Read Power Play by Avon Gale Online


A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who cA freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build....

Title : Power Play
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781634772440
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 200 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Power Play Reviews

  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    2019-01-17 09:19

    You don't have to be a hockey fan to enjoy this series. But you must be a fan of hot men playing hard—ON and OFF the ice. Power Play, which CAN be read as a standalone, is my favorite book of the series thus far, and it will be hard to top.Misha and Max have a history. Misha is the man who delivered the hit that ended Max's brief hockey career. Misha was given a fifteen game suspension, even though the hit was legal and Max's injury an accident, but he's still punishing himself years later. Misha is intense and closed off, a man of few words. He wears guilt and shame like a cloak, and it takes Max to bring him out of his shell. Except it's not enough for Max to forgive Misha. Misha must forgive himself. Max and Misha are a study in contrast. Max is the light to Misha's dark. He has a supportive, awesome family, a quiet self-confidence, and a wicked sense of humour. So what if he's bad at geography? Misha, who is deeply closeted, falls for Max hook, line, and sinker. And he's not the only one falling. Max embraces his bisexuality with gusto. Forget the angsty internal monologues and teeth gnashing. Max wants to try it all, and he wants to try it with Misha. Misha whispering dirty nothings in Russian reduces Max to moans and pleas. Misha likes it aggressive and rough, and anything Misha does makes Max come undone. There is a side story cum mystery regarding the team's goalie that plays a fairly significant role in the plot. I grew to love Drake, the goalie, he of the short temper, blue hair, and foul mouth. All the secondary characters in this book are well sketched, but Drake is the standout. Could his story be next? Please let it be so! I actually enjoyed the hockey action here, and I'm usually not one for sports talk in my romance. Max and Misha work together to turn around the worst team in the ECHL (feeder league to AFL, and eventually NHL). I am all about cheering on the underdog, and the team camaraderie was contagious.Hell, I even ended up liking the sleazy, micromanaging team owner who tries to market the team by setting Misha and Max's "last game" to Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero." My heart broke for Misha, for all he'd gone through, but healing trumps pain; hope trumps despair; love trumps hate. This book has it all: broody, badass Russian with tats and a delicious accent; cheerful, easygoing American with a sexy grin who wears his heart on his sleeve; much eye fucking and enough HAWT sex to make a sailor blush; HUMOR & hilarious banter in spades; fanfuckingtastic HEA; and really good vodka (Misha is RUSSIAN, people; don't insult him by bringing Smirnoff).

  • Gigi
    2019-02-12 12:20

    HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!How much did I like this book? Enough for CORGI GIFS!This is the third book in Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series and while I loved the first two books, I believe this is now my favorite.Power Play is a bit different from the first two books because the two heroes are former hockey players and now coaches for the same team, the Spartanburg Spitfires. Don't worry, there is still lots of hockey action! But the relationship between Max, a former player who retired from the game because of an injury and Misha, a former player who just-so-happens to be the one who caused Max's injury, are the focus.Max is a sweet, fun-loving, remarkably centered and well-adjusted man with a loving, supportive family. After a hot blow job from a male bartender during a vacation in Mexico, he realizes he is bisexual. He is not one to hold a grudge and harbors no ill-will for Misha for being involved in his injury. Accidents happen. No one is to blame. Misha is a native of Russia where being homosexual is against the law. His family is terrible to him and the Russian laws have left him feeling ashamed about his homosexuality. He also carries a great deal of shame, guilt and regret at having caused Max's career-ending injury.The two men are paired up as the new coaching team for the last place Spartanburg Spitfires hockey team and quickly become great friends. And then the lovely romance, with big doses of hot sex, starts. I loved these boys and their every interaction took be right smack dab into my happy place.If you like M/M romance, you will love this one. If you are a hockey fan, you will love this one. If you are a hurt/healing/comfort fan, you will love this one. I can't think of a single group of M/M fiction readers I wouldn't be able to recommend this one to.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!This review is also posted at Gay Book ReviewsGalley copy of Power Play provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    2019-01-19 07:07

    Another awesome audiobook in what is shaping up to be a KILLER series! Hockey is my new crack, baby, and Avon Gale is my main dealer!Power Play was surprisingly low angst, like the other books in the series, despite having the potential to be a total downer. This book was fun and sexy, with a smattering of seriousness and a big scoop of feelz. Max is new to bisexuality, having discovered that he likes men as well as women after a particularly revealing trip to Mexico. He, like many other characters in this series, is pretty laid back about his sexuality, which I enjoyed. I also REALLY enjoyed seeing Max explore all the, ehem, finer facets of gay sex. I reeeeeeally enjoyed those parts! *nudge, nudge*Misha is the more serious, broody character who needs to overcome some of his past issues. I liked him also, even though I preferred the lightness of Max. I'm going to go a little against the grain, though, and say that I liked the first two books in the series better. While this book was solidly "very good" for me, the other books in the series were edging on 5-stars. Maybe I prefer players over coaches? In terms of audio, I'm seriously loving Scott R. Smith's narration, which grows on me more and more with each book in the series. He did a great voice for Misha, and his sultry accent sold it for me. I absolutely can't wait for the next audiobook in the series (enemies to lovers, anyone?!), and I hope that the awesomeness continues!*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

