REVIEW: Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

The Official Description: It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…

Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.

Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom are looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.

Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.

In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

My thoughts bit: I remember how exciting it was to watch hockey when I was growing up, and this novel brought a bit of that back! Ryu Mori and Emmitt Armstrong are competing goalies on the Venoms hockey team! Young, cocky and talented – Emmitt is the kind of guy that Ryu wants to roll his eyes at. Emmitt posts thirsty selfies on Instagram and always seems to be up for a party. Once he’s firmly embedded as Ryu’s competition in goal the tension amps up between them… until it borders on hostility.

Tension… naturally leads to sexual tension, right? It does in this case. In spite of the fact that they seem to rub each other the wrong way, Ryu and Emmitt quickly end up in a physical relationship that’s supposed to have no strings. The problem is that they are still competing for the spot as starting goalie… and the more time they spend together, the more complicated their feelings seem to become. Being emotionally connected to one another is a real issue as the competition for the play-offs continues to pit them against one another and they are faced with wondering if they can even be together.

This book is set in a magical world where there are more than a few players on the hockey team who are living diverse lifestyles, and you have to be able to suspend your disbelief a little when reading. Any time one of the hockey players comes out, the reactions from everyone on the team and fairy-tale perfect… and while I appreciate that this is fiction, I found that a little unrealistic. Homophobia in the sports world is still a very serious problem and this plot kind of glosses over that issue.

I thought the authors did a great job of exploring how it feels to have parents with high expectations. Both the main characters in this novel deal with a parent who isn’t overly supportive of their career choice. One of the things that read as really authentic in the relationship between Ryu and Emmitt was the way they were able to connect as they discussed feelings about not living up to their family’s expectations.

Overall, this is a great story that definitely brings the excitement of hockey to the page and teams it up with a very spicy relationship between two goalies! Don’t worry, you don’t have to know a lot about hockey to read this story! Just the basic positions will do fine! Although not for Ryu and Emmitt!! 😉

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: physical violence in hockey, injuries that include descriptions of loss of consciousness and blood.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel

I received an ARC of Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn from Harlequin – Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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