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Defensive Zone

Defensive Zone

4.5 26
by Catherine Gayle

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USA Today bestselling author Catherine Gayle presents another novel in the emotional Portland Storm hockey romance series.

Portland Storm defenseman Cody "Harry" Williams owes his coach everything--especially for bailing him out of trouble in the past. It's up to Cody to repay him by keeping his hands to himself around the coach's sensual and mischievous


USA Today bestselling author Catherine Gayle presents another novel in the emotional Portland Storm hockey romance series.

Portland Storm defenseman Cody "Harry" Williams owes his coach everything--especially for bailing him out of trouble in the past. It's up to Cody to repay him by keeping his hands to himself around the coach's sensual and mischievous daughter. All signs point to this task being easier said than done...

Up-and-coming fashion designer Dani Weber always gets what she wants--and she wants Cody Williams. Cody's sexy, geeky-chic bowties and hard-to-get attitude only make her want him more, and Cody's resistance is fading...fast.

One call is all it would take to land Cody on the trading block, ending their flirtation before it gains any traction. Cody is squarely in the Defensive Zone, but the only way for Cody and Dani to obtain what they really want is to go on the offensive--together.

The Portland Storm hockey romance series
1) Breakaway
2) On the Fly
3) Taking a Shot
4) Light the Lamp
5) Delay of Game
6) Double Major
7) In the Zone
8) Holiday Hat Trick
9) Comeback
10) Dropping Gloves
11) Home Ice
12) Mistletoe Misconduct
13) Losing an Edge
14) Game Breaker
15) Defensive Zone - February 9, 2017
16) Power Play - May 25, 2017
17) Neutral Zone - October 19, 2017

Dear reader,

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.

Product Details

Night Shift Publishing
Publication date:
Portland Storm , #15
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Catherine Gayle is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty contemporary hockey romance and Regency-set historical romance novels and novellas, with over half a million books sold. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic. Sign up for her newsletter at to receive a free Portland Storm short story titled Ice Breaker.

