3/30/2020: Updated review from Portland Storm: The First Period (box set of Books 1, 2, 2.5, & 3) on Audible.
Note: I read the books separately years ago. Audible has them individually – or grouped into box sets. Budget-wise it makes more sense to purchase them this way. Also, ratings of the original narrator for Breakaway were low. She was replaced in the rest of the series. For the box set – the new narrator re-recorded book 1.
Portland Storm captain Eric “Zee” Zellinger knows how to get the job done, but leading his once elite team to victory is fast becoming a losing battle. He can’t lose focus now—not with his career on the line. But when his best friend’s little sister makes him an offer he can’t refuse, Eric could lose the drive the team relies on from their captain. Still in a downward spiral after a life-altering event in college, Dana Campbell is desperate to try anything to break away from the horror of that fateful night—even enlisting the help of the only man she trusts completely. No matter how irresistible she is or how tempting the offer, Eric might not be able to cross that line—especially with the team’s chance at the playoffs on the line. Now, Eric has to take one last shot, but will he choose Dana’s Breakaway chance at happiness or the move that could secure his career?
Point of view:
1st person. Alternating perspectives by chapter.
This is a SLOOOOOOW burn in a lot of ways. Fundamentally, because Dana is trying to recover from a sexual assault that occurred when she was in college. She seeks out Eric “Zee” Zellinger’s help. He’s her brother’s best friend and someone she’s known her whole life and the only man she feels she can remotely trust.
This is an emotionally difficult book to experience. Not only from Dana’s POV, but also Eric’s and to a smaller degree the others in their lives. In some respects this length of time is reflective of what it can take for some victims to recover (if they ever do) and the many small steps that feel insurmountable to them. It can make the book feel like it’s dragging at times, but I prefer that to books that gloss over such heavy subject matter.
Gayle introduces us to the Portland Storm players and organization. I’ll admit, all I know about hockey is from romance novels – but her descriptions seem thorough while still engaging.
This is my first experience with Angel Clark. It took me a bit to get used to the male speaking voices (they sometimes come off a bit “squeaky”), but overall I enjoyed the production and her narration.
Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers):
The entire book centers on Dana’s recovery from her sexual assault 7 years prior. The attack is described, but not in minute detail. She suffers from post-traumatic stress, experiences panic attacks and they are described completely and accurately.
My Favorite Quotes
Screwing up one minute doesn’t mean you can’t be amazing the next. – Breakaway by @Catherine_Gayle #Audiobook narrated by Angel Clark. #SportsRomance #HockeyTweet
I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life than I am of the fact that I love you and I can’t stop loving you. – Breakaway by @Catherine_Gayle #Audiobook narrated by Angel Clark. #SportsRomance #HockeyTweet