  • Avon Gale
    2019-01-28 14:11

    The third book in the Scoring Chances series, Power Play, will be out May 9th! This book takes us from the Sea Storm in Jacksonville to the Spitfires in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The Spitfires have two coaches with a history, a sleazy owner/GM who likes making commercials set to 80's power ballads and an intense, blue-haired goalie with anger management issues and a ~past~. And there's some Bruins/Habs shout-outs. Because it's me :D

  • J *deep in the heart of Texas*
    2019-01-29 09:08

    3.5 Stars!UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERTI found myself feeling pretty meh about this one. I mean I couldn't even hardly find any shelves to put the book on....and I have a lot of shelves. Nothing stood out.....good or bad. I will say 2 things....(1) I actually finished this one (though there was some skimming involved). Which is a positive considering I DNF'd the first book in the series and didn't even bother with the second. (2) This was definitely the best book of the series. Other than that I can't come up with much else to say. There was nothing wrong with the writing. And really the book started out good but then I just got bored. And I never really felt the connection between Max and Misha. Most everyone seemed to like this one, I really wanted to like this one. So if you liked the first two I definitely recommend this one.

  • ☆ Todd
    2019-02-06 10:04

    I really liked both MC's, but the story didn't really punch me squarely in the feels, like I'd hoped it would. It felt a bit muted, especially compared to book 1, with Lane's irreverent, irrepressible antics.Definitely like, just not quite love this time out.I can't wait to read Isaac's book, and pairing him with the spitting asshole from the Ravens? Oh Lord, I have really high expectations of where that plot's going to go in the next story.I'd have to rate this one at around 3.75 stars.-----------------------------------------------See All My Latest Reads (Review Quick-Links)-----------------------------------------------

  • Ele
    2019-01-28 11:05

    I was the minority that didn't like Let the Wrong Light In, but I did like the author's short Christmas story. So I went into this without any expectations. Let me tell you that Avon Gale NAILED THIS ONE! She nailed it!This had the humor I expect from K.A.Merikan or Santino Hassell. The characters were real and multi dimensional, the steam was just right, and the dialogue tight and meaningful. I even liked the sports stuff, and I rarely like sports books.READ THIS BOOK! It goes straight to my 2016-favorites shelf. Recommended for everyone.

  • Wendy
    2019-01-28 08:56

    Well....I can honestly say that this book is definitely my favorite of this series so far !!This time, we get hockey coaches instead of players...Misha and Max have both been hired to coach the Spitfires. Misha as a headcoach and Max as an assistent coach. What they don't know however is that they've been hired as part of a publicity stunt by the general manager, because of a freak accident that has happend 5 years ago. Max was injured during a game, to the point were he was not able to play hockey anymore. Misha was responsible for his injury, and eventhough there was no intentional faul play...Misha had never forgiven himself for what happend to Max.Now 5 years later, these two men come face to face again, and they will have to work together to bring their new team to new hights.Max and Misha are like night and day. Max is like sunshine. Always ready with a smile and possitivity. Sure he was dissapointed about losing his hocky career, but he didn't let it get him down. He always tries looking on the bright side and even though seeing Misha again was hard in the first 5 minutes....he never blamed the man, because it wasn't really his fault. Max is also embracing his newly discovered bi-sexuality...and just like everything else in life, he's embracing it full on, with a smile on his face ;)Where Max is sunshine, Misha is darkness. He doesn't have a very high opinion about himself. He still blames himself for what happend to Max, but it goes much deeper than that. Misha had a hard time growing up in Russia. His father is a gangster and being gay and coming out in a country where that sees homosexuality as a crime, has taken quite a toll on Misha. He has some very dark parts in his past and he's still struggeling with accepting his sexuality.I loved seeing Max and Misha becoming friends and lovers. Max was exactly what Misha needed. Both MC's were awesome. Misha and his Russian dirty talk and Max with his amazing sence of humor and fucked up sence of geography !! It was sweet sexy, steamy and funny.There is a background story about their goalie Drake and I can't wait to read his book, because I loved the guy !! And eventhough the general manager was a bit of a sleezeball....I ended up liking him quite a bit ;)4,5 stars from me :)

  • Ami
    2019-01-19 07:01

    4.25 starsThis was DELIGHTFUL. Seriously, I was having so much fun reading this one. At first I was worried with the level of angst -- considering that Misha and Max's relationship started not in a very good way. I thought Max would be having trouble with Misha as part of coaching team, and Misha would be ridden with guilt. Boy, was I glad that those DID NOT happen. Oh, Misha still had guilt -- even if the incident was not exactly his fault. But Max, oh Max, sigh ... he was just like a steamroller machine. I loved him so much, for not being hung up with the past, for making sure that the present was more important, for befriending Misha and didn't take his bullshit, for the lack of understanding about the world's GEOGRAPHY (seriously, Max, Bangkok is NOT in China!!) ... Heck, even the Ashford's family was so freaking awesome. I loved Misha in extension of my loving Max, I guess.The characters shined through ... and the story flowed in an easy natural sense. I was grinning so much, or giggling like crazy most of the times. IT WAS REALLY, REALLY FUN!!! I even liked their playful sex scenes and didn't mind with it taking over the competition/sport part of the book. I do wish I see more hockey games though because I like some sport actions in a sport-theme/athlete romance :)This is definitely my favorite installment so far from Scoring Chance. I loved this series so much ... and BOY, does book #4 have that potential to be explosive or what?? I cannot WAIT for that one, even if enemies-to-lovers is a tricky trope for me to like.

