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Monday, July 7, 2014

ARC Review: Light the Lamp by Catherine Gayle

Light the Lamp is the third book in Catherine Gayle's contemporary sports romance series about the Portland Storm hockey team. These books can all be read as standalones but do contain interconnected characters and the story does continue from one book to the next. Even though it isn't absolutely necessary to start at the beginning, I would definitely recommend it so that you get to know all the characters and see how they have all got to where they are. Beyond that though, these books are just good stories and I think that they are worth the read. These books do all deal with some heavy issues though. However what I love about them the most is that even though they contain serious subjects that have left the character broken or a bit damaged is that they show how we can truly overcome anything, and they always leave you feeling happy and hopeful.

After losing his wife in a tragic accident, Liam Kallen gets traded from the NHL team he has been on for years to the Portland Storm. Shortly after arriving in town, he sees a woman on the side of the road in a potentially dangerous situation and can't help but try to prevent the unthinkable from happening to her. He couldn't protect his wife, but he will do everything he can to protect this woman. He convinces her to let him help, and shortly after things go from bad to worse for Noelle Payne when her car ends up getting destroyed in an accident. Without Liam's help, she would have not just lost her car but also her life. When Liam finds out that she was living out of her car and is now without a home, car or job, he tells her to come and stay with him for awhile. She reluctantly agrees, and decides to take him up on his offer. Soon Liam is going out of his way to protect and provide for her in the only way he knows how. Noelle is determined to make it a short time though and continues to search for a way for her to make a difference in the world. As Liam and Noelle grow closer, he begins to heal from the painful death of his wife while finally looking towards the future for the first time. But can Noelle stick around long enough to see if they have a chance at a future together, especially when she knows that he is still not opening himself up to her completely?

I really liked Liam. He was a genuinely good guy, that was kind and thoughtful. He was always trying to help others and provide for others when they couldn't do it themselves. He was truly selfless, and never even thought about what he would get in return. He didn't expect anything from anyone else, and it made him so easy to like. He was really sweet and understanding with Noelle, and he never judged her. I liked Noelle's character, and I thought that she was so positive and optimistic. I thought that she was too trusting though, and I couldn't believe how quickly she let Liam in regardless of what a great person he was. It was hard for me to identify with her even though I liked her character. I just thought that she was a bit too free spirited for my taste, and she tended to live in the moment without much thought as to her future or the real world. She didn't seem to really be bothered with the fact that she didn't have any kind of job or place to stay, and she was determined to look for a job that was about making a difference only. I just kept thinking if I was in the same situation I wouldn't care what job I had to take in order to have a roof over my head and that I could worry about doing something meaningful after I was able to provide for myself. I also didn't get how she would just wander off to take a walk or bike ride and would completely forget to wear shoes and things like that. So as much as I liked her and thought she was nice, she was just too different for me to really connect with. I did think that she had chemistry with Liam and that they were great together. They were able to help each other out in so many ways, and I thought that they were the perfect match for the other. Liam helped her and offered her the support she needed, and she helped him to heal and really start to live again.

Overall, I think that this was a good addition to the series and I am really enjoying each story that I have read so far. I love this group so much, and I think that each and every character has something so unique and great to offer. They have all been through so much, and each one is so different from all the others. But what makes them so great is that all their differences just make them that much better as a whole. The Portland Storm hockey team and organization are so much closer than a family, and it just amazes me with each book I read how much they all support each other and lean on one another. They are always there for each other and they never expect anything in return. These books really do show that anything is possible with love and friendship. As much as I love this series and Catherine Gayle's writing, I will admit that this book had the same problem that I have found with all the rest. I love the entire book and really enjoy things up until the end. For me, her endings always seem abrupt and leave a lot to be desired. I just wish that her endings were as good as the rest of her books, because I really feel like these books would all be five stars if they didn't just stop. She always has epilogues and the characters are seen throughout the books, but they always just seem to be rushed and incomplete when it comes to the end of the book. I still think that these books are worth reading though, and I would definitely recommend to contemporary fans as well as sports romance fans. I look forward to the next book in this series as well as more from Catherine Gayle in the future.

**ARC Provided by AToMR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | The Book Depository |


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