Publication Date: January 11, 2016
ebook, Entangled Publishing (Bliss)
Genres: Adult, Romance
After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister.
For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can't help falling for her.
Why yes, yes a woman can coach a football team. And thank you, Blaire Edens, for writing a book where a woman doesn’t have the typical “female-romance-character” job, or in this case, maybe I should say hobby? Since Maddie’s real job is a counseling position… Oh, well. The point is that Maddie Westerfield is showing that she can be just as good as the guys, and I really like that.
The characters in this clean romance story are more developed than some of the typical romance characters out there. David’s past gives him a unique background and Maddie’s sister’s deployment and her own experiences make up a fully functioning individual. And of course, Andrew is cute—as he’ll no doubt be willing to tell you himself. I do wish Andrew had a little more interaction in the story, though, just because his interactions with Maddie and David are adorable.
But while these characters are distinctive and do have their own personalities, I found Maddie’s lack of confidence and the way people treated her just because she is a woman very disturbing. While women are often underappreciated and unrecognized in society, simply because they aren’t as “take-charge” as men (because society hasn’t taught them to be that way), this idea is never recognized in the story. Maddie just accepts the fact that all of the football kids’ parents respect Lieutenant David Sterling and not her. It made me feel sorry for her, as well as a little sick inside.
I’ll move on from that piece of negativity, though, and go to a more light-hearted topic—the plot. Of course, since this book is a romance, it’s obvious there will be some form of Happily Ever After. And there is. What’s good about this book’s HEA, however, is that it’s very realistic in its journey, with only one exception. The ending was too fast and convenient. If not for that, this book would have provided a very satisfying, realistic, and motivating read, minus the disrespect shown to Maddie because of her sex.
All in all, I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick, romantic read in his or her life. It will pick you up, give you the warm-and-fuzzies, and leave you smiling afterwards.
*Note: I received a copy of this book to review via Netgalley. This in no way affected my opinion/review.