Oh, do I have something great today …. a fantastic heroine and her sexy (but clueless) sports star. I enjoyed their relationship SO much! (Even those clueless times 🙂 )
A Sydney Smoke Rugby Novel
by Amy Andrews
Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.
Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he’s focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he’d been secretly ogling. What’s a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he’ll get his head back in the game.
But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.
Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real…
I really enjoyed this story. Actually I’m surprised a little at how much I enjoyed it 🙂 I liked the idea of a normal sized heroine, which was why this story ended up in my TBR pile, but the interactions between Dex and Harper kept me glued to the pages. They are just so darned cute together and I was hooked on how well they fit together as friends and lovers.
Harper does have a little bit of a hangup when it comes to her size, but it doesn’t take long for Dex’s obvious attraction to her to get her over that. And it really isn’t a huge part of the conflict in the story. It does come back up at a critical moment, as you’d expect, but it isn’t over used in the story. Instead she’s a funny, caring, a little geeky and a lot of fun. She thinks she’s going into her relationship with Dex with her eyes open and her heart closed, but you can guess how well that goes. They have a lot in common and they quickly form a friendship that just works for both of them – it’s hard to stay detached when they click so well.
Plus, Dex is awfully hard to resist. He’s sexy, strong, fun and good for her ego. He’s not shy about how attractive he finds her. Not just her body but her mind and spirit as well and you love him just for how much he likes her. But of course he’s got a few troubles of his own. He grew up in the poorest part of town and has pretty much dedicated all his energy in never going back there again. For him, rugby is the answer. I’m not sure why he thinks that he’s not successful enough already to never go back or that he’s got nothing going for him after his career is over. But those scars from his childhood are pretty deep and cause him a few moments of trouble with Harper.
You can see from a mile away that Dex’s single mindedness when it comes to his sport is going to cause him some trouble. Luckily, though, it isn’t over-played and thanks to some help from his friends he quickly figures things out. He’s adorable in his cluelessness and his eventual aha moment … and, just like with the rest of his life, once he’s on a course of action he goes full tilt. Nothing is stopping him from winning his woman back and is fantastic to see.
(I didn’t read the first book in this series, but it didn’t really seem to matter much. I might have gone into it with a better feel for the guys. Meeting them new here worked though and I had no problem keeping up. But I’m going to definitely keep my eye out to see what comes next because I have a feeling a certain bad boy may have just met his match with Harper’s friend and his downfall could be quite entertaining.)
Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written over fifty contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. She has written for Harlequin Mills & Boon, Entangled, Harper Collins, Momentum, Tule and Escape. She’s sold over a million books and been translated into thirteen different languages including manga.
Amy spent six years on the national executive of Romance Writers of Australia including a two year term as president and after many years of unofficial mentoring of emerging writers, Amy and her fellow Harlequin author Anna Cleary have started their own manuscript assessment business, Word Witchery, which specializes in romantic fiction. With unique insight into what makes a story that sells, Amy and Anna aim to help every manuscript shine.
Amy loves good books, fab food, great wine and frequent travel – preferably all four together. She lives on acreage on the outskirts of Brisbane with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany.
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