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 years guilt ridden 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 trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.
Power Play is my favorite of this series, so far. They just seem to be getting better and better! We also get some delicious angst here, that wasn't in the first two books, so I am very happy right now.
Misha and Max have a history on the ice and it's a bit of a painful one that cost them both their careers. Max's because the accident was in the form of a head injury that killed his peripheral vision and Misha's because he never forgave himself, even though it wasn't his fault and was totally an accident.
Misha is a broody guy. He left Russia because he's gay and he feared for his life. But nothing was ever easy for him and he's carried a whole lot of self-loathing because of his upbringing and the things he's had to do to survive. The accident that ended Max's hockey career was just even more confirmation that Misha doesn't deserve to be happy.
And Max is such a happy guy. He takes things in stride. A lot of that comes from his upbringing and the fact that his family is supportive in ways that all families' should be but often fail at. He doesn't blame Misha for the accident, at all, and he harbors no animosity toward him.
There was just so much that I loved about this story. I loved how Max was able to draw Misha out from his cloud and I loved Misha's reactions and his tendency to speak Russian when he was in the throes of passion. And I loved how Misha's character was solidified with just how much he cared about his players and the team. And I loved how helping Drake with his situation also helped Misha see that he is worthy, too.
Power Play is a gorgeous story, through and through.
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