Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Hat Trick #2

Goalie Interference

Rate this book
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.

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!

This book is approximately 72,000 words

304 pages, ebook

First published September 30, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Avon Gale

28 books1,233 followers
Avon Gale lives in a liberal Midwestern college town, where she spends her days getting heavily invested in everything from craft projects to video games. She likes road trips by car, rock concerts, thunderstorms, IPAs, Kentucky bourbon and tattoos. As a queer author, Avon is committed to providing happy endings for all and loves to tell stories that focus on found families, strong and open communication, and friendship. She loves writing about quirky people who might not be perfect, but always find a place where they belong. In her former life, Avon wrote fanfiction at her desk while ostensibly doing work in non-profit fundraising for public radio and women’s liberal arts education, and worked on her books in between haircuts and highlights as a stylist. Now she’s a full-time writer, delighted to be able to tell stories for a living.

Avon is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.

Enjoy fantasy with a bit of a kinky, darker edge? Check out Avon's fantasy books, co-written with author Fae Loxley, under the pen name Iris Foxglove!

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
312 (18%)
4 stars
711 (41%)
3 stars
540 (31%)
2 stars
111 (6%)
1 star
19 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 375 reviews
September 14, 2019
If you haven't read the first book in the series, Goalie Interference can be read as a standalone.

Tristan and Seb are present as secondary characters, but they are not integral to the story. More present is Morley, Emmitt and Riu's boisterous, chill AF team mate, who, I sincerely hope, is getting his own book. Morley sleeps with a lot of women, but his dick isn't picky.

I have a weakness for enemies-to-lovers stories, especially when they involve athletes with all their sculpted muscles. Bonus points when the MCs are men of color: African-American in Emmitt's case, and Japanese-American for Ryu.

Diversity is smokin' HOT! I very much appreciate the authors including non-white MCs. More of that please!

Both Ryu and Emmitt read authentic and genuine, not perfect, far from it, but real. Ryu is so self-contained, he sometimes forgets to breathe. Focused, driven, reserved, Ryu strives to be the best for his ultra successful parents.

Emmitt is a bit of a wild card, but he lives big and plays bigger. He's cocky, self-assured, and posts a lot of shirtless selfies. Emmitt has a great relationship with his mom, but struggles with his dad, who has always wanted his son to play football.

Emmitt and Ryu agree to a friends-with-benefits situation because their attraction is sizzling, but neither is prepared for falling in love with the competition. Goalies vying for the starter position, the men at once resent and cheer for each other, which makes theirs a rocky road indeed.

While I liked the setup of the story, the MCs, and the sexy times, I didn't hold out a lot of hope for a true HEA. The ending is a HFN, satisfying enough, but how does a relationship like this work in the long term? What if one of them gets traded (not an unlikely scenario)? At the end, they're not even out to their team.

I enjoyed the dual POC but found parts of the story repetitive and think the internal monologues could have been cut in half.

I hope we get to see more of these guys in the next book.
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,857 reviews5,633 followers
October 29, 2019
*3.5 stars*

I heart hockey books, and so I'll basically read any book with hockey players in them (I mean, have you seen hockey players' butts??). Even though I didn't love the first in this series from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn, I was excited to try this one.

It's been two years since I read Off the Ice, and I felt similarly about that one as I did after I finished Goalie Interference. While I enjoyed both, nothing really stood out to me. I didn't get that clenching gut, that swoony feeling, that joy and pain that comes from reading an awesome romance. And the pace... a bit slow, if I'm being honest.

I loved that we got two POC MCs in Goalie Interference, which is highly unusual in a hockey romance. Hockey is a pretty white sport, so it's exciting when we get diversity. I liked both characters individually, though I found Ryu to be a bit too guarded, even when we were in his head.

I like enemies-to-lovers, and I dug it here, but I wanted a bit more umph, more passion. It was a solid enemies-to-lovers, but I still wanted a tiny bit more (I'm greedy!!).

Overall, I enjoyed my hockey men and I enjoyed them together, but I know these authors can do even better.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,557 reviews3,814 followers
October 1, 2019

I absolutely love this series because...hot guys and hockey...what more could you possible want !!?? And after reading and loving the first book in this series, Off the Ice, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. 

grabby hands gif - Google zoeken

Now we've met Ryu in the previous book, but even if you haven't read that one, you can read this one as a stand-alone....though why you would want to do that is a different question altogether...

Anyways... Ryu and Emmitt don't really get off on the right foot when they meet. Which isn't so surprising since they are both fighting for the same starting position on the team...goalie !! Would you embrace your competition ?? That aside, they are also complete opposites... restrained versus wild ... So many tropes in this one !! 

so many gif - Google zoeken

All their differences and resentment aside, they can't deny the major chemistry sizzling between them. Best to do something about it and why not be "friends with benefits". 

But we all know how that always works out....right ;)

just sex - Google zoeken

Even though I really enjoyed reading this one, I have to admit to loving the first book much more. For some reason, Tristan and Sebastion showed way more personality and the chemistry between them was almost palpable... It just did not get that same feeling with Ryu and Emmitt. I also didn't get a real HEA for them...I needed an epilogue or something !! I like my closure ;)

I am sure we will get more of these two in the next book, but it isn't the same for me. That said, I am very much looking forward to the next couple, bring it on !!!

An ARC was provided to
in exchange for an honest review

Twitter_85f instagram-button-1_8f7_fbc 200px-Button_Icon_Orange_svg_1_519 social_facebook_button_blue_25b BB_96x96_bc5

October 3, 2019
Audio....5 stars because I have a thing for Kirt Graves voice 🤷🏽‍♀️♥️
Story....4.25 Blasian Couple stars

So this story was a bit more sporty than I like in my sport romances, but I really loved the MCs, and the way the enemies to lovers to friends relationship played out. I hope there's more of their story to come because I'm not satisfied with the HFN ending.