  • Optimist ♰King's Wench♰ & MANTIES Champion
    2019-02-01 12:17

    Damn, I wish I knew how to review audiobooks separately. 4.5 HeartsI'm still very new to the audiobook thing. This is only my second one, so I'm still sussing out what I like and don't like. Scott R. Smith showed me that I like the narrator to get into it. Act all the parts out and entertain me. I found myself snortling and chuckling at not just the dialogue but how he threw himself into these characters.His Belsey had me in stitches and I didn't even like that guy when I first read this, but Smith's impersonation of him was reminiscent of one of the T-Birds!How can you hate that guy? Answer: I don't! I even found myself being a little charmed by his bluntness and audacity. I mean, he's still skeevy AF but no one can say he doesn't call 'em like he sees 'em and I respect the hell out of that.I also wasn't the biggest fan of Max the first time around. I didn't hate him or anything but I was definitely on the meh side of Max Ashford. Guess what? Smith must be some kind of verbal magician because Max's earnestness came through in such a way that I actually found myself feeling badly that I'd misjudged him. I'd be happy to send a let's make up fruit basket if that'll soothe any butthurtedness, and by "fruit basket" I mean an assortment of flavored lubes and cookies, because who doesn't like cookies?But Misha is what brought this girl to the table and Smith delivered on those goods. Damn, I heart the becheezus out of that Russian! Smith brought him to life from his dryness to his sexy toppy bedroom sweet nothings to his confusion over crazy American slang.I loved it so much I wish there had been more dialogue because I could listen to Smith's Misha until... forever. These were good to great characters who engaged in funny and at times heartfelt conversations and that's Gale's craftwork. Smith just electrified them with his performance.Ok, clearly I've seen Grease one too many times. Recommend to audiobook fans far and wide as this could be listened to as a standalone.***************************************************************************Original reviewIn the third installment of the Scoring Chances series we go behind the bench. This love story has a dash of hurt/comfort so expect some feels, but it's still surprisingly low angst given the weightiness of the subject matter.Misha and Max have a history. Both were NHL players on rival teams and a fluke hit delivered by Misha ended Max's career due to injury and Misha's due to guilt. A skeevy mobish GM thinks teaming them up for his joke of an ECHL team will generate tawdry interest and put asses in the seats. It's a cheap gimmick but it leads to his desired end game only not for the reasons he originally envisioned. They actually make a great team and it turns out what the guys needed was a little leadership to put the fire in their bellies.There has always been something about Russians that I find appealing. Granted Misha is probably a stereotype of a Russian but stereotypes are based in fact, right? Whatever. It totally worked for me. He's dry, stoic, austere, doesn't use contractions, drops articles when worked up, has a tendency to lapse into Russian in the midst of the sexy times and always has the good vodka in the freezer.He also has a painful past that is his own personal hell. He's appointed himself the protector of everyone to his own detriment at times, a trait which also makes him an excellent coach.This is the first book in the series with a really strong secondary character plot line. It wasn't until Misha and Drake started interacting that I really invested in the story. Everything about their connection I found compelling from their Wednesday nights on the ice to the way Drake respects and responds to Misha from the jump."But it's hard to believe Coach Ashford... like, he's that hot and a good guy? And bisexual? So a fucking unicorn, then."In short, I loved Misha. He may be my favorite Gale character to date, though Avery is tough to beat. And Drake. I'm hopeful the next book will feature him because he deserves some happy.Max I didn't find as interesting. He struck me as an amalgamation of previous Gale characters. He's cute and goofy but he doesn't stand out. I found myself rushing through his chapters to get back to Misha. I also didn't completely buy how quickly he started lusting after Misha. I understand not dwelling on things you can't change, but I would've liked more UST, some conflict. Maybe even some angst over admitting for the first time being attracted to not only a man, but the man that ended his NHL career. Gale excels at the introvert/extrovert trope with levity thrown in for good measure and a heaping of pop culture references, but I definitely found Power Play to be sexier than the first two books of the series. Maybe it was the Russian?"I want to fuck you with my hand over your mouth so you can't make any noise."Yep. It was definitely the Russian.This book can be read as a stand alone and, honestly, if you're not on the Gale Express the only one you're depriving is yourself.An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jewel
    2019-02-16 13:21

