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
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.
“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
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.
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Shane didn’t know why the idea of coaching the Ravens in any capacity made him so uncomfortable, but it did. “It just…. There’d be other people who were more qualified than me. I’d feel like I got the job on my knees, you know?”
“You have to know me better than to think I’d honestly want an assistant coach just because he sucked cock like a porn star and had a tight ass.”
It took a lot to make Shane blush, but somehow Troy managed to do it quite often. “Jesus, Troy.”
Troy turned his head from the stage to look at him. “What?”
“How many porn stars have sucked your cock? Maybe they’re not as good when they’re doing it for the camera.”
“Wanna make a porno and find out?”
Shane’s laugh was sudden and loud. “Fucking hell, Cally. No. I can barely stand watching myself give interviews. I do not want to make a porno.” He deliberately did not mention New Year’s, when he admittedly enjoyed watching himself fuck Troy in Troy’s bedroom mirror. Shane finished the rest of his Coke. “I’m happy to get out of here and go suck your cock, though.”
“Good. Because here comes that girl that sings ‘You Oughta Know’ every week, right on time.”
“She oughta know she can’t stay on tune,” Shane joked, and they stood up to leave. For some reason Shane found himself moving close and trapping Troy against the table. “What would you do if I kissed you?”
Troy blinked. “What have I done every other fucking time you’ve kissed me?”
Shane reached up, grabbed Troy’s tie, and pulled him in. “I meant if I did it right here.”
“Shane, haven’t you figured out that I apparently get off on public sex?” Troy slid an arm around his waist and pulled Shane flush against him. His cock was already hard, because yeah, Troy really did have a thing for public sex.
“Woah, cowboy. Just talking about a kiss here.” They probably wouldn’t be the first to go have a quickie in the bathroom, but it wasn’t like Troy lived that far away.
“So kiss me or stop wasting my fucking time.”
Shane leaned in and pressed his mouth to Troy’s. He expected it to be their usual, the kind of rough kiss that felt like arguing, but it wasn’t. Instead Troy took him by the back of the neck and kissed him slowly, with all of his usual intensity, but none of the frantic energy. Someone wolf whistled, and since the girl who liked to think she was Alanis hadn’t sung yet, Shane assumed it was for them.
When Troy pulled away, Shane was dazed and Troy’s eyes were blurry, the blue a thin rim around the dilated black of his pupils. They stared at each other, and Shane remembered telling River, “He’s not my boyfriend.” He should know better than to lie to himself. He’d done it enough when he was younger, when he tried to make himself feel about girls the way his friends did. He didn’t want to do it again.
“Let’s get out of here,” Shane murmured, and a truly awful rendition of a 90s’ pop classic sang them on their way.