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Breakaway (Portland Storm) (Volume 1) Paperback – July 10, 2015
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From the Author
The books of the Portland Storm series are hockey romances, but they go much deeper than the sport of hockey. These books touch on real-world issues such as rape, cancer, miscarriage, bullying, PTSD, grief, addiction, and many other similar subjects. If you have triggers, be aware that these books may very well contain material which could trigger you. That said, I endeavor to tackle these issues with sensitivity and compassion.
Additionally, many readers have requested that I put a TISSUE WARNING on the books in this series. I've received notes from readers about every single book in the series, in which readers tell me how the characters and the story brought them to tears. You may not need tissues for each book--the story line that resonates most for you may not be the one that others responded to in that way--but don't say I didn't warn you.
On that note, I have another warning for you: my hockey players curse like...well...hockey players. And there is a fair amount of sex in these books. If cursing and sex aren't your cup of tea, these books probably won't be, either.
The PORTLAND STORM series reading order
ON THE FLY
TAKING A SHOT
LIGHT THE LAMP
DELAY OF GAME
IN THE ZONE
HOLIDAY HAT TRICK
LOSING AN EDGE
DEFENSIVE ZONE (releasing February 9, 2017)
POWER PLAY (releasing May 25, 2017)
NEUTRAL ZONE (releasing October 19, 2017)
The Portland Storm series is also being made available in boxed sets.
PORTLAND STORM: THE FIRST PERIOD contains Breakaway, On the Fly, Taking a Shot, and Light the Lamp
PORTLAND STORM: THE SECOND PERIOD contains Delay of Game, Double Major, In the Zone, Holiday Hat Trick, and Comeback
PORTLAND STORM: THE THIRD PERIOD (releasing March 30, 2017) will contain Dropping Gloves, Home Ice, Mistletoe Misconduct, Losing an Edge, and Game Breaker
Other boxed sets will follow.
Also look for Catherine Gayle's TULSA THUNDERBIRDS hockey romance series. The Thunderbirds series is a spin-off from the Storm, featuring some familiar characters, lots of hockey action, and the same emotional backdrop, put together in a sexier, edgier package. You do not need to read the Thunderbirds series to enjoy the Storm series, although there are likely to be a few storylines that overlap to a small degree.
BURY THE HATCHET
RITES OF PASSAGE (releasing November 10, 2016)
RAIN DANCE (releasing August 17, 2017)
TULSA THUNDERBIRDS: SQUARE ONE, a boxed set containing Bury the Hatchet, Smoke Signals, and Ghost Dance (releasing December 29, 2016)
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Top Customer Reviews
The h was gang raped when she was in her late teens and since then has not been able to let anyone touch her. She's had years of counselling and therapy but can't move past the incident. She wants a relationship and children and her therapist suggests that she choose someone she trusts to initiate her to sex. She chooses her brother's best friend who is the Captain of a hockey team. The H has always had a thing for the h but she doesn't know it and he never acted on it because initially she was too young. It's a very difficult thing for both of them to go through but the H finally agrees to help her and she moves to be with him for a few months before she has to go back to work.
I adored the H. He must be one of my favourite Hs ever. My heart broke for the h too after everything that she'd been through. Although it isn't an easy subject, this is a love story and I do recommend it.
In comparison some of Toni's h characters are weak whiny females that I can barely tolerate. Ms. Gayle's h characters are well written and strong. I will buy every single one of the books in this series. I don't know much about hockey but I love football and baseball so I appreciate the play by play in her books.
Her characters are real and well developed. I simply adore Jamie (Babs) and his family. I've been reading the box set of the first 3 books so I am totally in love with this franchise and the team (family). If you love the Assassins series I highly recommend this series. It is far better!!
Judging Covers: Cute cover, but I’m not sure it accurately reflects the seriousness of the subject matter that’s at the heart of this plot. Then again, something dark and shadowed probably wouldn't introduce the series very well. I don’t know…
The Verdict: It’s pretty rare for me to pick up a book that speaks of rape, not only because it’s so often a badly used plot device but also simply because I’m not a fan of all that angst. But this one was free on Amazon, and after I checked out some other readers’ reviews, I figured I’d give it a shot. Contrary to what I sort of expected, I just couldn't put it down.
While Dana’s rape is practically its own character in the story, it’s a past-tense deal, never fully described in detail, which made it much more palatable than I usually find. And while she’s so traumatized from it that she can barely function, she refuses to give up on the dream of spending her life with someone, and she’s determined to overcome the seemingly impossible obstacles its created. Somehow Catherine Gayle has created a believable, damaged, and hopeful character without overdoing or glossing over things the way I expected. Where many authors would have left their characters drowning in angst, waiting to be rescued by some ridiculously understanding stranger who magically scales the figurative walls, Dana refuses to fall into a spiral of despair, even when her heartbreaking struggle is nothing short of overwhelming. It’s the right respect for the seriousness of the event coupled with a heroine you can’t help but root for. But on to the story…
Eric crushed on Dana for longer than was probably appropriate, but she was always his best friend’s kid sister, and he tried to do the noble thing by resisting the attraction. However, her whole life fell apart before he could finally give in to his heart, and ever since then, he’s felt his chance has passed. The awkwardly sad, hilarious scene in which Dana asks for his help has him at odds — he feels like the brand of help she’s asking him for is a betrayal of his best friend and constitutes taking advantage of Dana. But he’ll be damned if he’s going to let anyone else do the job.
Eric’s understanding and considerate nature when it came to Dana’s issues is — on the surface — almost too perfect. Then again, he’s known her forever, truly cares about her, and witnessed her drastic change in personality himself. As strong as his feelings are for her, there’s no way he could really treat her any differently than he does. It’s his past with her, even just as a family friend, that makes his constant concern for her more believable than one might think.
Their journey is filled with panic attacks, Dana’s desperation to be “normal,” and Eric’s overwhelming guilt, but somehow it’s not the giant angst-fest the scenario hints at. Instead, it’s actually a very sweet romance, though the physical side of things is understandably slower to develop than the emotional side. Eric is head over heels for Dana, extremely protective of her, and more than willing to deal with the fallout that will inevitably occur when her brother finds out what their up to.
The only thing I didn't really like or feel was appropriate was that Eric’s entire team was told up front about Dana’s issues. While there was no doctor-patient confidentiality, in that Dana bucked her therapist’s suggestions of a professional and enlisted Eric to help her get past her trauma and be able to have a physical relationship, it just seemed like a terrible invasion of privacy and rather inappropriate. Sure, the other guys on the team needed to know that Dana was going to have serious problems being around them and would more than likely go into complete freak-out mode at one point or another, but I would have been more accepting of a less personal explanation to them. Say she had an extremely traumatic experience and is suffering from PTSD, severe anxiety, and a load of other issues, and then let them draw their own conclusions.
In any case, Breakaway was a great read, and while I may have had that one issue with the story, it in no way diminished my enjoyment of it. The characters’ emotions, challenges, and strong chemistry were all perfectly balanced, and I’ll definitely be hunting down the other books in the series.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Throw in sexy hockey players, tragic past and a great recovery. Friends to Lovers. No cliffhanger and an Hea.Read more