    4.5 StarsPower Play is my favorite of this series, so far. They just seem to be getting better and better! We also get some delicious angst here, that wasn't in the first two books, so I am very happy right now.Misha and Max have a history on the ice and it's a bit of a painful one that cost them both their careers. Max's because the accident was in the form of a head injury that killed his peripheral vision and Misha's because he never forgave himself, even though it wasn't his fault and was totally an accident.Misha is a broody guy. He left Russia because he's gay and he feared for his life. But nothing was ever easy for him and he's carried a whole lot of self-loathing because of his upbringing and the things he's had to do to survive. The accident that ended Max's hockey career was just even more confirmation that Misha doesn't deserve to be happy.And Max is such a happy guy. He takes things in stride. A lot of that comes from his upbringing and the fact that his family is supportive in ways that all families' should be but often fail at. He doesn't blame Misha for the accident, at all, and he harbors no animosity toward him.There was just so much that I loved about this story. I loved how Max was able to draw Misha out from his cloud and I loved Misha's reactions and his tendency to speak Russian when he was in the throes of passion. And I loved how Misha's character was solidified with just how much he cared about his players and the team. And I loved how helping Drake with his situation also helped Misha see that he is worthy, too.Power Play is a gorgeous story, through and through.

  • Simone
    2019-01-19 12:03

    How do you recognize an amazing book?Umm, noooo... Not by choosing the most beautiful cover – although I love the cover of this book, too. ;-)No, you know that you are reading a great book when you simply devour it. When you are so into the story that you can't stop reading. When you send prayers heavenwards that nobody will disturb you and snarl at everyone who dares to do so. When you are falling in love with the characters...Power Play was exactly this kind of book for me.I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, but this one swept me completely off my feet. I have to admit that I am kind of a drama queen – umm, only as far as books are concerned, of course! ;-) - and I love stories with lots of drama that make me suffer vicariously with the characters. Misha and Max's story had everything to please my needs. ;-) Both men have a shared past with Misha being the reason for the end of Max's hockey career, caused by an accident, and who are now thrown together to coach the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst hockey team in the league. But it was not only the dramatic aspect what I loved most. It felt real how they came from their difficult past to lovers and it also felt real how the Spitfires grew from their desolate state to a competitive team. The solution at the end was completely believable, everything else would have been too much. There was one scene I loved eminently, namely when Misha and Max laced their skates to revive their memories of being on the ice together. This really pulled at my heartstrings. So, may I introduce you to the newest member of the 'Misha' fan club? - proud member, I should add – Yes, that's me! No, I won't tell you for the hundredth time that I love tortured heroes (although it's true! lol), but I fell completely in love with Misha and his aura of sadness, his guilt-ridden conscience and his mysterious past. God, he made my heart bleed. Accidents were accidents. Falling down was part of the game. What mattered was how you got back up again.Misha had not gotten back up. Misha had let it beat him down, and that was the real reason he never felt like a champion. It had nothing to do with Max. He had used Max as an excuse because he was afraid.The past can really be a bitch and sometimes you just have to learn to overcome it to be able to live a happy life, even if the things you've done at the time were necessary for survival and for doing the things you love.And sometimes you just need a special someone, who is so perceptive and forgiving when it comes to things like that. ”You know what I realized, Misha? It's not my forgiveness you need. It's your own. Just like it's not me that's ashamed of what you did to survive and get out of Russia. It's you. And until you stop being so... so disgusted by yourself, it's probably a good thing that our goalie is living upstairs in your house.Hell, yes, I loved Max, too. I loved his irrepressible high spirits, despite everything he's been through and he made me laugh ever so often. He might not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier – his words, not mine! – especially when it comes to history, geography and math, but hey, these are not my strong suits, either (it's really good that my job as an accountant has nothing to do with numbers... ;-)) and he has other qualities! If you are looking for steamy sex scenes... Then this is exactly the right book for you! Phew... Misha and Max were really together!!!Oh, and a little thank you to Avon Gale for the inner cinema... Hearing “It's Raining Men” on the radio will never be the same again! ;-)This book deserves nothing less than 5-completely-stoked-stars!

  • Heidi Cullinan
    2019-01-25 14:13

    Going to be honest, I'm already rereading this book, and it's only been three days.I'm just dipping my toe into Ms. Gale, but she shows all the signs of being right up there with K.A. Mitchell for comfort read and auto-buy. Which is saying something, because this book and all the others I've read so far are about sports and I do not do sports. Watch, play, or comprehend.But I love them in this book, and in all Gale's books so far. Power Play isn't exactly enemies to lovers, and it's not an angst fest, but it has shades of both. It's also not a comedy, but it has elements of that too. This is what I like most about Gale's writing, that she selects all the paints from the palette but doesn't let any of them overwhelm the canvas, only uses them to enhance the total painting. The characters are real, and rich, never caricature. Even the guy I thought was going to be one ended up with layers. The conflicts are also balanced, complex without being overwhelming. This is a book you can pick up to read for relaxation, that won't feel like work and yet will leave you feeling as if things are better, worked out somehow. Catharsis without an emotional flogger or a literary abacus.What I loved most of all in Power Play, though, was Misha. I loved his expressive gestures, his reserve, his emotional constipation, his wounded soul, his power and control, his quiet sexiness, his occasional reversion to his Russian...I know I'm going to love everything Gale writes, but if she announces a series of Misha clones, I'm going to run down to Missouri and offer to be her housekeeper and errand runner and maybe even personal masseuse to get the books out faster. Whatever it takes, man. Misha for life.For life.

