Free Agent (Portland Storm, #18)

Free Agent (Portland Storm, #18)

by Catherine Gayle

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940154998519
Publisher: Night Shift Publishing
Publication date: 02/08/2018
Series: Portland Storm , #18
Sold by: Draft2Digital
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 66,217
File size: 4 MB

About 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 more than 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 to receive a free Portland Storm short story called ICE BREAKER, available only to newsletter subscribers. http://eepurl.com/GXcwr

Customer Reviews

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Free Agent (Portland Storm, #18) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
abimus86 6 months ago
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Free Agent is the eighteenth book in the Portland Storm Series. While it is a standalone, reading it as part of the series is even better since this book finally answers some questions about the hero, Blake ‘Koz’ Kozlow, which might have risen in the previous books. Early in the series, Koz is considered a total jerk to everyone around him and only a limited few team members tolerated him. Once you become immersed in the Storm books and get used to Ms. Gayle’s MO, you start questioning whether Koz can help his idiotic behaviour. Due to a situation, Koz comes in close contact with Beatriz Castillo, a gorgeous special education teacher he had met previously. While Koz was very interested in getting to know Bea better, he was not one of Bea’s favourite people. On top of that, Bea also has baggage of her own to deal with, making it more difficult to convince Bea to give their relationship a chance to develop. However, when families and an innocent mistake threaten their budding relationship, they have no option but to love themselves as they are to be able to commit to their love and trust. Once again, Catherine Gayle’s characters are authentic and larger-than-life. It isn’t easy to live life being in Koz’s shoes were everything is a challenge and Bea’s insecurities and weight problems are issues commonly found in real life. Obviously, Koz being Koz, naked yoga and swear words are expected :)
KAL-167 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Bea and Koz's story. They have both struggled with their own issues - Bea with her body image issues and Koz with his ADD. When Koz makes an error in judgement with a comment on social media, he is forced to spend time helping out in a classroom for special needs kids - Bea's classroom. Bea has still not forgiven Koz for a comment he made on their date a year earlier; however, as the book progresses they realize that there have been a lot of misunderstandings on both of their parts. I love the way his grandmother tries to keep them together also. I received an ARC copy of this book for an honest review.
CChimni More than 1 year ago
Wow! Another hit! What an emotional ride! A great addition to the series. We have seen both of these characters in previous books. Their story has been brewing... and what a story it is! Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AWESOME book - a truly great story Bea anf Koz are great together and the issues both have are well written and lovely. A truly great read!
lisakoala More than 1 year ago
Blake "Koz" Kozlow has been a hated man in on the Portland Storm team. He has no filter and the things that come flying out of his mouth are offensive or at least to some they are. We never knew why he was like that. I assumed he was just a big jerk but that isn't the case. There is way more to him that what you see on the outside. Bea, a special education teacher, dated Koz once and it didn't end well. Now he is back in her life due to something he said publicly and needs to atone for. Bea's character is one that I can identify with, while I didn't have gastric bypass surgery, I do know what it is to be the DUFF. Bea is perfect for Koz because she can understand what makes him tick. Why he is the way he is. She just needs to believe that she deserves him and not always think the worst of situations. I also think everyone should have someone in their lives like Koz's grandmother. What a great character she was. Vivacious and afraid to take no prisoners. This story was one of my favorites and it was very well written. True to life and raw as well as emotional at times. It's very hard to see ourselves as others see us and Koz never stops trying to get Bea to see herself the way that he does. Ms. Gayle had done it again. I never thought that I would like Koz but now that his story has been told, I am a huge fan just as I am of Ms. Gayle. Weight loss is a struggle and I chose to do it with diet and exercise but I have a friend who had the surgery and everything Bea was going trough is what my friend has been going through. Kudos for telling this story and making sure the details were on point.
MJBrown67 More than 1 year ago
This is the next installment in the Portland Storm series and finally we get Blake “Koz” Kozlow’s story. I have been waiting to see how Catherine Gayle was going to redeem Koz because really he is a pretty big jerk. But in true Catherine Gayle style, Koz and Bea are now one of my favorite couples. I loved this book, in fact, I read it twice because it was that good and I wanted to experience it all again. I loved the real Koz, and Bea is his perfect counterpart. This story had so many real and true feelings that we all have. I experienced a whole range of emotions on this on it had me laughing out loud and misty eyed too. It touched on so many emotions and personal things we all feel, that it was like I really knew these characters. Another win for the Portland Storm and Ms. Gayle on this one and excellent read an I highly recommend! ***I received an ARC of this book for an honest review.
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
