Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review: Power Play by Avon Gale

Power Play 
(Scoring Chances #3)
by Avon Gale
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Genre: M/M Romance, Sport

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.

This is my favorite so far for Scoring Chances series. As oppose to the previous two books that center around the Sea Storm hockey players, Power Play is about two coaches for the Spitfires, the worst team in the league. This works well as a standalone as both the main characters are not featured previously. While the previous two books are more comical and funny, this one had a more seriously vibe, thanks to Misha.

Misha is the new head coach for Spitfire and being a Russian, he is tall, dark and brooding. As he told Max, he like to angst and be miserable. 

Max is the assistant coach who is an optimist and a ball of sunshine. They had a history 5 years ago on the ice that lead to Max ended his short professional career. Instead of hating Misha, Max is so forgiving and looking forward to coach the worst team on the ECHL together with him. But Misha being the brooding sod, loves to torture himself and he didn't make it easy for Max to love him. 

Misha is one of those tortured soul with a dark past and he provided some much needed angst for the story. But fear not, Max is always there to balance things out and his jovial nature is the perfect antidote to Misha's darkness. I don't know what is it about Russian, but I noticed that they often intrigued me. Misha had a very distinct voice and personality in the story and I just love his poker face and Max always attempt to break his facade. They are so different, yet a perfect match for each other.

Although this story centered around two coaches, there are still plenty of players and on ice drama that was exciting. I really feel the sense of family among the Spitfire team and even get to appreciate their sleazy general manager. I can't wait to read the next one and see how the team grow.