When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.
While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.
Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.
Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.
I have to say this was my first foray in to NA and I enjoyed it. We have a fun story of a uptight, fairly repressed woman and an easily angered, carefree man who end up finding love when/where they never expected it. At their core they really share a ton of values and attitudes but the surface appearances make them both think that they aren’t worthy of one another.
Rachael ends up stumbling in to a party being thrown by Malcolm who happens to be a football player for the local NY team. When there she meets the teams all-star quarterback who of course assumes she’s there just for a hook-up which causes her to go off on him about dumb jocks and their behavior. She is quick to distrust his motives and when things get tough or can be misconstrued she always seems to jump to the worst conclusions. She says things she really doesn’t mean out of fear and hurt but as the book progresses we get to see her grow up and face her fears. I liked she didn’t care about his money or fame but instead wanted the real man beneath the image. I also adored that she did stand on her own two feet even when it was stupid of her to do so. I understood his frustration when her pride wouldn’t let her take anything from him but I liked her spunk.
Ryan was something else. He’s a great guy who instantly went on the defensive with her which made me laugh a bit. He pushes all her buttons but finds that even though she is prickly and hard to handle he wants her in a way he has never wanted another woman. He doesn’t really date but does play the field which does cause a few of the worst arguments when she says things that make him out to be horrible. I loved when we saw his soft side but enjoyed it when he pushed through her walls and showed what she really meant to him. This is a man who most see as invulnerable and this god but what he really is was so much more thoughtful and amazing. He’s had his share of hurt in his past and watching him let her in made me smile.
This was a very well done story with some fun elements in the other players and her friends but mainly I enjoyed it because the pair was just wonderful together with their fighting and banter. Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.
As always with any Carina Press title if you want to pick this one or any others please click the link in my sidebar to go out and grab it.