Spartanburg Spitfires' goalie and captain, Isaac Drake, ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He's found a home and a 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 arch-nemesis, 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. He was 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. 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 on to Laurent - or their relationship.
©2016 Avon Gale (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
There’s a little teaser story that Avon Published called : Overtime you can get for free off her site 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 physically… 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 on Avon's site. 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
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
I think this may be my favorite of Scott R. Smith’s performances for the Scoring Chances series. I loved how he portrayed the tone of the story with its more emotional nuances, the passion and the humor, and how he showcased the different character voices.
Scott’s narration continues to get better with each story.
Smith captures Laurent’s inner turmoil so well in his tone and pacing, and does such a wonderful job bring Isaac to life. I wanted to hug this audio.
The hurt/comfort here is so good. I love the story. This series either in print or audio just flat out does it for me.
This is a niche series but I think even if you aren't into the hockey guys the building relationships from one book to the next are so fun. The books totally stand alone but share enough to be fun to follow. I enjoy both the story and the performer. Looking forward to more.
*Audible code provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my listening pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*
Empty Net is Book 4 in Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series. It is not necessary to read or listen, to the previous books to enjoy this one but this series is absolutely terrific and you should read or listen to all of them! If you aren't going to read all of them, you should definitely read Book 3 as there are many recurring characters between these two books. But, just in case I was too subtle, read (or listen) all of these fantastic books, you'll thank me!
Drake was involved a lot in Book 3 and I was so excited for him to find his HEA. He had been kicked out of his house as a teen for being gay. He lived on the streets and worked hard to get himself to this point as goalie in his life. He is living with his coaches still and things in his life have finally calmed down. And then, one day the owner of their team decides to shake things up again by trading for a goalie. A goalie who's a jerk to everyone. The last time Drake's team faced off against Laurent's, Laurent spit in his face. Laurent is hated by EVERYONE, and the person who hates him the most is himself. He was traded by his dad to teach him a lesson but Laurent doesn't care.
Only things don't go the way he expects on the team, Drake refuses to allow him to be the enemy. He forces Laurent to become his friend, he forces him to become less of a jerk. And, in that forced relationship, Laurent learns about himself and opens up to Drake about what he's suffered at the hands of his father. Laurent, who had never been interested in anyone, finds himself attracted to Drake. Though he's still a jerk, Drake softens him and helps everyone see the real Laurent. But his father won't let him go so easily, and with the help of Drake and the coaches, Laurent will do what's necessary to protect himself.
Scott R. Smith narrates this series and he does a fantastic job! He brings these characters to life and allows me to easily be sucked into the story! He narrates with a great rhythm and easily gives voice to all the characters that allow you to know who's speaking when you're listening.
I enjoy this series more with every new addition, and hope Ms. Gale plans to write about many more of these players in the ECHL!
Overall: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story: 5 Stars
A reviewer at Guilty Indulgence Review Site. I don't go anywhere without a book -ebook or audiobook.
This might be my favorite so far... we get Drake's HEA while having Mischa and Max as part of the story. The books in this series are getting better and better, as is the narrator. At first, I wasn't sure about Smith’s performance but he has mastered conveying emotion and he's captured the men's personalities in thier voices. Since this story hits a higher range of emotional issues than the first books, I found myself more invested. And who can resist all the hockey? Not this girl!
You'll want to read/listen to the series beginning at book one.
Thanks to Dreamspinner for gifting me this book in exchange for an honest review. This has also been posted on the Guilty Indulgence Review Site.
I am a Lover of Audible books and also cd and mp3 books. I have 3 grown children, 9 grandchildren and I have been married for 31 years.
nice addition to the Series...worth a credit... another great couple and their own personal struggles....
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