I waffled over my rating for this one because as a whole, I enjoyed the book. I loved seeing the U.S. through Rio’s eyes and experiencing his struggle to find his place in it. What I had a hard time with was the roller coaster ride that was Rio and Eva’s relationship. I didn’t hate it, in fact there were some great moments between them, but oh god the angstyness drove me batshit crazy and had me wanting to toss my Kindle into the freezer a few times.
I really liked Rio. He gives his all and wants to be the best at what he does so that he doesn’t disappoint other, but also himself. While a great trait he doesn’t know the meaning of moderation and balance and that gets him into trouble. But despite that issue, he is truly a genuine person and definitely falls under the category of what you see is what you get and watching as he worked to find his footing in his new life only endeared him to me even more.
For the most part, I liked Eva. She didn’t have an easy childhood, but she has worked hard to rise above it when it comes to her professional life and has more dreams that she that she is working on making a reality. She has a generous heart and truly wants to help those who have no one to turn to. But, and believe me when I say that it’s painful for me to say this, BUT the girl’s got issues and dear lord did she drive me batshit crazy. I understood where her insecurities came from, I did and my heart hurt for her, but damn the woman needed to have someone give her a huge dose of tough love and then a big hug.
The push and pull of their relationship because they didn’t communicate, kind of ironic considering their professional relationship, was frustrating and though much of it came from Eva, Rio threw his own issues into the ring as well. If having conversations in your head and assuming you know exactly what the other person is thinking/feeling was an event in the Olympics, these two would win the gold. It was crazy. But when they weren’t doing their best to keep the other at arm’s length and were chill, I really liked them together. There was an ease to their interactions as they got to know each other that showed how good they could be together once they both got over themselves. Their journey was a bumpy one, very bumpy, but they both did evolve along the way and became stronger for it.
This was my first read by Rebecca Crowley and overall I enjoyed it. I thought the author handled the hot topic issue with care and respect and while I’m no soccer aficionado by any means, and my knowledge is on the low end of basic, but her descriptions of what was going on either on the pitch or in training made it easy to visual what was going on. I’m interested to see what is coming up next for the series and will keeping an eye out for the next book.
~ Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley ~
New to the U.S. soccer scene, not to mention the English language, compact yet explosive Chilean soccer legend Rio Vidal is driven to define a role on his new team, Atlanta Skyline. But he must also adapt to a new culture—and accept that he can’t do it alone. His beautiful interpreter, Eva, has been his voice, his refuge. But she is becoming so much more. If only he could convince her he isn’t like the other men she’s worked with, players on—and off—the field.
As a translator for pro athletes, Eva Torres is used to dealing with self-interested super stars. But Rio seems different, and she’s blindsided when he locks eyes with her across a church pew. By now, after weeks of close contact with the endearing athlete with whom she shares a language, her thoughts are far from holy. She must remind herself flirtation is probably just his default style. Plus, she’s the only one he can really talk to. But when his ambition threatens to derail his career—and their deepening connection—they’ll both have to lay their hearts on the center line.
Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca now resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.