  • Kaje Harper
    2019-02-06 10:00

    I've enjoyed every book in this series - this one would easily stand alone, should you choose to start here. The only links to the others are minor character references. This book is perhaps the most emotional of the three so far, but still has a light, fun and warm overall tone. Max's NHL career ended after a hard check that knocked him down, causing his head to hit the blade of a stick. The freak accident damaged his peripheral vision, but he's not otherwise disabled by it. He was bitter, and sad, about suddenly losing the thing he did best, but he's come to look ahead instead of back. He's ready to take on a new challenge in coaching an ECH League team. He doesn't blame the man who checked him. In a physical game, these things happen. Still he's a bit taken aback when he reports for his first day as assistant coach, and finds out that player is now his head coach.Misha did blame himself for his hit on Max, that sent a promising young man out of the sport. Legal check or not, he changed a man's life. And his bleak past and Russian tendency to angst kept him from fighting the consequences. Although his suspension wasn't justified, he let it also end his own career, retiring to coach instead. That one mistake that he can't put right has haunted him, and when he comes face to face with Max in the office of the Spartanburg Spitfires, he figures any grudge Max holds is fully justified. What he can't fathom is that Max doesn't hold a grudge. And the sleazy team owner, who brought them together hoping for drama to pull in attention, will not get quite what he was looking for...Misha is perhaps a bit of a Russian caricature, and Max is amazingly positive. But this meeting and slow romance of opposites worked its charm on me. These two men try to build a respectable team while figuring each other out. There is humor, some hockey action, some backstory pain, engaging secondary characters, and a developing romance that is sexy and sweet. There was one minor character about-face that didn't quite work for me, but I enjoyed this story and will no doubt reread it. And I look forward to young player Isaac Drake's story coming up in the series. He deserves some happiness...

  • Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
    2019-01-20 08:02

    ⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Might contain spoilers*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱This book circles around assistant coach Max Ashford (29) and head coach Mikhail ‘Misha’ Samarin (40), who has a past with one another. A past that ended their career as hockey players. Now they are both coaching the ‘worst’ team in the entire league. Working together might seem hard, but they hadn't expected a fierce attraction towards each other... And for Misha to face his past, which he has tried to forget. But with Max's optimism and light humor, Misha might actually have a chance at a happy ending.Misha didn’t think he deserved to have his pain ended so easily.He knew that was dramatic to the point of caricature. But it was still the truth.Overall, the book was easy to read, fast forward and simple. Like the rest of the series (I've only read #4 and #5 before this one... yeah, yeah, I know I'm going backwards). I had expected a more for this book, but I wasn't overly surprised either. Which is probably why I read book #4 first in this series before reading this one because we met these main characters here in that one. I had also hope for more connection between Misha and Isaac Drake. I have this want - and need - for Misha to adopt him...There’s a setting between “hate” and “sucking his cock,” Max. Find it and dial it there. Quick.Quick basic facts:Genre: - (A?) Contemporary Romance (M/M)Series: - Series (Standalone?), Book ThreeLove triangle? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]Cheating? - (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)]HEA? - (view spoiler)[Yes. (hide spoiler)]Favorite character? - Mikhail ‘Misha’ Samarin.Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Sure.Would I recommend this book/series? - Yes.Will I read this again in the future? - No.Rating - 3 stars.

