Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
published: 30th September 2019
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 is 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.
Galley provided by publisher
When it comes to romances, I have high, not expectations necessarily, but standards of a sort. Namely, I like slowburns. And the kind of slowburns that leave you desperate to see the couple get together. Like in physical pain kind of desperate. Which means not so much as an almost-kiss until at least two thirds in, and a steady ratcheting up of tension. Basically, make me want it as much as the characters themselves do, because else I get bored.
So, while I did enjoy Goalie Interference, the fact that they first hooked up around a third of the way through kind of made the next two thirds a bit tension-less, I guess? Like, I was even hoping for a big blow-up angsty scene just to make things interesting. I would even have taken some goddamn miscommunication and you know how much I hate that as a trope.
But let’s back up a sec, and talk about what I liked. As ever, Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn have created two likeable characters who you can so easily root for and a cast that you’ll come to love. In this case, we get Ryu Mori (a side character in book 1) and Emmitt Armstrong (a wholly new character). And almost immediately they latch onto a piece of your heart and hold tight. But they also hate each other. So you think, here we go, here’s some good enemies/rivals to lovers. And, ultimately, it is a good enemies to lovers story. It just happened not to be an amazing one for me.
Because, honestly, they get together too early. Sure, it’s hate-sex or whatever, but it still feels too early. I needed more tension, more pining after one another even as they don’t admit it’s pining. I wanted to want them together more than I did. Once characters get together, it’s more likely I’ll get bored. And that was kind of the case here. Gale and Vaughn’s writing was engaging enough that I wasn’t bored out of my mind, but not enough was happening. Or rather, the tension between them wasn’t there. And that’s when I started wanting some big angst (the angst that did happen was fairly understated and didn’t really fulfil my need. Guess I should just be glad it wasn’t miscommunication based).
Issues with tension and slowburn aside, I did sort of feel like Ryu played into stereotypes a little as a character. It was more a sense I got than anything specific, but yeah.
But if you want a romance where you can just shut off your brain and read? Then this would be it.