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*
"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.
"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.
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!
"Not sure why I hated it!"
I got through one third of the audio book. I just can't finish it. I can't tell if the main character is a complete idiot or if it's just the narrator who makes him sound such an idiot. I'm willing to give the author another chance because I enjoy a sports themed m/m romance. But, next time, I'll read instead of listen. I do plan to make a note of the narrator to make sure I sample anything else he reads.
"5 stars = I freaking LOVED this book!!!"
I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.
I absolutely LOVED this audiobook. My past experience with hockey romances, whether they were M/M or M/F, is that most have been serious romances. If one considers the amount of pressure a professional athlete faces, this makes sense. Even those romances that included moments of humor tend to do so in a way that would be natural in most people’s lives irrespective of their career. But in the case of Breakaway, I spent so much time laughing at the stuff that came out of Lane’s mouth that I almost feel like I should label the book as a romantic comedy as well. The best part of the humor is that it occurs because Lane is socially awkward and lacks a filter, often speaking what he thinks without consideration as to how it will sound, and this results in some rather hilarious and off-the-wall comments that don’t feel over-the-top or forced simply because it’s just the way Lane is. He’s not malicious and there’s not a mean bone in his body, he’s just a guy who doesn’t see the world the way most of the people around him do. And I loved him for it, just as I loved Jared for loving Lane for who he was – even if there were times that it was obvious that Jared didn’t know whether he wanted to laugh at Lane or throttle him or do both. Thankfully for all involved, including myself, he just chose to love him.
I have to thank the author for the league explanations at the very beginning of the book because while I understand the concept and existence of feeder leagues, I had no idea that there was a feeder league (ECHL) for the feeder league (AHL), and this knowledge helped me understand the significance of several events in the book, such as the camaraderie between players off the ice who are at each other’s throat on the ice. As someone who grew up in the Panhandle of Florida, I found the references to the heat and humidity to be spot on and hilarious, and actually giggled at several of Lane’s observations and experiences… bless his heart. That Gale included two bisexual characters – Jared and Zoe – allowed for some fascinating conversations regarding bisexuality, as well as some hot fantasies on Lane and Jared’s part. The author does a nice job of balancing on-the-ice time with off-the-ice time so that we get to see Jared and Lane as fully developed characters. Because I felt like I knew them as people and not just as athletes, I enjoyed watching them fall in love and begin building a future together. The epilogue was great and I really hope that future books in the series will give me the chance to catch up with them.
The chemistry between Jared and Lane is great and Smith does a wonderful job of conveying it, so good in fact, that I had to stop listening a time or three because I was afraid that someone would question my flushed face. I thoroughly enjoyed the way that Smith brings Lane, Jared, and Zoe to life. He does such a good job with Lane’s character that I could feel Lane’s confusion when he didn’t understand what he did wrong, how he made someone mad, or hurt their feelings, and his frustration when he couldn’t figure out what to do or say to fix it. In the same way, I was right there with Jared and Zoe when they had their “WHAT???” moments after Lane would say off-the-wall things. I had a blast falling in love with Jared as he fell in love with Lane because it was clear that the things about Lane that frustrated Jared, were the very things that he loved Lane for. Gale created some great characters in Breakaway and Scott R. Smith’s narration has me ready to dive into Save of the Game right now.
"Lane is both loveable and laughable, at times."
Lane, hands down. I loved the way he took everything so literally. He had no filter and it was refreshing to be in the mind of a character that said what he meant, and meant what he said.
The Hat Trick series by Jeff Adams, similar characters and story.
Maybe... he wasn't my favorite narrator but I have definitely listened to worse. My biggest issue with the narration was the way he rushed through certain parts. I had to rewind a couple of times because the story flew by in a blur. I'd suggested slowing down and giving the listener time to appreciate the story.
Lane, who else. I think it would be a blast to take him to one of the restaurants down in Dallas close to the AA center where the Dallas Stars play and revel in the awkward, no filter banter that would ensue.
I thoroughly enjoyed the way these two characters were written, how they interacted with each other as well as the various side characters in the story. There were a few times that the story didn't flow well from one chapter to the next, and it took a few chapters for me to warm up to Jared, but other than that I thought it was an entertaining listen. I'd recommend this book to anyone that likes MM Hockey Romance (I seriously think there are enough of these story ARCs to have it's own sub-genre) stories about not only figuring out who you are but stories about thinking you know what you want, only to be proved wrong, in the best possible way.
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
"Hot for hockey! Great book and series!"
**** 4,5 hot for hockey stars ****
Audio edition, narrator Scott R. Smith.
7 hours 33 minutes
I've really enjoyed listening to the book I've read a couple of months ago!
I love how this book, and series, is just a feel-good angst-free story.
It's about Lane Courtnall, a 20 year old drafted hockey player starting with a new team. He's gay. He's from Canada, and the hockey team is in Florida. So it's basically like moving to another planet, Americans are so weird including their bills and coins, he can't figure them out. The feeling is mutual from his new teammates. Lane has a malfunctioning brain-mouth filter, and poor, if non-existing social skills. He means well, it's just his well-meaning thoughts aren't expressed very well.
Lane wasn't good at feelings. That's why he played sports.
This has landed him in trouble with his team mates. To make up for it, and hopefully earn some cool points, impulsive Lane decides that a brawl with the opposing team's enforcer, Jared Shore, is the perfect way to go.
Did it hurt to get punched? Probably.
Jared Shore has got a long career playing hockey. He's a hardplaying veteran, both respected and kinda feared due to his reputation as a brawler on the ice. Jared is bisexual, with an emphasis on the bi, there, just so you know there will be something related to that in the story. It's short, though.
Lane and Jared hit it off, literally the first time. Jared finds himself charmed by Lane's foot-in-mouth syndrom, and his eagerness.
I just loved these two together. What I really liked that they were guys acting like guys. If that makes sense. The dialogue were especially good. There's also an age gap. Jared will be 32 next season, and Lane is 20. So it's the seasoned veteran with the rookie. This is also true in bed. Lane is a virgin, but is eager to learn. Very eager. Let's just say Jared's nickname for Lane is "Rocket". Their sex scenes are real, fumbling (at least at first), and sprinkled with humor due to Lane's ability to say the darnedest things.
"Hey, Coach." Lane felt Jared's involuntary reaction as his hips pushed up sharply. He covered his phone with his hand. "No. This is my actual hockey coach. Not my boyfriend sex coach."
"That's not where you cover the mic, dude," Jared said, snorting a laugh while Lane turned six shades of red.
I loved how they were competitive, but also helped each other out. I loved their team and team mates. The secondary characters are great. The story is just good, through and through. I feel it even gets better towards the end. Lane's contract negotiation and telling Jared the good news was hilarious. And there's the most awesome epilogue.
I know nothing about hockey, except it's played on ice and the point is to get the puck into the goal. This book got me all excited about the sport, though. There's a lot of team spirit in this book, both from Lane and Jared's team. I really liked reading about it, and got really excited when Jared and Lane's team played against each others. I couldn't quite decide whom to root for. Them both, really!
Smith did a great job narrating this. I must admit, though, it took a while to warm up, or get used to him. I'd have like to have his voice for Lane more distinct. His voice for Jared was awesome, all low and sexy. His other voices for the secondary characters were good too. I do think the next audio books in the series will be even better.
"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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