Review: Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He's put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.

Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.

I'm a bit of a sports nut but hockey confuzzles me. As this very book will attest it's not a sport that's wildly popular in the South and it has some weird rules, IMO. I liken it to soccer which I've been watching more of lately. Mostly due to the increased likelihood of seeing something of this nature... 

Also, how else would I have discovered the healing powers of Axe body spray? This is unbelievably useful information!

And this is just funny! Are there some sort of soccer acting awards? These guys deserve it. Because HILARIOUS!

So with all this entertainment making the jump to hockey should be easy peasy lemon squeeze-y, right? Buuuutttttt for a couple of things...

Exhibit A

And there being like zero chance of gif #1 happening with all the equipment hockey players wear.

Still, I do enjoy athletes and Avon Gale's writes. She's charmed me. Now she's officially proven herself a banter wizard. Wizardress? I would say witty banter but Lane leans heavily toward WTF?!?!-awkkkkkward than witty. However, I cannot stress enough how on point this dialogue is. It's relatable, organic, engaging and sucked me right into this story. I lost count of how many times I did that weird sudden cackle/bark laugh. Usually at something Lane thinks or says. Out loud.

Poor Lane has what I call The Gumball Mouth wherein whatever he thinks he says with virtually no filter. He's also 20 and has... is there a negative amount of life experience? It seems like he grew up in a bubble. He says the wrong things more often than not but he's so ardent and forthright that not liking him would be in the neighborhood of kicking a puppy. 

And who does that? 

Sex was great and Lane suddenly wanted everyone he knew to have it.

Lane is also still carrying his V-card and DYING to get it punched directly to Pound Town and out of semi-closeted virgin purgatory. Especially since he's confident he's going to be "awesome at sex". He is a natural. He even has some dirty talk going for him though it's still in the WTF?!?!-awkward-did-he-just-say-that?-needle-scratching-the-party-to-a-halt vein, but still. Earnest. It counts. 

He and Jared do light up the pages with their flippery. And their guy antics which mostly include pillow fights, tossing gaming controls at one another and trying to avoid talking about feelings. They fail. They fail often. It's a delight.

Jared also plays hockey but unlike Lane, who's likely on his way to the NHL, he's in the twilight of his career in the ECHL. See, I learned something about hockey! Thanks Avon! I would still probably need the salt & pepper shaker explanation, though. Jared's got old wounds that need some TLC. And he's in love with Captain Awkward a.k.a. Lane Courtnall.

They fall pretty hard and fast for one another but I wouldn't classify it as instalove since we're privy to each of their perspective's through every step of their journey. Along the way we're introduced to their teammates, parents and friends. There are childhood wounds that get resolved with some strange parents but it wasn't overbearing. Mostly we get a bird's eye view of Lane growing into himself as well as the evolution from probable one night stand to HEA all of which gave me good feels. I'm pretty sure Lane will always be awkward but Jared is fully aware of what he's signing on for and does so unreservedly.

"I make jokes, but sometimes they're not funny," Lane told him helpfully.

I'm not sure how many books are planned for this series but there were people introduced that piqued my interest. I'm anxious to see where the series goes and, hopefully, check in on Jared and Lane periodically. 

Highly recommend to hockey fans and readers who appreciate crisp dialogue with a healthy dose of humor.

An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads.


  1. thanks darlin', and anything you need to know about hockey, just ask ;) <3333

    1. Ha! You'd need a YouTube video complete w/salt & pepper shaker demo to school me. ;)