- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Catherine Gayle
- Audible.com Release Date: September 28, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B015UAJHWG
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Comeback: Portland Storm, Book 9 Audiobook – Unabridged
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I’ve liked Nicky in all of the previous books and yes, I was concerned when it became evident that he had substance abuse issues. Clean and sober for over a year and back with his team as the back-up goalie Nicky knows he has a hard road in front of him proving to his team he is worthy and rebuilding the bridges he burned when he let the team down in the playoffs two seasons ago. A fantastic rehab program, a year with a minor league team, and the will to be stronger than his addiction Nicky is in a fairly good place. Volunteering through Light the Lamp also puts him in close contact with Jessica and he begins to enjoy the time they spend together even when she remains nothing but professional.
Having lived with and lost loved ones due to addictions, Jessica isn’t quite sure what to think when it becomes Nicky wants to spend more time with her on a social level. There’s no denying he enjoys his company and she admires his candor about fighting his addictions but she’s just doesn’t know if her heart can take being involved personally with another addict. When Nicky’s sister arrives from Sweden with her three children in tow and a secret he’s been keeping from him, she find herself being dragged deeper into Nicky’s life and she soon realizes there isn’t any place she’d rather be.
A lot of this book revolves around a situation that changes both Nicky and Jessica’s lives forever and while most of the time they roll with the punches and deal with everything that is thrown at them there are times when Nicky struggles and there are times when Jessica questions everything she is doing. On top of that they have a relationship that is brand spanking new and one they kind of fell into and while it’s obvious they care pretty deeply about each other they are dealing with so much that to be honest their relationship was kind of on the back burner for a lot of this book. I understand why that had to happen because there was so much else that really was more important but because of that I never really felt the chemistry between them. Yes, it was evident they liked each other and enjoyed each other’s company and there was a lot of mutual respect for one another and they did build trust over the course of this book but I didn’t feel the heat between them until the very end, yet I still loved this story.
Comeback was gut wrenching and emotional and yet it was also hopeful and inspiring; most of all the powerful message that in order to overcome, in order to live, and in order to love…you must love yourself and most of all believe that your inner strength is always there, you just have to find it and set it free.
Review copy provided for an honest review.
Nicklas Ericsson is doing everything in his power to Comeback to the job and life he had before letting everything go into a tailspin caused by sorrow and addiction. He’s taking life one day at a time and working hard to stay sober, helping out in any way he can to make a difference, especially through the Light the Lamp Foundation.
When Nicky’s sister unexpectedly arrives in Portland with her three kids and the shocking news that she’s suffering from the same disease that took their father’s life just a short time prior and asks him to be the children’s guardian when the time comes, his progress and new found balance is threatened. Overwhelmed and heartbroken he seeks out the only person he feels comfortable with, who he trusts enough to breakdown in front of.
“Jessica became my lifeline, one of the few things on earth keeping me grounded in reality.”
Jessica Lynch has been a one woman show for the Light the Lamp Foundation. Being surrounded by addicts in her personal and professional life, she knows firsthand that loving one is agonizing. Which is why she’s marked a clear line between her heart and the people she works with, until Nicky.
“Love hurts, but that isn’t a good enough reason not to love. The truth is, it hurts even more not to love.”
Jessica knows Nicky with his big genuine heart is different. Unable to ignore his pull, she spends more time together with him, the kids and his sister, she makes a promise that puts her is the direct path of Nicky’s life. But even though it’s clear they’re attracted to each other, both are reluctant to complicate an already difficult situation.
Slowly but surely they entwine their lives together. The fall as natural and inevitable as gravity pulling fall cherry blossom leaves to the ground. They learn to trust in each other by openly communicating.
Jessica never thought she’d find the courage and strength to put her heart, body and soul in the hands of a man who had the potential to shatter her. But as it turns out, Jessica was the glue that made all of the pieces in Nicky’s life stay perfectly and harmoniously together.
“You make the puzzle work. Without you, we’re just a bunch of pieces that look like we belong together, but no matter how hard we try to hold on to each other, we fall apart. You’re the glue. You’re the fifth piece that makes everything fit just right.”
I met Nicky in the previous books and had seen him struggle since. So I thought I had a fairly good idea of what was to come, but this book caught me completely off guard in the best kind of way. I was expecting tears, which I shamelessly shed. I was expecting smiles and laughs which were plastered on my face. I was expecting the usual warmth and support from the Portland Storm family which was given in spades. I actually got everything I was anticipating but in a touching storyline I didn’t expect.
I was crushed with the circumstances under which Nicky had to learn to be a single parent so quickly, that this new bump could actually topple him over. I felt his grief, despair and helplessness. But was so incredibly happy when he acknowledged he needed support, asked for it and got it. I admired his approach to life and how he found light in the dark that had surrounded him, how he learned from his mistakes and wanted to make himself a better person. I did however find a big character flaw in Nicky which I might not ever forgive. He’s a no Ewoks kind of guy! LOL.
“Star Trek or Star Wars?”
“Neither. Give me Guardians of the Galaxy any day over either of them.”
“No Ewoks for you?”
I loved how Jessica knowing full well what an addict’s life could do to the people that surround them, was strong and saw the positive. She believed in and stood by Nicky’s side. Her hard earned admiration and respect for him growing gradually. I loved her sincerity and how she faced her problems head on. Always helping with an incredible lightheartedness. Never an obstacle as impossible.
Even though their situation might have forced them together, the romance between Nicky and Jessica was slow, gradual, natural. It grew from the working relationship they had through Light the Lamp, into a friendship and then more.
I appreciated her caution in getting in a relationship with yet another addict as well as Nicky’s carefulness in bringing a person in his and the kids’ lives that may or may not be there for the long run. But he didn’t just rely on her, he also wanted to care for her be worthy of her. With serenity, courage and wisdom on their side they came out of the storm stronger, better and happy.
This poignant and heartbreaking story put me through the wringer and then gave me the warm fuzzies with its beautiful progression. Catherine Gayle writes about real world matters while providing a amazing, uplifting and heartwarming escape from it.