Review: Coach's Challenge by Avon Gale (Scoring Chances #5)

Note: This ARC was provided by the publisher via A Novel Take PR in exchange for an honest review.

“I’m not fucking around with anyone else, and I don’t want you to either.”
“Yeah, well, I wasn’t planning on it.” Troy tipped his head back and stared up at the ceiling. “I can’t believe this happened.”
Shane wasn’t sure he bought that at all. “Really? You can’t believe two contrary people who thought they were just gonna have sex every now and then decided to have feelings?”
“When you put it that way, maybe it’s not such a surprise.”

Squeed. I actually squeed more than once while reading this book. And I may have laughed in that silent but clearly laughing way I get when something is really funny (yes, I'm weird that way). I read Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series one book after the other and by the time I got to the fifth and latest release, Coach's Challenge, I knew I had cemented my status as a fangirl because I broke my promise to no longer read into the wee hours of the morning. And I totally did. All for the love of Hot Coach McDirty Texts and his bratty winger. From the ten-year age difference to the fact that they were coach and player and on the same team, Troy Callahan and Shane North seemed doomed to be nothing more than a flash in the pan fling gone wrong. But nope, they proved the naysayers wrong.

Turning down an assistant coaching position for an NHL team in order to be the head coach of the most hated team in the ECHL may have seemed like a crazy thing to do but Troy Callahan had his reasons. He knows it's going to take a lot more than the usual coming up with plays and lecturing his players to undo everything the former coach did, but Troy knew turning the Asheville Ravens around would be difficult but doable. Of course, having management sign Shane North to be the team's new winger didn't seem like a step in the right direction. Why bring on someone with the reputation of being a goon in the NHL and AHL to a team with an image of homophobic bullies? But at thirty-six, Shane is determined to play his final year on his terms, even if it means having to contend with his ass of a new coach. Of course, wanting his coach's ass and vice-versa could very well complicate matters.

This was SO much more than your typical forbidden romance. In true Avon Gale form, Coach's Challenge had every bit of the quirk I've come to expect from the books in the Scoring Chances series. And yes, the idea of a coach and his player, no matter what their ages may be, is still considered taboo by many, but not only was Troy and Shane's story enticingly illicit, it also had a lighthearted feel to it, which is so foreign since this particular trope tends to be handled in such angsty fashion. It was fresh and fun and fan-frickin-tastic. I loved waiting to see how these two would give in to their mutual attraction and then realize that they had been falling in love all along. Fingers crossed that Xavier Matthews's story is up next because he so needs a happy ending, plus I'd like to see a continuation of the evolution of the Ravens as a team. My favorite thing about this series is how it isn't about one team. Would it be too much to ask for it to go on indefinitely? I have more five-plus stars I would be more than happy to give out. ♥

Date Read: 30 June 2017

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