They’re like oil and water … but they work! It’s always fun to return to the Portland Storm series. It’s filled with a rugged group of down-to-earth hockey players and the families that love them. In this book, we get hot shot, mouthy Blake Kozlow’s story. He’s notorious for shooting off his mouth and saying things that people just can’t believe he actually said … but beneath it all, he’s truly a good guy. The characters were both easy to get drawn into, and the plot was enjoyable. Blake Kozlow has never met a woman he didn’t love, and Bea Castillo is no exception! He turns on all of his best moves to try to win her over, but whatever he did to make her mad previously seems to be sticking around because she’s not giving an inch! Special education teacher Beatriz Castillo really liked Koz when she was first introduced to him … until he put his foot in his mouth and said something that pushed all of her internal buttons and sent her on the run. She has issues that she’s dealing with all on her own, so the last thing she needs is some hockey player that thinks he’s God’s gift pretending to like her!
Chelsy33 More than 1 year ago
Free Agent is the latest book in Catherine Gayle's Portland Storm hockey romance series featuring Blake 'Koz' Kozlow, the player that everyone loves to hate. Koz doesn't seem to have a care in the world and never believes in censoring himself, so when he gets himself into hot water over a social media post, the team assigns him to work in Bea Castillo's classroom. I loved reading Bea and Koz's journey to romantic happiness. They both have many inner thoughts and insecurities that complicated their journey to a Happily Ever After, but their imperfections make the characters that much more lovable. Koz can be sweet and is fiercely protective over those he loves. I love reading him win over Bea's reluctant heart. I highly recommend this book. I truly love and appreciate how much research Catherine puts into her novels. I love her whole series and Koz has been another great read. One-Click now! *I received a free Advance Reader Copy in exchange for my honest thoughts/opinions of the author's book.*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved Koz throughout this series. He is a bit much to take. Bea was a bright spot as crazy Dani's friend. These two together are wonderful and I am glad Koz has grown so much while finding his forever
BGnMS1 More than 1 year ago
Setting a Heart Free This story uses the timeless adage of Don't Judge a Book by It's Cover. Koz and Bea are an interesting couple that have unique characteristics. Ms. Gayle is not afraid to write about difficult topics and does so humbly and graciously. ***given an ARC in exchange for honest review***
Jennifer_e911 More than 1 year ago
This book focuses on how our own negative opinions of ourselves can influence our entire lives, and how the lack of support of those closest to us can contribute to those negative opinions. Bea is a strong woman, who has taken control of her life, and is making it what she wants, regardless of what she has to do to accomplish it. However, she still doesn't feel like she deserves to have someone special in her life. She has a family that doesn't understand the dedication it takes to completely makeover her life like she has. She has a low self esteem and a horrible body image, despite everything she has done to improve her health and lifestyle. She also has a tendency to assume the worst from people, because she doesn't see herself as others do. Koz is a pro hockey player, who has spent his entire life trying to control his impulses. No one understands him, and this makes him unlikable to most. But he knows what he wants when he sees Bea, and will do whatever it takes to make her see herself the way he does. I love how understanding and supportive Koz is. Regardless of the problems he has, he does his best to move past them, compensate for them, and be there for Bea. He goes out of his way to show her how beautiful she is, and that is just amazing! This is a great story, and shows that just because you make changes that improve your health, you still have the same person on the inside, and sometimes you have to work on the person on the inside to make yourself completely happy. As much as I disliked Koz in previous books because of his attitude, I've come to have a new respect for him, because of how loving and supportive he was.
StephB More than 1 year ago
Once again, Gayle writes a story that isn't afraid to look at subject matter that makes you question yourself. Going into this book, I felt it would be more of Koz's issues that I would be reading. However, Bea's storyline is what I will be taking away from this book. It is a powerful message. I'm so sad to see that there are only two books left in this series. I can't wait to see how Gayle will finish this ride and what journey she will find next.
KindleKat64 More than 1 year ago
Wow! What an emotional and very real and relevant story this is. Catherine Gayle really knows how to take serious issues and weave them into a beautiful story about learning to love and accept yourself as you are and how that helps you to love and accept others. And how sometimes you need to let someone in so they can help you see you are more than your issues/problems. Both Blake and Bea are so relatable and likable. Yes Koz (Blake), is actually very likable, loveable really, once you find out why he seems to have no filter. He is not really the arrogant, rude player he is perceived as; we learn this as we come to understand him and also see him interact with Bea. Bea understands Koz and helps him. We learn that Bea has serious body image issues that have literally shaped her entire adult life and have even strained her relationship with her family because of personal decisions she made for herself that were right for her that they didn’t necessarily agree with. We know that Koz has no problem with his body (remember naked yoga in the locker room) and wants to help Bea feel better about hers because he doesn't see what she sees and he really likes the person she is and finds her beautiful inside and out and wants her to give all of herself to him. I really love them as a couple and felt every emotion they went through as their relationship develops and they help each other deal with their issues, problems and feelings. Another hit in the Portland Storm series!
