Part of a series? Yes.
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance.
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
To win the game, they’ll have to risk losing their hearts…
When a bizarre child custody stipulation pits popular sports blogger Gracie Gable against football superstar Jake Malone, losing the battle for her twin nieces isn’t the only thing Gracie has to worry about. Forced to live for three months under the same roof as the sexy tight end, will she fall prey to his flirtatious pursuit? Or worse, will the skeletons in her closet destroy her chance for the love and family she so desperately wants?
Neglected by his parents as a boy, Jake doesn’t believe in happily ever after. Yet living with Gracie and the twins might be enough to change his mind—and his womanizing ways. But when the press unearths a scandal from Gracie’s past, will he lose the one woman he was ready to open his heart to?
I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
This is the first book in the Players series. I’m often eager to read sports romance books and while this one is nice, it’s not exactly what I expected in term of romance as I see it. But, it really is a nice book and worth the read.
After reading the blurb I was sure I’d be in for a heady romance between the handsome football player Jake and the gorgeous young woman and blogger Gracie, but in the end the romance is a bit disappointing. Now, you must be wondering why I think this is a novel worth the read if I didn’t enjoy the romance…
The characters are interesting.
Don’t get me wrong, they don’t have anything special. When I take a few minutes to analyze all characters they don’t have much of anything different from what we often read in the genre, but they all work together and create a nice and comforting little world. Will I remember them in a few weeks? Probably not, but in the meantime I spent a great few hours while reading this novel.
The plot itself is extremely unsurprising contrary to what I expected and sometimes I was hoping more would happen to shake things a bit and grab my attention again when I felt I was slipping away.
You see, the romance between Jake and Gracie isn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. I expected more conflict between these two, maybe a bit more back and worth in a plausible way. The reality is that Jake and Gracie started something quite seamlessly and didn’t encounter much of any issues along the way. (And the ending is rather quick and extremely cheesy.)
Also, my main issue lies with the beginning of their involvement. It happens almost suddenly and then the author uses an ellipse of a month (or more I don’t really know) and we don’t see much of their relationship or if either of them have issues hiding their newfound relationship when dealing with others and the little girls. I’m sad to say that it didn’t help me root for the couple or feel involved in any way. I wanted to see them grow closer when they started sleeping together.
The little girls, Angel and Charlie, are nice and sometimes bring a little something to the story, but unfortunately I think they’re not enough to make it obvious how much Jake changed throughout the book. In a way, it feels like he’s the same guy, only now ready to welcome a family. I like it when I see a true evolution in characters. Consider it a personal quirk of mine.
Other than that, the writing is flowing rather well even though I think some parts could have been deleted when it comes to long length of descriptions or some repetitive inner musings from both main characters. I enjoy reading characters’ thoughts, but when it becomes repetitive without much of a change from page one to the end I find it weighing on the rhythm of the novel.
As I said, it’s a nice book. It’s not heavy on the football aspect and I wouldn’t have minded more details regarding Jake’s career. The romance is light and nice and it’s sweet to read a story that is all about being a family and/or building one. It could have had a bit more depth, but in the end, it’s a good book to grab when you want something to chill and finish with a soft smile.