Monday, October 10, 2016

Hail Mary

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Title: Hail Mary (The Mavericks Series)
Author: Julianna Marley
Genre: Sports Romance
Publication Date: October 10, 2016
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Blurb
He’s football’s poster boy with one thing on his mind. Well, perhaps two things, but Shay Cunningham’s outstanding football career and contract negotiations take precedent over everything else. Even women. Living life to the extreme, Shay’s past indiscretions continue to fuel his lifestyle. And that’s just how he likes it. Whitney Scott is broke, anxious and afraid. After an unexpected break up with her newborn baby’s father, her life is a mess. Down on her luck, she’s working hard to solidify her-and her baby’s-future. One uncertain step at a time. When an emergency thrusts Shay and Whitney together will one heavy dose of uncertainty push them apart? Or will they be willing to make a Hail Mary pass with their hearts-trusting that the other one will catch it?   hailmary-nowlive
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Excerpt
Peeling off the ridiculous black stickers from underneath her eyes, Whitney smirked. Had she really just done that? Good Lord her mama would have been horrified. But for as embarrassed as she was, the permanent smile on Charlotte’s face and the glow she had worn all night long while talking to people about her designs had been totally worth it. She had taken so many orders for clothing pieces that she feared she wouldn’t see her cousin until springtime. And Shay. That kiss still had her hands shaking as she threw the strips in the trashcan, running the washcloth under the warm water. She could still taste him on her mouth and she licked her lips again. Removing some makeup from her cheek, her chest grew heavy. It had been a long time since she had kissed a man. A real man. One who kissed with strength and purpose. Nothing like the mandatory quick pecks she had received from Adam over the course of their relationship. But nobody had ever felt like Shay had. She almost married a man whose kisses didn’t pack a punch with them the way Shay’s had, her stomach twisting at the thought. Dabbing off the heavy eyeliner she cleared her throat. The look on his face when he realized what they were doing could only be described as painful. As if he had just made the biggest mistake of his life. Men like Shay Cunningham didn’t come after women like her. It was just a fact. Which was fine, more than fine, actually, as it was better this way. She didn’t know the first thing about a professional athlete’s life and she should have stopped him the moment he grabbed her, but he had taken her by surprise. And he felt good. So good. Scrubbing the bright red lipstick from her mouth, shimmer smearing across her face, she heard loud pounding at the door. Dropping the washcloth into the sink she darted towards the front door. Magda had mentioned that Quinn had finally fallen asleep just a little before she arrived home. Swinging the door open quickly to end the banging, she saw Shay on her doormat, his hair damp looking like he just stepped out of an editorial magazine. Swiping his hand across his mouth slowly, she knew he was anxious. And Shay being anxious made her nervous. He was the most assertive, self-assured man she had ever met and he just stood there watching her, forcing the air to turn thick. “Hi,” she breathed. “Hi.” “Are you alright?” she asked swallowing against her dry throat. Nodding, he moved through the door slowly, stopping as his forehead met hers. Closing her eyes, her heart rammed against her chest so hard she was almost afraid that he could hear it. “Is Quinn awake?” “No,” she whispered, shaking her head as he walked her backwards, feeling his hands finding their way to her hips. “Is Charlotte home?” “No.” She closed her eyes again and he continued pushing her further inside the house. Curling her lips under, she peeked up at him. His face unmoving, his eyes searched hers and it felt like he was fighting a war. One that his life depended upon. “Why are you here, Shay?” “I’m not sure.” img_0561  
The Mavericks Series
False Start (The Mavericks Series) Amazon US | Amazon UK 13901507_1190961800934181_6752018718188389996_n Alivia Monaghan had it all: a successful business, happy children, and her husband Jax Monaghan, the love of her life. Until the day Jax made a choice that altered their lives and crushed Alivia harder than a quarterback sack. Football hero Jax Monaghan hadn’t had it easy in life despite his thriving football career and he always destroyed everything beautiful he’s ever had. That was until he met his wife, Alivia, who had taught him what love and family was all about. But when he watches his wife fall apart due to his decisions he’s reminded just what he is capable of – and he makes what he thinks is the ultimate sacrifice. Walking away. When Jax returns home in order to be closer to his children, he can’t help but want to be closer with Alivia again as well. But the brutal reality of his choices keep knocking him back to the starting line. As the past threatens them further apart, Jax and Alivia are forced to line up together and play for the same team. Had their entire marriage been a trick play? Or was it simply just a false start into their happily ever after?  
About the Author
Julianna Marley is fairly certain that she was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line. She’s in constant search of warmth, sunshine and water. When not writing about all the places she yearns to be, she can be found enjoying obnoxious amounts of coffee and getting bossed around by a four year-old. Julianna loves romance, humor and football.  
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**ARC provided via NetGalley by publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Hope shook her head. “You’re as much an idiot now as you were then.”

And then she kissed him.

It caught him a little off guard—he hadn’t expected her to be the one to make the first move, especially after the way the scene in the bathroom had gone down—but Daniel wasted no time taking control. He kissed down her neck, sliding his hands beneath her shirt and skating them up to her body to cup her breasts. They filled his palms, familiar and yet not, all at the same time. He cursed. “Gorgeous Darling, the things you do to me.” He nipped her collarbone. “I’m going to taste you, so if you’re going to change your mind, now’s the time to do it.”

Her only response was to shove her yoga pants down to her knees.

He lifted her onto the counter and disentangled her right leg from the pants so he could spread her fully. He stroked her thighs, pausing when his fingers met the scar. It brought up so many conflicting feelings in him. It was his fault that she had the damn thing, but that didn’t mean he thought of her as less, the way she seemed to think. She was as beautiful now as she’d been at eighteen, and more confident despite her injury. Or maybe because of it. He had no idea.

I went into this series having never read the other books so I was unfamiliar with the characters. So this review will be from the standpoint of only reading this book alone.

The premise intrigued me but I couldn't find myself in love with this book.

Hope Moore is back in Devil's Falls to start a scholarship fund in her brother's name and memory. Being away for the past 13 years after the tragic loss of her brother in a car accident that also left her injured and dumped by her love. Daniel Rodriguez was the driver when a car hit him causing the death of his best friend and injuring his girlfriend, something that he still wrestles with 13 years later. When they finally meet up again, their passion ignites and a few weeks later the result of that passion results in their lives being intertwined forever. Will they be able to make it work and turn their tragic past into a bright future?

The chemistry between the characters was there but it didn't feel like a well-developed story. Danny's guilt while understandable was at times annoying, sometimes you just wanted to slap him for some of the choices he kept making. I think if it were longer and some of the characters were further along growth wise, I think I would have loved this story.  The ending also felt rushed, like I'm sorry and I'm gonna marry you in your timeline, just give me a price, and all is right as rain. It doesn’t make you feel comfortable about their union that it will last. It definitely could have benefited from a few extra chapters.

I will definitely read the entire series and maybe then I will have a different opinion after. For now it stands at 3 stars.