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).
(Book Reviewed Here Previously)
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
(The teaser is a free audio you can find here: https://www.avongalewrites.com/freebie/) It’s narrated by Scott Smith, too.
What makes the teaser fun, is part of what makes this audio so much fun- Misha! They are probably two of my all time favorite MCs – Max and Misha. Though I love Lane and Jared a ton, too… hard to choose!
In any case, we’ve met Drake before and he’s got a fairly decent Southern accent. I’m not sure what I was expecting for Laurent, maybe someone with more of a French accent – but as he tells everyone repeatedly, he’s American, so he has a flat American accent.
Laurent’s father has a vague French accent and it’s pretty good.
I guess Scott is growing on me. I love this series so much that I’ve listened to the entire thing over and over despite the fact that I’m not really enthralled with the narrator. He tries hard with the accents, but he places weird emphasis on words sometimes that makes it seems like he doesn’t understand what he’s saying. But… he is otherwise easy to listen to and for that I’m grateful.
I have come to ADORE his version of Misha and we get a lot of Misha in this story. (When Misha and Drake argue with one another and Misha gets all riled up – MAN did I love that!) Max is also wonderful and he’s there a bunch, too.
I think this is a great way to experience this, the continuity is nice – having the same narrator for the entire series – and it’s a fantastic story. Highly Recommended!
4.5 of 5 stars for the Audio
Overall 4.75 (rounded to 5 ) of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review