by Mackenzie Crowne
Will the mistakes of the past ruin their future?
As public relations coordinator for the Manhattan Marauders pro football team, Victoria “V” Price has the wealth, prestige, and glamour she only dreamed of growing up. All she’s missing is a man to share it with. V thought she gave up her shot at love when she left her childhood sweetheart in the dust of her rural Texas town, along with the painful secrets of her family life. But the past comes roaring back when Sam Fitzpatrick, the only man she ever loved, is hired as the Marauders’ new offensive coordinator.
Despite Sam’s reluctance to work alongside V, his distrust of the woman who broke his young heart is no match for their swiftly rekindling passion. Yet even as V’s tough PR persona gives way to her softer side, Sam wonders if their chemistry is enough to overcome the wounds left unhealed between them. But when the devastating truth of V’s past is exposed, threatening both her career and their second chance, Sam finds himself asking a different question: does he have what it takes to win back her love?
I have to be honest … for some reason I just didn’t want to read this book. I got it because it is written by Mackenzie Crowne and part of the Players series, but I just knew that the angst would get to me. Oh, how wrong I was!! Once again Crowne’s deft writing and finely crafted characters caught me from the first page and wouldn’t let go.
These two have so much baggage that they are going to need a cart when they meet up again. They had that amazingly perfect young love … until it all fell apart. Unfortunately when things went bad, they were very, very bad and they’ve let it impact things (even if they won’t admit it to anyone) for over a decade. Being forced to work together, though, means they have to get their acts together, fast.
Part of me thinks that Sam got over it a little quick but MOST of me enjoyed the lack of drama. As I mentioned, I wasn’t looking forward to a whole book of his hurt pride (although I’m pretty sure that Crowne could make even that good!) but luckily we didn’t have to deal with that. Instead, with a little help from their friends, they reflected on their past, addressed it and then moved forward.
Now, there were a couple of moments when I wished Sam had stepped up. First, he allowed everyone to say nasty things about V in their home town, which made it uncomfortable for her to come see her mom. Granted, her relationship with her mom isn’t the best and she didn’t want to go home, but he could have manned up at some point and been all “we were young and did stupid things”. Instead he waited 15 years, and for them to start having to spend time together, to do anything about it.
The other thing was the fact that he buried his hurt feelings in other women and became a man-whore. Now, I’m all for reformed rakes making the best husbands but his seemed a little petty. And it was made all the worse by the fact that V reverted to being celibate. Again, she had her reasons for not getting involved with anyone (and it wasn’t necessarily that she was pining for him), but some readers may have a problem with the double standard.
Personally, I like how Crowne gives both of them intriguing motivations for their actions and pulled it together with their second chance romance. Their love story is complicated for a lot of reasons but characters with depth and a hard to put down storyline made it … well, hard to put down 🙂