Taking A Shot by Catherine Gayle
Series: Portland Storm #2.5
Publisher: Night Shift Publishing on September 4, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
Katie Weber has lost her health due to leukemia, and now her chemotherapy treatments have taken her hair. She’s not about to show up to her senior prom bald and let her classmates steal her dignity, too. Prom is no place for a girl who looks more like an alien than a high school student, especially when her so-called friends all dropped her like she had the plague at the first mention of the word cancer. Katie could never get up the courage to ask Jamie—her crush for almost two years, ever since he joined her dad’s pro hockey team—to take her. Not with the way she looks now. Besides, her dad would absolutely murder him.
Jamie Babcock knows its bad news to fall for his Portland Storm teammate’s daughter, but he’s had a thing for Katie since the first time he met her when he was just a wide-eyed, eighteen-year-old rookie. Now cancer might take her away before he ever grows the balls to do anything about it, though. Her father won’t be happy about it, but Jamie has to take a shot and ask to take her to her prom. It seems like Katie has just about given up, and he can’t let her go without giving her some good memories…something to hold on to. She’s still got her whole life ahead of her—she just has to keep living it. If he can convince her of that, nothing her father might do to him will matter.
Everyone knows that Katie Weber and Jamie Babcock only have eyes for each other. But she’s still in high school, and her dad is Jamie’s NHL teammate, so dating is out of the question. But now Katie’s been diagnosed with leukemia, and while Jamie was content to wait a few years, he doesn’t know anymore if they’ll even have a few years.
I’m usually pretty anti-novella, but I just had to get the story about Jamie and Katie, especially since it was clear long before her diagnosis was revealed that cancer was on the horizon. The story itself is super-short and really only covers Katie’s prom, but for now it’s enough.
Katie’s lost so much of her high school experience since being diagnosed with leukemia. The once-vibrant teenager is now taking online courses at home, sleeping all the time, and seemingly abandoned by her friends. It’s not much of a life for a girl who once had everything, and it seems like she’s giving up the fight. When Jamie learns that she’s not even going to her prom, he listens to his teammates and decides that this time it might be worth incurring the wrath of her father to give her just this one high school experience.
Jamie’s too much of a sweetheart to be a fighter, and he’s also respectful enough of Weber and his daughter that he would never cross the line. But asking Katie to her prom, showing her that it doesn’t matter that she lost her hair and that she’s still the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen is worth only getting 88 pages of story. Since the story’s so short, there isn’t a lot of detail I can give without essentially telling the whole thing, but suffice it to say that this was one romantic prom experience. Since Katie is so young, it’s not about sex, but rather about falling in love, accepting life and fighting for it, and believing in hope even when things seem hopeless. For anyone reading the Portland Storm series, this novella is not to be skipped!