Today I am so pleased to welcome Avon Gale to Joyfully Jay. Avon has come to talk to share an exclusive excerpt her latest release, Breakaway, the first book in her new Scoring Chances series. She has also brought along…. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Jared wasn’t even sure why he was at this fucking bar again. Usually the team would have been on the bus and heading home the second the game was over, but they had a rare stopover and weren’t leaving until the morning.
The rest of his teammates were out, of course. A lot of them were going out with the Sea Storm players. Once they were out of the locker room, they weren’t opponents anymore. They were just hockey players, united under the same banner, and happy to drink, give each other shit, tell stories about where they’d played and who they’d played for, and talk about guys they might know from coming up through the ranks.
Jared usually liked that. Since he’d played so many places, he knew a lot of people, including a few guys on the Storm. But he wasn’t in the mood. Wynn had tried his damnedest to talk him out of “being an old man and staying home to polish your stick,” which made no sense whatsoever. But Jared was stubborn as a rule, so he was nursing a beer and pretending his reason for not going out hadn’t just walked in and sat next to him at the bar.
“Hi,” Lane said, in that earnest way of his. “Why are you still here?”
Seriously. Had no one ever taught this kid social skills? Jared shrugged. “We’re leaving in the morning. I wanted a beer. Why are you here, golden boy? Shouldn’t you be out celebrating your victory?” He didn’t mean that to sound quite the way it did, but luckily Lane seemed absolutely oblivious.
“I did. My roommate—or my soon-to-be roommate—thought I should go home with the waitress, so he left me at Cruisers.”
Jared wondered if Lane had any idea that he said things as if everyone else lived his adventures along with him and knew what he was talking about. “No luck with the waitress?”
“She brought me back to the hotel. But she’s a… friend.” Lane was blushing again, staring nervously at his hands. It was hard to reconcile this awkward young man with the cocksure little punk who’d smirked at him on the ice, but it was hot as hell too.
“Not your type?” Jared asked, pushing because he couldn’t help himself. Remembering that smile from the game was making him angry, but he didn’t know why. Which made him angrier. Jared wasn’t a mean guy, but something about Lane made him want to be one.
Because you want to fuck him and you know you shouldn’t. It was the beginning of the season. The kid was a goddamn rookie, and he played for the Renegades’ rivals. They played each other sixty goddamn times a season, it seemed like. He knew he couldn’t do a damn thing but stare at Lane Courtnall’s pretty mouth and get hard under the table. That’s why he was feeling mean. Being older and wiser sucked.
“No,” Lane said quietly. “Not my type.” He looked up, and his face was flushed, his eyes wild and heated. The look he was giving Jared—honest and desperate and a little scared—was too much.
Jared was going to take him to bed. It was a terrible idea, and he didn’t care.
Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-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.
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.
Avon is giving away two copies of Breakaway. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter.
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