Neutral Zone

Neutral Zone

by Catherine Gayle
4.5 13

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Neutral Zone 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
KOM 1 days ago
Neutral Zone is a wonderfully romantic love story about two men finding one another and forming a lasting relationship. It is refreshingly un-angsty, even though the main characters go through some serious life events. Colesy, as he is known to his teammates on the Portland Storm, is struggling with his family's rejection of his sexuality and hoping he won't have to be the public face of gay hockey even though he came out during a TV broadcast. Luke also came out publicly and cannot get a position on a pro hockey team, no matter how hard he works. He has to come to terms with no longer being a hockey player after years of dedication to the sport. Cole helps Luke figure out his career issues, and together the two navigate the public aspect of their relationship. None of this is simple, of course, but their story is mostly just a beautiful portraya of two people falling in love in the real world. Fans of the Portland Storm will be thrilled to catch up with some favorite characters, including some important news from a few of them!
lisakoala 3 days ago
s. Gayle has done it again. She tackles tough issues with truth and reality even though she writes fiction. Cole finally gets his story after being on the fringes of several Portland Storm series. As has Luke, we have seen him grow up since he first appeared in The Portland Storm series. Ms. Gayle tackles the subject of homosexuality in the sports world and she does so with flare. The love scenes are not overdone or forced, they are as natural as a if the scenes were about a man and a woman not two men. She keeps things real. We also get a glimpse into ongoing story lines with the Webber family and I am was glad to read about the decision that Babs and Katie came too. Again Ms. Gayle writes about true to life stuff and their story is not different. I very much enjoyed Cole and Luke's story. I think it was well written and did the characters that I have become so fond of justice. It was the right story to tell in my opinion. I am glad that she found a story to give both of them because I know that she had said that Cole would only get a story is she felt she could find the right one: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! (at least is this reviewers opinion)
BGnMS1 3 days ago
Letting Love Free Another fantastic story from Ms. Gayle. Such a heartmelter. Given a copy at no expense from author.
amatate 3 days ago
Save for a selection of favorite authors, including Miss Gayle, I tend to read more m/m than m/f romances these days. Suffice to say, I’ve been looking forward to Neutral Zone since Colesy and Luke both came out in Game Breaker. Despite trusting that Miss Gayle would do her characters and the Portland Storm series justice, I admit I was a little nervous it wouldn’t work as well as her m/f romances. Comparatively speaking, that wasn’t an issue. Neutral Zone was a sweet hockey-centric romance that made for an enjoyable read. I generally like when authors take an unexpected direction or sneak in a good twist, especially those writers whose books I read often. So I was pleasantly surprised when Neutral Zone played out differently than I anticipated, particularly Luke going undrafted and moving back to Portland. From the start I was engaged and running multiple possible scenarios and resolutions. So definite kudos to Miss Gayle for not following a predictable pattern. As for the characters, I liked Cole and Luke and enjoyed getting to know them better and learning their individual stories. I also liked them as a couple. They had a sweet romance that fell in place fairly naturally. While I liked how supportive they were of one another, I missed out on some of the chemistry. I’m unsure if it was a result of the shorter length not allowing ample time, but I didn’t see the feelings build between Luke and Cole. The reader is told that both men have harbored a crush on each other for some time, and they clearly share common interests, but I wished I’d have seen and felt that spark on the page. While the initial chemistry was missing for me, the growing emotional connection was fairly well-developed and I liked the conflict resolutions. And as always, you can count on Miss Gayle to write detailed hockey scenes that both fans of the game and those who just enjoy reading about the sport can appreciate. Overall, I think Neutral Zone ended up being a sweet romance with likable characters that did the Portland Storm series justice. *eARC provided by PA. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
MJBrown67 4 days ago
I have to start out by saying I don’t normally read m/m titles, but its Catherine Gayle and it’s Colesy so I wanted to know how his story would be told. I have to say I really enjoyed this book, it was written so well and I could feel the anxiety in the characters. This is still a difficult subject in our world and it shouldn’t be, this book helps you see that. This is a book about two people who love each other and about the friends and family that support them. I loved Cole and Luke and Webs well he just made me cry, not because it was sad but because you could feel the love and respect he has for his son. Him and Laura show us how parents should be with their kids, supportive and loving no matter what. I would definitely recommend this book. *I received a ARC of this book for an honest review.
StephB 4 days ago
