Author ~ Avon Gale
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 29 January 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
A Scoring Chances Novel
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.
Sometimes you just want a story that’s comforting and Save of the Game fits that bill perfectly. This is one of those stories where there is a focus on the relationship with no craziness, big drama or angst, but just two men moving from friends to lovers, discovering their bisexuality and building a fun, loving relationship while navigating their everyday lives. This is also a hockey series so they’re also trying to build on their team’s momentum from the last year (which was played out in Breakaway) to win a championship and dealing with their own wants and insecurities in both their personal and professional lives.
Although the two main characters grew up in completely different situations and have different personalities, they have the same underlying goals and values. Riley Hunter is the quiet and superstitious Sea Storm goalie. His family is filthy rich and he just wants to use his money to take care of and help his friends. Unfortunately his friends all seem to be rather stubborn and full of pride, so he has to be creative with his attempts. Riley has no real relationship with his family. There was no big falling out, he just wasn’t a priority to his parents who focused more on his siblings and their business while he was left to the care of drivers and housekeepers. He hasn’t spoken to his parents in three years, though they still fund everything in his life and have their staff send him a birthday card.
On the other hand, enforcer Ethan Kennedy can be loud and brash, but he is also all about family. He has a tight bond with his mother and two sisters, having grown up without a father, and they unconditionally and enthusiastically love and support each other no matter what. That loyalty and support filters through in Ethan’s dealings with his teammates as well. Ethan’s mother has instilled in him a sense that you take care of yourself and don’t rely on other people to do it for you. He is caring and supportive but can be a handful when he gets wound up or excited about something.
Ethan and Riley are again roommates and the more Riley learns about Ethan and his family, the more he just wants to make their lives easier whether it’s helping Ethan out with rent or trying to figure out how to bring Ethan’s family down for a game. Riley also has been having some very interesting thoughts and dreams about Ethan which he explores with the help of internet porn. Ethan finds out and begins considering his feelings about his roommate. One thing leads to another and things slowly heat up.
There is a nice build up to the relationship as neither character has had this sort of interest in another guy before. Their friendship and their banter, the open communication (even if it was sometimes helped along by a bit of liquid courage) and their willingness to try everything and have fun kept me happily reading. They really just go with the flow and explore their feelings while enjoying each other. They find they like it a little kinky and it’s not in the way their personalities would lead you to believe. The sex scenes were fun, believable and hot! Lane and Jared are also available to lend some advice or, in Lane’s case, attempt to before the next distracting thought comes along.
The story and the main characters had a different feel than Breakaway, and though Ethan and Riley made appearances in that book, this one works just fine as a standalone. The joy Avon Gale obviously takes in writing her characters really comes through here, and not just in the main characters. Ethan’s family plays a big part in the story and each of them has a distinct personality. This really is a secondary relationship in the story and it portrays the kind of family anyone would be happy to have and gives insight into Ethan’s character. This was another good entry in the Scoring Chances series that I would absolutely recommend!
Scoring Chances Series
Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1)