Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, 20-year-old Lane Courtnall's future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He's put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It's a strange way to begin a relationship.
Jared's been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He's bisexual and doesn't care if anyone knows. But he's determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they're at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.
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I love this series. So I was a little worried about how the audio would go. Lane is an original one in a million and Jared is the marshmallow core surrounded by steel...so whoever narrated I was hoping would really bring the characters to life.
Scott R. Smith certainly entertains while keeping true to the quirks and idiosyncrasies of each character. I thought he perfectly captured Jared's voice, the way I pictured Lane's speech pattern in my head, and did a great job overall with all of the different character voices in the story.
I was also particularly pleased he brought heat and passion to the sex scenes in the story, and highlighted much of the humor with terrific uses of inflection and tone.
The only issue I can see with the narration is that Smith spoke a little fast at times, but it honestly didn't bother me. I mean, I would much rather have that than weird pausing and speaking so slowly the listener has to speed up the audio.
So, all in all, the narration for this was quite entertaining, fit the story, and I think Avon Gale ultimately chose well. I'm really looking forward to listening to the other stories in the series with Smith at the helm.
Great Hockey Romance! Really Enjoyed!