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Posted July 17, 2014
Posted June 21, 2014
On the Fly is the second book in the Portland Storm and just as deeply intense and moving as the first. The romance in these books is beautiful, made that much more beautiful in light of the pain and emotions of the rest of the story. It isn't light and it isn't fluffy. But it is raw and real and even tortuously painful at times. There were times, just like in the first story, that it brought me to tears. The fact that there is hockey is just one more thing in its favor.
The characters in these books are really likable. The last story focused on Dana and Eric, while this one focused on Dana's brother Brenden and Rachel. Brenden has been brought up to the majors and is fighting to keep his spot on the team. Rachel is running from a past that has forever changed how she looks at other people, most especially men. She has been let down and betrayed by just about everyone in her life and is left distrustful of everyone.
The romance that unfolds between Brenden and Rachel is a wee bit spicy, but is sweet to watch unfold. Rachel's pain is obvious and tangible, but it is Maddie that is at the center of the most beautiful moments in the book. Jamie, another player on the team, is one of my favorites. He is so completely sweet, kind and sweet to Dana in the last book and equally as amazing to Rachel, Maddie, and Tuck in this one.
Interestingly, there is another story line that was introduced and I am hoping that was a teaser to a new story in the Portland Storm series.
Things to love...
--Jamie. He is an incredible character and I am hoping one of the future books in the series focuses on him.
--Tuck. The kid is infectiously adorable and reminds me of my own little guy.
--Maddie. I wanted to dive into my Kindle and love on her.
Things I wanted more/less of...
--Less insta-love. No, it wasn't really instant, but it sometimes felt too fast for the emotional situations.
My Recommendation: I really enjoy this series. I love the hockey, I love the emotional depth, I love the characters!
Posted June 18, 2014
NHL player Brenden Campbell (aka Soupy) is determined to recuperate from recent injuries and keep a spot the Portland Storm. He also determined to get a date with his new neighbor and the Storm's latest hire as assistant to general manager, Rachel Shaw. Neither goal is going to be easy.
I enjoyed Brenden’s character. He is a good guy. He is very persistent, and an underdog whom you want to see succeed. He has felt a need to live up the expectations of his father’s hockey career instead of relaxing and playing his own game.
Rachel Shaw has had a tough life. She has never been able to rely on anyone for help. She is an overprotective single mom of two. It is understandable why she is reluctant to let others in. It’s a good thing that Brenden is persistent and knows what Rachel needs, especially since she doesn’t even know.
I was thrilled that Jamie Babcock is Soupy’s roommate. He is my favorite Storm character so it’s nice that he had a large role in this book. I actually read Taking A Shot (Portland Storm #2.5 - Jamie’s story) before On the Fly, so I was already bias. Jamie is impossible not to love.
On the Fly is a heartwarming book. The plot is well done. There were a lot of attention-grabbing things that happen throughout the novel that kept me engaged. The characters are well developed. The story is believable. It is an excellent contemporary sports romance. This is a series I will continue to eagerly read.
Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review.
Posted March 17, 2014
Finding love while healing.
What I loved about this book and series is Ms. Gayle does not shy away from real word problems and emotions. She confronts them head on with her characters and you are right there in the trenches with them. Don’t get me wrong On the Fly is a love story but it’s more than just a man and woman coming together to find love. It’s about a family and personal healing.
We first met Brenden Campbell in Breakaway (see my review for Breakaway here) as the protective older brother of Dana. He is struggling with his hockey career and needs to keep his head in the game. Though, fate has a strange way of putting people in places at that right or wrong time. Rachel Shaw a single mom of two trying to get her life back on track in Portland, OR. Rachel’s main mission is supporting her two young children and giving them the life they deserve. She has no time for dating or men like Brendan Campbell. But sometimes fate has other things planned and most of the time it’s better not to fight it.
I have enjoyed everything about this series. Catherine Gayle writes with passion and heart and you can feel that when reading this series. You are right there with the characters and all the characters are important. They all add depth to the story and it’s a wonderful family that you are apart. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I do recommend reading the first book, Breakaway first before reading On the Fly. You’ll be happy you did.