Saturday, May 7, 2016

Power Play (Scoring Chances 3) by Avon Gale


Blurb:
He's hot. He's dangerous. And he can't remember anything.

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending guilt-ridden years for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime to forget, but also a sleazy GM determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets the team, Misha revisits his darkest days, which might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.


Dani's rating:




You don't have to be a hockey fan to enjoy this series. But you must be a fan of hot men playing hard—ON and OFF the ice. Power Play, which CAN be read as a standalone, is my favorite book of the series thus far, and it will be hard to top.

Misha and Max have a history. Misha is the man who delivered the hit that ended Max's brief hockey career. Misha was given a fifteen game suspension, even though the hit was legal and Max's injury an accident, but he's still punishing himself years later.

Misha is intense and closed off, a man of few words. He wears guilt and shame like a cloak, and it takes Max to bring him out of his shell. Except it's not enough for Max to forgive Misha. Misha must forgive himself.

Max and Misha are a study in contrast. Max is the light to Misha's dark. He has a supportive, awesome family, a quiet self-confidence, and a wicked sense of humour. So what if he's bad at geography?

Misha, who is deeply closeted, falls for Max hook, line, and sinker. And he's not the only one falling. Max embraces his bisexuality with gusto. Forget the angsty internal monologues and teeth gnashing. Max wants to try it all, and he wants to try it with Misha.

Misha whispering dirty nothings in Russian reduces Max to moans and pleas. Misha likes it aggressive and rough, and anything Misha does makes Max come undone.




There is a side story cum mystery regarding the team's goalie that plays a fairly significant role in the plot. I grew to love Drake, the goalie, he of the short temper, blue hair, and foul mouth. All the secondary characters in this book are well sketched, but Drake is the standout. Could his story be next? Please let it be so!

I actually enjoyed the hockey action here, and I'm usually not one for sports talk in my romance. Max and Misha work together to turn around the worst team in the ECHL (feeder league to AFL, and eventually NHL). I am all about cheering on the underdog, and the team camaraderie was contagious.

Hell, I even ended up liking the sleazy, micromanaging team owner who tries to market the team by setting Misha and Max's "last game" to Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero."

My heart broke for Misha, for all he'd gone through, but healing trumps pain; hope trumps despair; love trumps hate.

This book has it all: broody, badass Russian with tats and a delicious accent; cheerful, easygoing American with a sexy grin who wears his heart on his sleeve; much eye fucking and enough HAWT sex to make a sailor blush; HUMOR & hilarious banter in spades; fanfuckingtastic HEA; and really good vodka (Misha is RUSSIAN, people; don't insult him by bringing Smirnoff).




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~Victor Hugo







An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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