Initial reaction: Yeah…I need to think about this one, but it’s unapologetic chick-lit. I wanted to mentally headsmack some sense into the leading characters several times, but the premise of the story wasn’t terrible. It was just really generic and over-the-top in execution.
This book irritated the ever-loving crumb out of me, for about 95% of the time that I read it. Mercifully, it proved a quick read when all was said and done, but at the same time – I’ll admit it held my attention from beginning to end. So if you’re asking me whether or not I liked this book – I don’t know on what side I fall definitively. This left me sitting on the fence. I think Allison Parr carried the storyline well enough in the structure, but this felt like hearing nails on a chalkboard in spurts.
The biggest part of my annoyance came from the unapologetic and insufferable leading characters. Rachel is a flighty bookworm-ish assistant at a publishing house, Ryan is a major NFL star whose name by mention alone draws a crowd. When Rachel stumbles into the wrong party one night, she begins a tumultuous relationship with Ryan that involves crude assumptions about his profession. I could believe that Rachel knew nothing about the inside workings of the NFL, but even with bringing my own knowledge and interest in sports into this read, Rachel really just didn’t have a single clue about the sport at all – not even for general/basic knowledge. She’s clumsy, her voice runs a mile a minute and I felt like banging my head against the wall, especially when watching her heated exchanges with Ryan.
Ryan’s just as terrible for brushing off Rachel whenever he gets a chance, and at the same time making assumptions about her that lead to the two clashing frequently. I’ve read my share of hot-blooded, heated romances, but somehow – I don’t know what it was about this particular book that turned me off about the heated exchanges between these characters. Part of me wants to say that Rachel’s character was just too OTT for my liking and I couldn’t sympathize with her at all. Her mind flies in about a million directions, and her internal voice was too grating for me to stomach in turns. Ryan was a little easier to follow and see his frustration towards Rachel, but he’s not much better in the assumption and accusation department.
Ultimately, Rachel and Ryan have to weather their insecurities and tough out past and present events to having a coming to terms with each other. By the end, I did think it tied events up well for what it offered, but it was too much of a slog to get through, and wore me out emotionally by the time I finished – not in a good or satisfying way. I wouldn’t really recommend this for those who dislike cliched, formulaic, and unlikable leads in a romance. It’s a shame, because I was in the mood for a funny, flirty, and sports themed story, and I can’t say this is one of the stronger offerings for those measures.
Overall score: 1.5/5