By Tqwana B.
2 out of 5 stars ★★☆☆☆
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.
**ARC provided by NetGalley/Loveswept in exchange for an honest review
I nearly gave up on this book.
I love football. It becomes an integral part of your life when you attend a state-championship winning high school, and a university with 5 national championships (6 if you count the one we were cheated out of), and you’re in the marching band and required to attend all the home games and most bowl games. And while I do not pretend to be an expert analyst like Jackson or Leila here, I can still tell the shotgun from the I-formation, and can probably pick up a corner blitz as well as your average QB.
But, I fail to see 1. how that keeps me from having amazing friendships with other women (because I absolutely do have amazing friendships with other women), and 2. how that makes me the “perfect” girl the way it’s implied with this book’s heroine Leila Hart.
The author just came right out and said it: the dreaded “I have more in common with guys than I do other girls.” Wow… are we still perpetuating that “cool girl” fantasy? Leila talks to only 3 women in the entire book, 2 of which are her mother and sister that we’re supposed to have disdain for, and rightfully so. For the most part. The other female, we’re only told she had interactions with. We never see it.
In contrast, Jackson is some sort of unicorn. He’s altruistic, supportive, helpful. He’s almost like a magical guardian angel at the office. Always available to take on and fix everyone else’s problems. Our romance heroes are fantasies, for sure, but this might be pushing it a bit. Oh, and he’s a secret billionaire, who’s can’t have a real relationship because of it. Or something. The reasons were muddled for me.
Character development aside, I found the rest of the book disjointed, never really feeling like one cohesive narrative. Plot devices kept popping up conveniently at the end that were never even hinted at before in the story. Even Jackson’s best friends (who will likely be the heroes in the remaining books in the series) sort of came out of nowhere, but Leila tells us that Jackson talked about them all the time. Would’ve been nice to have seen some of those conversations on the page.
…how is someone who was shot 4 times, twice in the lungs, who coded more than once, and was in a medically induced coma, able to go back to normal in two weeks? I would think that you’d be in the hospital for a least a month just to avoid the risk of infection, blood clots, and other such complications for nearly dying.
But, that is all just my humble opinion. Overall, I wanted to SEE more on the page rather than being told.