Injury after injury has put Brenden Campbell’s NHL career on hold for years. Now he’s playing for the Portland Storm and determined to make it stick. Few things in life drive him more than being told he can’t have something he wants, and what he wants most is to prove he belongs. Brenden also wants Rachel Shaw, the cute, little redhead who just got hired as the general manager’s new assistant. But then she went and made herself off-limits, telling him: “I don’t date.” Those three words pretty much guarantee that he’ll do everything he can to change her mind.
Rachel is changing things up on the fly for her family, moving them somewhere she can be the kind of mom her kids deserve. Allowing anyone else to be in their lives is out of the question, at least until her instincts get back on track. How else can she be sure who to steer the kids clear of? Right now she trusts no one, including herself, and especially not a man like Brenden Campbell. He’s way too handsome and a little bit cocky. Falling for a guy like him is a mistake she can’t afford to make twice.
Brenden “Soupy” Campbell is all kinds of out of sorts: he has finally been called up to the NHL to play for the Portland Storm and his play has sucked; his sister, Dana Campbell is dating his best friend and his best friend is touching her; he is injured yet again and, he just met a beautiful woman who wants nothing to do with him. Does it really get any worse?
Rachel Shaw is a young mother who has packed everything she owns into her beater of a car in order to take her kids away from the man that hurt them all. From Texas to Portland with two small kids, no job and, no place to live is a long hard road but Rachel is determined to do whatever is necessary to protect her kids. She is willing to take any job she can get as long as it gets her a home and a safe place for Maddie and Tuck. With a GED, no college degree and, very little experience in any field other than manufacturing, Rachel is a bit surprised when she is given the job as an administrative assistant with the Portland Storm. Martha says she the one . . . .
With two lives that are basically in complete disarray, Brenden and Rachel should stay the hell away from each other. Rachel has completely lost her ability to trust men around her children and Brenden is fighting his own demons where his game play is concerned. Staying away from each other would be so much easier if they didn’t live right across the hall from one another and if Rachel didn’t work in the front office and Portland Storm headquarters. Add to all of this the fact that most people want exactly what they can’t have and Rachel and Brenden are a train wreck waiting to happen. Lucky for both of them, fate has both a sense of humor and a strong sense of what should be.
Rachel and Brenden’s story is one of kindness, trust and, a strong and true love that wins out over all else. Rachel and her children have been through so much and to open herself, Maddie and Tuck up to another potential disaster takes so much courage and Brenden recognizes that. Brenden’s experience with his sister, Dana has taught him to be patient and gentle along with his natural inclinations toward strong, confident and, assertive. Brenden is absolutely certain that Rachel, Maddie and, Tuck are meant to be his and he is confident in his assertion about this to Rachel but also clear that he is willing to be as patient as he has to be and for as long as he has to be. In the meantime, with Rachel and the kids by his side, Brenden’s gameplay is getting better and better and he is feeling so much better about life in general. Now, he just has to wait for Rachel to feel the same way about life in general 🙂
The Bottom Line: On the Fly is another solid read in the Portland Storm series. Brenden is a little tough to get behind in the beginning but once he really begins to dig in and show his true (awesome!) colors he is a whole lot easier to root for. Brenden is the highlight of this read for me and to see him really evolve as the story goes on is quite nice. I liked Rachel’s fierce determination to protect her kids but overall, I didn’t feel a great deal of connection to her. Maddie and Tuck are completely delightful and where Rachel falls a bit short for me, her kids pick up the slack. In all, this is a sweet read with a HEA that can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading it in order as a part of the Portland Storm Series.
Catherine Gayle is a bestselling author of Regency-set historical romance and contemporary hockey romance with a New Adult feel. 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.