Catherine Gayle writes with so much intensity that the waves of emotion hit dead center in the heart. And following your heart is exactly what Dropping Gloves is about.
They’ve had a connection since the moment they met. But the time wasn’t right. Katie Webber was sick. They were too young. Jamie “Babs” Babcock was there for her in all things though. Not just while ill, but also supporting her decision to pursue her goals when she got healthy.
Jamie’s heart however, hasn’t been able to recover since she left no matter how much he’s tried. Because she keeps coming back but she also always leaves.
“She wanted us to go on like nothing had ever happened between us. Like she didn’t have her hand circled around my heart. Like she wasn’t squeezing the life out of it every time she left.” ~ Jamie
Now she’s back in Portland. She’s aware that her school girl crush is in as much heartache as she is. But this time is different because she went to Hollywood, followed her dreams and learned it wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be.
“Sometimes in life… you think you know what you want… But then, only after you have it, you realize that it’s not what you thought it would be. It’s empty and hollow, and what you really wanted—what you needed—is exactly the thing you gave up to get it.” ►♫
Jamie was her first love and she wants a second chance. She knows she’s hurt him deeply and has to fight for that opportunity and for so much more, but she’s willing to give it her all. Because now she knows that being close to her family and friends is more important, and most of all she wants Jamie Babcock.
“I need you to understand exactly where I’m coming from and where I stand… I am as in love with you as I ever was. I want a chance.”
I’ve been rooting for these two since I met them. And the wait was worth it. Because now they’ve lived and learned, grown and matured and even though there are big obstacles ahead, they are ready to start the beautiful journey into their happy ever after.
“It was one of those simple facts of life: the sky was blue, gravity kept our feet firmly on the ground, and I loved Katie Weber.” ~ Babs
And I wasn’t the only one cheering them on. I just loved Katie’s father, who at one time could not stand any man who looked in her direction is now cheerily playing cupid between them. It was completely cute.
I did have reservations though. My adoration for Babs grew with each appearance he made throughout the series. So I thought I would have a hard time with Katie for leaving him. I dreaded that their story would be angsty, but I shouldn’t have worried. Catherine did an incredible job of giving us a story centered on all the good feels. On family, love, acceptance, on moving forward. And I fell in love with these two characters all over again.
I also gained a healthy dose of respect for Katie and anyone having to face an uncertain future such as hers. She was diagnosed with cancer again. She didn’t just have to confront her fears regarding that and fight for Jamie. She also had to face her past. Accept that she let other people influence her into making bad decisions that cost her dearly. I hurt for her while thinking she was underserving, but was happy that she learned from her experience.
“Nobody’s perfect. But that doesn’t mean you’re not perfect for me. And maybe I can be perfect for you, too.”
Babs is the perfect book boyfriend. He’s a big, strong man with a gentle and unselfish soul. Even though he’s older than when I first met him, he’s more confident but still so sweet and thoughtful. And the image of him with Blackbeard, his kitten, in this book who always seemed to find residence on his shoulder is incredibly sexy and endearing.
The romance between Katie and Jamie was the perfect balance between heartbreaking and heartwarming. It was touching, utterly sweet and completely swoon worthy.
“I want to be by your side through everything that’s coming, to hold your hand when you’re scared and pick you up when you’re weak… I want you to run to me… Because I love you. And because you love me. And because I can’t go one more day without being able to tell you that as often as it comes to mind.”
The support system Catherine has created with all the characters from past books was lovely. You can count on the Babcock brothers and the Portland Storm family to help in every way possible. They didn’t just provide a safety net, they delivered smiles throughout the story. A beautiful story I loved from start to finish. I especially loved the ending that brought fresh tears and face splitting grins. It’s so big and dazzling I’m not going to say more because you just have to experience it yourself.
Dropping Gloves is book 7 en the Portland Storm series that can be read as a standalone. It’s written in first person with both points of view and interconnecting characters from past books. I recommend it for readers that like sweet, touching and swoony second chance romances with an incredible happy ending.
I can’t wait to read the next stories in this series and especially Catherine’s new hockey series The Tulsa Thunderbirds.
Link for the complete list of the Portland Storm books -> https://www.goodreads.com/series/120108-portland-storm
Pre-Order Dropping Gloves -> http://amzn.to/1DgAgnM
* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. The excerpts are from that copy. *