Save of the Game, by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances, Book 2 (Stand Alone)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Day: January 29, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5
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. 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.
Stories about people discovering a new facet of their sexuality are my Kryptonite. So Save of the Game had that going for it from the very first page. Also, Avon Gale managed to get me to enjoy a novel about sports, which is… probably a miracle.
This is a novel about opposites. Ethan and Riley are night and day; rowdy Ethan drinks and smokes, is outgoing, and has an incredible family to support him. Riley is quiet and introverted, dedicated to his sport, and isolated from his too-rich-to-care family. They even root for opposing hockey teams.
But they also complement one another in ways that they never expected.
Riley is lonely; Ethan wants to let him in. Ethan is unfocused, emotional; Riley is there to ground him. They balance the other, not only in the bedroom but also on the ice.
Avon does an incredible job of showing the slow exploration of their newly-discovered bisexuality. Yeah, this isn’t a “gay for you” plot; both boys inspect and dissect their sexuality, exam it, and realize that they are bisexual. It was actually one of my favorite parts of the novel, watching that discovery unfold!
For someone who really detests sports, I enjoyed a novel about two hockey players a lot more than I’d expect. Avon shows the game and the relationship equally, making this an action-driven romance with two weaving plots.
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Banner above using graphic from Pride Tape, supporting LGBT in hockey: