Loving Him Off the Field

cover52282-mediumAuthor: Jeanette Murray

Publisher: Penguin Group Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW (InterMix)

Rating: 4.5

Buy links: Amazon

Type: Novel in Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: Sometimes the best defense is a good offense…

Aileen is a sports reporter trying to make a name for herself without relying on her looks, And what better way to do that than to break a scandal about one of the fastest rising stars on the Santa Fe Bobcats? Killian seems too good to be true, so she knows he must be hiding something…

It’s hard enough breaking into the NFL—even more so when you’re a single dad. Killian isn’t proud that he’s keeping his son a secret, but his ex has a reputation that could tarnish his squeaky clean image for good. So when Aileen starts sniffing around, Killian decides to distract her by any means necessary.

But Aileen is more than capable of giving as good as she gets…

 

Review: I honestly have to applaud Ms. Murray for her ingenuity. I’ve been a lifelong reader, and at the tender age of 50+ I’ve read… er, doing the math… a gajillion books by now, and I’ve never never never come across the twist that she uses as the reason that this football player plays hard to get in this inspired, sexy, contemporary sports romance about a Santa Fe Bobcats player and a sports journalist. It was awesome to be guessing and guessing and to have it revealed and think… wow. I would never have thought of that and it’s actually a real reason. It’s not that he’s a panther shifter or something. It’s real!

Perky tiny Aileen is a writer for an online sports magazine that teeters on the brink of being TMZ. It’s part celebrity gossip, part hard-hitting sports news. Guess which one she gets to cover. Stories about groupies, tatoos on the wives of professional jocks, and more dot her resume. But she’s out to get the harder hitting stuff. She’d love to move to broadcast news, but as she stares longingly at the Amazons of the business with their height, beauty and big boobs, she knows her flat chest, short hair and short stature take her totally out of the running. So she’s aiming for what she thinks she can get. Written journalism. And she’s got a good shot since she’s a great writer, if only Bobby Mundane, the editor of Off Season, would give her a chance. He’s told her she’s got to get one of the “Great Whites” of the business–a news story that no one else can get. Either the story of the Prodigal Daughter (the story of Murray’s previous book, One Night with a Quarterback) Cassie Wainwright, the team owner’s daughter, or Killian Reeves, the illusive Santa Fe Bobcat.

Killian Reeves is the kicker for the Santa Fe Bobcats football team. The kicker is usually the redheaded stepchild on the football team–no one likes the kicker because he plays rarely but when he does, it’s really important. But Killian hadn’t even started out in football! He was a soccer player at heart. When he didn’t made the cut for the soccer team in college his freshman year, as luck would have it the football coach had been watching. He saw something he could work with in Killian and asked him to come and try out for the empty kicker position. He did and was offered a position on the football team.

While football really wasn’t his sport, Killian had worked hard to learn the new kicking position. And it turned out he was good at it–good enough to go pro. But as with all things that come too easily, Killian felt like he didn’t deserve the life he had. He didn’t respect himself and therefore didn’t demand respect from anyone else either. Since the kicker’s position was already a half-resented position, people were already inclined to doubt him, which made it a recipe for disaster. An incident his rookie year had marred his relationship with the certain players on the team, and even though they were gone, he still kept a wide gulf between himself and the others. So he was pretty lonely, and he had a pretty huge secret he was protecting.

So what else is Aileen to do but try to convince Killian to give her a story–any story–to help her move up the ladder at her job. She plays hard to get, using her new friends on the team as shields to get him jealous enough to pay attention to her. When he finally does, sparks ignite and the story gets hot between the journalist in search of a career-making story and the football player with a lot to lose with this particular lady in love…

 

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