I have to give credit to the authors for not only writing a story that featured a romance between an African American and Japanese man, but for also addressing the lack of minorities in the NHL. Thank you!
Profile Image for Trio.
2,977 reviews171 followers
July 25, 2019
The second novel in Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn’s Hat Trick series Goalie Interference is an enemies-to-lovers story about rival goalies... on the same team! This is the same hockey team from the first book in the series, Off the Ice, but you don’t need to read it first to fully enjoy this one.

Taking resentment and hostility to a new level, the chemistry between these two athletes is palpable. It’s no surprise that these two talented authors are able to bring it around full circle and turn that animosity into smokin’ hot lust.

When minor league goalie Emmitt Armstrong gets traded to an NHL team, he’s thrilled to find out he’s in direct competition with the current goalie Ryu Mori. Well this arrangement is completely infuriating to Ryu who firmly believes the starting spot should be his.

Gale and Vaughn do a marvelous job creating a situation where the tension between the two men is honest and real. Intense sparks fly between these guys right off the bat, and it’s only natural when they jump into the sack to give each other a little “stress relief”.

The authors’ real skill comes through as we watch their grudging attraction turn to real affection. Keeping it believable throughout an enemies-to-lovers romance is the only way it’s going to work for me, and Goalie Interference works the whole way through.

Fans of sports romances are going to be very happy with the amount of hockey scenes we get in this one. It’s still more romance than sport, but we get some extremely exciting moments! The authors keep the descriptions of the sport scenes easy to understand and it adds to the development of the relationship between characters.

Goalie Interference has a very different flavor from the first book in this series, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I’m looking forward to the third and final installment in this Hat Trick series.

a copy of Goalie Interference (Hat Trick #2) was provided by NetGalley for the purpose of my review
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,403 reviews1,850 followers
September 30, 2019
The premise around book two in the Hat Trick trilogy is competing goalies. Not from opposing teams but the same team. One, the more established regular for the Venom, who we met in book one, and two, a recent trade from the minor league. These two are total opposites in personality but share some surprising similarities, not just limited to being minorities in a predominantly white-populated sport.

"People write erotic stories about you two, bro."
"What? Where? Why?"
"Enemies to lovers, man. It's a Thing."

I'm a total sucker for hate, or enemies, to love (particularly in m/m) and the banter and push and pull and aggression between these two in the early stages of the getting-to-know-you phase was great. Stone cold Ryu facing off with hot-shot cocky Emmitt was a joy. Particularly when offset by all the personas on the team around them. I really am a sucker for the team ensemble dynamic.

"This is the last thing I wanted."
"Your romantic declarations need some serious work."

Their relationship becomes one, after agreeing to no-strings, but is put to the test as they approach playoff season when it might come down to a real competition between them, as opposed to the tandem-playing they had settled into in the regular season. This conflict was one the least contrived I've experienced and felt very real, and genuine, and I loved how they still tried to keep things civil, despite heartbreak, near the climax. Oh, and the final moments? Delightful.

"Fucking score some goddamn goals or you're walking back to Atlanta."
"Wow. I haven't had a coach threaten to make me walk since Timbits hockey.

This was a lot of good fun, and I’m so happy it didn't flounder along the way despite the less than solid start, and while I didn't love it as much as book one, I'm still so very keen for the final book in this series. Also, I forever love books set in this sport by authors who clearly know and love the game. It always comes through and I always appreciate it. This definitely cured me of my slump and I'm ever so grateful.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
Profile Image for Ele.
1,274 reviews40 followers
September 20, 2019

I loved the first book in the series but I didn't love this one, I’m afraid.

The “enemies-to-lovers” trope was done just right. There was real animosity between these two and it made the sex evet hotter. The steamy scenes had an extra edge that made them super hot which was definitely a plus. It just wasn’t enough to keep things interesting after a while. I did not get how or when the hook ups turned into feelings.

I usually love Avon Gale’s writing and I have liked some Piper Vaughn books in the past, but something felt off here. It felt choppy and repetitive and made me lose interest.

I didn’t manage to connect with the characters either. Emmitt was annoying sometimes and Ryu never managed to come off the pages for me. I like broody characters and I liked that touch aversion was somewhat explored, but Ryu felt just wooden and one dimensional.

The brightest spot in this book is that it includes gay POC MCs and not in a half assed way. Emmitt is African-American and Ryu is Japanese-American. Can we have more of this, please? But while I expected a powerful message wrapped around a romantic story, I felt lectured or preached at. In other words, the message was amazing, but it was delivered like a pamphlet text. At least that was my take on it.

For me, coming out of the closet is not a requirement for a happy ending in my books so I wasn’t bothered by it here, although I didn’t understand Ryu’s reason for not coming out in the first place (and then getting irritated that Emmitt came out first?). That said, I wouldn’t have minded something more solid but it was a minor niggle.
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,017 reviews12k followers
September 29, 2019
Ryu was in love—head over skates in love—with his teammate. His competition.

If it's enemies-to-lovers, color me all over it. This trope is my catnip, and when it's a smokin' hot MM and hockey romance to boot? Stick a fork in me, I'm done for.

