closeted player who is playing his last season with a team that has had a troubled past year, particularly with a homophobic coach. Troy is the new head coach trying to turn said team around. Shane does not make a good first impression with Troy (he’s late to the first practice), but despite that, there is an instant attraction between the two men. The book is humourous, (the team mates provide some comic relief, especially Evans), and the storyline is interesting and fun. There is light suspense and a bit of a twist –all which serve to make an excellent book. The banter and chemistry between Shane and Troy is great.

I liked that both MC’s were slightly older; mid 30’s (Shane) and mid 40’s (Troy). They both sounded like they were mature …for the most part … except when they decide to blow each other in public areas (not that I’m complaining, LOL!)

Any of the books can be read as a standalone and this is no exception – I loved it!

 4.5 of 5 stars


Copy Provided for Honest Review

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