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Ratings and Reviews

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4.2 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Worth it.

    First, a *trigger warning* - this book contains a pretty graphic sexual assault/domestic violence scene. That being said, it is tastefully handled. The entire book is tastefully handled. I love this book because even though it addresses a supremely difficult topic, it does so by highlighting the difficulties a person in that situation faces, the strength of the survivors, and the message that it IS possible to break free, no matter how impossible it may seem. On top of that, the emotions in this book are so incredibly real. When reading Natalie's point of view, I could feel her anxiety, her indecisiveness, and her longing to be what she considered normal. When she was with Ethan, I didn't just read about how safe she felt - I felt safe, too. And Ethan...well, Ethan is pretty much sexiness personified given that he's a phenomenal single dad and a hockey star, but we are given the opportunity to see past the surface to the person who wants to do the right thing for so many people and doesn't always get it right on the first try, yet never gives up. Even if you are in a domestic or sexual violence situation, or are a survivor, this book provides so much hope that there is life beyond the demons you face. Outside of the scenes in the beginning of the book, everything else is vague and doesn't refer to the incidents in detail - so if you think you can handle reading the book without those scenes, I think it's worth it. This world needs to prove to women that they do NOT deserve what happens to them, and that it is NOT their fault, and this book - Catherine Gayle - has done a tremendous job of addressing that here. I received an ARC for an honest review. :)
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    This SUCKed

    I don't understand why/how other people have given this book a positive review - and said they liked it? *** Spolier Alerts *** I kept waiting for the main character to grow - to be independent, do something where she takes charge of her life - it never happened. She has no job, no career, no independent means of money. She goes from being a dependent of an abuser to a non-abuser - so what? She is still dependent on a man for her survival, and there is no indication she at least has cleaning or cooking or something to contribute to the household (at least) - she does NOTHING. The only thing she has to offer is sex - and apparently that is enough. The book mentions her parents disowned her - but then doesn't explore that situation or reasoning. It is left that she was abandoned - and no explanation or reconciliation is given. Overall - big waste of my time. I don't like reading about weak females with magical saviours that "love them" for book romance reasons. Save your money - read someone else instead.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Hurt/comfort romance

    First things first, the trigger warnings in the blurb should definitely be heeded. If you’ve read this author before, you know Miss Gayle doesn’t’ shy away from intense moments or uncomfortable but important topics in her books, and that trend continues here in her vivid portrayal of the abuse the heroine endures at the hands of her ex who is also the hero’s teammate. Rain Dance is the fifth book in the Tulsa Thunderbirds series. Since the heroes all play on the same professional hockey team, there are appearances by previous couples, but it isn’t in such a way that impedes a reader who’s jumping in midway through the series and each book reads fine as a standalone. Although I enjoy both of Miss Gayle’s hockey series, I have to admit I gravitate more toward The Thunderbirds because they tend to boast grittier romances and storylines. Rain Dance delivered that with the domestic abuse survivor plot, but the romance was understandably toned down. Readers of the Tulsa Thunderbirds series met Ethan, known to his teammates as Huggy Bear, as well as his son Carter in previous books. However, I doubt anyone anticipated his backstory. I certainly didn’t. Between his past and Natalie’s current crisis, Rain Dance is more of a hurt/comfort romance, but it delivered a good message and ended with a positive, sweet note. There is a little bit of insta-love playing out in Rain Dance. Although it made sense given the intense, emotionally-straining situation Natalie and Ethan were in, I missed the chemistry building between them. I liked the couple individually and together and thought their story was poignant, but I never grew particularly invested in them. Fans of this author can attest that she knows her hockey and is a very talented writer. I tend to hold her as the go-to standard for how to weave on-ice action and team dynamics into a romance. In Rain Dance those talents were even more apparent, particularly in the descriptive hospital and recovery scenes that highlighted Natalie’s strength as she healed and overcame her trauma. Although I wasn’t quite as drawn to this couple as I have been to others, this author certainly doesn’t rely on a formulaic approach to her series. She delivers something new with each book and couple, and that’s what keeps me coming back for more. *eARC provided by PA. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
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    Rain dance

    More than a romance, this is a great family story.
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    Wow!!!

    Wow, is about all I can think of at this moment. This latest instalment of the Tulsa Thunderbirds is just amazing. It's very dark in the beginning with the abuse of Natalie & the history of Ethan but you just couldn't put it down. The depth that Catherine Gayle has in this book unbelievable. Two damaged people, one hoping for death, the other fitting for her life. Ethan fought hard for Natalie, he didn't believe that she wouldn't make it back even as Natalie prayed for death during her abuse & after while recovering from her injuries. The fact that Natalie survived at all proved that she was a strong person & with Ethan & the others giving her strength & support she achieved her recovery. The fact that she was able to allow Ethan to love her & to realize she loved him back was beautiful. Also bringing Ethan's battered mother into their home was a strong moment. Definitely recommend this book and series.
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