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Defensive Zone 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
autryreads 7 hours ago
Defensive Zone has its readers falling in love with Catherine Gayles’ hockey world all over again! Dani’s spunky; no holds barred personality has Cody on his toes throughout the entire novel. We are welcomed back to the Portland Storm hockey team with a flurry of activity. Catching up with Babs and Katie while being sucked into Dani and Cody’s intense love affair. It was very interesting to watch how Dani took charge of the relationship and forced her way into Cody’s life. Cody is a man who takes care of things, first his family, his teammates, his friends and lastly himself. It had to be a strong woman to work her way into his life and find a forever home. Dani and Cody are a great couple, but I really enjoyed seeing how they were as individuals too. Ms. Gayles’ secondary characters always add a level of laughter and seriousness to her work, Bea needs her story to be told. I loved how Bea and Koz interacted, I’m holding out to see how Ms. Gayle plays this out. Overall, a fantastic novel that adds another great chapter to an already cherished series; Dani and Cody have overcome some of lifes hardest obstacles and continue to find refuge in each other. Defensive Zone is a novel that carries hope, compassion and love throughout, a great addition to the Storm series.
Anonymous 20 days ago
Is Dani his perfect match or just pick bunny? What will Webs do with another hockey player in the house? Read and find out how Dani takes the Storm by the puck.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This book is different than the other books in the Storm series and that's a good thing. The romance here isn't as sweet and nice. My main issue is that the handling of the BDSM elements was rather clunky. I love Cherise Sinclair so that's my standard. For someone who is supposed to be in the lifestyle, Cody didn't take much in the way of basic steps to educate Dani about things after the first conversation. Dani herself is rather immature in many ways and I'm not sure if I can buy the relationship sucessfully going long term. I expect that we'll see them in a future book and maybe there will be more to their story then.
esevigny 7 months ago
I received an ARC of Defensive Zone for an honest review. Overall, I was very impressed by the storyline of Defensive Zone and where Catherine went with this story. Cody and Dani were some of the most simple and real characters throughout the Portland Storm series. I really enjoyed yet again with Catherine's writing that you can read any of her books, and not need to previously read any of the other books in the series. Her books spiral, so many characters make appearances who were in previous books, and their storylines continue as well. What I loved the most about this book is the direction that Catherine went with Cody's "secret" which has not been an area that she had not previously gone before. To avoid spoilers, I wont go too far for spoilers sake, but it was definitely an enjoyable book. Again, I highly recommend Catherine's books to anyone. They are awesome reads, they have great storylines, and it is such a good series that I will continue to read her books for years to come!
BGnMS1 7 months ago
Zone Breached Cody "Harry" and Dany cracked me up. Those Weber kids are strong-willed. Great job Ms. Gayle. ***given an ARC in exchange for honest review***
pugmommy362 7 months ago
WOW...such an awesome book!!! We finally find out why he needed to be bailed out of jail or picked up from the police station. I have to say that I was surprised that it wasn't such a big deal...at least to me. Dani is a force to be reckoned with when she wants something and she wants Harry. Dani does show some immaturity and some great selfishness in the beginning which basically is to be expected because she is young. Harry finally can't resist her "pushiness" any more no matter what he promised her father and do the sparks fly. Harry is just what Dani needs in order to help her grow up and grow as a person. A little over halfway through the book we begin to see a different Dani and hopefully we will see her continue to grow in the remaining books in the series. Catherine has done an awesome job with this novel and I think that it has a different vibe than some of the others that we didn't expect. I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for giving an honest review. I believe I have done that and hopefully given enough incentive to buy the book and read the whole story...you will not be wasting your money to purchase this book.
LynnB888 8 months ago
Relentlessly pursued ... and loving every minute of it! Dani isn't going to take no for an answer, and the way she pushes Cody's buttons, he doesn't really want her to. We caught a glimpse of them in a previous book and it was fun to get their story now! Portland Storm defenseman Cody "Harry" Williams is all about control. He needs his hockey career to go smoothly so he can take care of his family as needed. When the coach's daughter starts making waves in her pursuit of him ... just after her dad had to bail him out of trouble ... he's trying his very best to keep her at arms length so her dad doesn't trade him. On the cusp of getting a fashion designing career of the ground, Dani Weber is happy to be back home in Portland again ... and close to Harry. She wants him ... more than just about anything ever ... and she's really getting irritated that he won't give in and give her what she wants! She'll keep her father under control ... if only she can get Cody into her bed!
Becky98 8 months ago
