Book Review: BREAKAWAY by Avon Gale

BreakawayBreakaway by Avon Gale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

BREAKAWAY (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale is a humorous and insightful, character-driven, sports contemporary, bisexual M/M romance. Minor league hockey players, veteran Jared Shore and rookie phenom Lane Courtnall couldn’t be further apart in their careers and places in life. They both have insecurities about being in a relationship, and their rival teams are serious contenders for the minor league championship.

Jared hasn’t made any significant breakthroughs in his 13-year career, hasn’t any close ties, and is uncertain about his future. But when he meets Lane, who is not only young and eager but confusing as hell, Jared starts to reassess his life and career choices. Barely twenty-one, Lane is talented and headed for the NHL, but he’s incredibly socially awkward. He feels alienated from his new teammates, has poor leadership skills, and is irresistibly attracted to Jared. He feels suffocated because his parents are pressuring him to get a girlfriend, but he’d rather they be proud of his accomplishments on the ice. So, Jared and Lane are both stuck in some ways; they have to face their disappointments and “break away” from the insecurities and uncertainties holding them back from being happy and realizing their potential. The title and the novel’s theme remind me of the song lyrics from “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson: “I’ll take a risk / Take a chance / Make a Change / And breakaway”.

While Lane is undoubtedly destined for the highlight reels and heroic plays on the ice, it’s Jared personal heroism that really got to me, especially because I couldn’t have predicted it. I thought that Jared was the stronger, more reliable narrator. The narration worked better for me when Lane and Jared were alone together and when it was focused on their relationship. It was easy and rewarding to see how Jared was attracted to Lane’s awkward and frank personality and inspired by Lane’s energy and passion for hockey. When they were apart, however, Lane’s awkwardness was so much more confusing.

I definitely enjoyed Jared and Lane’s developing romance and was rooting for them the whole way through. The hockey action scenes were fun, suspenseful, and exciting. I felt like I was right there at the rink. I liked how the ending was a dream come true. The preview of Book 2, Save of the Game, was really interesting, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series.

*I received an eARC from Avon Gale in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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