Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances Book #5
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 26, 2017
Length: Ebook: ~70K (181 pages)
Subgenre: Sports romance, LGBTQ+ romance
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 that the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks give Troy inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if Shane’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, the coach, or each other. Despite his determination to not 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.
Quotes from the author about the book:
Troy and Shane’s story was a joy to write – I loved writing about two characters who were so confident in what they wanted and determined to get it no matter what. These are two stubborn, opinionated and passionate men and their interactions were so much fun to write.
Quotes from other authors about the book:
"I hope this series continues forever. I always have time for more of Avon Gale's quirky, impeccably written hockey players. Shane is the perfect smartass, and watching him fall for Troy is terrific fun." - Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of Him
“I didn’t think you liked me very much, Shane.”
It was such an unCallahan thing to say, it was almost cute. “I don’t really need to like you to want you to fuck me, do I?”
Troy’s pale eyes flashed. “Goddammit.”
They stared at each other, the music a low throb in the bar, lights dancing merrily on the slick floor. “I could like you just fine,” Shane murmured and then deliberately dropped his gaze to Troy’s belt. “If you just showed a little effort, Coach.”
Shane knew the “coach” thing would piss Troy off—what didn’t?—but he had a hunch that wasn’t all it would do. He stood up very slowly and angled so they faced each other in the small space between the barstools. Troy was taller than Shane by a few inches, though leaner and lanky like a runner. They weren’t quite touching, but it reminded Shane of those games where you lined up across from a guy for the faceoff and just knew you were going to throw the gloves off as soon as the whistle blew.
All they needed was someone to blow the whistle. God.
Sweet, Fun and Sexy!
As always Avon Gale did a wonderful job of making me (a person who cares nothing about sports whatsoever) fall in love with a hockey player and his coach. This latest installment of her Minor League Hockey series was hands down one of my favorites. It's fun, sexy and its surprisingly sweet tone was easy to read and had me struggling not to laugh out loud more than once.
Troy Callahan was the stereotypical gruff and demanding coach I think of whenever I picture coaches of pro sports teams. I loved it because while I could definitely imagine how irritating he could be in real life, his surly attitude and bossy personality were very endearing. The way he cared about his players and especially Shane was also sweet and it was clear he was a good guy.
Shane, I thought would be some overly cocky, egotistical jerk but he wasn't even close to being that way. Well, I guess he's a bit cocky but only in the best possible way. He was funny and sincere and written in the way I knew if he were real, I'd want him as a friend.
Together these two had incredible chemistry and were sexy as all heck. I loved them together, not only their intimacy or the passion but the way the balanced each other out. They had the type of back and forth banter I love to read. It was fun and never got angsty which was perfect for the mood I was in at the time.
There are a lot of excellent characters in this book, a few I'm thinking we'll get to see again, hopefully in stories of their own. Others that we get to see what they're up to now that they were given their HEA. There were moments where I was tempted to go back to the previous books and reread them for fun.
I pretty much have nothing bad to say about this story or the writing. It was an excellent read and overall I definitely recommend it!
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***
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.
Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.Connect with Avon: Website | Twitter | Facebook | FB Group | Newsletter | Goodreads