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Portland Storm: The Second Period Paperback – June 4, 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
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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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!
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.
It's nice to see that although these men are professionals in their field, they still juggle like most of us with a work-life balance. For some, their journey is easier than others, but with the support from their team and " surrogate family", they seem to pull things together, or get back on the right track.
Very enjoyable series, I can wait for the next installation!