The premise to the story is seriously finger licking good; two goalies after the coveted spot on the team. Emmitt is the rookie with everything to prove, and Ryu is the seasoned player fighting to keep his spot. Sound delicious? Because it was. What made it even more enticing was the fact that both characters were not white. In a white bread world of sports romance, this was such a refreshing change of pace of not just one but both of the characters adding diversity into the mix.

The rivalry between these two is almost as hot as the undercurrent of attraction that runs between them. But where Emmitt doesn't hide the fact that he's bi, no one knows that Ryu is gay, not even his parents. This was a sizzling slow burn that was a bit diluted by too much internal monologue at times, but I still loved it. I loved Emmitt's vulnerable and playful side almost as much as I loved Ryu's grumpy and temperamental one. Talk about your opposites attracting. And you know what they say about the quiet ones, right? Because when you finally get a peek into Ryu's intensity in the bedroom, it makes you think twice about the man's quiet and unassuming personality out of it.

I really enjoyed this and it was a solid 4 stars for me until the ending. It felt a bit abrupt and rushed and gave me none of the resolution I was hoping for. It was a satisfying HFN on the one hand, but I was desperately wishing for an epilogue too. I have a feeling we may be getting more of these two in the next book of this series, but I still couldn't help but feel a little of my enjoyment fizzle. But that aside, this was still a fantastic and enjoyable read and I'm definitely hooked on the series.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

Find me on:
Follow me on facebook Follow Me on Twitter blog
Profile Image for Shin Mon Thway.
663 reviews1,481 followers
November 18, 2019
I have not read the first book in the series and let me tell you, this one can perfectly standalone. ☺️ Although I didn’t think any book can match Rachel Reid’s “Heated Rivalry” when it comes to genuine enemies-to-lovers hockey romance, I think that book has met its match. And I definitely enjoy both of them for different reasons. 💜😘

Ryu Mori thought he is sure to play as the only goalie for his team in the coming playoff for Stanley Cup. Now a wanna-be newbie goalie,Emmitt Armstrong, is aiming for his spot in the playoff. Emmitt is cocky, infuriating, competitive and sexy AF. Why did that bastard have to be so sexy!?! 😂 Emmitt knows Ryu is great at playing goalie and that he’s a newbie but that doesn’t mean he will settle being the backup goalie for Atlanta Venom. Win or not, he has to try and he love teasing and riling that unflappable Ryu Mori. Both men has every reason not to hookup and yield to their attractions but despite being the competitors for the one and only same position, they are so alike and they bring out the best in each of them. It’s the season to win the Stanley cup and not lose their hearts in the process. 😉

Why I love this book - genuine enemies to lovers trope, although the lust was there love is definitely not insta, slow-burn, sensual and all good feelings. Goalies!!! Just tell me, how many books have you seen with goalies on the same team as MCs? 😁🤲 The drama and angst was there but it was tasteful it done and not unnecessarily OTT. I just love the friendship, romance and attraction going on between Emmitt and Ryu. Plus, POC! An Asian and an African-American man! Loved that match! 🥰 And my god! Definitely one of the best hate sex scenes! They were smoking hot! I loved both rough and tumble quickie scenes and tender loving lovemaking scenes between them! Just insanely hot!!! 🔥🔥🔥 I love Kirt Graves and I know the man can perform but damn, just damn!!! Eargasms! 😍 All in all, I can’t find any fault in this book and believe me, I’m a very fastidious reader. 😅 I think I need more of Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn’s hockey romances in my life! 💜

5 And you scored in goal In my heart stars

Audio rating

Story - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Narration - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Performance - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,440 followers
August 29, 2019
4.5 Stars!

Enemies to lovers.
Plenty of steam.
Low drama.

What's not to love?

Great addition to the series. I'm digging this writing duo.

Really, really hope Morley gets a story.

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for .Lili. .
1,167 reviews260 followers
September 12, 2019

Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn was enemies to lovers goodness! It's not always a favorite trope of mine, but they nailed it out of the park. Ryu Mori was coming off a great past season and expecting to be the starting goalie, but the team management has different plans when they bring in Emmitt Armstrong. There was so much to love about this second installment; let's get to it.


-DIVERSITY. Emmitt is African American, and Ryu is Japanese American. I don't think I've ever read an M/M romance where both main characters were POC. In this day and age, that's fucken sad. I was a little emotional when I stopped and thought about that. Heartfelt thank you to both authors.

-Opposites Attract.

-Bisexual rep.

-Flawless pace.

-Dual POVs.

-UST. There was some serious sexual frustration built up between these two.

-Relationship growth. I love the progression from enemies to "friends" with benefits, to more.

-It was nice to catch up with Seb and Tristan from Off the Ice.

-The end was HFN. Honestly, I expected it given their situation. I admit I had anxiety building up to the conflict- I had no idea how their situation would resolve itself. I was okay with the outcome.

++Can this be read as a standalone? Absolutely, but the first book is pretty awesome, so don't miss out.

I'm digging this writing duo. Sports, steam, diversity, and romance- I'm here for all of it!

4.5 Stars
Profile Image for Eugenia.
1,613 reviews240 followers
October 4, 2019
This was a damned fun read!!! Enemies to lovers sizzle!! 🔥🔥🔥

Thank you authors for providing us with two MCs of color! Diversity is sorely lacking in this romance sub genre and I heartily applaud the inclusion of people of color! 👏👏👏👏

I’m a huge fan of sports romances. My favorite of all is HOCKEY! Avon Gale is one of my favorite hockey MM romance writers and I gobble up everything she writes. This book was no different. I couldn’t finish it fast enough!!!

After reading the first one in the series, I was hoping that this follow up would give me more. More heat, more likeable characters, more hockey. I got all of that!!

