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.
©2015 Avon Gale (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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I love this series. So I was a little worried about how the audio would go. Lane is an original one in a million and Jared is the marshmallow core surrounded by steel...so whoever narrated I was hoping would really bring the characters to life.
Scott R. Smith certainly entertains while keeping true to the quirks and idiosyncrasies of each character. I thought he perfectly captured Jared's voice, the way I pictured Lane's speech pattern in my head, and did a great job overall with all of the different character voices in the story.
I was also particularly pleased he brought heat and passion to the sex scenes in the story, and highlighted much of the humor with terrific uses of inflection and tone.
The only issue I can see with the narration is that Smith spoke a little fast at times, but it honestly didn't bother me. I mean, I would much rather have that than weird pausing and speaking so slowly the listener has to speed up the audio.
So, all in all, the narration for this was quite entertaining, fit the story, and I think Avon Gale ultimately chose well. I'm really looking forward to listening to the other stories in the series with Smith at the helm.
"Great Hockey Romance! Really Enjoyed!"
I always say that sports romances aren't really my thing, but I think I have to be changing my tune. Another hockey romance, another BIG success for me! This audiobook was fab!
Sometimes it takes me a little while to warm up to a book, especially an audiobook. That was certainly the case with Breakaway. At first I was really confused about the character of Lane. Is he supposed to be autistic or on the spectrum? Is he supposed to be simple-minded? Just socially awkward? What's his deal?? But finally I just decided that it didn't matter: Lane is Lane... weird and competitive and horny, and I simply took his character for who he was.
Same with the narration. At first, I found Scott R. Smith's reading style to be difficult to follow. I played with the speed a little bit, trying to find a way to "get" the reading, and I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it. I think it was the way he emphasized certain words that made it sound... less organic, for some reason.
However, his narration grew on me too. I just LOVED his voice for Jared (sexy and raspy), and I liked his cadence for Lane. His range of voices was very impressive, and I grew really addicted to listening to the audiobook. In fact, I'm waiting on the rest of the books until they come out in audio, just because I KNOW that Scott R. Smith will only get better and better.
I found the whole book to be really special. The romance was nicely done, and though there were a few bumps and miscommunications along the way, the majority of the book was drama-free. I appreciated that. It was a great listen with a nicely paced plot, and I gladly tuned in to the audiobook for hours on end, a sure sign of a successful story.
While it wasn't my favorite hockey romance (yeah, I'm looking at you, Him!!), I really enjoyed this one. If you are into MCs with no filter and fewer social skills, and an age-gap romance with a sexy, bisexual athlete (the bi details are very nicely done, BTW), you should pick this one up. And I'm beside myself with glee because I hear that this series continues being awesome with each passing book. SCORE!
*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
"One of my all time favorites- okay narration"
How do you review something you just love so dang much?!
This is one of my all time favorite books. Not just for this year but for all time. It hits all the right notes for me and I can’t say enough good about it.
First, the humor. Avon Gale just tickles my funny bone and I laugh out loud over and over with this story. Lane is ADORKABLE and he says all the (right)wrong things. Humor is tough and it takes someone with good timing as well as a good sense of the absurd to make humor work in writing. Avon has it in spades. Her writing is witty and sparkling and Lane is the perfect example of this.
Zoe, is Lane’s BFF and she’s MAGNIFICENT. God I loved this character. She’s sweet, and funny, and bi-sexual, and tatted up and tender… she helps Lane navigate all those “feelings” that people keep having and it’s both really sweet and super funny.
As someone who knows next to nothing about hockey, I can tell you that Avon managed to engage me enough with the sport that I felt like a “fan” for a minute but I never felt lost or overwhelmed.
There’s some great stuff in here: Good hockey, some Canada humor, a bit of parental angst and some hot, hot, HOT virgin sex with an absolute boatload of feels mixed in with tons of laughter.
But – and this is the most important aspect – the romance is soooo sweet. Jared and Lane together are exactly what romances are made of. They’re guys, but they’re sweet and sexy and sometimes they wrestle – so – you know – awesome!
I literally either bookmarked or highlighted something on nearly every dang page. It’s ridiculous how good this book is!
So… I’m recommending this book to fans of gay virgins, geeks, hockey, Canadians, humor, May/December romances and sweet love stories.
I’d seriously give this a 7 of 5 stars if I could… it was really, really amazing.
