Release Reviews: Game Breaker: Catherine Gayle

Game Breaker (Portland Storm #9)
Catherine Gayle
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Expected August 11, 2016

He’s becoming a Game Breaker on the ice.

With the playoffs right around the corner, Nate “Ghost” Golston is focused on only one thing—getting the Portland Storm to the Finals so he can finally hoist the Cup. But when opposing teams’ fans start getting under his skin, he can’t ignore the ridicule that’s suddenly all over the Internet. With each degrading word slung over the boards, he strains to keep his focus on the ice. Now, everything he’s worked for is in jeopardy.

She’s facing off with the Game Makers.

Stunning sports reporter and aspiring filmmaker Anne Dennison is determined to use her smarts to get ahead in a male-dominated career. Producing a behind-the-scenes web series brings Anne up close and personal with skilled, sexy Nate. Sparks fly, putting her plans in danger. For Anne to succeed, she has to capitalize on Nate’s struggles.

Wanting to be together, they know they must bend for each other before one of them breaks. If they can’t, it’s Game Over.

Nate "Ghost" Golston is fast and skilled on the ice. But he has recently gained media attention for more than that. He's the only black man on is team and in a world where racial tension is high, he finds himself subjected to it. 

Anne Dennison is producing the Storm's new web show. She is a female reporter in a male dominated sports world and is dealing with sexism and scrutiny in the public media. She's sassy, tenacious, stubborn and independent-minded. But she also has deep insecurities and anxiety stemming from her upbringing. 

They've flirted for a couple of years, but now their interest is beginning to get stronger. They are compatible and have chemistry, but it could be considered a conflict of interest. Starting a relationship is dangerous for her career and just brings more media attention. And Nate is a protective, caring, self-sacrificing type so he worries about her. Are the risks they are taking, worth the possible rewards?

This installment focuses on some very current and polarizing topics--racism, sexism, homophobia, cultural differences, and violence. It illustrates the importance of respect and tolerance, and how media plays a big part in public opinion. It also shows strength in various characters willing to fight for what they believe in, stand up to criticism, and promote acceptance, tolerance, and love versus hate. 

So this is a love story centered around hockey, but also a story about the troubled and often volatile times we are living in. It was told in both points of view that allowed us to understand their feelings personally and about larger topics. This shows the trickling down effect that these hard issues have on individuals, couples, families, and teams. This really hits home because these are topics that are flooding the news and media and impacting all of our daily lives.

I love getting cameos from other characters from this series and seeing them more in their daily lives with their families and friends. I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Harry and R.J. who have books coming up in the series. And I would love to see more with Colesy and Luke Weber in the future as well. They really touched my heart in this one with their individual struggles. Fans of Catherine Gayle and the Portland Storm will enjoy this installment that focuses on the team as a family, but also has important messages about hope, love, and trying to make our world better. And at the center of it is a sweet and romantic somewhat forbidden love story.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Nate Golston is in the spotlight on and off the ice, but not the way he’d like. He’s on fire, scoring goals and playing at the top of his game. But he’s also getting attention from the fans and media because he is the only black player on the ice. He’s used to being the minority, but with racial tensions high, every little bit of attention seems too high to Nate, who just wants to play hockey.

Anne Dennison is tasked with producing “The Eye of the Storm,” a web-based documentary about the team. She wants to profile the team, but isn’t interested in making the series the easy way. Her job is in jeopardy simply because she is a woman, and she is determined to prove she can meet the challenge.

They have been flirting for a couple years in the locker room, but can their light banter take the heat when the stresses of their jobs raise up? Anne’s bosses want her to focus on the racial tension, which means keeping the spotlight directly on Nate, exactly where he doesn’t want it. While they have been playful and flirty in the past, when things begin to heat up, the fire catches and it only increases the potential for disaster.

I enjoyed these characters immensely. While Anne my not be the one in the spotlight, she has her own issues to contend with -- family and career pressures at the top of the list. She is one of those strong women who quietly continue to work towards their goals. She knows what she wants and does what is needed to get her there, but not without doubts.

This story was extremely timely with the focus on the media so strongly targeted on racial differences. It is as much about hockey and Nate & Anne as it is about how laser focus of the media affects those in the spotlight. 

I enjoyed both the love story and the team commentary. The Portland Storm family plays a large part in this story and it was great seeing each family settled and making future plans. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Catherine Gayle Website/Facebook/Twitter
Catherine Gayle is a USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty-five contemporary hockey romance and Regency-set historical romance novels and novellas. She’s a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster’s next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.

If you want to know more, be sure to sign up for Catherine’s mailing list. She can also be found at Hockey Romance, at Facebook, on Twitter, and at Goodreads. If you want to see some of her cats’ antics and possibly the occasional video update from Catherine, visit her YouTube account.


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