This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Intermix
Released on May 17, 2016
Give me some football! The Santa Fe Bobcats are my fictional favorite football team. Highlight fictional since I am a die hard Indianapolis Colts fan and I don’t see that changing (and even if the Bobcats play the Colts, I go Colts)! I have a great love for this series, but the last book left me with a bad feeling and I didn’t know what was going to happen with this book.
I immediately jumped in Josh Leeman being called into the Bobcat head coach’s office to be told he’s up as quarterback after their starter quarterback, Trey Owens (book #1) comes home from his honeymoon with a sprained ankle. His in head mantra’s gets old fast and I was afraid I was going to dump this book before it got going. Josh was raised by his single mother after his father abandon’s the family.
Carrington Gray is back in Santa Fe after her father is admitted to the hospital. She learns he has dementia and her mother is having a hard time taking care of him. Carri has a business back in Salt Lake City running rental properties and flipping houses. Staying in Santa Fe isn’t in the cards, but what else is she to do when her mother needs help? She couldn’t wait to get away from her controlling mother, but her father’s downslide in health has her staying in Santa Fe.
Maeve, Carri’s mom, is best friends with Gayle, Josh’s mom. The two heros have known each other since they were in diapers. See where I am going? These are “The Moms” and they have been matchmaking as long as they have known each other. Carri feels like she has no control over her life any more and her mother isn’t telling her the entire story, which she suspects. Carri’s dad was like a surrogate dad to Josh, so he is there support as much as he can. So the “Moms” start throwing these two enemies together.
When it all started, I wanted to smack these two for seeming so juvenile. They intentionally try to antagonize each other to the point I was ready to put the book down. I am glad I didn’t. Josh feels an attraction to Carri and starts to be the the guy who gets her out of the house. Carri keeps Josh grounded as he struggles taking on the lead quarterback role. While they are realistic to each other, they aren’t hurtful and slowly start a relationship. For Josh it is something he believes could be long term, while Carri is feeling trapped in a situation she is not enjoying.
I loved the dynamics of these two once I got past my irritation. Josh was a quiet supporter of Carri’s. He did very unselfish things to relieve some of her stress and give her choices she didn’t feel her mother was giving her. I can say I didn’t hate Maeve, but she is one piece of work I would have had a hard time dealing with like Carri. I didn’t get know Gayle as much, you can see how much she loves her son, which is not what I felt from Maeve for Carri.
I especially enjoy and didn’t enjoy reading the parts where Carri is dealing with her father. I liked that the elephant in the book wasn’t hidden. He has dementia. It’s not pretty and it isn’t easy, but you see Carri working with her father through the good and the bad. It broke my heart at times, and made me laugh at other. My grandmother had dementia, so I knew what the struggles for Carri were going to be and just how they will say things they don’t really mean, but still hurt. Never once did Carri blame her father for what was happening, but she also had very human emotions about what it was doing to her.
We get some hot football time. Not much mind you, but an opening play or two. There is training camp, pre-season and some seasonal games which made me a happy fan.
Josh knows his way around a woman’s body, but I wouldn’t say he is a man whore or womanizer. He just likes pleasing a woman. Carri gives back as good as she gets. Unfortunately are a few bedroom scenes, the later ones seem to be fade to black.
I was quite happy with the way this book ended and happy to see a bit of the future. Josh is a wonderful guy once you get past his insecurity in his own abilities. Carri was a little rougher to get along with. Mostly I sympathized with her on having her life taken over from her without any say, but I also didn’t like how she handled Josh a few times. It all ends good for me, so I won’t let any of that take away from my enjoyment of this book!
Literary Pickers: Tool Belt/Box
Book ‘N Tunes: Not Alone by Harry Gardner – for Carri and her dad.