Exciting, New Adult sports romance with an NFL-kicker heroine
Reading Level: New Adult Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Pages: 277 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry
At 26 years old, Aiden Patrickson has been a starting quarterback in the NFL for three years with the New Mexico Proghorns. He is doing great for his age, but unfortunately, the Proghorns have the lousiest record in the pro league. He is determined to do everything in his power to improve their win/loss ratio, both for its own sake, and because it will greatly escalate his chances to eventually get picked up by a much better team. In service of that goal, he is strongly hoping that the new kicker the owners have just acquired will be a major boost to the team’s scoring.
Jordan Givens is a recent college graduate and, at just-turned 21, she has achieved a major accomplishment beyond any woman in history. She has been accepted as a kicker on an NFL team! Jordan started out in sports in her childhood as a soccer player. But she landed on the road to her true dream of playing football when, as a sophomore in high school, the varsity football coach caught her kicking a football through the JV field goalposts from 55 yards, put her on the football team, and the rest is history.
Aiden is shocked when he discovers that his team has been saddled with a woman kicker! He is convinced this is some kind of crazy publicity stunt from management to increase attendance at their home games. Aiden doesn’t care how good this woman might be, the NFL has no room for females, and he’s convinced the team will resent her so much, it will destroy morale. Then he meets the woman, and the situation gets massively worse. Aiden experiences an explosive attraction to the beautiful pro athlete. But no matter how much he wants to get up close and personal with Jordan, a sexual relationship with her would be the worst idea on record.
Jordan is overwhelmed on finding herself face to face with Aiden Freaking Patrickson! She has crushed on him for years. He played for a California state team in college, and she first discovered him his senior year before he was drafted to the pros in the first round. He is not only a brilliant athlete, but one of the most gorgeous, ripped men she’s ever met—and being surrounded by athletes most of her life, she’s seen quite a few prime specimens. She is intensely aware that she absolutely must not allow Aiden to see how attracted she is to him. Nothing could be more unprofessional than fawning over the QB. It would be disastrous to any hope of being taken seriously by the team.
I am a huge fan of romance novels featuring a female lead who is an elite athlete. I have seen plenty of gifted female athletes in young adult (YA) novels, including a few with female quarterbacks and kickers. But this is the first I’ve seen an elite female athlete in an NA romance novel, especially a football kicker in the NFL. And I’ve never personally read an adult romance novel with an elite female athlete. I’m sure there must be more NA romance novels with elite female athletes, and maybe even some adult romance novels. Unfortunately, I haven’t found them yet. Which means this book was a delightful discovery for me.
It is obvious that the author did extensive research on football while writing this book. The locker-room, training-field, and game scenes all feel quite authentic. In addition, there are just enough game scenes to be interesting, but not enough to become overwhelming to non-football fans.
Jordan is a wonderful heroine, forceful, determined, and honorable, and she has a very close, loving relationship with her widowed father.
Aiden is a terrific guy as well. He is as sexy and alpha as any romance fan could want. Yet it is believable that he does not feel his masculinity is threatened by a very strong woman like Jordan, due to having caring, respectful and affectionate relationships with his mother, older sister and baby sister. I especially enjoyed little sister, Candice, by the way. She is a softball prodigy at age 16 and what my father would have called a “real pistol.” The fact that she is an extreme extrovert with no verbal filter creates many humorous moments in the book. Her father, Aiden’s stepfather, is also a wonderful man. He is a former college baseball star who has gone out of his way to give his daughter Candice the support she needs, acting as her coach and personal trainer.
The sex is very hot in this book, and it is instigated by Jordon as much or more than Aiden. She knows what she wants, and Aiden is more than happy to oblige her. It is quite impressive that he never feels threatened by her either professionally or in the bedroom.
This is a classic romance novel, meaning there is no cheating, no romantic triangle with another woman (OW) or another man (OM), and a guaranteed HEA. This book is also told in the ideal format for a romance novel, in the dual point of view (POV) of both the heroine and hero. This approach permits the reader to intimately experience both sides of the romance, including the goals and motivation, and the internal and external barriers to accomplishing their hearts’ desires for both Jordan and Aiden.
All in all, this book has a unique take on the sports romance, and it is a pleasure to read.
I rank this book as follows:
Romance Plot: 5
Sports Plot: 5