Title: Empty Net (Scoring Chances #4)
Author: Avon Gale
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 2, 2016
Page Count: 219 pages
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain Isaac Drake ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him – no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.
Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse, constantly treated like a disappointment on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist, and Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold Laurent—or their relationship—together.
The Scoring Chances series just keeps getting better and better for me! This one is now my favorite. It is SO MUCH MORE than a hockey book.
Isaac and Laurent are fascinating, extremely complex, well fleshed out characters. Their problems and issues are real, especially for Laurent who was abused by his father as a child and into adulthood. His scars are as deep as they can get and Isaac is his trusty sidekick while battling his demons.
But, guess what? Unlike most romances that deal with emotional and physical damage, there are no magic dicks in this book! Isaac doesn’t use his personal magic wand and fix Laurent by hot, dirty, incredibly satisfying sex. (And this book contains good sex, just not the magic dick kind.) We got to see Isaac being supportive but not trying to take over Laurent’s life. Laurent, in the end, could only help himself. (I’m not going to write about his personal issues here. I think an element of surprise will be nice for the reader.)
I loved these boys, the sex was fantastic, their relationship realistic but no less satisfying than a “knight in shining armor” story.
5+ stars, highly HIGHLY recommended and this WILL be on my 2016 top 10 list. No question.