Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Publication Date: August 13th 2013
Series: Penalty Kill Trilogy #1
Source: provided by author
Levi Carr is captain of the Roxboro University Lions hockey team. His rival is James Wayne University and their captain, Trevor McCarthy. After an incident in high school and his mother’s death, Levi does whatever he can to make McCarthy’s life a little harder. When leaving the rivaling campus one night, Levi meets one person who can unknowingly help him mess with McCarthy. My one job in this is to mess with McCarthy’s head and all it has done is mess with mine. Presley McCarthy lives in the shadow of her twin brother, Trevor. After being separated when their parents divorced, all Presley heard about was Levi Carr being a bully to Trevor. Now in college, Presley is trying to be her own person, but when she meets Levi Carr, it all changes. But will the changes be good or bad? He is nothing like my brother described. Maybe I’ve been wrong all along. *This book is intended for mature audiences.*
I like to consider myself an avid sports fan. I tend to lean more towards Football most days with it being a sport I can either watch or play. The other sports I would rather just play. Then there's Hockey. I've never really been a big hockey fan so I haven't read too many Hockey themed books so Breakaway was my second experience with this subject.
Levi Carr and Trevor McCarthy have a rival that dates back to high school days for both guys. Levi holds a grudge against Trevor for not only stealing his Captain position but snaking his girlfriend as well. Now that they are both in college and play for rival schools they don't see much of each other. Until Levi meets Trevor's sister Presley. The redhead beauty catches his eye first but when he learns who she is he hatches a plan to get even with his rival by using his sister. Presley gives Levi a run for his money playing hard to get but as the two start to develop feelings for each other Levi is in a tug of war with himself to continue with his plan or give in to his heart. I liked the basic premise of this story. Guy hell bent on revenge no matter what is something I could relate to and have quietly pondered a time or two myself. Who hasn't wanted to stick it to their enemy before right? I was drawn into the setup and couldn't wait to see how things would work out once the tables turned.
The characters were a crazy mix of traits for me. Levi came across as a complete douche bag when first meeting him. He was very cocky and almost to self assured but the once I got further into his character I started to like him. He did have a side to himself that wasn't all bad especially when I found out the reasons behind his persona. He actually turned out to be a sweetheart and I almost felt like he became the whipping boy throughout. He was the one who lost his captain position, his girlfriend and someone very close to him all in one time frame yet everyone was quick to vilify him. I really hated that about the story and that's why I think Levi was ultimately my favorite character throughout. Maybe my love for him stemmed from seeing how broken he was by all he'd lost or the weight of feeling like a failure most of his life but Levi was just charming and fantastic. Despite his plan he was really good to Presley and cared for her unlike any girl he's been with before. And Believe me, the boy has had some fun with the "Puck Bunnies".
Presley was cool to me at first. I liked the way she didn't just give in to Levi knowing his reputation but she made him work for it a little. At first I thought she was strong willed and independent, all traits I normally love in my female heroines but for some reason she rubbed me the wrong way. She was too dependant on her brother Trevor and I understood they were twins and shared a bond but she let him almost dictate her life in some ways. There were several times when I wanted to slap her around a bit because she couldn't seem to think for herself. At times she had a tendency to be melodramatic especially when she finds out about Levi's plan but if she would have just listened to her heart instead of her idiot brother. Trevor was such an ass hat and thankfully he wasn't mentioned much, only when he was bossing his sister around. I didn't understand their connection even for a twin thing. Even though Presley had times where she seemed to not have a mind of her own I did like how she ended up being there for Levi in a time he needed someone.
Breakaway was a book I both loved and hated in equal parts. I loved the story of Levi and Presley even though I didn't feel like I connected with them at all. I did pick it up and put it down a few times because I didn't feel pulled to continuously read it but they did have a nice build up to their romance. The writing was a little stiff and robotic in places. There should have been more contractions used to display college kids talking to each other not British royals with proper grammar but that's not really anything too bothersome. One of the main aspects I didn't like and I'll say it again was how I felt Levi was picked on by both Presley and Trevor. Levi was the one who had everything taken from him yet Presley and her brother acted like he was the villain and then Levi had to do all the grovelling. That shit just rubbed me the wrong way because I did end up loving Levi's character and I hate when a character I love is unnecessarily mistreated. I guess what I mean is that Presley never acknowledge her brothers part in Levi's behaviour and harshly mistreated him and let her brother off the hook. Blargg, OK moving on.
In all honesty Breakaway wasn't a bad book especially to be a debut for both authors. I did enjoy the romance and the playful way Levi and Presley were to each other. I swooned when he called her Smarty as a cute pet name. I could have done without the brother but he wasn't in it that much anyway so, whatever. I'm not sure who the next book will be about in this series but am I curious. Presley's friend Marley was really funny and witty so I wouldn't mind seeing something about her finding a guy to match her crazy behind. The heat factor for this one was pretty tame for a New Adult novel but I did enjoy that aspect between Levi and Presley. To be a newbie to the sports themed romance world I don't think you could go wrong with Breakaway, especially if you love Hockey.
I don't know how long we were kissing, but when we finally pull apart, my lips are swollen, and I'm not cold anymore. Mobi/Kindle 25%
"Presley, I want you," he pauses, "With me for as long as you'll stay. Forever would be too short to love you, because i do. I love you." Mobi/Kindle 80%
About Lindsay Paige:
Lindsay Paige is a romance author from North Carolina. She has published five books in her completed Bold as Love series and YA titled Don't Panic. With coauthor Mary Smith, they have published two NA Hockey Romances in The Penalty Kill Trilogy. She has three passions in life: reading, writing, and watching hockey, especially the Pittsburgh Penguins. Among the pile of books to read, books to write, and games to watch, Lindsay is also focused on completing college. Lindsay is inspired by world around her and the people in it. Many of the aspects in her books stem from her love for hockey and her struggles in life and with anxiety, as evident in Don't Panic. She is currently working on numerous solo works and a couple of projects with Mary Smith as well.
About Mary Smith:
Mary Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, but raised in Princeton, Illinois. She is currently lives in West Virginia. She is an avid reader, co-founder of Book Nerds Across America, author of The Ice Series and co-author of The Penalty Kill Trilogy. She goes nowhere without her cell phone or Kindle. Mary loves anything to do with Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Sharp, and hockey related! She is also an avid Chicago Bears and Chicago Bulls fan.