Two goalies. One competition for the starting job. One goalie is a loud, out and proud, bisexual cockier than anything sizzling hot black man. He’s fresh up from the minors starting his rookie year in the NHL. The other goalie is an introverted, closeted, cool and collected J-pop stylin’ Japanese American hottie.

They hate each other from the get go. So of course they decide that the best way to blow off steam from the stress of competing for the top goalie spot is to jump into bed—no strings attached. What a joy it is to see Ryu boss Emmitt around in bed. Our quiet goalie is all sorts of controlling!🔥🔥🔥

Well, the sex gets hot, heavy and messy, and tangles up the guys in feelings. Feelings they try to ignore. When that doesn’t work, they try to hide them from each other, because they are too competitive to give in first and admit these feelings.

Things happen. Hockey and feelings explode! And it’s all good. Winning good. Hot in bed good.

Then comes the part where hockey and a run for the Stanley Cup gets in the way of their relationship on and off the ice. I’ll admit that I shed a few tears here, but they were short-lived!

At the end, feelings and hockey came into perfect alignment for the guys and they left us with a great HFN.

So, that’s all the good: sex, enemies to lovers, people of color!!

My favorite part?? Morley! He is a funny as hell character and hockey player—he needs his book! Do you hear me authors???? I LOVED HIM!

My least favorite part? I didn’t get the feels when the guys got them—I got delayed feels. Something didn’t quite line up there. Maybe it was Ryu’s reserve. But I did get wrapped up with them and their story (remember the tears I mentioned earlier)? Also, more hockey—I can always use more hockey, but at least here I got more than in the first book. (This can be read as a standalone).

My rec? Read it!!!

** A copy of this title was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **
Profile Image for Fabi.
1,009 reviews143 followers
September 29, 2019
Enemies to lovers hockey goalies on the same team. Oh yeah, I was rubbing my hands in glee to see how this would turn out. Why are hockey stories so hot? ;-)

We met Ryu Mori in the previous book as Tristan's BFF. A Japanese American hockey goalie with the stoicism and drive to achieve greatness as his family expects. He's finally looking at a year of starting goalie when the most unexpected happens.

Emmitt Armstrong is a black man who has just had the best year of his career in the minors. Celebrating the win with his teammates expecting to be called up to his NHL team for the following season he gets a shocking surprise when he's traded to rival team.

Before he can even resign himself to being backup goalie, the new coaches announce that he's in the running for the starting position. With their minds and emotions in upheaval, Emmett and Ryu also find their personalities at opposite ends.

Sparks fly from the start between these two. It's a pleasure to watch as they catch fire and create an unusual but heartwarming relationship between these two MCs.

I found it very stressful to see what their coaches put them through. I was humbled by their love of the game and respect for each other. I cheered as race, ethnicity, sexuality and culture were challenged and acknowledged in a sports setting.

This is another well done sports romance for this author duo. It can easily be read as a stand alone.

Review ARC graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Profile Image for Yarie ☆.
326 reviews25 followers
June 18, 2020
This was kinda enemies to lovers book.
I think I liked the first book more, not that this is not fun, but the other one had a certain lightness that this one does not have.

In this book we met Ryu and Emmitt, Ryu has just learned that even after having a good session with the Venom they still want to test another goalie and Emmitt just received the news that he was changed and now he will be playing for a team in the first league and finally have a chance to show what he’s worth.
Needless to say, both are competing against each other right?
But maybe in the middle of all this competition they find out that they are more alike than they think ... And that they work better as a team, maybe ...

Rating: 3 Stars.
Steam: 6 out of 10.
Love Triangle:
Profile Image for W.
1,433 reviews130 followers
July 24, 2019
Goalie Interference is a OK read.

Goalie Interference (Hat Trick, #2) by Avon Gale

It clicks many popular tropes
💜Interracial sports romance
💚Enemies to lovers

Have what all romance novels should
💛 Hot AF UST and sexual chemistry
💙 Likeable characters

Why no better rating?
😳Long internal monologues aren't my favorite things and Goalie Interference have way too many. It slows down the story and makes it unnecessarily long. After a while, it's repetitive and that gets boring fast.

Just reviewed Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
851 reviews447 followers
October 9, 2019
4.5 stars

This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I honestly really, really enjoyed it. Maybe it came right at the time I needed it the most but I didn't even mind the flaws of the story or the somewhat quick progression of the relationship between Ryu and Emmitt. Goalie Interference sort of reminded me of Empty Net which is like... the highest compliment I can give to a book and Gale's best work to date in my humble opinion. It wasn't right on the same level but it gave me similar feels and I really, really connected with the characters, especially Ryu. I'm really glad that Tristian was a part of the story and as much as his book went a bit downhill for me, it was nice to have both him and Seb appear here and add a nice touch to the story. And of course, Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn always deliver the best banter and humour, no doubt.

That being said, if I hear someone say something mean about Ryu, I will find you and I will k- make you love him... violently.
Profile Image for Adam.
610 reviews309 followers
October 17, 2019
2.75 stars

Ryu Mori’s within reach of his goal - being the new starting goalie for the Atlanta Venom. He’s trained hard and has the stats to prove it. Until promising upstart Emmitt Armstrong transfers to the team, setting off a race for the starting goalie position.

I really liked Ryu in book 1. He was the calm, dependable, and quiet friend that Tristan needed. He may come across as cold at times, but that’s just introversion.

Emmitt is the opposite of that - a complete extrovert. He’s loud and a bit brash. But he’s equally loyal, and committed to the game and the team.

The two men definitely start off on the wrong foot. Neither man is a dislikeable character, but the competition for starting goalie and opposite personalities inevitably set the stage.

