Sexy. Passionate. Fierce.
Irish rugby star, Padraig O’Neale, has fecked up his life and is one angry man. When caught using a banned substance for his back pain, Padraig is excused from both his provincial club and the Irish International team. Right before World Cup selection. Out of choices, his agent convinces Padraig to play for a small American club in Michigan. Just until things settle down. But when Coach asks the team physical therapist, Gillian Sommersby, to help the newest Blues player with his issues, Padraig finds himself trying every wacky treatment out there from stinky salves to music to yoga. Like her therapies, the therapist herself is a bit…odd. The cute college grad in Converse and glasses doesn’t seem all that impressed with Padraig’s celebrity status, nor gives a shite about his excuses. As it turns out, she might be exactly what he needs…
A romance that revolves around rugby?
Hell yeah I’m all over it. I’ve found that I enjoy rugby more than football nowadays (Yes I know that is considered blasphemy in many circles, but seriously? Have you watched rugby?), even if I still don’t fully understand all the ins and outs of it. And I especially LOVE the New Zealand All Blacks, but that is a conversation for another time. So with my love of rugby, the fact that the Rugby World Cup had been held this year, and the fact that an #authorIadore pimped this out, it really was a no brainer to shove it to the top of the tbr pile and I have to say that I found it hard to put down. .
Padraig aka Irish I liked from the very beginning. Yes, he’s not the most likeable person in the beginning. Yes, he is an addict. Yes, there are times when I wanted to throttle him. And yet, knowing the demons he struggled with and just how his entire world crumbled around him there was no way I couldn’t root for him. And as the story progressed and we got to see just who he was underneath the walls he’d constructed as he fought his demons and got his head out of his ass (Thanks to Del) and became more invested in the team, I found him to be a really good guy as well as a sweet and sexy one at that.
Gillian. Straight up, no bullshitting, I had a love/hate relationship with her. I loved her quirks. Hell I loved that she loved 80’s music and marched to her own personal beat. Her belief in her skills to use a more holistic approach to physical therapy was something I admired, as well as how she dealt with the skepticism thrown her way. My issues with her centered around how she couldn’t let go of her prejudices against male athletes. I understood why she felt the way she did, and yes some athletes are players and asshats, but after a while I got tired of hearing about it and just wanted to smack her. Horrible, I know, but true.
Padraig and Gillian’s relationship. There is an attraction between them, but there is no jumping of the gun into a full blown ‘I love you, I can’t live without you’ situation, which I appreciated because that wouldn’t have worked considering the issues they were both dealing with. They needed to work what was going on in their heads out before making any major commitments. And while the ending isn’t necessarily the norm, I thought it was very fitting for them.
Overall the writing was engaging, I had a difficult time putting it down, though the pacing for me was a bit choppy. The time jumps didn’t always flow well for me, but it didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the story. I loved the attention to detail that was given to the game of rugby from the differences between how rugby is dealt with and looked at in the U.S versus the rest of the world as well as game itself. As I said, my knowledge of the game is minimal at best, but the descriptions of what was happening while the boys were practicing, playing or even goofing around (the lake scene was awesome!) were very well done and I could actually see it happening in my mind. I loved Del, yes it helps that he’s a Kiwi, he epitomized what it means to be a captain and leader of a team. Rory was a sweetheart and some of my favorite parts were when the various members of the team were interacting, good or bad. Also the whole windshield wiper vs. turn signal issue had me cracking up because I dealt with the same thing when I was in NZ, the struggle is real.
The Bottom Line: A great read and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one!
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. Feisty heroines with wanderlust or sexy rugby heroes who breathe passion for more than just the sport.
Aussie/Yankee twined, Cd is now settled in Michigan with a rugby player of her own and two wee sons who are still adapting to the snow. A full-time editor and mum, her and her hubby still dream of starting up a buffalo farm. And maybe some chickens and pigs, too. She loves rugby, traveling, and all things from the 80s.
Doesn’t watch TV so don’t chat to her about that, but she loves to hear from readers about anything else! Perhaps some cooking suggestions? She’s desperate in the kitchen! Find her on loads of your favorite places.