- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 37 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Catherine Gayle
- Audible.com Release Date: October 3, 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00O5CS4B6
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Breakaway: Portland Storm, Volume 1 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Eric “Zee” Zellinger was the Captain of the Portland Storm Hockey Team. He had been and still was in love with Dana Campbell, his best friend's sister. She had also been a hockey player throughout her life but gave it up during college after she was brutally attacked and gang raped after a game on her way to the locker room (kind of.) Dana, her brother and hockey player Brenden 'Soupy' Campbell and Eric grew up together. Eric had been waiting for Dana to grow up so he could hopefully spend his life with her but he kept that to himself. She had been attacked right as Eric was going to make his move. She was so damaged from the rapes that she closed herself off and couldn't stand to be in the same room with a man, let alone be in a relationship. So Eric moved on and bid his time to see what would happen with Dana. He had been dating a gal he met but he wasn't in love with her. She was nothing but second choice until he found her in his bed with his teammate. But that didn't really bother him because his heart wasn't involved with her, just his pride. It was my understanding that he hadn't really dated anyone in two years. It is my opinion that he was not a man-whore and that was a real plus.
Some thoughts on the trauma Dana suffered: Rape is a horrific crime and how does one recover and work her/his way back to having some semblance of a normal life? How does one cope being a young virginal woman who was violated in such a way? I have no answers. She went through seven years of counseling until her therapist finally said she had done all she could for her and Dana had made little progress. Not to make light of any rape, but for a young woman who was a virgin almost seems like a double whammy when it comes to the loss of her/his innocence via a gang rape.
I have read about rapes and watched talk and news shows about the subject but I had never witnessed anyone being affected as badly as Dana had. I felt that some of her fears had built up inside her head over the years, not that it wasn't awful but she seemed to perpetuate her fears and hang ups. It seemed she hung onto them like a lifeline but I'm not sure that is what was happening...maybe just the way it seemed to me. I got the impression that there had been times she wasn't trying to move on, feeling safer in the tiny world she had created for herself.
She couldn't let her dad or brother touch her. No more kisses on the cheek. Any other man besides those two and she was terrified to be in the same room with, even when she knew they were safe. She worked at a women's only club because she wouldn't take the chance to be in the same room with a man who may find her attractive or ask her out. Her panic attacks were so severe there were a few times they thought she may die being unable to breathe.
Dana's Game Plan: Eric was the only man Dana trusted besides her father and brother. She has a deal she wants to strike with Eric, her last chance at any kind of normal. Can he handle the job without both of them ending up with shattered hearts?
I highly recommend this book. It was a super read and frankly, I thought the rating on Goodreads would have been higher.
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.
Overview. Dana was a great hockey player. But when some guys thought they could teacher her a lesson, her life changed. She couldn't be around any males or be touched by anyone. Everyone was giving up on how to help her. So she turned to the one person she could trust. Her brothers best friend Eric. She asked him to help her with touching, being around guys, and later love. Their bond was growing and she was progressing well, until her brother moved in with them since he would be playing on the team. But she soon found her voice and he noticed the changes in her. He was still not happy with his friend touching his sister. But will the bonding be enough for Dana to overcome her past?
One issue I did have was - why couldn't she wait six weeks for the end of the season to make her proposal? It seemed pretty selfish and inconsiderate to do it at such a difficult time for him. It didn't seem like something her character would do.
Other than that, a good read. Looking forward to more from this author.