Rugby is one of my pleasures in life and not just because the play ...
Rugby is one of my pleasures in life and not just because the players thighs are a work of art. The atmosphere, the camaraderie between both the fans and the players, the all-round passion, there’s nothing like it. So when I started this and discovered that the club the hero plays for when we first meet him is my hometown, along with the fact he’s a Yorkshireman who can make Cottage Pie and calls an evening meal “tea, I was chuffed to bits. “This was rugby—it was meant to be hard and tough and dirty.” Undefeated is more than your sports-themed sexy romance with a man to swoon over. It has that, and Nick Renshaw is easy to fall for—a quiet, witty, self-effacing man with a sinful mouth and a cracking physique—but it’s when he begins his downward spiral that the more becomes evident and it does make you question your own judgement of people’s actions. “Smart is not about qualifications, it’s about the ability to learn from mistakes.” Part two sees the romance aspect really kick into gear although the sports element remains ever present, and with a no-fraternisation policy in place club psychotherapist, Anna and Nick’s romance is already forbidden before it even begins. But you can’t deny what the heart wants and as their feelings crescendo it leads to a passionate love story where said hearts are tangled in professional ethics and secrecy. “I don’t want to control this! And if you’d just be honest with yourself, neither do you.” Anna and Nick were portrayed wonderfully: they have such a natural ease around one another and are strong yet flawed, loveable yet maddening, sexy and funny and what they have is worth fighting for. And for all the moments when this story hurts and your heart breaks—at 34% I’m not ashamed to admit I sat sobbing, and again at 78%—there are those that fill you with hope, make you feel and give you a good giggle. “You’re the one walking around naked, being all sexy. I’m only human.” When it comes to collaborations it matters not to me who wrote what, I just want to discover a story with memorable characters, a journey which holds me captive, gives my emotions a work out and leaves me with a happy heart. Together, Jane Harvey-Berrick and Stuart Reardon succeeded on all counts.
January 23, 2018
***4.5 ‘I Will Rise. I Will Return’ Stars*** Have you ever finish ...
***4.5 ‘I Will Rise. I Will Return’ Stars*** Have you ever finished a book where you were all kinds of swoony happy and yet ragey and irritated?? Well...that’s me right now and it has been about 12 hrs since finishing the book and getting a decent night’s sleep in, so the struggle has been real with getting the words to cooperate. But the bottom line is I really enjoyed Undefeated. It gave me a huge case of emotional whiplash and redefined what hitting rock bottom is, but I loved the slow burn romance between Nick and Anna and experiencing all the highs and lows that they went through to get to their HEA. Let’s start out with the goodness that is Nick and Anna. Nick is simply a good man. He loves what he gets to do for a living and gives his entire heart and soul to it and doesn’t take what he has for granted because he fully understands what his other option could be. Anna is starting over again and though the reason for the new beginning still hovers around her, she isn’t allowing it to put a damper on the gift she has been given. She’s ready to dive in and show that she is the best at what she does. Their journey is all kinds of slow burning and all kinds of rocky (total understatement) but it is all worth it when they finally get their HEA. Considering the reason why Nick and Anna were in each other’s orbits to begin with, I really liked how things played out between the two of them. They had no choice but to get to know each other on a deeper level and with each glimpse they found that they genuinely liked what they were seeing. While there was attraction on both sides, there was nothing insta going on. I honestly liked them together, there was a flow to them that was simple and easy, even when the crackle of sexual tension surrounded them. As for the whole ragey and irritated thing...I know I won’t be the only one who will feel this way about how certain things played out in the story, and as these things are huge parts of the storyline, I can’t get into more detail, but my feels stem from my own “I know life isn’t fair, but still…” belief system. I get why things happened the way they did and I am in no way bashing the authors, in fact I have to applaud them for making me this worked up, but I still want to gut a few people with a spoon. The main reason I pounced on reading this book was because it was set in the rugby world and one of the co-authors is an ex-rugby player. I love watching the sport even though I only know the absolute basics of the game which are: 1) I know what a Try is and 2) I know that you can only pass the ball backwards. I know a few other things, but even those may not be right. So to have the opportunity to read a book and experience it all through the eyes of someone who lived and breathed it was something I couldn’t pass up and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Bonus (or should it be the rugby aspect is the bonus?) is the fact that the writing was well done. It was engaging and seamlessly put together. The pacing at times did drag a bit for me, but considering all that was going on it didn’t take away anything for me. All of the characters were well written, even the ones I didn’t care for, and I wouldn’t mind visiting them in future. So, if you’re a rugby fan, love a slow burn romance with quite a few obstacles tossed in the MC’s path to get through then I definitely recommend you pick this baby up! ~ Copy provided by Ardent Prose PR & voluntarily reviewed ~
January 23, 2018
This is a book on overcoming. On how to face the setbacks that lif ...
This is a book on overcoming. On how to face the setbacks that life presents us, and even at the bottom, reborn, seeing that life has to continue. Although the romance is present, and yes, it's important to the plot, it is not the main point in the narrative. This is Nick's journey. This is his story of overcoming. Nick is an ordinary guy. He plays rugby in the second division, is dating, has a good family base, is a good guy, knows how difficult life is, so he is looking for a better future. Until luck seems to start smiling at him. After so much effort, his talent is recognized, and he is hired by a major league team. His dream seems to be coming true. Or not. In his last game before appearing in the new club, he suffers an injury. And this event will throw his life into an uncontrolled vortex. This will be the first step in Nick's downfall. In the midst of this whirlwind, we meet Anna, a doctor who deals with recovery athletes and will work with Nick. What begins as a professional relationship will turn into a feeling too big to suffocate. Two people unknown, with their own stories and past, who will come closer, will find that they have feelings, and their lives will be transformed. For the good and the bad. Mostly the bad. Nick from promise, will become the injured athlete. And if it was not enough to get himself pressed to improve, worry about his new contract will be more of a problem, coupled with the lack of help and support from your girlfriend. What to talk about Molly. Narcissist to the extreme. Since appearing in the book, I did not like her. I do not understand how Nick can date her, and worse, ask her to marry him. Hateful character. What made this book so beautiful for me was the genial twist in the middle to the end, reversing the roles. Anna had her life turned inside out. And Nick had the supporting role. I felt sorry for the characters, with so much misfortune happening. Anna did not deserve the punishment she had. Nor the family tragedy, which gave no chance for enlightenment and left so much unsaid and things not resolved. No one deserves such weight in consciousness. Nick with all that happened, managed to learn. He learned to value himself. To value life. As much adversity as you can find, beauty is to know the light and not to be consumed by darkness. Undefeated is undoubtedly one of the best books of the year. I did not expect to like it that much. I thought it would be a book about sports. I was wrong. I came across a lesson sometimes necessary. Not everything is flowers. But there is beauty in everything. It's just appreciating. We may even fall, but we rise, shake off the dust, and continue walking. That's life.
June 21, 2018