But it’s also undeniable that both men feel attracted to each other. As the weeks pass, the mutual dislike and attraction build.

Until finally they give in. And it’s hot.

Nothing like a lot of angry sex to really break the ice!

Or, as Ryu and Emmitt look at it, just a bit of stress relief. I was all for their arrangement - rivals on the ice, and rivals with rough sex in the sheets.

Feelings inevitably enter the picture. It was very sweet to see the two men gradually open to each other, and share bits and pieces of themselves that they hadn’t expected to.

I swooned just a bit when Emmitt and Ryu finally had the talk and agreed that they wanted to be more than just fuckbuddies.

Of course, the major obstacle remains throughout the book - the competition for starting goalie. It continues to affect their relationship after they decide to get serious.

The situation became repetitive at times, but ultimately it was an entertaining plot. And despite the angst, Ryu and Emmitt manage to come out at the other end with a stronger relationship.

But I wasn’t entirely sold on the ending. It’s a HFN, with some major points still unresolved.

Overall, this was a likeable enemies-to-lovers hockey romance, with some angst and a lot of hot and sweet. I’m hoping we get to see Ryu and Emmitt’s story wrapped up in a short follow-up or in a book 3!

Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 75 books2,515 followers
October 2, 2019
This is second in a series, but would totally stand on its own. Ryu is an NHL goalie who expects to be the starting goalie for his team, the Venom, after they make some trades that send their first string goalie elsewhere and pick up a top AHL goalie to bring into the NHL. But that AHL prospect - Emmitt - comes up to the big leagues with a healthy ego, a lot of talent, and a determination to be the starter. The coaches play it cagey, refusing to tell the two contenders for the position who will be in the net when the season begins.

It's no surprise that Ryu's not a fan of Emmitt's - he's everything Ryu is not. Ryu is quiet, cerebral, focused, a fanatically hard worker but not very social. And gay. And here comes Emmitt with his shirtless hot-body Instagam full of pictures with girls, his cocky attitude, loud mouth, and enough skills that Ryu might lose his starting position. Emmitt even wins over some of Ryu's teammates with apparent ease. Ryu really, really wants to leave Emmitt playing backup. But when the season starts, with the coaches deciding to alternate for a while, and see who's better, it's a bitter pill for Ryu to swallow.

It doesn't make it any easier that his fantasies of taking Emmitt down a peg develop a sexual edge, an on-his-knees vibe. It gets even worse when Emmitt comes out as bisexual to support their teammate Tristan, reminding Ryu he has kept his public closet door shut despite their friendship. Anger, frustration, heat, and a look in Emmitt's eyes all add up to temptation Ryu has a hard time fighting. But if - if - he does give in, it will be hate-sex, angry sex, maybe convenient sex, nothing more. Right?

I enjoyed this story of two POC main characters in a sport that still is 90% white. I liked that the things they faced, and some they bonded over, weren't about homophobia as much as other universal family and competitive issues. Their transition to a relationship was fast, but there was good chemistry. And the ending was a plausible resolution to the crisis moment.
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,032 reviews206 followers
September 5, 2019
As someone who has never played any sport in my life, I still can’t figure out my fascination for sports romances, especially hockey because I hardly know anything about it. But they just make me insanely happy and this book was no different.

I remember reading the first book in this series and liking it but it’s been a while, so I didn’t go in with a lot of expectations. I just wanted to have fun and this author duo gave me that. I haven’t read any other books by Piper Vaughn but I have really enjoyed other hockey romances by Avon Gale and this one has a very similar feel. The writing is so easy to get through right from the beginning and I flew through the book in a single sitting. The authors do such a wonderful job making us root for this enemies to lovers to friends to more romance and I just couldn’t get enough. There is also a lot of focus on the game itself, it’s pressures, the camaraderie of the team etc and I loved reading about it all. Even the conflict felt very realistic and made me all emotional. This love story has more like an HFN but it feels very organic to the characters themselves and I also liked that coming out was never a point of contention.

Its amazing to see two protagonists of color in a sport like hockey which is majority white. Ryu is Japanese American who is very reserved, driven, a perfectionist who expects too much from himself. Emmitt on the other hand is Black, who has a faced a lot of prejudice but has never let it get to him and has finally arrived at the NHL. He is also supremely confident, a bit cocky and loves posting shirtless selfies on his insta. They are just so different from each other and competing for the starting goalie puts them at odds, but there were too many sparks flying to be ignored. I loved how they slowly became friends and realized they had feelings for each other despite not wanting to. It was kinda sweet watching them together, bringing out the best in each other on the ice, and also bonding over the immense parental pressures they have faced.

I absolutely loved the team camaraderie here too. Even though I don’t remember much from the first book, it was cool seeing Tristan and Seb together, just being all sappy and adorable. Tristan is the nicest guy ever and Seb is a force of nature and I really wanna reread their book now. Morley is another defenseman who was a prominent side character and he was annoying at first with his typical dudebro attitude and just making offensive jokes all the time. But I quickly realized he is a great friend, just with a puerile sense of humor. He is also not a fan of labeling his sexuality but doesn’t seem to discriminate between genders and I didn’t expect him to be so open and accepting about it. I have a feeling he is going to be the protagonist of the next book and I can’t wait.

