"Refreshing and unexpected, this edition in the First & Ten Series pulled some surprises by moving the action off the gridiron and into the world of reality TV. It also offered up characters who, on the surface, weren't entirely likeable, especially Harley who came across as shallow and self-serving until you peeled away the layers of a privileged athlete and looked at the reality of living with the potential to lose everything you've worked so hard for with one punishing hit. Shyla, his ex, is a strong, talented and independent woman, with obligations to her family and a powerful dose of ambition driving her choices—one of which was to break up with Harley in mutual recognition that what they wanted and needed were best served by being apart rather than together. And so begins parallel story lines of retreat and advance in a dance of poor choices and even poorer outcomes.
While not a fan of The Bachelor, this foray into its literary clone was fascinating to me, as Harley sifts through the lineup in the hopes of securing his future with a compatible woman by his side. This modern equivalent of shopping for a mail order bride just goes to show the more things change the more they stay the same. Harley gets some tough lessons in learning to judge character, while Shyla is subjected to the harsh realities of making enemies in a career built on greasing just the right wheels at exactly the right time. For both, failure has consequences and part of their mutual journey is discovering how to come back from the abyss and finally recognize the value of being genuine and honest with each other.
While I'm not a big fan of revisiting earlier characters in a series, the few chapters allotted to bringing readers up-to-speed on the doings of some key players was interesting and worked to alleviate the tension as Harley and Shyla work through their issues offline.
While the characters tested my limits in terms of being sympathetic and the "root for" type, their journey was compelling and the resolution was quite satisfying. Props to the author for making some bold choices. Five Stars."
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"This may be one of the most powerful books in the series, and that's saying something! Ms. Joachim has really given her readers some wonderfully flawed characters and I for one am tickled several shades of pink. Set in a show that resembles The Bachelor, this book takes us along as two people struggle to get what they want out of life. They make decisions- some good and some bad - and then they deal with those decisions. It's honest, raw, real life conflict and I love it. Our leading couple in this book are not perfect, no, far from it, but they do love each other deeply. As in real life careers sometimes slither in to pull a couple apart. And while these two drifted away from each other, their hearts were always joined.
If you're looking for Prince Charming and Princess Perfection, then perhaps you should read another book. If you like realistic characters, great football action, and sultry romance, then grab this one up right now. It will take you on an amazing ride and show you a side of TV and professional sports - and the risks associated with both - that you won't soon forget."
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"...This story line is so brilliant it totally blew me away. The chemistry and dialogue between Harley and Shyla had me laughing, then drooling, then crying, then laughing again. They are still so in love with each other, yet there is nothing to be done about it. Harley has signed a contract to make an honest effort to choose one of the contestants to marry, and Shyla has also signed a contract agreeing not to interfere in any way with the bachelor or the contestants..."
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Not your cookie-cutter romance, Harley Brennan will keep you guessing until the last scene.
Find it in ebook or paperback here:
#Footballromance, #sportsromance, #badboyromance, #lovestory