Heat Rating: 🔥 Hot
I gotta admit I kinda loved this book –
It was a witty slow burn contemporary sports romance that hit all the right notes along the way.
It started out with an air of a mystery – seemingly disjointed story developments with as yet-to-be revealed contextual cues – but when you’re coming into a standalone that had a lot of series background in previous books – it’s expected that the full context is evolutionary as the story progresses.
Once I clued in, however – after the first few chapters – I got up to speed and cleverly hooked into the Moving the Chains universe in the bargain.
I do think though that reading the previous novels first would greatly enhance the overall reader experience by providing a better frame of reference for the series cast of characters.
Spoilers ahead (click on >Details to reveal)
- Holding focused on the character, Mike Mitchell, pro-footballer with trust issues and Tori Russo, his PR intern and pseudo fake girlfriend but gave glimpses into their highly involved friends and families, especially Evie, Rob and Alex.
Tori and Mike’s romance definitely burned low as their dynamic slowly built, each with their own baggage standing in the way of their relationship moving past friendship. They stayed in their holding pattern for half of the book but once they got past the initial blocks their fake relationship bloomed into something solid, meaningful, real and incendiary holding against test after test.
And those tests came from lots of different quarters and ranged from putting distance between them at times to placing doubts and misunderstandings in their way, but eventually with a little help from their friends they got it right.
Holding got a lot right actually, not your typical romance, like this:
Evie. “Nuh-uh. Nope. Did not need that much information about my brother.”
Alyssa. “Damn. It’s always the ones who seem the most straight-laced that are the kinkiest behind closed doors.”
Tori. Is death from embarrassment a thing? Because I feel like it’s a thing…
“We don’t get to see each other that often anymore, so he sends me…presents.”
Evie. “Still TMI, but you’re getting that hug now.”
Tori. “No!”… “Tini didn’t put on the setting powder yet! I’ll ruin your white dress!”
Evie. “Then, let’s finish getting you ready to surprise him.”
Alyssa snickers. “I think the surprise is actually going to happen later.”
Mike. I only have one question. “Peaches? How does she know about that?”
Tori. “It was an accident!”
Evie. “It was my fault!”
Alyssa. “So naughty, Mitchell.”
Tini. “Circle of trust!”
Evie. My brother loves you, so I love you, too. Anything you need? I will move heaven and earth to keep a smile on that man’s face. And on yours. Whenever you feel like it’s you against the world, I want you to know you have people in your corner. You can call any time of day or night, and we’ll always pick up the phone.
It was not the story I was expecting and I was a little lost at the start but in the end I got far more than I ever would have wagered from this book – I laughed, I loved, I felt, I enjoyed and I want more!