I received an ARC of this book for an honest review. Another amazing story by Catherine Gayle!! This is probably my favorite in the Portland Storm series. This is the story about Cody "Harry" Williams and Dani Weber. Cody plays hockey for the Portland Storm, Dani is one of David "Webs" Weber, a coach, daughters. Webs knows all about the secret that Cody keeps from everyone, and has made him promise to stay far any from his daughter. Dani has had a big crush on Cody and has decided since she recently moved home she is going to go after Cody. Cody has been trying to avoid Dani or defect all of her advances. But when she makes her mind up she gives it her all. This is a wonder story it also has great side characters, like Cody's sisters and Bea who is a client of Dani's new designer fashion business. Catherine Gayle is always a must read for me and she did not let me down.
ColoradoSunshine 8 months ago
A sensual, steamy read! If you've been following the Portland Storm series (which you absolutely should!) we have been introduced to Dani and Harry in prior books. Drama has been hinted at, but you never really learn until now what exactly Harry's big secret is. We had to wait a bit for this book, but it was definitely worth it! This read had me quickly turning the pages, trying to determine what stunt Dani was going to pull next, or how Harry was going to keep trying to stay away. In the end, love conquers all. As a result we get a beautiful ending, and so many teasers for books/story lines to come. There is still a lot in store for our Portland Storm family. Dani and Harry are the perfect addition to this hockey family. This book is a standalone, however you get the added benefit of continued story lines if you have read the prior books in the series. Trust me, you will become hooked! As an aside, the dedication is perfect. Catherine, we are so very thankful that you were able to fight through the tough times to become well enough to finish this book for us. I cannot wait to see what's ahead. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, I will purchase a paid copy for my own collection.
Vero-Stro 8 months ago
This is Book 15 in the "Portland Storm" Series. I’ve been waiting for Defensive Zone since I have started reading about Cody "Harry" Williams and Dani, coach weber's younger daughter. Cody cannot have anything with Dani. His career is at risk and his lifestyle is not appropriate for the young Dani. Well, he is wrong. Dani can be twenty but she wants Cody and nothing will stop her to get him. This book is hot, the sex is steamy and the chemistry between Dani and Cody is absolutely wonderful. Great read!!! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book
lisakoala 8 months ago
I was excited to read Dani and Cody's or as Dani calls him "Dirty Harry" story. The name "Dirty Harry" fit and we finally find out why he was arrested and why her dad, Webs, tried to keep them apart. Dani is a brat from the very beginning and I had trouble liking her at first. She is only 20 however and she is the youngest of three. Her family had to deal with her sister cancer diagnosis when she was younger and she had to find her own way. She is in no way like Katie which was actually a good thing. The two seem to be very opposite except in the love that they have for their family. Dani's father is very overprotective and scary but he loves his girls and wants the best for them. Cody/Harry's secret was one that I hadn't guessed. Cody had had a lot of responsibility thrown at him from a young age and he had to grow up quickly. His extracurricular activities give him control in life where and when he needs it the most. He also is bound and determined to keep Dani away at all costs after having promised her father he would. He tries very hard to do this but Dani is relentless in her pursuit and plans an all out assault to get what she wants. This love story is unlike the others in the series. It starts out as one things but changes to another by the end. I found myself laughing at Dani's sexcapades and plots but she did at times to be very selfish and sneaky but in the end she did it out of kindness and helped find a solution for all to be happy. I came away thinking that Dani was more like her mom than Katie. It was good to catch up and learn some news about Katie and Babs as well. I can't wait to find out about Koz and Bea because Koz showed us a different side to him and I love Bea's real life struggle with dramatic weight loss and the body she has now by nature and not surgery. It was a good read.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I know Catherine spent time in the hospital while she was writing this book and i hope she is feeling better now but i just cant hold back with my review. This book was just awful! Dani was so immature and she "rolled her eyes" on almost every page of this book. She acted like she was twelve years old. She wasnt even close to acting likable. Cody is a great character but i cant see them together and the ending made me squirm because it was uncomfortable to read. And there we no fun parts to make us smilw. I hope the next book is more what we are used in her books.
Mandi0129 8 months ago
Once again Catherine Gayle nailed it! I love that even in a long series she always manages to make every character different. The youngest daughter of “Webs,” Dani took me awhile to get into… but she easily redeems herself. There are lots of youngest children who will identify with her no-holds-barred relentless pursuit of the things she wants, and in this case it’s”Dirty” Harry. Cody has a long riding on him, and his need to control everything in his life had lead to an extracurricular activity that most Dad’s would not approve, and Webs does not. In the background family issues are weighing heavily on Cody’s mind. Dani gives him something else to think about. ;) Don’t miss this one, it’s another great addition to the Portland Storm series!
Jennifer_e911 8 months ago
I started out expecting Harry and Dani's characters to be similar to Katie and Babs. Harry was portrayed in previous books to be quiet, reserved. Boy was I surprised to find out it was because he had something to hide! Even though Dani and Katie are sisters, and both pined for years over a team mate of their father, they handled the situation completely differently. Katie just kind of let life happen, where as Dani went after what she wanted and didn't take no for an answer, even from Harry! I have to say, the differences were interesting, unexpected, and different than anything else in the series!
