- Books Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale
Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale
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CC Cat Clontz
Scoring Chances (Book 5)
About the Author
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
June 26, 2017
ePub, Mobi, PDF
Read an excerpt at Dreamspinner Press.
It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds out the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks have Troy thinking inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if he’s set to retire at the end of the season.
Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon, and with a team that doesn’t trust him, Troy, or each other. Despite his determination not to get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.
As book series continue on, one of the worries is that the plots will begin to feel the same, the characters will start to resemble one another, and then it gets boring. Such is absolutely not the case with book five of the Scoring Chances series, Coach’s Challenge!
The protagonists are both well-versed in hockey, in life, and in disposition. Troy Callahan has built a successful career as a hockey coach, but turns down the NHL show for an ECHL team in need of an extreme makeover. Shane North wants to leave his hockey playing career on his own terms. These two men clash from their first conversation through to the end of the book, and it is absolutely riveting.
The plot is seemingly forward, but there are subplots galore that make each page turn more exciting than the last. At no point is there a lag in anything. The dialogue is clever, snarky, hilarious, and serious by turns. The chemistry is so sweltering that it is no surprise the sexy times are absolutely torrid.
My favorite aspect outside of Troy and Shane, however, are the peripheral characters. There are many, and they are varied. From a ballet dancer turned bartender and his tattooed and pierced bruiser of a boyfriend to a tiny Hawaiian surfer with enough sass to take down the biggest hockey player, each one added more pleasure and depth for the reader as part of the whole.
Tackling the Asheville Ravens was a challenge I wasn’t absolutely certain the author could do, much less do well, after so thoroughly villainizing them through the first four books. My mistake! There were so many twists and turns in the nuances of this book that I began to get seasick. It was amazing, and I can’t recommend this highly enough. Coach’s Challenge is five solid stars of hockey and heat!
**Same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.**
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