Breakaway (Portland Storm Book 1) by Catherine Gayle

Breakaway by Catherine Gayle

Breakaway Cover

4 out of 5 Stars

Dana has not had much of a life for the past seven years, ever since she was raped during her first year of college. She can’t touch or be touched by any man, not even those closest to her. Her therapist has all but given up on her, but Dana is ready to make one last effort to take her life back. She seeks out the help of someone she trusts entirely—her brother’s best friend, professional hockey player Eric.

Eric has his own problems to deal with during the remainder of the hockey season, but he can’t say no to Dana’s request. Although he’s hesitant to cause her any pain by going along with her plan, he doesn’t want anyone else to touch her either. She’s also his first love, and he fears letting her go will be harder than anything else.

Overall, this was an enjoyable, well-written story. Although it dealt with the subject of rape, that act was in the past and we only saw bits and pieces of it—just enough to give us the history and explain why Dana is the way she is.

The slow process of Dana being able to accept Eric’s touch (and eventually touch him in return) was believable. Her panic attacks felt real to the reader. As she became more comfortable with Eric, the panic lessened and the touching grew at an appropriate pace. The chemistry between Dana and Eric was palpable, so when they finally got to REALLY touch each other, it nearly exploded off the page. Although this story was written from both characters’ points of view, which I usually don’t like, they both did have a story to tell. There wasn’t much overlap and each of their issues was resolved.

The main drawback of this book for me was the amount of hockey. I love hockey; don’t get me wrong. It’s what actually drew me to the book in the first place. But there were several times where it was just too much narration of a game that Dana was watching or Eric was playing.

I also wasn’t thrilled with how Dana refused to listen to Eric’s words. He more or less told her how he felt about her throughout the book, yet she continually thought he only liked her as her brother’s kid sister and that he was repulsed by having to touch her. He never once gave off that impression. I understand she was damaged and not likely to recognize normal signals, but it was just too much for me. Of course, this misunderstanding was what led to the climax of the book, so I’m not sure there was a better way to go about it other than leaving out all the times she thought of herself as “kid.”

I did enjoy reading this story though, and the few minor editorial issues I found were not bothersome. I read it quickly and would likely read more by this author.

Happy reading!


Cold Fear by Rick Mofina

Cold Fear Cover

3 out of 5 Stars

Cold Fear is a mystery/thriller surrounding the disappearance of ten-year-old Paige Baker and her beagle Kobee in the dangerous Glacier National Park. Paige’s parents, Doug and Emily, take Paige on a family trip to reconnect and allow Emily to bury her past, a past which comes to light in pieces throughout the story. When Paige disappears from their campsite, it is hours before either parent realizes she is gone and nearly twenty-four hours before they are able to get help in the search.

A search team is assembled, and a team of law enforcement and FBI also meets to ensure all angles of the disappearance are explored. Doug and Emily come under suspicion as their past is revealed along with recent events that paint them in a bad light. At the same time, death row inmate Isaiah Hood is facing down his execution date, and a link between him and Emily Baker is discovered.

Although the story is well written and interesting, with small bits of information planted throughout, it has some major drawbacks. The number of characters the reader has to follow is astounding. It feels like the reader is meeting new players right up until the very end, and each is given a detailed history. At times, it is difficult to follow each person’s position on the search team, with law enforcement, news agencies, and legal teams.

The major drawback is the information given about Paige. The opening scene of the book confused me for the entire story. The reader is shown exactly what happened with Paige, so throughout the entire book I questioned the reasoning for law enforcement’s involvement. Certainly there is reasonable suspicion of the parents, but given what we know of the actual disappearance, the reader knows in the end they are innocent regardless of any information that may suggest otherwise. Basically, as I read, I continually wondered what the point was.

The story also has quite a few errors, which are distracting. I expect much more in e-books these days. A good editor goes a long way.

At the end of the day, I did read the whole story and enjoy the plot. However I think it would have been a lot more effective if all of Paige’s scenes had been cut out and the reader was actually left wondering what happened right along with law enforcement and the journalists.

Happy reading!

The Change (Unbounded Book 1) by Teyla Branton

The Change (Unbounded Book 1) by Teyla Branton

The Change Cover
4 out of 5 Stars

The Change is the action-packed supernatural story of Erin Radkey, who discovers she is part of a rare race called Unbounded. By a fluke of her genes, Erin and other Unbounded are near immortal. This “Change” doesn’t happen to many, and it usually doesn’t occur until the potential Unbounded is in their early thirties. After a fiery car accident should have left her dead, Erin finds herself very much alive, and in the protection of a group of Unbounded called Renegades.

But the Renegades aren’t the only Unbounded out there. The opposing Emporium want Erin just as much as the Renegades do, and even they aren’t the only threat. There’s also a group of mortals known as Hunters who are set on destroying all Unbounded.

Erin must decide which group of Unbounded her loyalty lies with, and she also must decide who she can trust. Her former best friend? Her almost fiancé? A fourth great-grandmother or her possible biological father? How about a Renegade who doesn’t stick around for long?

The Change is certainly intriguing and full of action. The concept of the Unbounded is interesting and makes for good battles when neither side is easily killed. Everyone has a talent, and it takes some time before Erin’s fully surfaces. When it does, it seems like a good idea for her to trust it, and she does so easily.

One of the drawbacks of this story is that everyone is quick to change sides based on a little discussion. And when they do, Erin is quick to believe them, which leads to disaster after disaster. As a reader, it’s difficult to trust anyone even when Erin “reads” them since she’s been fooled in the past. It also seems like no matter the danger, there’s time to stop for a discussion. It puts a bit of a damper on all the action when it’s interrupted by a chat about who’s a traitor and what they’re going to do next.

In addition to all of the action, there’s a bit of romance between Erin and Ritter, another Renegade. I wouldn’t call this story a romance, but it had enough to keep the reader longing for more of Ritter, even knowing he might not stick around.

The story held my interest from start to finish, and I would definitely read the next book in the series.

Happy reading!

Welcome to my new blog!

Welcome to Rach Lawrence Books, my new blog for book reviews.

Since I love to read, and I review many of the books I read, I decided to start this blog as a place to keep all of my reviews. I’ll be posting as often as I finish and review … perhaps as often as every few days.

If you’d like me to review an ARC of your book, please leave a comment for now. As soon as I can, I’ll set up a request form and publish it on the blog.

Happy reading!