To conclude, this was a fun, intense and emotional love story which had both hockey and romance in equal measures and I loved it all. I laughed, I cried and I didn’t want it to end - what more can I expect from a lovely book. If you like sports romances, then I definitely recommend this book. This works perfectly well as a stand-alone too but I think you should also read the first. I hope the wait for the next book in the series won’t be as long as this time.
Profile Image for Liber_Lady.
421 reviews111 followers
October 5, 2019
***ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review***

This is the second book in the Hat Trick series and is a complete standalone. The presence of the couple from the first book does not impact the story in any form and you won't be lost if you start with this book. I too haven't read the first book and it didn't take away anything.

This was such a good MM hockey romance. To start with,
Diversity. Check
Non-white characters. Check
Enemies to lovers. Check
Two Goalie competing for the same spot. Check
A Team of interesting side characters. Check

Ryu Mori is Japanese-American. He is the goalie of the Venoms. He's reserved, stoic, and doesn't open easily to people. He's been raised to be the best at what he does and he's determined to be the best Goalie in the team. Until.

A new backup goalie is brought in. But he's not just a backup, is he? Emmitt Armstrong is determined to give his best. He's here to play and be the starter.

When the coach tells them that they haven't determined who would be starting for the team, and that they would be playing in tandem till them, it becomes a battle of will and highest number of goals they coudl save.

Ryu and Emmitt are determined to score the position of starters. One-upping each other and trying to outscore each other had me cheering for both. While Ryu is reserved, Emmitt is a bubble of joy and openness. He makes friends easily. He is loud-mouthed and brash. And Ryu wants nothing more than discipline him and shut him up with his cock in Emmitt's mouth. And boy, does Emmitt love that.

I absolutely fell in love with these two. Their banters. Their jokes. The way they talk. They way they love. Yes, the story was a little slow in the beginning. But once they had their groove on. I. WAS. HERE. FOR. IT.

If you love sports romance or MM romance or both, PICK. THIS. BOOK. UP.
Profile Image for Zuzu.
1,017 reviews31 followers
August 18, 2019
This is definitely enemies-to-lovers done right. Ryu Mori and Emmitt Armstrong are both goalies competing for the starting spot. Begrudging attraction and f-buddies turns into affection and love. I enjoyed seeing the evolution of their feelings as they got to know each other. By the end, they took so much joy in encouraging and rooting for each other. In reality, I’m not sure how this relationship would and could play out but, for fiction, I really enjoyed the storyline. You also don’t need to be a hockey fan to enjoy the story!

I received a copy from Carina Press through NetGalley for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,344 reviews307 followers
July 29, 2019
Loved this second entry in the Hat Trick series from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn.

The goalie is one of those mysterious characters who always seem to be full of cute and bizarre quirks but here it was more a case of two men, both of colour, fighting for a starting spot and finding they didn't hate each other after all.

I loved the contrast in character and approach to how they tended goal between Ryu and Emmitt, they're complete opposites and this played a major part in the build-up to their first explosive encounter which was full of passion and fire.

However, I truly fell for them as they realised that, in spite of what seemed to be quite different backgrounds, they had so much in common because of a weight of expectation they not only put on themselves but also felt from their fathers (and mothers in Ryu's case).

This is a beautifully written enemies to frenemies to lovers romance and I was cheering all the way for them to make it. The hiccups on the way felt absolutely believable to me, never plot for plot's sake, and I was shouting at my Kindle for them to get their heads out of their backsides and sort it out!

There's a lot more ice hockey in this one than there was in the first book and I loved it, I'm a huge sports fan so I like actually having some sport in my sports romances!

Sexy, sweet and with a very solid HFN that I could see lasting beyond the ice if they were both willing to put the effort in but the readers' expectations are firmly left with the knowledge that these two will be tandem goaling the blue line for the Atlanta Venom for many years to come.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review
Profile Image for Ky.
503 reviews60 followers
December 2, 2019
When I see a hockey story I have to read it. It's just the way it is!

In "Goalie Interference" both MCs are hockey players and what makes it even more interesting is that they're teammates who are competing for the same starting position in the net.

Ryu has been with his team for a years now and always acted as the back-up goalie, so now that the starting goalie is retired he thought natural that the position was his.

Emmitt has played in the minors for a few seasons but now it's his chance to make it in the big leagues. He feels that all his efforts were worth it, expecially since he's considered for the starting position. Of course he's going to have to earn it from Ryu.

The attraction between them is clear from the start but the fact that they're also supposed to be competing - in a way - against each other makes everything even more complicated. They're mixed feeling and confused emotions make some intense meetings but they eventually find a way to deal with everything.

It turns out that they're making a great team on the ice and sharing the starting spot works best for the team. The management though is constantly keeping them on their toes and the stress eventually affects their relationship.

The plot was very good and I like what we saw of the rest of Ryu and Emmitt's teammates. The relationship between the MCs was complicated and had a lot of ups and downs that were clearly connected to how the season was going. I liked this book and I'll read more from this series is there're more books coming in the future.

*An ARC of this book was kindly provided to me, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. *
Profile Image for ivy.
428 reviews140 followers
May 25, 2023
There is a lot of shown hockey play and hockey talk, so the book doesn’t feel like just a vehicle for enemy baiting and sex scenes while just being told they play hockey.
You get all the good hockey book staples - the travel, hotels, locker room shenanigans, hockey practices, athletes eating, player’s house parties, etc.
There is plenty of time with Ryu (the dedicated one/grump) and Emmitt (the fearless one/sunshine) individually so you really get to know them and they don’t feel flat. The MC’s aren’t just doing hockey and doing each other. There is a whole world around them that you experience right along side.
It excels at giving you enough subtle foreshadowing that when things happen later they actually make sense.

