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Portland Storm: The Second Period Paperback – June 4, 2015
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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
NEUTRAL ZONE (releasing November 16, 2017)
FREE AGENT (releasing February 8, 2018)
JOURNEYMAN (releasing August 9, 2018)
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 contains Dropping Gloves, Home Ice, Mistletoe Misconduct, Losing an Edge, and Game Breaker
PORTLAND STORM: OVERTIME (releasing June 21, 2018) will contain Defensive Zone, Power Play, and Neutral Zone. 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
DREAM CATCHER (releasing May 10, 2018)
ON THE WARPATH (releasing November 8, 2018)
TULSA THUNDERBIRDS: SQUARE ONE, a boxed set containing Bury the Hatchet, Smoke Signals, and Ghost Dance
TULSA THUNDERBIRDS: SQUARE PEGS, a boxed set containing Rites of Passage, Rain Dance, and Dream Catcher, will release on September 27, 2018.
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1. Delay of Game tells the story of Cameron Johnson and Sara Thomas as they fall in love after her father's heart attack. This is a story about stubborn people, deep committed love and facing family issues.
2. Double Major takes place in Rhode Island where Eric 'Zee' Zellinger and Dana Campbell and Brenden 'Soupy' Campbell and Rachel Shaw have a double wedding with lots of emotional situations on the wedding day as the NHL annual draft day takes place at the same time. Add an unexpected wedding guest and the antics of Rachel's young son it is another emotion filled book with lots of laughs.
3. In the Zone starts with one night of unimaginable passion with total anonymity for Keith 'Burnzie' Burns and Brianna 'Brie' Hayden after the double wedding. Six months later these two meet again and have to face their individual demons from their past. Keith needs to stop the self blame for his brother's suicide and Brie has issues about self-confidence due to health issues. Together they help each other in as they accept both one of the new Storm's teammate who is gay and Keith's brother too.
4. Holiday Hat Trick takes Mitchell 'Q' Quincey home to Canada to see his daughter, Marley and ends up spending Christmas with Mia's, his ex-wife's family and convincing her to give them another chance. He has a lot of help from her family in winning her back in a sweet love story at Christmas.
5. Comeback recovering addict Nicklas 'Nicky' Ericsson and Jessica Lynch face the death of his sister, Nicky becoming the guardian for her three children and Nicky coming back from his problems with addiction to be the goaltender the Portland Storm needs. Jessica takes on a ready-made family when Emma dies and she moves in with Nicky and the kids. Emotions, addition and helping the children to come to terms with the death of their second parent makes this an emotionally packed love story.
All five stories show how the families of the team come together to help and support each other in good times and bad making all of them excellent stories full of love and each one covers real life problems.
In Delay of Game, we get the story of Cam Johnson, a character who readers will recognize from a small but starring turn in the first Portland Storm book, Breakaway, and Sara Thomas (also a favorite character from prior books), whose father is the team's coach. This may be my favorite book of the series, but that's a tough call. Cam is the team's enforcer and he's not afraid to drop his gloves, either literally on the ice or metaphorically in his life. Suffice it to say that Cam has been interested in Sara for a long time, and their romance is rocky but beautiful.
Double Major brings back all of the characters from the initial books, so you might want to go back and read those before this one-- just to avoid spoilers, and also because they are all amazing books. It's tremendous fun to revisit those characters and see how many of them have grown.
In the Zone is the other candidate for my favorite Portland Storm book. It begins with a red-hot anonymous sexual encounter between the main characters, who then unexpectedly encounter each other back in Portand and begin a beautiful romance in which Keith helps Brie deal with body image issues and Brie helps Keith process and a traumatic event from his past.
Holiday Hat Trick is a novella about a second chance for love between two people who have been divorced. It includes an adorable toddler, a rip-roaring snow fight, and a big, loving family.
Finally, Comeback gives us the complicated and lovely story of Nicky, the team's goalie, and Jessica Lynch, the director of the Light the Lamp Foundation founded by another Storm team member. It addresses addiction and recovery in a clear-eyed but not exploitative or oversimplified manner. AND it has another amazing love story in which both main characters grow and evolve.
I cannot recommend these books highly enough!
This is the "Second Period" of the Portland Storm series, featuring three full length novels and two novellas. We get a lot of great stories in this one, including Cam and Sara; Keith and Brie; Mitch and Mia; and Nicky and Jessica PLUS you get a double wedding thrown in the mix.
Cam and Sara are probably my favorite couple. His family is also wonderful and I love that we get a story for Cadence as the series goes on.
Read the First Period first but make sure you read this set as well!
Catherine Gayle manages to include so many of today's challenges in her stories: stress, ALS, addiction, non traditional families, divorce, caregiving, death with dignity, body image, homophobia, suicide, single parenthood, demands of high profile careers. But always there is hope.
I am impressed at how the stories build on each other and the characters grow and take their places in later stories.
My favorite of these stories is Double Major which helps us catch up on several characters and their storylines. Second epilogues I think she calls them.
My minor complaint is the foul/crude language used by the hockey players and coaches. It may be accurate, but I don't like reading it. I don't really mind colorful language but the overuse of the f-word gets to me.