  • Debra
    2019-01-18 12:09

    Review originally posted atSinfully.4.5 starsI can always tell when I’m reading an Avon Gale story. To me, she has such a distinct voice and whether it’s hockey talk, snarky internal musings or the interplay between the characters, her books always put a smile on my face. I know I’ve said it before, but her joy in writing these stories really does come through on the page.Initially hired as a publicity grab by the sleazy owner of the last place Spitfires, the two new coaches are smarter than they are given credit for and aren’t willing to play that game. Max has long forgiven Misha for his part in the accident that ended his career five years ago and while Misha hasn’t forgiven himself, he is willing to defer to Max to keep him happy and employed and as further penance. As they begin working together, bi-sexual Max feels his attraction growing for the broody Russian. Misha is gay and doesn’t deny it, but he is steeped in shame resulting from his childhood in Russia and his father’s treatment of him, but even that can’t keep the sexy and outgoing Max from getting under his skin.These are the two most grown-up characters of the series so far, but that’s not to say they are any less fun, endearing or sexy as the previous pairings. They fall into the relationship fairly easily, and once again there is no crazy drama or angst hounding the relationship itself, but there are individual issues that need to be worked out, mostly by Misha, in order to ensure their future can be happy and healthy. Misha has quite a thing for self-flagellation and is incredibly hard on himself. Luckily Max isn’t going to stand for it, forcing Misha to talk and take care of himself and working his way into Misha’s heart and his pants.Max and Misha are two different ends of the spectrum. Max is open, enthusiastic and outgoing. Avon Gale has written him with a bit of the quirkiness I’ve come to expect from her by allowing us in on some of his internal musings. He may not be the brightest guy out there, but he’s trying! Knowing he was bi-sexual for a while he never before imagined he would have a serious relationship with a man, but he never denies how he feels for Misha and he is ready to have the full experience. He has a wonderfully supportive family and that carries over into the way he treats the team as well. Misha had a difficult childhood and instead of finding joy in the new life he has made for himself in the past 20 years, he can’t shake his guilt or shame or even fully accept himself for the man he is.The men had amazing chemistry and the sex was fun and enthusiastic, giving Max the experience of everything he’s ever imagined trying (and teaching Misha a new thing or two). Whether it was getting off on Misha speaking in Russian, awkwardly initiating phone sex or using blow jobs as currency, Max is all in!I loved watching Misha discover the joy in loving and living. Once Max starts breaking through the angsty, broody shell, Misha’s caring and protective side blossoms. He also manages to forge a special bond with their young goalie and team captain, Isaac Drake (who I am thrilled to see will be featured in the next book), who manages to crack the last of Misha’s carefully erected walls.As the men’s relationship strengthens and moves forward, so does the dynamics of the team. The motley crew of Spitfires eventually bands together after a rocky start. There are some good hockey scenes and I enjoyed both the down and out team and the more cohesive team. If you’re a fan of old 80’s movies, you’ll probably find yourself visualizing a sports montage in your head with the highlights backed up by Bonnie Tyler belting out “Holding Out For a Hero” just as team owner Belsy would want you to.It’s a new season and a new team so you don’t need to have read the prior books in the series, but if you have there are a couple of games against the Sea Storm and some appearances by their players. If you aren’t sure you want to read a hockey story, this one would probably be a good jumping off point for you. Since it’s told from the coaches’ perspective, there is less actual on-ice time, but still enough to get you into the game.If you haven’t read an Avon Gale book before, I’m a bit hurt you haven’t taken my prior reviews seriously enough to do so, but I’ll get over it and strongly encourage you to do so right away. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Shile loves books
    2019-02-15 09:14

    I Loved this so much. I couldn't put it down until i was through.Silly me I skipped this and went on straight to read Empty Net. Not knowing what I was missing.Max and Misha were amazing as a couple. They fit perfectly; the chemistry was there from the start. The banter was on point.Max well.. i adored him he was this happy, optimistic character who saw the good in everyone and funny too. I loved how he embraced his bisexuality. “I’m Russian,” Misha said with the faintest hint of a smile. “We angst, Max.”“I see that. Well, I’m American. We force shit on other people if we think they need it.” Misha.. i loved him and felt sorry for him just wanted to hug him tight even though he was way taller than everyone and tell him every thing was gonna be okay.“I don't know if I love myself, Max. But I do know that I love you and that you mean it when you say you love me. Maybe I can see myself as that man, the one you love, instead of the one I always see when I look in the mirror.”The sex was hot. The secondary characters were amazing. I loved Max's family and the team.

  • BWT (Belen)
    2019-02-15 12:01

    4.5 StarsThe third story in the Scoring Chances hockey series delivers another fun, funny, low angst, sexy as hell and thoroughly enjoyable tale as I've come to expect from Avon Gale.Misha Samarin and Max Ashford are hired to coach the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the ECHL, not just because team owner and General Manager Jack Belsey hopes they can turn the team around, but because of their mutual history. The one where during the Stanley Cup Playoffs years ago Misha threw the hit that sent Max to the ice, where his head slammed hard on the side of Misha's stick and forever put an end to Max’s hockey career.Belsey looks at the situation as a win-win - either Misha and Max's history will get them media coverage, or they're good enough coaches that the team will start winning and get media coverage.For Max it was all a long time ago and he holds no grudge, for Misha he still sees Max lying unmoving on the ice, still as a corpse in his nightmares. But the two work together well, and by the end of training camp they have a team of passably decent hockey players.What he really had was a team of misfits captained by a goalie with anger-management issues and a facial piercing, coached by the man who ended Max’s professional hockey career, and owned and managed by a sleazy asshole who was going to use that for publicity.It was also a team that had five players named Jacob. And even though he’d been half-responsible for signing said players, Max had completely managed to overlook that.“Wait. Seriously?” Max groaned when the fifth Jacob, who was actually Jakob, introduced himself the first day of practice. “What’s your last name?”“Wawrzyniak, Coach.”Max exchanged a look with Misha. “Congrats, Jakob. You’re the only one who gets to keep his first name.”The more Max works with Misha the more he comes to realize he's lusting for him. But while Max realized he's bisexual (after a particularly interesting vacation to Mexico) and owns it, Misha is gay but not open about it. So it's only after the two spark that slowly Max's effervescent charm wends its way through the all the cracks in Misha's armor, making Misha fall for Max. Hard.Misha nodded and pulled away. His mind was still buzzing with the things Max said to him. “I was proud of you” and “I love you.” He should say that to Max, because he did love Max. More than he’d loved anyone—certainly more than he loved himself.I love Max with his warmth and sunny personality, and I love Misha for being the taciturn loves to suffer in silence bugger he is. I love their interactions and romance. I even like all the hockey action.While the romance is the best part of the story, for me, it's also the part where I wanted more. I wanted more page time with the two together. I wanted more cuddles and fluff time. I flipped through the story so quickly, and was so into it, that I was disappointed when it ended, not because of the ending, but because I wanted it to keep going! I want more!RECOMMENDED!Advance Review Galley copy of Power Play provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.

