Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Power Play
SERIES: Scoring Chances #3
AUTHOR: Avon Gale
NARRATOR: Scott R. Smith
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 6hr 23min
RELEASE DATE: October 11, 2016
A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.
After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.
Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.
To try to bring some much-needed fans and attention to his struggling hockey team, the owner of the Spartanburg Spitfires decides to hire a new coaching staff. Unfortunately for the new coaches, Misha and Max, the owner isn’t doing it just to try to whip up some good action on the ice. Misha and Max have a bit of a past. One that begins and ends with a career ending hit to Max by Misha in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The owner of the Spitfires has every intention of using that hit to bring in the crowds that the players can’t seem to get.
Misha and Max, though, have no intention of having one of their worst days on ice dragged out like a side-show at every turn. But to knock those ads off the air they are going to need something to replace them with. Like footage of the team actually winning something–and not just bench-clearing brawls. Working together was probably nothing they ever thought they would be doing, but it turns out that it is something they do really well. And if they can get past their pasts they might find themselves with something a bit more important than a winning goal.
I’ve been really looking forward to this audio book. Misha and Max are probably my favorite pairing in this series. And I can’t deny that I’ve been dying to hear Misha’s totally hot accent. Scott R. Smith didn’t let me down, either. He has done a fabulous job with these books, and his narration has brought these characters to life in ways I didn’t imagine was possible.
While it is in no doubt by this point that I adore Avon Gale and her hockey boys, I must once again congratulate her on writing these books in such a way as to be incredibly re-readable. No matter how many times I read them I have zero problems sinking back into the story like it was the first time.
There was also something about this narration that really hit the perfect tone when it came to both Misha and Isaac Drake’s pasts. Hearing it read to me, having these characters come to life so fully, really dragged every last bit of emotion out of those scenes. And on the flipside, Max just brought a sense of joy to these books that made all the darker parts easier to hear. I won’t say these things didn’t happen in the ebook, but it was more intense here in the audio. The story really came alive and I loved it.
I highly recommend this, as well as the other audio books from this series. And I’m looking forward to the coming audio for Empty Net as well.