KAL-167 8 months ago
One thing I have to say is WOW! This is a bit of a different story than the usual Portland Storm books, but I really enjoyed it. Dani Weber has wanted Cody "Harry" Williams for a long time and since they had kissed the previous season she has made it her mission to have him. Cody wants her too; however, he made a promise to her father that he would stay away from her. Cody has a secret that Dani is determined to find out...when she does, will she still want him or will she walk away? Only time will tell. In the beginning Dani seems to be more like a child with her attitude and feeling like whatever she wants she can get and Cody is trying to be a good guy by staying away from her, but she quickly wears him down. I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Lashea677 8 months ago
The trait I love most about author Catherine Gayle is her fearlessness. She is not afraid to tackle hot button issues such as interracial relationships, rape, living with HIV and other subjects of controversy that may not go over well, but she does so with heart, humor and insight that allows for deep emotional connections to each story she writes. That being said, sometimes even an author may need a breather from all the seriousness, so I was glad to see her let her hair down and lighten up a bit with Cody and Dani. Dani leads with her heart and lets the rest fall into place. Cody is not your average heartthrob, he's a thinker with a ton of skill on the ice, but no clue in matters of the heart. Defensive Zone shows the versatility of an author whose heart shines through with every story. This time with a little romantic comedy, she puts her sense of humor center stage while not skimping on the wonderful heartwarming characters.
Anonymous 8 months ago
It took me awhile to get into this book. The heroine takes awhile to like, but once she shows her true colors she's a joy! Like I said it takes a bit to get into this book, but I really enjoyed the storyline. Cody can be my Dirty Harry any day! Can't wait to read Bea and Blake's story and see what's up with Katie!!! I receive an ARC for my honest review.
ejlehman 8 months ago
When it's time to grow up, Dani didn't miss the memo. She's always been in the background as Katie's sister and Webs' youngest. We got a hint of what was coming in previous books. Cody, aka Harry, has a secret and Webs knows about. And Webs uses it to warn Cody away from Dani. I didn't really like Dani when I started reading. She was pushy and reckless, but as I read it, I started identifying with her as the youngest child who had to be loud and fast talk to be heard; who had to bull doze her way to get what she wanted because of who she was, not who everyone thought she should be like. Dani is determined. Cody's secret wasn't that bad to her, and she actually wanted to share it. When Dani sets a goal, she's focused, whether it's her designs, Cody, or solving a problem. It puts people on the defensive, including Cody, but he lets her in. I ended up loving it despite some of my issues that reared concerning trust, but then trust is a major theme throughout.
CChimni 8 months ago
Wow! Catherine has done it again! A great original story. I loved the peeks at the characters we know and love from previous books! And Webs is awesome. I love Dani's persistence and determination once she makes up her mind. And Cody's heart is enormous. A story filled with passion, love, determination, responsibility, and family. Can't wait to check in of Cody and Dani in future books!
MJBrown67 8 months ago
Wow! This book was awesome! I am a huge fan of Catherine Gayle and this next book in the Portland Storm series was so good! Cody “Harry” Williams is a gorgeous ginger haired hockey player and he has the full attention of Dani Weber the youngest of those Weber kids. Dani is grown up now and has a major crush on “Dirty Harry”. She is young and fun and looking for a fling, nothing serious, she has her fashion design career to get up and going and she just wants a good time and feels that Harry is the one for her. Cody has a thing for Dani too, but he made a promise to her dad, his coach, and so he has to do his best to stay away from her. Last year, Coach bailed him out of jail and now knows something that Cody never meant to share with any of his teammates. Things are iffy on the defense right now, and one wrong move and Coach Webs can make his time on the Storm over. With Cody’s family issues and his job in jeopardy the last thing he needs is the girl he can’t get out of his head refusing to take the hint that he can’t be with her no matter how much he wants to. This story was such a fun read, it is spicier than the other Storm books, the H/h have great chemistry, there are appearances from the rest of the Storm family and it is a must-read addition to this series.
AmyJmn71 8 months ago
I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review. This is by far the hottest book in the Portland Storm series... and I loved it! I've been dying to know what Harry's big scandal was to get Coach Weber threatening him and this one did not disappoint. I love to see these character's move a little closer to the edge of life and Catherine never fails to tell a story no matter how edgy or controversial the material. This one was pretty light in that regard but other than that, she really lit up the pages with this one. I'm a die hard fan of this series, so I cannot wait for the next one. If you haven't read any of the other books in this series that came before this one, it's a great series and one you will quickly become hooked on. I know I will go back and start at the beginning at some point, it's that good. In the meantime.... Happy Reading...enjoy!
amatate 8 months ago