So the problem with being in love with a book and having read it several, several times is that you have the MCs sort of already voiced out in your head. To me Lane has a distinct voice as does Zoe. The others not nearly as much, except for maybe Riley… When I saw this was in audio format I FLIPPED OUT because now I can listen to one of my favs over and over and over right? Welllllllll – it seriously pains me to say this, but I am disappointed. The narrator simply did not get Lane the same way that I interpreted him. He didn’t get his blabbering or his cluelessness or his ability to put his foot in his mouth over and over… and it shows in how he’s voiced. He did a great job with Jared and I LOVED Ryan. They were just right. But Lane … he’s my guy and I had high hopes for him. Then there’s Zoe. To me the narrator absolutely missed the mark with Zoe. He made her a Southern Belle while I think of her more as a Southern Red Neck with an Education and Attitude. It’s hard to explain, but her voice sounded off to me as well.
Now – don’t get me wrong – I listened and really enjoyed this for the most part and if you’re new to the story, it’ll probably be great – but I was hoping for something a little different. It’s still a wonderful story and well worth listening to.
4 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars because the book is so dang good.
"Excellent - Lane brought to life!"
I love this book both in print version and audio. I'm still tentative on audio books in general but the narrator did a fantastic job portraying the many different characters. The only character that I didn't "get" was Riley (Hunter). The narrator's take and portrayal of him was "interesting" - different to what I had in mind.
It's no secret I love adorable, clueless, socially awkward Lane. He's just so clueless and genuine you have to love him. Also, the supporting cast of characters were pretty solid and kept the story light, funny and fast paced.
Bringing a story to life is always interesting especially when it comes to inflection and accents etc. So hearing Zoe, whom I love, threw me for a loop because I'm not familiar with southern accents and it took some getting used to. Similarly, Riley's portrayal was different from what I imagined. Thankfully I still loved the audio version as well.
This book made me laugh from chapter 1 and I was still laughing at the last chapter.
Excellent book and excellent narration.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The main characters are totally hot and lovable especially Lane with his quirkiness. The hockey action is amazing. I got the book with added narration. The narration was superbly done and made the story come to life. I couldn't put the book down.
Lane's first time
I laughed out loud several times at Lane's antics
I love Breakaway and the Scoring Chances series. Scott R. Smith did a great job with the narration! Every character had a distinct voice, and I loved the energy of his performance. Jared was my favorite. The narrator made him sound super sexy, and he also did a great job bringing Lane's awkwardness to life. I can't wait to see what he does with the rest of the books in the series!
"I loved Jared and Lane"
Anyone that knows me is well aware of my borderline fanatical love for Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series. They also know my love and devotion to all things Lane Courtnall. I loved Breakaway when I read it. After listening to new-to-me narrator, Scott R. Smith, I'm here to tell you that my love for all things Breakaway has grown a thousand fold. I absolutely adored everything about Smith's narration of this book. Lane's voice was so spot on it was almost eerie. And can I just say listening to him as Jared, with that raspy, deep and growly voice is nothing but pure pleasure. I liked Jared a lot while reading the book, but listening to him with Lane pretty much skyrocketed that to full on love. I found the voices of Jared, Lane, Zoe, Coach Spencer and all the rest to be very authentic and very true to their characters. The intonations Smith uses for humor or frustration and especially when Jared and Lane are being intimate (not just during sexy time) to really add to the overall story. Lane's quirkiness and Jared's gruffness all shine through and made listening to Breakaway an absolute delight. Scott R. Smith has a very impressive range, his voice is so pleasant and downright sexy at times, and I laughed out loud more than a few times. All in all the narration just added another reason to love this book and this series and I can't wait to see what Smith does with Ethan and Riley in the next book!
I loved this story. and the guy reading it, perfect voice for jared. it was very good, the plot was decent. it wasn't smutty, which is always a plus. I really liked it all together..
"I felt like I was listening to a story about two pre-teens!"
So, this was a big let down. The only positive thing I can say is the narrator was OK. I literally could not make it through chapter 3 before I turned the book off. It was the most juvenile, immature story line I've ever listened to in the gay fiction genre. The main character comes across as a 13 year old kid who's trying to pretend to be an adult. Just awful!
"Hockey & Hot Men... a Winning Combination"
My first Avon Gale book was a hit. The quirky characters with complex backstories -the imperfect hero- made the story more perfect. I liked these men and am invested enough to want more in the series.
Narration was good quality.
"4.5 stars from me....for everything!!"
Really liked the story, and the audio book was just as good. Scott R. Smith's [another newbie to me] narration was a joy to listen to, his deep, raspy drawl for Jared and Lane's almost too excited higher pitched chatterbox voice were spot on, as was his lazy Southern girlish voice for Zoe. I loved listening to Lane/Zoe and Lane/Jared interact, so funny. If he is to be the series narrator, my bank account may well suffer, but I'll definitely be buying the audio books for the rest of the series. 4.5 stars from me.
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