-Teammates vying for the same position (Goalies!!) to enemies-with-benefits to catching feelings-with-benefits to love.
-Black MC/Japanese MC
-Book 2 of a series but can be read as stand-alone (I did)

the negative
It was a little long winded and usually that would make me DNF but I couldn’t stop reading it or stop wanting to keep picking it up.
I didn’t particularly “like” the characters until about 50% in but I missed them when not reading and was happy when I got to pick the book up and get back to them. One thing missing is the moment of satisfaction when it’s revealed to the world in the book that these rivals are now in love and together.
3.75 ⭐️
Profile Image for Em.
660 reviews4 followers
July 15, 2019
Goalie Interference (Hat Trick #2))
Grade: C

I've enjoyed many books by both of these authors, including the first book in this series, Off the Ice. Much of what I liked about that book is present here too: clear appreciation and understanding of the greatest sport in the world, likeable opposites attract characters, and hot sexual chemistry. Unfortunately, there isn't enough to the story to sustain a full length novel, and there's so much repetition of events and conversations (especially via the internal PoVs), I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over until the story eventually concludes. Goalie Interference is an entertaining, not very romantic ode to hockey. It’s too long and too slight to sustain it’s length, and the authors fail to capitalize on the potential inherent in their couple and their romance.

Ryu Mori and Emmitt Armstrong are goalies with distinctly different playing styles, but their results are the same. They win. A lot. Ryu is a star goalie in the NHL playing for the Atlanta Venom, and Emmitt (Army to his friends and teammates) is the top goalie in the AHL, the NHL’s development league. After a surprise early exit in the play-offs, the Venom sign Army to their team - hoping a partnership with Mori will help them win a Stanley Cup. Army is thrilled by his call up to the NHL, and eager to prove his ability to the team - but he’s wary of the quiet, controlled Mori. He wants the Venom to win, but he also wants to be their number one goalie. Mori isn't nearly as happy. He thought he was a lock for the top spot, and assumes that since Army is joining the team, his coaches don’t think he deserves it. Forced to share game time and compete for a job his thought was already his - with an arrogant, immature and outspoken rookie - he keeps his distance and thoughts to himself. Ryu is Army’s complete opposite - controlled, quiet, and intense. When the coaching staff informs them they aren’t competing for the top spot, and that instead they want them to work in tandem for the duration of the season, their animosity eventually gives way to a begrudging respect.

Once Ryu and Army stop actively disliking each other and competing for the same job, they’re free to acknowledge (internally at least) they’re attracted to each other. Their chemistry is combustible, and after a heated discussion in the showers results in mutual hand jobs, they agree to balance their ice time with some recreational, no strings attached sex. That’s always a great idea.

Everyone in Romancelandia knows opposites attract, and that no strings attached sex eventually leads to ties that bind. Well, sorry: spoiler alert if you didn't actually know that. So, as expected, Army and Ryu spend lots of time having sex, thinking about each other, wondering about these new, not so hateful feelings - and a teensy, eensy bit of time talking and eventually sharing their complicated familial relationships. Army's dad wishes he played football and never hesitates to talk about the sport he once played professionally; he isn't interested in Army's hockey career or talent. Ryu's parents are uber-successful stars in their own chosen professions and expect the same from him. They don't celebrate the journey - they look forward to the inevitable, successful finish. Both men have strong women in their lives who keep them sane, and love them warts and all. Aww. Friends, get out the world's tiniest violins, because FOR REAL, these are the issues that drive this story. Oh, hold up. We also make a brief foray into queer solidarity - ARMY’S BISEXUAL. DEAL WITH IT - after he discovers Tristan is gay and out to their team; and the importance of diversity in hockey (Army is black; Ryu is Japanese/American) after they pair up for a Venom sponsored community outreach program.

Look, I don’t want to diminish the importance of these topics. Queer, professional male athletes exist in sport, and in our toxic hyper-masculine sports world, they’re forced to hide their sexuality. I liked that the authors raise the issue, and offer a compromise of sorts. Tristan is out to the people that matter in his life - and that includes his Venom teammates. Army outs himself as proof of his own tolerance. Apart from this confession - and the authors apparently delusional belief that this compromise solution (coming out to the team) means ‘problem solved,’ there's very little attention paid to the fact that these are two teammates engaged in a same sex affair. Come on, you chose this setting - that's simply ridiculous. Tristan and Ryu are gay, Army is bi-sexual (along with another secondary character), and somehow in this fictional world, it's now a non-issue to the rest of the team and the local community who see them out and about. This avoidance of the possible repercussions of these confessions is disappointing and cowardly. I was similarly unhappy with their decision to cast a diverse principal couple...and then only barely address their skin color and its impact on their professional careers. Hockey is a mostly white sport; the authors acknowledge this lack of diversity and touch on the racism Army (and Ryu) experienced coming up in hockey, but it’s such a minimal aspect of the overall story, it felt like a missed opportunity. This is a romance set firmly in the world of professional hockey. The lack of diversity in the sport - sexual and racial - deserved more attention in this novel; instead these important topics simply provides window dressing for the budding romance between Army and Ryu...and their relationship, ultimately, isn't very romantic at all.

So what about the romance? No strings sex means these two get busy whenever they’re not in public. Which is all the time. Apparently. Most of it is off the page - so I have to take their word for it, and none of it is romantic or suggests a growing intimacy between the pair. When they aren’t making suggestive comments about all the sex and forthcoming blow jobs (enough all ready! We get it. You LOVE sucking cock!), they engage in one (maybe two?) substantive conversations about their parents and their skin color...and then, duh. They realize their relationship has lots of sticky strings and they should just admit they’re boyfriends. Oh, and from there, it’s a short hop to true love. Oops. Friends, I wanted to enjoy this story - Opposites attract! Sports! Teammates! Hockey! Sexy times! - but the journey from enemies to true love is blink-and-you'll-miss-it, and while I'm willing to believe this love story somehow developed off the page, I was never invested in these two and their happily ever after.

