Review: Save of the Game (Scoring Chances #2) by Avon Gale

After last season’s heartbreaking loss to his hockey team’s archrival, Jacksonville Sea Storm goalie Riley Hunter is ready to let go of the past and focus on a winning season. His new roommate, Ethan Kennedy, is a loud New Yorker with a passion for social justice that matches his role as the team’s enforcer. The quieter Riley is attracted to Ethan and has no idea what to do about it.

Ethan has no hesitations. As fearless as his position demands, he rushes into things without much thought for the consequences.Though they eventually warm to their passionate new bond, it doesn’t come without complications. While trying to financially help Ethan, Riley must hide his family’s wealth so as not to hurt Ethan’s immense pride. For their relationship to work, Ethan will need to learn when to keep the gloves on and let someone help him—and Riley will have to learn it’s okay to let someone past his defenses.

Brace yourselves. I'm about to say some words I never thought I'd say. This series has me seriously contemplating actually watching a professional hockey game. 

Congratulations, Avon Gale. You've made the improbable probable with your palpable love of the game that radiates off the page. I want to see a ninja save for myself after reading Riley's.

Speaking of Riley... I had good feels about him in Breakaway and his story did not disappoint. Riley is the quiet one on the team, the superstitious goalie that drinks a metric ton of coconut water daily-his own personal salute to his idol Martin Brodeur. You know what they say about the quiet ones and in this case it's true times infinity. He's also a caretaker. His family has A LOT of money but he just wants to be one of the guys and help his friends out when they need it without it being weird.

Riley and Ethan met last season and hit it off well enough to agree to be roommates this season. They are classic opposites attract. Ethan is the loud enforcer. Everyone loves him because he's a superb teammate. He may be riding the pine but he's cheering the loudest for everyone on the ice. He's passionate, charismatic and mouthy. He comes by it honest as the only male in a single parent home with two younger sisters. And they're Irish. So whiskey happens. Often. Whiskey is just one of Ethan's vices. He smokes. He drinks. He eats like a college freshman. "In shape" + Ethan are mutually exclusive. 

He amused me greatly.

Neither have ever been attracted to a guy before, but surprisingly there is very little angst over discovering they're bisexual. I wouldn't say they take it in stride but they don't over-analyze it either. They both accept that they're interested in the other and they're roommates so things just start happening. It reads very natural with appropriate trepidation about scaling the sex ladder. They don't jump on the express train to Pound Town but they did swirl in a bit of kink!

The sex is hot but what I loved so much about this book was the characters. Riley and Ethan are just dudes being dudes-pizza, video games, beer, hockey obsessed, they call each other by their last names, would bend Jennifer Lawrence over the back of the couch and do unspeakable things to her together given the opportunity, they have an aversion to anything resembling talking about feelings. Call me crazy but I like my bisexuals to actually be portrayed as bisexual. And these two guys are which endeared them to me. I'd hang with them and force them to watch chick flicks. You know those super tearjerky ones like The Notebook  just for funsies. I'm lying. Mostly I'd do it to catch them crying. I'm sorry, I mean for "having something in their eyes" so I could make fun of them!

Sorry. I squirreled.

Not only did Riley and Ethan have me turning the pages, but the secondary characters were so entertaining. Coach Spencer... OMFG! I had tears running down my face at some of his comments/antics. Why did he keep randoming about soccer?

"Now go get on the bus and don't tell anyone I said a single nice thing to you. I'm gonna eat a sandwich and make 'em wait another twenty minutes. Get out of here."

The coach yelled at them all the way back to the hotel and then kept yelling when they got there too fast. He made the bus driver circle the block four times so he could finish.

He kinda stole the show for me. He and Ethan's family added moments of poignancy that had me "having something in my eye" a couple times. That whole #3 thing... Right. In. The. Feels. Lane, Jared, Zoe and Ryan all made memorable cameos as well. 

"You keep insisting that you're straight. Except for Tom Hardy."

"I'm sorry, but everyone would do him. I don't care how straight you are."


*enthusiastic nodding*

And then there was the hockey. The Sea Storm with their ridiculous angry tornado uniforms are trying to right the wrong of losing the Kelly Cup last season. Surprisingly, I didn't find the hockey obnoxious.

I thoroughly enjoyed Breakaway but I loved Save of the Game. This author seems to just keep getting better with every read. If I had to narrow down one thing that's exemplary about her writing style it would be dialogue. She has a gift for realistic and relateable conversations that can be humorous, touching and not in the least bit contrived. 

Needless to say I'm eagerly awaiting the next Scoring Chances book. Maybe by then I'll know something about hockey. Doubtful but maybe.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Find out more on Goodreads & Dreamspinner Press.


  1. Damn straight you're gonna watch a Los Angeles Kings hockey game. Not to be super specific or anything Cuppers :D. Awesomely reviewed as always.

    1. I'm thinking someone w/the initials AG *might could* be a teensy bit butt hurt over that team choice.

      Thanks Peach! >:D

  2. Awesome review as always, Cupcake!! I'm starting this one right now and I can hardly wait.
    I think I've convinced Peachy to read the first one but a gentle nudge by the Cuppers wouldn't hurt. :D


      If she needs more selling than that I got nuthin'.

      Thanks J.