  • Adam
    2019-02-12 12:21

    4.25 starsThe set-up of Misha and Max's relationship is pretty ominous. They have a history that's less-than-pretty. But this isn't an enemies-to-lovers tale, because Max acts like an adult and doesn't let an accident consume him. Any author that writes a mature and rational character deserves praise.However, this is an opposites-attract romance, and I loved that. Max is upbeat and always diving in headfirst, while Misha is a lot more stern and cautious. They made for a very entertaining pair from the beginning.Max and Misha's romance isn't very angsty, but it still pulled at my heartstrings. These two were very sweet together, becoming friends before becoming lovers. Misha gives Max the confidence he sometimes lacks, while Max teaches Misha to love and accept himself.Plus, the two were hella hot in the bedroom. Misha's got a dominant top thing going on, while Max is more than willing to explore the joys of man-on-man sex. I was a happy camper!I also really liked the secondary characters, particularly Max's family and the hockey team. They added to the story, especially the goalie, Drake. I can't wait to read his story next.Overall, 'Power Play' is a great read! You don't need to be a fan of hockey to enjoy this romance about two very different men finding home in each other.

  • Renée
    2019-02-04 09:54

    3.5 starsI liked it. It was cute. It had its funny moments. I honestly enjoyed it. But I'm not fan-girling over it. And I really wanted to be!! Cuz everyone else is. So I'm underwhelmed. Fuck.

  • Dani
    2019-01-16 09:04

    Avon Gale just nailed it! I’m so happy that I listened to you, Simone. I thought it was going to be full of drama and angst because of the blurb that says Max couldn’t continue with his professional career as a hockey player thanks to an accident that involved Misha on the ice. Imagine my surprise when I see this is a feel-good story; the only one who’s got a bit angsty was Misha but as he says, is a Russian thing.“Why did you do that? Why didn’t you take it?”“I’m Russian,” Misha said with the faintest hint of a smile. “We angst, Max”Misha is closed off at the beginning because he’s drowning in guilt even though what happened to them was 5 years ago and he cannot believe how easy is to Max to forgive him. Max is the light in Misha’s darkness; he actually helps him to move on and to forgive himself.“[…] getting knocked down is just part of the game. What matters is that you get back up again.”I devoured this book in one sitting and the whole time I couldn’t stop grinning and giggling thanks to Max and Misha. Max is definitely not the smartest one between these two and I like how Misha finds that adorable, he doesn’t care that Max is terrible in geography or that he doesn’t know who won the Cold War. “Russians were sneaky. No wonder they won the cold war.Wait… did they?”Every time I think of Max I start laughing because I remember every single stupid thing he said or thought. I love how he knows he’s not smart and he just doesn’t care. According to Misha, he’s “indomitable.” He’ll always say what on his mind not matter what and he won’t ever shut up, not even when they were having sex but I didn’t care because it was so funny and it was so sexy seeing how Misha will shut him up *eyebrow waggle* Oh boy, I really enjoyed this book. It has everything I like. It was sexy, it had really good banters (I liked when they were joking about Belsey), and the character and relationship development was splendid. I liked the contrast between Max and Misha, they were completely different people, not to mention that both had different cultures and I like how they complemented each other. Max was the joyful guy and Misha was the tall and broody Russian. Their love felt real, their connection and chemistry were strong. The side characters were amazing, the guys from the team really cracked me up and Max’s family was AWESOME. They were supportive and loving. I only would’ve liked to have an epilogue, but I’m happy with what I got.I know I skipped book 1 and 2 of this series but I’ll read them AFTER I read book 4 because I can’t wait to read about Isaac.

  • Christelle
    2019-01-27 10:56

    2 stars : sadly, it didn’t work for me.Sadly because it got all I like : mature MCs, hockey coaches challenged to make a good season from a team at the bottom, opposites attracted to each others,…But the whole time, I couldn’t connect with the characters. With the story either : it felt contrived. The only moment I felt something was each time the author referred to one of the MCs as dumb : that annoyed me.A popular book with great reviews, but this series is not for me.

  • ~Kristin~
    2019-01-18 14:12

    4.5 StarsI freaking love this series, I wish I hadn't read the excerpt at the end of the book...because I really, really want to continue on and read that book, badly!!

