Contemporary Romance

Review: Rites of Passage

Rites of Passage
Rites of Passage by Catherine Gayle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Happy Book Birthday

Catherine Gayle knows how to write emotionally naked stories with heat, heart and complex characters.

“It wasn’t exactly overnight. It’d been more of a gradual shift in our relationship from casual sex to not-so-casual sex, and now to…what? I wasn’t sure.”

Andrew Nash is in a sad and lonely place and he can’t see it changing for the better any time soon, especially not after the entire world learned about his deepest darkest secret. Life could definitely be worse though. As his teammates continue to push him to come back to the game he’s dedicated himself to, to take the captain’s role once Zee retires and meddle in his love life when they find out there’s a sexy artist in his support group who seems to have sparked some vivacity into him, life starts to look up. But can he convince the lavender haired woman of the same?

“I knew it wouldn’t be perfectly sunny all the time. But at least I could see the light, and I knew there was more on the way.”

Ravyn Penn uses her purple colored dreadlocks and body art to camouflage the deep-seated scars guilt and regret her past has left as well as the external cuts she uses as a coping mechanism until the most unlikely of persons sees right through her façade and is determined to help her help him set aside their pasts and the unfortunate cards life dealt them and fight for the happiness they deserve. But can she trust Drew enough to let go?

Every time I open up a Catherine Gayle book I know I’m in for an exciting and touching story I won’t want to put down. As predicted, Rites of Passage had me hooked from the start with all the feels and the interesting subject matter that’s characteristic of Catherine’s books.

From the moment they lock eyes on each other the chemistry between Drew and Ravyn is off the charts, but despite that, they’re both very broken and flawed with almost impenetrable walls safeguarding them.

Drew ostracized himself from practically everyone feeling as though he was barely surviving and didn’t want to drag anyone down with him and Ravyn is so full of shame and regret she’s constantly running from everyone, pushing Drew away not just because she was embarrassed by her secrets but because she was unaccustomed to having anyone care for her.

But once Drew decides to chase her, not even she can resist him. Sweet, sexy and patiently he starts to break down her defenses. It’s a difficult and long road for both of them, but one worth taking.

“It wasn’t exactly overnight. It’d been more of a gradual shift in our relationship from casual sex to not-so-casual sex, and now to…what? I wasn’t sure.”

The support system that surrounded Drew played a very important role in both their healing process and I loved having not just the guys from the Thunderbirds helping out but also the wives and girlfriends. It was a great way to catch up with old friends from past books as well as get a glimpse at the stories that are to come.

“Combined, this team has broad shoulders,” Zee said. “Let us use them. We can all carry it with you.”
Rites of Passage is book #4 and another wonderful addition to The Tulsa Thunderbirds series by Catherine Gayle. Full of love, hope and sexy moments with a hockey backdrop. It can be read as a standalone. Told from both points of view.

* I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author. The excerpts are from that copy. *

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