Leila Hart was a refreshingly different heroine. She is so well-versed in NFL football, has a fun sense of humor, and is an entrepreneur. No wimpy female here. Jackson, though a bit of a playboy, was a sexy sports analyst and observant of her. I liked him right away. They had much in common, and Jackson saw her intelligence and liked her for it. I liked their banter. I did feel for her as their attraction grew, but was threatening to get in the way of their professionalism. The problem that women face in male-dominated fields in not being judged as not having earned their position.
“What had the world come to when a woman’s love life was more talked about than the amazing things she accomplished in her career?”
But Leila and Jackson have secrets that they are not willing to reveal to each other. I really enjoyed the tone of the book, though in proving how smart Leila is about football (and I enjoy NFL football) it seemed a little bit heavy in the technical terms if you’re not that into it. As Leila’s initial secret is uncovered, I like her even more. But Jackson’s secret changes the dynamics of the story from different and engaging to a bit disappointing and a bit generic. I preferred him before the secret was revealed. The author did try to blend old Jackson and the new one, but I preferred the old version.
There were twists that totally had me reeling. As Jackson’s brother comes into the story line, there is unexpected action and some violence. Then there is another twist that I totally didn’t guess was coming. Nicely done, Violet Duke! Before the twists, I was rating this 3 – 3.5 stars, but the twists and the ending got me back up to 4 stars. I especially liked Leila, though Jackson never quite got back his earlier charm. Then there were his friends. A bit of a cliché, but amusing all the same. It seems Bennett will be the next to have a book in the series.
I didn’t like the description of her “dainty hands fisted into tiny little hammers”. “And she was jabbing a tiny little index finger in his sternum…” Seriously, tiny? She’s a fully grown woman, not a toddler. Toddlers have tiny little hands and fingers. But this was a minor issue.
Overall, the heroine is independent, vulnerable, fun, and a businesswoman. She has to overcome a situation that I thought would end up with Jackson coming to her rescue, but she proves that she can handle even the toughest problems on her own. The hero turns out to be a nice guy who really gets her and appreciates her as she is. He goes from shunning a relationship to embracing theirs with a sweet, grand gesture. It is a solid, sexy, contemporary romance with a sports theme. The sexy scenes were hot. Their relationship was a modern partnership, where she is an equal to him. I liked that aspect of it most of all.
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley for review. This is my honest review. This is an author that I have read before and own other copies of her books.
It’s no secret that sports analyst Jackson Gray doesn’t do relationships. What is a secret, however, is the reason why. Jackson’s life is . . . complicated. And it doesn’t help that his current hands-off “friendship” is with the cute-as-hell new sideline reporter he’s assigned to train. Turns out, not only is the woman damn sweet, she also knows as much about football as he does. Like it or not though, Jackson has to remind himself that sex is the only thing he has to offer . . . until now.
Leila Hart’s fast-growing friendship with Jackson is something she’d never risk, no matter how unbelievably seductive the reward. Becoming an NFL sportscaster has always been the goal, and thanks to Jackson’s fierce support and mentoring, it all finally seems within reach. Problem is, a girl can only take so much of that sexy-as-sin voice whispering dirty, filthy football stats in her ear before she loses all self-control. A workplace romance with Jackson is a disaster waiting to happen, especially for someone with big dreams . . . and secrets of her own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing fun, sexy, and emotional contemporary romances. With just under a million books sold to date, since becoming an author in 2013, Violet has appeared on the USA Today bestseller list thirteen times and the NYT bestseller list three times, with the additional honor of charting in the Top 10 across the major eretailers both in the U.S. and internationally.
When she’s not feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking impossible-to-be-duplicated ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. A born and raised island girl, she spends her days in Hawai’i chasing after her two cute kids (daughter Violet & son Duke) and similarly adorable husband (their ringleader).