I enjoyed revisiting Sebastian (aka ‘Dad’) and Tristan from Off the Ice, and I'm assuming the authors are setting Morley up for his own story because he makes quite a few appearances in this one. [Although he felt uncomfortably familiar to this romance reader who counts Us and Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, as two of her most favorite hockey/sport romance novels.] This is a cast of characters ripe for creative, entertaining, sexy, romantic sports stories...and I hope in future books there’s less pandering and more story telling.

I'll be nervously back for more.
Profile Image for Alisa.
1,777 reviews174 followers
September 24, 2019
3.5 stars rounded up

This was a bit of a mixed bag for me.

The story is told in alternating povs and I immediately liked Ryu and immediately disliked Emmitt. In a way though it helped with the enemies to lovers theme here. I totally understood why Ryu disliked Emmitt so much. I think the enemies to lovers part was really well done and it was a case where they genuinely disliked each other. (So often it's more like the mc's are pretending to dislike each other.) As the story went on Emmitt grew on me & I liked him to by the end.

They had a lot of chemistry together and how they wound up in each other's beds seemed realistic and I really enjoyed those parts of the book. Where things got a bit side ways for me was I never really understood how/when they fell for each other. Their dislike was shown on page and their sexy times were on page but then they are both thinking how much they care for each other and I'm not really sure how we got there. I didn't feel any love between them. Lot's of telling, little to no showing. This has been a consistent complaint of mine in all these author collaborations. I like Gale's solo books SO much better and I would be such a happy reader if she would go back to writing books on her own.

If I rated this just on the romance I would probably 2.5-3 star it. Where this book shined for me was the hockey. It's hockey filled. Lot's of time of them on the ice and at games and practices. Lot's of talk of goalie superstitions and rituals. It all felt really authentic. You can tell the author's genuinely love this sport. Their love of it shines through the story. Being that I also love the game I really dug this part and it tipped this book to a better overall feeling for me. I was willing to give some of the other stuff I didn't like a pass.

Another bonus for me was that both of the MC's are POC. Emmitt is black and Ryu is Japanese. There was some discussion about the lack of POC in hockey and it was woven in well.

I will note that the couple from the first book are in this a lot. Tristan is still playing on the Venom's team and he has to bring his asshat boyfriend with him all the time. Gah....I hate Sebastian. I hated him in his book and I hated him here. He's such a judgmental ass. I dislike him like he's a real person. So....if you liked book one you'll be happy. If you're me, not so much.

Overall I enjoyed this. I had far more things I liked about it than I disliked. I think it was weak romance wise but the rest was really good. I liked the overall plot, the various characters on there team and the hockey aspects.

**ARC provided through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**
Profile Image for Santy.
1,173 reviews64 followers
September 30, 2019
GR swallowed my review so I don't know whether to cry or cry so here goes my second attempt at writing this review:

I love stories with diverse MCs so imagine my excitement when I realised this had not one but two diverse MCs! I just about squealed in joy because you guys know how these romances can be qWHITE the same from book to book.

Moving on, I loved Emmitt. He initially came off as cocky but he was actually funny, kind, loving and interesting . He also went out of his way to support and be there for people who needed him. He was just great to read about.

Ryu, on the other hand, took some getting used to. He was very stuck in his ways and took too long to change. As it was, it took me majority of the book to begin to warm up to him and even with that, I don't think I fully did. He was very standoffish(which I don't know whether to attribute solely to his upbringing or not) and not very forthcoming. I felt that in his relationship with Emmitt, Emmitt did the heavy lifting ; both emotionally and physically with Ryu just cruising along. I saw him as very lazy in that regard actually.

To the story proper, I liked the whole "gunning for the same spot" plot and felt the writer executed it quite competently. I certainly enjoyed my reading experience and loved how REALISTIC the HEA was for our MCs. It was just the perfect end to this great story.

Now I cannot possibly finish this review without mentioning the "scene stealer" extraordinaire, Morley. Man,I absolutely loved Morley. Initially, he came off as this "dudebro" guy but underneath that persona was a someone with a killer sense of humour who was willing to learn and willing to help. I also felt that beneath that was something more intriguing so needless to say, I will be the first in line should his book ever come out!

eARC Graciously Provided by Publisher via Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ***
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,761 reviews649 followers
August 9, 2020
Actual rating: 3.5

I received an eARC through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

For someone who doesn't like sports, I like sports books a surprising amount. So I was pretty sure I'd enjoy this, and I actually ended up liking this more than I expected. It was nice to see that hockey actually played a pretty big part in this and wasn't just a background.

I have to say the writing style wasn't quite up to par in my opinion. Sometimes the sentences felt forced or just incorrect, and this did take me out of the story a few times. But I really did love both of the main characters, who were quite well rounded, and their romance.

An additional thing that made me enjoy this book, is that I read Ryu as being autistic, which I'm not sure was intended but there are some very clear signs, like him being touch averse and disliking change, and just not being very social. There are so few good autistic characters that it's often nice to read characters as autistic even if they aren't necessarily written like that, although the signs were clear enough that maybe he was meant to just be undiagnosed.

Rep: gay Japanese MC, bisexual Black MC, m/m side couple

CWs: discussions of racism (in sports), homophobia and biphobia, some diet talk, alcohol consumption, graphic sex scenes
Displaying 1 - 30 of 375 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.