Coach’s Challenge by Avon Gale
Series: Scoring Chances Book #5
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook): June 26, 2017
Length: Ebook: ~70K (181 pages)
Subgenre: Sports romance, LGBTQ+ romance
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/coachs-challenge-by-avon-gale-8609-b
It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds that the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks give Troy inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if Shane’s set to retire at the end of the season.
Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon and with a team that doesn’t trust him, the coach, or each other. Despite his determination to not get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.
Quotes from the author about the book:
Troy and Shane’s story was a joy to write – I loved writing about two characters who were so confident in what they wanted and determined to get it no matter what. These are two stubborn, opinionated and passionate men and their interactions were so much fun to write.
Quotes from other authors about the book:
“I hope this series continues forever. I always have time for more of Avon Gale’s quirky, impeccably written hockey players. Shane is the perfect smartass, and watching him fall for Troy is terrific fun.” – Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of Him
“Hey, I wanted to ask… well, you mind if I bring in some speakers? A sound system or something?”
“To my office?” Troy asked. “Am I making too much noise in here?”
“For the locker room,” North said dryly. “But maybe you noticed your office doesn’t have a door, and I don’t want to do laps again because you hate my taste in music.”
Troy hated how attractive he found the barely contained smartass lurking beneath Shane’s attempt at respectful behavior. It made Troy want things he absolutely should not want with a player. “Sure, you can do that. Why? You want to go out on the ice to a funeral march?”
Shane’s grin made Troy want to hit his head on the desk. “Ha. No, but it’s tempting. I thought maybe some music might get these guys to, y’know.”
“To what? Sing?” Troy narrowed his eyes but he could feel the edge of his mouth curve up. “Not sure I wouldn’t rather have it quiet, North.”
“Maybe. But I gotta try something. You got any other ideas?”
Troy stared hard at him and wondered why he wasn’t giving Shane a lecture about taking that tone of voice with his coach. Because you like it, that’s why. Idiot. If he were any more your type, he’d come labeled in a bottle. “I got a lot of ideas, North, but they’re about hockey, not musical entertainment. Bring in whatever you want, but just remember I can make you do a bag skate if the music sucks.”
There was a glint in Shane’s eyes that immediately made Troy suspicious because he recognized it. Apparently Shane North played for more than just Troy’s hockey team, and oh, God…. The only thing worse than having the hots for his player would be his player reciprocating it.
Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.