Trapped in an elevator….yes! I love this scenario especially when it involves a famous professional rugby star and a woman who has recently made herself infamous before the media. What a hoot! And it was. The story engaged all my emotions. It touched on some pretty serious themes- guilt, harassment in the workplace, acceptance, and self-worth. All around good story that was fun, sexy and had some depth.
This is the second book in a series, but I had no trouble reading this one first. I liked the brief visit I had with the characters from the first book so I’ll be going back for that one when I can.
The story opens when Tess Chambers is staying (code for hiding out and licking her wounds) at a private hotel in Venezuela determined to tick a few items off her bucket list and do some soul-searching. Her skinny dipping plan falls through when she decides that it wouldn’t be wise to bare all on the hotel beach in the strong moonlight right after that debacle in London when she bared all on her blog and ended up in the middle of a huge workplace scandal. Her temper got the better of her when her former boss ‘kiss and told’ and even before that when she let off some steam in a blog about the actions of the misogynistic jerks she worked with. Poor treatment of women in the workplace became the investigation of the court and she became the champion of women or the office pariah depending on who you asked. So shirt on. Too bad she left her bikini top in her room and too bad her scramble across the hotel lobby in wet t-shirt is noticed by the hot guy checking in. And really? He wanted to share the elevator. And it got stuck when she hammered on the door close button. Tess recognizes him right away, but he is traveling incognito. That sounds like a fab idea so she gives a false name too and lies about knowing nothing about Liam Callaghan, rugby or the fact that she’s a life-long fan and season ticket holder for his team the London Legends. Liam is nothing like she expected and he rocks her world too bad the real world comes crashing down on her to wreck it for her.
Liam is taking time away to get his head back in order after losing his mum to cancer. He is now captain of his team and the World Cup will be in London this year while he is playing for the English team. Lots of pressure. Oddly, the time he spends with the pixie-sized female that treats him like a normal guy helps him to center and feel right. Being with her feels right until she ditches him after their night together and runs clear back to London to get away from him. He is still hurt and angry when he discovers that she is working for the company who has just become the Legends newest top sponsor. Now he knows she lied about a lot of things and he is determined to move past his encounter with Tess and keep everything business-like and professional. Too bad he still wants her and wants to be with her, yet he can’t figure out how to make it happen now that the fraternization issue is in effect since they’re co-workers.
The plot moved along at a good pace. This is a sports romance, but the sports is more the backdrop or one of the major settings then a plot thread. This was my first glimpse at the sport of rugby and even from this angle of behind the scenes, it has me fascinated enough to want to watch a match now.
The story is focused on both individual growth in the main characters and the romance that develops between them. These two are a hot mess that is sometimes hilarious and sometimes painful the way they jump to conclusions and leap into speech. Both have personal issues and are naturals at finding the sore buttons on each other. I grimaced so many times when words and actions got them into trouble. I was impressed with how the author kept things on the lighter, heartwarming side and managed to avoid things falling into undue angst. They might jump to conclusions, but the misunderstandings never last longer than is reasonable. They both showed good staying power when it was soul-bearing time too. And passion? Lord, yes! That was so not a problem for these two that struggled with everything else.
All in all, this was an enjoyable and engaging romance that I would recommend to those enjoy contemporary romances set in the sporting world.
My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.