Author: Avon Gale
Narrator: Scott R. Smith
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 hours and 33 minutes
At a Glance: Buy this book if you like sports romance. Buy the book if like the author, and buy the book for the really well done narration.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, 20-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.
Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.
Review: Lane Courtnall is at the beginning of his career, recently drafted and placed on a farm team to hone his skills and learn how to play in the ever faster paced games that will be his entrée into the NHL.
Jared Shore is at the end of his career. He will never make it to the big show and he knows it. He loves the game, but his career path has made him one of the bad boy enforcers the fans love to hate. The two meet on the ice when Lane is trying to prove to his teammates he’s not just a loud mouth jerk, and he goes after Jared in a fight he knows he’s going to lose.
After the game, the two meet in a rundown bar, and it’s love and confusion at first sight. The two of them can’t possibly be flirting. Or can they? They are on opposing teams and they share a secret that could be very troublesome, but when they wind up alone together, none of that matters. But its more than heat and combustion between them, and a real relationship develops.
Over the course of a season, the two go from barely speaking to being totally in love. Lane finds his footing with his teammates and beings to develop the kind of team thinking that will help him advance into the highest ranks of his sport. Jared finds a new love for a game he only half felt for most of his career, because he’s found he’s not just doing a job; he loves what he does. He loves Lane, and he loves life.
When Lane’s rise takes him to a new city, Jared makes a choice to follow his heart. The choice becomes not just satisfying, but it finally justifies the years of moving and traveling and finally leads him to a place he can call home in his heart.
Scott R. Smith as narrator is better than most. While I am not sure about all of the choices made for character voices here—Lane as big dumb jock is a bit overdone, but it is not totally out of character—the rest of the ins and outs of the semi-pro hockey world come to life in his capable hands. There is always something new to add to a story with narration, and Smith handles it well.
This is a planned series of audiobooks, and hopefully Smith will continue with it. His voice quality gives the book a depth that not everyone can carry off well over a range of characters and ages. Buy this book if you like sports romance. Buy the book if like the author, and buy the book for the really well done narration. Here’s hoping it continues across the books to follow.
You can buy Breakaway here: