Wednesday, May 25, 2016

ARC #REVIEW Power Play by Avon Gale #RomHero #mmromance #hockey

Genre: M/M Romance, part of the Second Chances series
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Length: 201 pages

Description: 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 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.

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Determined to jump start ticket sales one way or another, the owner of the ECHL Spartanburg Spitfires hires Misha and Max as coach and assistant coach. Why is this a big deal? Because an accident during the NHL playoffs several years earlier ended both their careers. He's hoping that the inevitable hostility between the men will spark interest in his flagging team.
Max Ashford looked a lot different than Misha remembered.

Of course, the way Misha remembered Max was lying unmoving on the ice, still as a corpse. A sight he still saw sometimes, in the dark spaces where his dreams should be.
But while they don't give the owner the fire he wants, things aren't exactly relaxed between the two men. At least not until Max puts Misha at ease with his quiet ways and gentle humor, teasing him about his accent and occasional lack of knowledge of English slang. But Misha soon learns to turn the tables on Max.
"Fine. So we're keeping Drake?" Max put his head on the table and groaned. "He has a lip piercing."

"What was that? I can't hear you. Did you say he... has a hip replacement? He's so young."

Max lifted his head. Misha was calmly eating his dissected mozzarella stick and watching him with something that max was sure was amusement. "You have got to be kidding me."

Misha winked at him. Max's world tipped upside down and flipped sideways.
It was a real pleasure to see these two men working to overcome their pasts, the accident and its consequences, as they built up a winning team. Their relationship grows organically over the coarse of the season. Misha, having the most serious issues, is propped up lovingly by Max, who proves to be so much more than he lets on.

I loved both these men. Their story of triumph will make you smile and want to know more. Oh, and the sex scenes are hot and varied. The author did a great job of integrating them into the story line at just the right time and in the right way.

There are also some very interesting side characters in this story, some of whom will no doubt receive their own books. I can't wait to read them!

OUR RATING: 4.5 stars!

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