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review 2018-05-08 04:06
Gale Force - A 5* High Seas Adventure...
Gale Force - Owen Laukkanen

If you like seafaring stories this is a great one to read. It's action packed and pretty much the entire story is set out on the water, in either the tugboat or car carrier.

I really wish they would make this into a series. I'd love to go on more salvages with the Gale Force crew.


*I received this ARC from the Penguin Random House First-to-Read program in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-13 04:27
DNF after twelve chapters
Heart of the Steal - Avon Gale,Roan Parr... Heart of the Steal - Avon Gale,Roan Parrish

Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.

As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.

When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?


Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.

 

Review:

 

Wow, okay. There was a reason why I was a bit hesitant to get this book and it spent a few months on my Kindle before I attempted to start it and actually forced myself to get beyond chapter one. The blurb was pretty clear about unprofessional professional trope, but I suppose I hoped that the authors could write something that at least would made me swallow this trope. No such luck.

 

Will and Amory meet at the art related party which Will's sister Charlotte (aka Charlie) was hired to cater. This is Charlie's chance to get new clients, could be make or break of her career, so as always she insisted her brother should come ( and if needed to help her out).

 

Will meets Amory, super generous, very rich patron of arts ( he leads the foundation that supports many different projects) and lo and behold they have sex during the party amongst all the beautiful paintings - they are that attracted to one another.  Only we don't know yet to what extent Amory is attracted. Will especially admired one of the paintings and Amory wants to continue their um bidding friendship with sex, so what do you do when you want to WOO somebody?

 

I know, I know. YOU STEAL THE PAINTING THE GUY ADMIRED FROM THE PARTY AND DELIVER IT TO HIS DOOR STEPS.

 

Only oops, Will's profession is revealed, he works in the arts division of FBI and he realized that he now needs to go and arrest Amory Vaugn.

 

One guess as to whether he did. Oh he tried, but eventually one of them dropped his pants indeed, sorry I cannot be bothered to go and double check who.  It was so ridiculous I started laughing.

 

As I said, I expected to be bothered by FBI agent's conduct, but hoped to be convinced. What I really didn't expect is to laugh and roll my eyes at hilariously bad characterization of Amory. Tell me again, why super rich patron of arts ( he genuinely likes to support student artists and other people who struggle - not like his foundation is a fraud, he inherited it from his parents and spent a lot of time running it) need to have stealing business on the side? That's a serious question, because the character was giving me a whiplash.  He says he cannot call himself a Robin Hood because he steals for himself, then he talks about all kinds of things he could do and he does not have to steal for years.

 

So is that super smart and super rich genius thinks that if he met the guy for the first time it is totally okay to reveal that he is a thief?  Because Will gets it all right, was hard not to get it.  I just can't with this book.

 

Oh and hey, apparently since he can not steal for years, now he needed to steal two paintings one after another. Why?  I skipped to the end after chapter 12 and there was a monologue at the end, something about changing the world or art not being the art.

 

Just cant.

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-12-05 19:03
Off the Ice (Hat Trick, #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn Review
Off the Ice (Hat Trick) - Avon Gale

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire — if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

 

Review

 

I love a good hockey romance and this is a very enjoyable read. My favorite parts were how thoughtful Tristen, self determined, and how he navigated his coming out. 

Seb is less likable but that is okay. I get why Tristen likes him so much and he is an intersting character. I do wish that professor would show up in books as more empathic than they are often portrayed. 

This is a solid love story with some sweet and super hot moments.

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review 2017-11-12 22:28
Empty Net (Scoring Chances Book 4) Avon Gale 4.5 Star Review!
Empty Net - Avon Gale

Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain, Isaac Drake, ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and a family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him—no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.

Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse. He was constantly treated like a disappointment, on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist. Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the-season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold on to Laurent—or their relationship.

 

Review

This is by far the darkest book of the series so far but this love story really shows off what an amazing storyteller Avon Gale is.

 

She takes the villain from the last book in the series Laurents and pairs him with the beloved scrappy Drake in an truely stellar enemies to lovers romance with a healing journey for all.

 

This book delves into the darkness of what happens when someone is exposed to systematic abuse and what it means to love someone enough to stand by as they heal.

Laurents is awful for a reason. However, he chooses to become aware and change and risk loving someone. He gets therapy. I can't tell you how much I celebrate when a character gets professionial help in a book showing others the way. He works at his recovery from an eating disorder and self care from his abusive childhood and young adulthood.

 

His demisexuality is gently explored. He becomes his better self and a wonderful partner for Issac. I love the dating scenes.

 

Issac is so much a great emotionally brave character and sexy as hell (Lauren is broodingly hot). Issac just shines and finding romantic love and the love of an adopted father makes him even more compelling.

 

He falls in love but doesn't try to solve Laurents problems. He is a partner.

 

I really adored their romance as always the hockey and the secondary characters and the pondering for friendship.

 

The books ends with a happily ever after that includes doing the right things for yourself as well as others.

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review 2017-11-11 22:25
Power Play (Scoring Chances, #3) by Avon Gale 5 Star Review!
Power Play - Avon Gale

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.

 

Review

 

So, I am loving Avon Gale. She is really pitch perfect in this series so far. We get fully realized characters, hockey, great love stories, and human complexity with no false drama. Sexy as hell as well.

 

I read the blurb to this book and I think. Hmmm. Its going to be angsty bleh but it is not. It is wonderful.

 

Misha and Max. Agghhh. Great opposites attract with Max as sunny hero and Misha as dour. They love each other so. And I want every joy for them.

 

Misha is grrrr sexy and tortured but he is also a grown ass man who handles his business and is emotionally available.

 

Mas is thoughtful and resilient. I want to go re read this finely writing romance right now.

 

A comfort read for years to come!

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