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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Powerful Book with powerful messages

    I received this book as an ARC for an honest review. When I read the epilogue of Ghost's story, I knew Drew's story was going to be epic. Once again, Catherine delivered another powerful love story with important sub plots and characters unlike any others. I love that she isn't afraid to write stories that knock you on your butt and make you think about life differently. Her characters aren't "perfect" people living "perfect" lives. They are as real as it gets and sometimes you find yourself sad that you can't turn the page and magically make everything end up differently. It's a beautiful story that taught me a thing or two about a couple different subjects that I thought I knew so much about, but really knew hardly anything. I loved how she wrote these complicated characters and continues to blend in the ones we've come to love from the previous books in the series. Each of them dealt with their own challenges and it's fun to get glimpses into their happily ever afters in subsequent books. I know I say it time and time again, but Catherine Gayle gets better and better with each book she writes. Each one is my new favorite and I can't wait to get my hands on Huggy Bear's book. If you haven't experienced any of the books in either the Tulsa Thunderbirds or the Portland Storm series, I recommend you take a chance on these amazing books. Start with Portland Storm as that is where it all begins. Thank you again for writing a heart wrenching yet enjoyable book. Defineately going on my favorites list. Happy Reading....enjoy!

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  • Catherine Gayle scores another hit!

    I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the author for an honest review. Rites of Passage is Catherine Gayle’s fourth book in the Tulsa Thunderbirds Series. This was a much anticipated book, since the readers got to know Andrew “Drew” Nash’s most deepest, darkest and well-hidden secret during a freak accident on ice which almost got him killed. This book finds Drew in a bad place; he has divorced his cheating wife with whom he had been in a relationship since childhood. It was due to her that he contracted HIV. After the expansion which brought him in the T-birds, it had been hinted that he was being groomed to take over captaincy of the team from Zee, the current captain. However, Drew feels he cannot face the perceived negative reactions of fans, team mates and opponents if he returns on the ice and had been toying with retiring. Thanks to London, the other WAGs and some of his team mates, they manage to push and prod Drew to attend therapy in a support group, where he meets Ravyn Penn. Pale, gorgeous and colourful Ravyn appealed to Drew. She was totally opposite his type with lavender dreadlocks, tattoos, piercings but a haunted look in her blue eyes. Ravyn has huge secrets of her own but is not ready to reveal them to anyone and so is stuck in the past. Due to this, Drew tries to help her out during the first session but they end up in bed for some hot sex which starts chipping and breaking at the barriers Ravyn has set up to distance herself from any form of relationship or emotional entanglement. Through a series of events perpetrated by Drew’s team mates, their children and a dog, Ravyn starts to realize that even she is entitled to some happiness despite the guilt she still carries within her. For me, this book is a turning-point for the T-birds. The team seems to be finally unifying and there are good foundations for the family-like feelings found in the Portland Storm series with the players standing up for their future captain and the coaches and trainers putting their minds to find a way for Drew to do what he knows – play hockey – as safe as possible. Ms. Gayle cleverly brings together two opposite characters coming from different social backgrounds in a way that is real, binding them together by the traumatic and emotional negative experiences they had in their lives. Also, as usual, Ms. Gayle gives us enough hints for the following book to keep us hooked for more. Highly recommended!

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  • a beautifully real story

    I received this book as an ARC for an honest review. I still remember how I felt when i read the epilogue of Ghost's story. I was sitting on my bed with my jaw dropped open thinking "how on earth did that happened?!!". Since that moment I couldn't wait to get my hands on Drew's story. And let me tell you, the wait was well worth it! This is not a story for the weak of hearts. It is not for people who want to read a pretty story about perfect people living in their perfect life were everything works out just fine and without any struggles. No - this is the story of two people who got infected with HIV by no fault of theirs. Who had the rug pulled right from under them and who needed to find a way to put the pieces of their life back together. It's a beautiful story because it shows how fragile yet strong people can be. How sometime doing the right thing at the moment can cause a world of hurt, pain and guilt. How climbing back out of the despair of depression takes time and is very difficult. I loved how Drew, even though he had been depressed for quite some time, fought his way back into life and how he fought for Ravyn. Could understand his hesistancy regarding his career and how it may affect his teammates. He became my favourite member of the Tulsa Thunderbirds right along with Dima. He is such a stand-up character. Ravyn, oh Ravyn. While I don't know anyone personally who has HIV, at least I am not aware of anyone, I am well aquinted with people who suffer from depresssion. Throughout the book I cried with her, wanted to hug her and just take away her guilt and pain. The decision she had to make is one I hope I never have to face. It is such a difficult situation. I really could feel her pain through the pages - it was heartrecking. But I am proud of her, because ultimatively I think she made the right decision. I know I say it time and time again, but Catherine Gayle gets better and better with each book she writes. I'm looking forward to the next story, which will be Huggy Bear's book. Which will, I am sure, be just as emotional and real as this one.

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  • Shatter My Heart w/ Love

    Drew Nash, right wing for the T Birds, was left with a cliff hanger from book 3 (Ghost Dance). I waited patiently for this book, the first book that Catherine Gayle left such a cliff hanger in. I have to say worth the wait. Drew is a very private person and his reasoning for being so private are revealed through out the book. He isn't the dark one though. Rayvn is the character you will want to adopt. It's no wonder she is the one that truly draws Drew out and makes him see the light. Through her struggles and life challenges he realizes life is worth the time and effort you give it. People are worth it if they are right for you. Must read. It can be a stand alone but you won't want it to be. You will want to know all the characters that are mentioned. Catherine has a way with her writing for you to see what your reading as a movie in your head. I love all her sports Romance books and keep them on Pre order as they become available. She knows her characters and she relates them to true life situations.

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  • Something for EVERYONE in this book.

    Just like all of her books, this one is brilliant. I don't have HIV, so I can't relate to that specifically, but it doesn't matter because I can relate to the loss, the betrayal, the guilt, and the fear felt by these characters. I can also relate to the hope in the face of major adversity, and the struggles that come with beginning the process of moving on from pain. I'd been waiting months for this book, ever since I finished the last Tulsa Thunderbirds book, and it was SO worth it. Getting to know Drew and Ravyn was a beautiful process that was difficult at times, because their pain was so visceral, but worth every tear. I also LOVED the fact that lots of previous Thunderbird characters came out to play - it's nice to keep up with everyone's stories over time. Well done, as always! I received an ARC for this review. :)

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