Christine_Miller More than 1 year ago
This was another great story in this series. I adored Koz and how he knew he didn't communicate things right, but was trying the only way he knew how. Bea has her own issues and her own opinion of Koz. When he turns to her for help, she sees things about Koz she never would have expected. I loved watching these two open up to each other. Koz was alone in the world besides his grandma, and Bea really was, too, since her family did not support her choices at all. I loved watching these two find their way and conquer the obstacles in front of them. Another solid read in this series.
LCardozo1 More than 1 year ago
Catherine Gayle never ceases to amaze me. She has knocked it out of the park AGAIN. In the latest installment of the Portland Storm series, you learn more about Bea (Dani's best friend) and Blake Kozlow. While the story centers around Bea's struggles with body issues and Koz's issues with having special needs, the deeper message of accepting yourself for who you are, loving yourself no matter what, and letting others love you shines through clearly. I found this book to be such an honest depiction of the thoughts that run through our heads when we are feeling self-conscious or insecure and the fact that we often do see ourselves the way others see us. The raw emotion and completely unfiltered access to what the characters were thinking and feeling made this book incredibly special, and I also LOVED the authentic Hispanic touches! Plus, fans of Mia and Q will get a quick cameo. :) If you're looking for a book about being your best self, and loving who that person is, this is absolutely it. I received an ARC for this honest review!
Momo_Staub More than 1 year ago
****I received an ARC in exchange of a honest review**** It was great being back in the Portland Storm universe. Like always the writing was spot on and realistic. From the very first glimpse I got of Blake (Koz), I was faszinaded. Yes, he showcasted an extreme tendency to put his foot in his mouth. Yes, he pulled some very stupid stuff (like the comments about Razor's wife, anyone remembers them?!), yet somehow I always felt like there was more to the story than what we could see. And boy, was I right! Being inside Blake's brain was such an interesting thing. Like I could literary feel his frustrations about not being able to keep his mouth shut, about not understanding what other people felt, about saying things and not pick up on how they may hurt other people. Plus his constant need to move, his difficulties to focus were all very familiar to me (my best friend has ADHS). Can I say I love how he loved Bea? Really, that guy has a heart as big as the earth. Where can I find a guy like that? I also loved Bea for the way she teached her kids. h^How she managed to build up other people, yet wasn't able to build herself up. I'm sure many women often deal with the same struggles. I think it was portraited very realistic how destructive those struggles can be and how often people tend to jump to the worst conclusion. Hammer is going to be next, right? Can't wait for his book!
amatate More than 1 year ago
I’ve been a fan of this author for years now and I know I can always rely on her to deliver a sports romance that showcases both hockey and a love story. I’ve also come to expect Miss Gayle to tackle pertinent social issues in her books. Free Agent is a great example as to how the author’s use of important social topics keeps the stories relevant and fresh, while still providing a romance and couple I enjoy watching fall in love. As with the entire Portland Storm series, there are some overlapping storylines and cameos of past couples, but Free Agent can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of the series will undoubtedly recognize both the hero and heroine in this book; because Koz previously played the role of secondary character readers love to hate, I was eager to see how the author would turn the tide. I have to say while I wasn’t surprised about the revelations regarding the hero, I loved them and I really loved seeing him develop over the course of the book. It’s always nice to get inside a character’s head, but that’s especially true when they’ve been so misunderstood. And seeing Blake off the ice when he really let his softer sides show proved to be utterly endearing. Although I enjoyed the transformation Blake underwent in Free Agent, I wasn’t expecting how much the heroine would develop during the book. In previous books, Bea seemed the quintessential character with an interesting story and a solid head on her shoulders. Certainly some of her body image issues weren’t unexpected, but I didn’t foresee just how much her self-esteem would need bolstering. Although Bea’s consistent second guessing of Blake’s intentions sometimes felt repetitive, I enjoyed this couple and loved seeing how Blake supported and helped Bea feel confident in herself as well as their relationship. Free Agent is a great reminder that appearances and initial impressions don’t reflect the full story and Miss Gayle did a wonderful job getting readers to look deeper. I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re a fan of complex characters. *eARC provided by PA. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
I'm proud to be a Catherine Gayle fan and stories like Free Agent are the reason why. There is no need to offer up a piece of your heart because these characters lay claim to all of it. From every hardship that Beatriz has had to overcome, to the private inner doubt that Blake secretly endures. These characters get under your skin in the worst possible way, but it feels good despite the heartache known to be headed their way. What appealed most to me however is the message. We all matter on this great big ball of dirt we call home. Feelings matter, people matter and life matters, no matter how big or small. That's something we all need to hear and remember in this day and age. Ms. Gayle is one of a handful of authors that I don't mind losing sleep for. Masterfully written.