---Harry has a secret…and you’ll never guess it--- I really enjoy this author and this series, but I have to say I didn’t see this coming and certainly not under the Portland Storm banner. That’s a very good thing. If you’re going to have a long running series, the only way to keep readers coming back is to constantly evolve and keep things fresh. Defensive Zone is certainly that. Dani Weber is young and acts her age in many ways. I’m typically not a fan of YA/NA romances precisely for this reason. Their immaturity, impetuous, and self-involved ways of seeing things grates on me. In Defensive Zone, Dani did just that at the start. She’s vibrant, ambitious, and a spitfire who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. As admirable as those qualities are, when they applied to Cody, I grew frustrated. As she’s done in previous books, Miss Gayle develops this seemingly brash character steadily and thoroughly, and I grew to really like Dani. I always like seeing character growth, especially when they can recognize and address their own flaws. I loved that we saw this in Dani. By the end, we see her brazen attitude work selflessly. Dani is admittedly different than most of this author’s heroines but I liked that because it keeps the series fresh and makes me eager to see what is in store next. I found Cody’s character equally different from what I’d come to expect. I was surprised by his secret, but I liked how the story developed his many sides fully rather than secrets meant solely for “shock value”. I also found his steady, strong personality brilliantly complemented Dani’s live-wire attitude. They are certainly a couple I’ll look forward to revisiting in upcoming books. The romance between Cody and Dani was fun and flirty initially, steadily developing into more. The conflicts were a bit different and the resolutions surprising, but it worked well for these characters. I did think the pacing was a bit slower at times, though that may be due to my reluctance to connect with Dani for part of the book. Overall, the book flowed and moved along without getting stuck on a problem for long. As I’ve come to expect from this author, the writing is very good and the hockey details woven expertly into the storyline. And WOW, Defensive Zone is definitely not lacking in heat. It matched the couple’s relationship and personalities so well and, accompanied with some very sweet moments, made this a memorable romance. I love when books catch me off guard, and this book did that in a few different ways. I thought this was a fun departure from what I expected in this series, while still retaining my favorite elements of a hockey romance by Miss Gayle. Sport romance fans certainly won’t be disappointed with the newest standalone in the Portland Storm series. *Ebook received directly from PA. The author and publisher had no influence on this review*
Christine_Miller 8 months ago
Dani Weber is all grown up and going after what she wants and Cody is what she wants. This was the steamiest Portland Storm book I've read! Dani is definitely all grown up and Cody is showing her his world against her father's wishes. Cody has fought his attraction to Dani so that he could honor the promise he made to his coach and Dani's father to stay away from her. Dani has set her sights on Cod though and she doesn't give up with what she wants. I have loved the Weber family over the various books. It was a little hard to see that Dani had grown up to be some what of a brat, but as the story unfolds, she does a lot of growing up, too. Cody bears the brunt of supporting his family and he struggles with how to do that when they are in Canada and he is in Portland. This book was a good read in this series. I loved the story behind Dani and Cody, my only issue was Dani at the beginning. I truly love the Portland Storm family and it was great to reconnect with the old characters, too.
LCardozo1 8 months ago
I loved this book, but it might not be for everyone. Fair warning - there is a lot of sex, and definitely some kink, although not too hardcore. If that's not your cup of tea, I'd skip this one. Still, there is so much to be applaud in this book! First and foremost, Catherine's ability to take potentially controversial subjects and attack them head on - absolutely no one does it better. The BDSM community has such stigma and mystique, but she deconstructs that by bringing you into Harry's head and showing you the basis of his sexual desires and how he is so much more than what he does in the bedroom. Dani is the kind of brave and brash I wish I had the balls to be. Sure, some of what she does/says puts her into awkward, slightly cringe-worthy situations, but she is determined to live life her way and there is something incredibly admirable about that. She takes risks and gives everything her all, no matter what. Overall, great read. Way to hit it out of the park again, Catherine!
KindleKat64 8 months ago
Another great addition to the Portland Storm series. I always look forward to these books because we always get to revisit, even if only for a moment, the characters we love from the other books in this awesome series. This story like the others is full of love, humor, generosity, passion and the importance of family. Dani & Cody (Dirty Harry) definitely do not have your typical love story. Theirs is one that is pretty rocky just getting off the ground considering Dani is only 20 and one of Cody's coach's daughters. Webs has warned Cody away from his daughter Dani because he knows Cody has a minor kinky side. (Professor OTK)-haha. He also just doesn't want this daughter to end up with a hockey player like his daughter Katie did. Cody does everything he can to thwart her advances and stay in the coach's good graces. This of course becomes impossible for him after a while since he has had the hots for her for some time despite being so much older. At first I felt like Dani was a bit of a brat going after Cody for a mere fling, when he told her he could get traded if he was caught with her. But then it was clear she wanted much more from him than a kinky sexy fling. She wanted forever because she loved him. She redeemed herself with me with what she did for his father. Like Dani, I ended up falling in love with Cody and the two of them as a couple. As always I look forward to future Storm books.