Catherine always picks controversial topics. This book is no different. There were so many ways this could go. But I feel that Catherine's choice was short and sweet. It was the perfect length for this story. Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Chelsy33 4 days ago
Neutral Zone is a novella in Catherine Gayle's Portland Storm hockey romance series. I recommend that they are read in order, however they could be read as standalones as each novel/novella has a HEA. Neutral Zone features Storm defenseman Cole Paxton and the youngest Weber child, Luke Weber. Both characters have been featured in previous Portland Storm stories before. When Johnny discovered that Colesy identified as gay in In the Zone, fans begged Catherine for Colesy to get his own book . . . this novella is dedicated to those fans. This warm-hearted novella follows both hockey players - Cole as a NHL veteran and Luke as a young prospect trying to get picked up by a NHL team - just before the preseason and regular season starts. I love how Catherine really illustrates both character's inner struggles and the obstacles they need to overcome to get their happily-ever-after. And of course, with any Weber story, the novella is brightened by the humor Weber girls and the wonderful David & Laura Weber. I just love that family so much. I also felt that Catherine did a great job at integrating the inner thoughts of LGBT struggles into the novella. I highly recommend this novella and the entire Portland Storm series! As the series is beginning to wrap up, I am so honored to have been able to experience the Portland Storm family through Catherine's books. Her stories always make me feel as though the characters are real and I have grown to love them like my own family. Definitely a must-read series! *I received an Advance Reader Copy from the author at no cost. This review reflect my honest thoughts/opinions of the story that I read.*
LynnB888 5 days ago
Finding the strength to go after your dreams ... even if you have to adjust the goal a little on the way there! The newest book in the Portland Storm hockey series was a fast-paced read, and since it was novella length, it left us wanting more time with these two guys. They were fun to read and a joy to watch find their way towards each other. Always a great supporting cast in this series.
CChimni 5 days ago
A great addition to the series. A new perspective. What happens when you dream of playing pro hockey doesn’t come to be? What happens when here is something you might want more? What happens when you have it all but realize something is missing? Cole and Luke conquer all of these life questions and more. Full of passion, self discovery, Love, family, and the storm team. I can’t wait for more!
KindleKat64 5 days ago
This is such a well written love story! So happy to see Cole get his HEA after everything he has been through and continues to go through being an openly gay player in the NHL. This is a story about friendship, family, love and acceptance. It is about the hurdles that gay people have to deal with and find a way to jump over every day. It deals with the impact that coming out can have on the life of an athlete. Unfortunately there are still so many close minded, unaccepting and homophobic people out there, sometimes in their own families. But ultimately at it's core, it is a love story between two wonderful people, plain and simple. Cole Paxton may be a lot older than Luke Weber but these two are absolutely perfect for each other and bring out the very best in each other. Even Webs, Cole's coach and also Luke's dad, knew it would be a good pairing for both men. He was so funny with Cole, I laughed every time! I truly enjoyed watching Cole and Luke finally get together and I love the way the Luke's whole family behaves about their relationship and ultimately how they treat Cole. It just really made my heart happy. And as always, I love hearing what the other Storm couples we all know and love are up to and Catherine always manages to weave that into her storylines.
LCardozo1 5 days ago
I really loved this book - honestly, the biggest reason I only gave it 4 stars is because I wanted MORE! It's a beautiful story of finding yourself and your true passions in life - even when they weren't necessarily what you expected - and doing so with the love and support of the most important people in your life. I feel like a lot of stories about coming out/coming into your own are about teenagers...but this book shows that it happens in adulthood, too, and highlights the importance of being true to yourself no matter where you are in life, because the reward is greater than the negatives.
Lashea677 5 days ago
Whether neutral or bias, Neutral Zone tackles subjects we can all get behind. Look beyond the romance and step into the light. Ms. Gayle is once again, on track with the times. Cole and Luke's tale is a fight for acceptance and self- love. It is a journey that is equal parts heartbreaking and inspirational. Life is about being true to ourselves and making the time we have here count. Skin color, religious beliefs or sexuality should not factor into tolerance. That's the lesson that Neutral Zone teaches.
Christine_Miller 7 days ago
This is a novella in the Portland Storm series about Cole and Luke Weber. I have watched Luke grown up through the books and was anxious to read his story. I loved watching Luke accept what was going on in his life and taking a shot with Cole. Cole has always been in the shadows and I've been waiting for his story. When he decides to come out of the shadows and take a shot at a relationship with Luke, I was cheering him on! These two were hot! I wish they would have gotten a full length book, but this story did its job and told their tale. It was a good read.