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    Wow!!!!

    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!
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    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*
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    Another controversial topic, another home run!

    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!
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    Heart and humor collide.

    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.
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    The many Layers of Cody "Harry" Williams

    received an ARC in exchange of a honest review and I also have the book pre-ordered. I have so far read all of Catherine's Portland Storm and Tulsa Thunderbird series and come to love her writing style. This book is no exception. In Levi's book we learned that Cody "Harry" Williams got arrested and bailed out by his coach. But we didn't know why he was arrested. Quite honestly I would have never come up with the real reason. In this book Cathrine shows us Cody with all his layers and he has many! His struggle with his family situation, his releationship with his sisters and his need to be in control because of a tragic event in his past. I really could relate to it and connected with Cody. That actually is my favourite part of this story, his worries may seem over-dramatic but I totally got them and understand that to him they were very real. I also liked to see the changes that may come to the time and how difficult it sometimes is to be part of a team in a sport where players can be moved around very quickly. Unfortunately I had a hard time connecting with Dani. On one hand I liked her drive regarding her career and her friendship with Bea. On the other hand I had difficulties swallowing what I thought was her very self-centered pursuit of Cody. For a very long time in the story she showed almost no compassion or respect torwards Cody's fears. It was all very "my way or the high way" with her and that is something I don't like very much. I understand that she was only 20 and therefore is prone to show imature behaviour but in my eyes it was a bit much. I doubt hat she wouldn't have got what she wanted, if she approached the situation with a bit more patience and understanding for everyone else beside her. I hope we get to see glimpses of her being more mature and more of a acutal relationship between Cody and Dani. I kinda missed the usual deep connection that the other couples in the previous books had, beside the various sex scenes. I still liked the story and am happy to have read it and I'm looking forward to Koz and Bea!
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