  • Elsa Bravante
    2019-01-30 09:54

    El primer libro de esta serie lo DNF, no me gustaron los personajes, no me gustó cómo estaba escrito, y en general lo encontré todo atropellado, sin emoción, y con un desarrollo de los personajes muy superficial. El segundo, tras leer críticas de amigos, ni lo intenté. Pero, a mi no me gusta cerrar puertas y tras las buenas críticas decidí intentarlo con el tercero (este) y el cuarto. Y bueno, el resumen sería... I liked it.Y es que es así, me gustó, está bien, venía de un libro duro y muy intenso y necesitaba algo mucho más ligero, y esto es lo que es este libro. La relación entre dos entrenadores de hockey y antiguos jugadores con un pasado común es una relación entre hombres adultos, con una dosis muy justa de angst, sin mucho conflicto, sin mucho drama, las cosas se suceden con facilidad y lo lees sin darte cuenta. Pero, esta sencillez también implica que las capas de los personajes sean muy superficiales, hay varios puntos interesantes, pero no están desarrollados con profundidad, y estoy segura que es lo que quería la autora. Esta formula funciona para mucha gente, pero no para mi, al final me quedo con la sensación de que conozco a los personajes en parte y que su historia de amor la habré olvidado en unas semanas. Avon tiene una forma de contar las cosas como una sucesión, una detrás de otras, sin momentos que supongan un clímax en la lectura, o muy pocos, que hace que no consiga emocionarme, los personajes podrían decir I love you como si dijeran: quiero 250 grs de jamón york.En resumen, bien para un ratito, pero nada especial.

  • Norah Una Sumner
    2019-02-04 10:11

    Can I get a round of applause for my lord and saviour Avon Gale?I sometimes can't believe that the first two books in this series are actually a part of this series. Not only is the story of Power Play more complex and generally better, but the writing of Avon Gale, in my opinion, also got better. I was pushing myself to write a review for both Power Play and Empty Net last summer, which are, in my humble opinion, Avon Gale's best two books to this date, so I decided to reread both of them this month and try to collect my thoughts. To put it simply, I'd die for both Misha and Max. I would literally give my right hand if it meant they would be happy and free of any kind of stress the rest of their lives. Both of them are wonderful people who found themselves in a tricky situation and seeing them own it and move on from it made my heart full. Sometimes I can't connect with no one in a book and yet sometimes I can relate to almost everyone. I saw myself, my struggles, thoughts and characteristics in both Misha and Max. Avon Gale managed to create such phenomenal characters who, it sometimes seems to me, were just letting her write their story. They are incredibly fleshed out and it was impossible not to root for them - Misha especially. And then there are supporting characters who made this story even better and more alive, a whole interlude to Isaac's story and the growth of him and his teammates as characters as well. When I first read Power Play last year I had no idea how much I was going to love Isaac Drake and how much of an important person he will become to me - but I'll talk about that in another review.Power Play is a very important book to me and I have nothing but respect for Avon Gale for writing it.

  • Susan
    2019-02-12 07:08

    I’m really not into books about sports. But I’m so glad I read this one, because it was great!This is about two hockey coaches, Max and Misha, who are trying to get the worst team ever to win some games.I loved these guys together. There’s not a lot of relationship angst (almost none), even though the guys get involved rather quickly at the beginning of the book. I was wondering what would go wrong to keep the story ‘interesting’, but I was glad the author didn’t pull that shit on us.I also really loved the team. These guys were great! And after reading the expert of the next book (Drake!! ❤❤❤),I can’t wait to read it!!

  • Tess
    2019-01-30 11:53

    4.5 starsMy favourite Avon Gale! This was fun and not too angsty. I enjoyed the hockey talk although I think this would be classified as "hockey light" for those that are scared away from hockey romance. The best part of this, though, was the characters and their romance. Max was so sweet and good for Misha and Misha was awesome and so needing and deserving to be loved. I also liked that there was no unnecessary drama or angst in their relationship. But, but ... was that it?! I wanted more! Maybe an epilogue or lots more Max and Misha in Drake's story??

  • Natalia
    2019-02-08 08:21

    ♥ Misha

  • Alisa
    2019-01-16 06:21

    3.5 starsI enjoyed this but unfortunately it didn't have the magic of the first two books for me. On the positive I think this author does hockey stories better than any other author I've read in the hockey romance genre. She knows her game and her love for it comes through. If you're not a fan the details aren't overwhelming but if you are a fan there are all kinds of comments about teams/players etc that will make you smile. You know you're reading something by a true fan. I loved the part of the story about the team and their journey from underdogs to a winning team. Those scenes were great.So why the average rating? Well, I just wasn't feeling the romance between the couple. I never really felt their connection and I never warmed up to Misha at all. Also, a big draw of this series for me has been the fact that the MC's were every day guys falling in love. This story went out of that and into the broken, damaged guy with the horrible past and really I am over those stories. It looks like that is where the next book is going too and honestly I'm kind of bummed. I REALLY liked the low angst and no drama formula of the previous two books. They were a stand out because we don't see that often. Tragic pasts stories unfortunately are a dime a dozen. We meet the MC's for the next book and it's going to be a enemies to lovers story and I enjoy those so I'll check it out but.................**I'm keeping the picture below for no other reason than LOOCH!!!!!!!!******************************************************************************How am I the only reviewer who doesn't have this? Is it cuz I'm a Kings fan Avon Gale?? :D

  • Fabi
    2019-01-25 08:54

    Although I still love this series, I didn't connect quite as much with these characters as I did with the previous ones. Maybe it was because these guys are older or maybe it was because they were coaching instead of playing. I'm not completely sure. While I felt bad for their pasts, it didn't really pull on my heartstrings. Both men had moved on and mostly overcome their past hardships at the point where they get together. There wasn't a lot of drama in their relationship and even their sex scenes felt a little bland.On to the next one though, because I still love this series.