First off, I’m a fan of Lynn Raye Harris’ HOT series (Hostile Operations Team Series) novels. They’re great books with action driven plots, hunky heroes and eventual HEAs. So I eagerly took the offer to review this one. I was a little taken aback when I discovered this was a relationship driven story with little action and a sports setting. It starts out with the hero aching from the wound of his twin brother’s death and wallowing in guilt because the brother had joined the army ‘to make a difference’ while he had joined the NFL to play a sport he loved while raking in fame and fortune by the handfuls. Then there’s the heroine. She’s raging from having her romantic beach wedding interrupted by the screaming appearance of the groom’s wife and child. Notice there is not an ‘ex’ in there… The rage is directed at her attempted bigamist, slime-ball ‘groom’ – and at herself for being too stupid or too needy to see the truth.
The hero finds the heroine on a relatively lonely road, still wearing her wedding dress, dragging a single suitcase, and about to be about half-drowned by a thunderstorm. He doesn’t really want anyone around but his conscience insists he rescue her. She really doesn’t want to be around anyone either but the incoming deluge convinces her. Plus she has no real money with her. He takes her to his [very large] home, then puts her at ease by leaving her to deal on her own while he does the same. Little by little they drift towards each other…
I’ll admit I had doubts. Sex? Sure. It’s a way to bury their pain. But falling in love in the middle of such emotional traumas? But Ms. Harris did such a great job with characters that I really fell into the story. They begin their healing process by helping each other over the rough spots and end up realizing that each is what the other needs: a supporter, a partner, a friend, a lover, and finally their own happily ever after.
My understanding is this story is set in the same world as Bella Andre’s Game For Love series which I have never read. That didn’t seem to be a problem and the focus here is on the relationship, not the sport. It works very well as a stand alone. It’s a quick read and worth the time.