Review: Smoke Signals

Title: Smoke Signals, Tulsa Thunderbirds series
Author: Catherine Gayle
Published: October 22, 2015, Night Shift Publishing
Genre: Sports Romance

Desperation changes a person. Leads them to do things they never would have dreamed.

Thanks to his mother, Ray “Razor” Chambers knows what desperation can lead a person to do. But as a defenseman for the Tulsa Thunderbirds, those days are long in the past for both of them. His best buddy is about to get hitched in Vegas when a woman whose eyes are filled with an all-too-familiar haunted look approaches Razor. She makes him a proposition, and he knows he’s witnessing yet another act borne of desperation.

Viktoriya Dubrovskaya knows all about desperation, too. She came to America to study ballet and escape a fate no one should have to bear. She can never go home again. She’s broke and broken, not to mention in survival mode. Viktoriya turned to the only help offered, but in the end it stripped her of everything she was and all she wanted. Now she’s out of time, money, and options…until she sees Razor.

There’s no chance he’ll take her up on what she’s offering, but he suggests a counter-proposal—one involving a ring, a green card, and the chance to reclaim her body. It’s an opportunity she can’t pass up, but for Viktoriya and Razor, learning to live together as husband and wife is as foreign as interpreting Smoke Signals. And where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

CONTENT WARNING: contains graphic and potentially disturbing description of abuse, both physical and sexual.

Smoke Signals takes us back to the Tulsa Thunderbirds Hockey Team. This is the second book of this spin off series from Gayle’s Portland Storm series. This book is also about a former Storm player, Ray “Razor” Chambers.

Fans of the Storm series will be thrilled to see some of the players appear in this book. Razor is in Vegas for his best friend Babs wedding to Katie Weber. The night before the wedding, he is propositioned by Viktoriya, posing as a prostitute. Razor sees right through her gimmick and tries very hard to get her to open up about what is happening with her.

Razor—very loud and rowdy with his teammates—soft spoken and heart of absolute gold in his private life. 

“Tori”—terribly damaged and without a friend or family member in the world. Classically trained ballerina, very down on her luck. 

I don’t want to share much more of the story with you because I think you need to take this journey with Razor and Tori. Fair warning, there are some trigger scenes that may be difficult for some people. I am certain you will fall in love with Razor all on your own after finishing this story. This author brings home the power of love and its ability to heal the troubled soul. 

I loved seeing the care that Razor took to ensure that Tori felt safe enough to work through her issues. My curiosity was peaked about Dimi and I look forward to reading his story. Lovers of hockey will enjoy the play by play that Ms. Gayle puts in all of her books. No need to read book 1 first but why not get the feel for the team and read that one too? 

Catherine Gayle is a USA Today 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.

If you want to know more, be sure to sign up for Catherine’s mailing list. She can also be found at Hockey Romance, at Facebook, on Twitter, and at Goodreads. If you want to see some of her cats’ antics and possibly the occasional video update from Catherine, visit her YouTube account.


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