Donna Reads: Falling for Boston by Leslie Kate

bostonTyler Vaughn is new to Boston. He’s a famous football player, new to the New England Patriots. He meets Dylan Riley at the TV sports show/station where she works (I can’t remember the specifics of her job situation other than that she works in and lives for sports pretty much 24/7). He literally runs into her in the hallway, and it’s love at first sight for him. Dylan is rough around the edges, just one of the guys.

This one is difficult for me to review. I enjoyed the book except for the heroine. It is well written, told in opposing points of view, and it reads quickly.

I loved the hero. I loved everything about Tyler. I loved his personality, his sense of humor, and his sensitivity. In many ways he had the more “feminine” characteristics in the storyline. He’s described as a hopeless romantic. He was sweet. I kept waiting for the other woman story angle to crop up because he’d been described as gorgeous, he was a famous football player, and he was such a nice man. However, he wasn’t a player, and he wasn’t a jerk. There was no angst with former girlfriends or crazed groupies/fans getting in the way, and that was refreshing in and of itself. Too many sports romances have the hero portrayed as a sex-crazed pig. Tyler was not. I loved his interactions with his family and his best friend, Robb. He was human, and he was real.

The angst here for me was solely with the heroine. I can’t help it; I hated her. She was a dude, pure and simple. She had no feminine side, no softness, and no sweetness. She was fairly close to her family, and her mother was a positive character in the story. Where was her mother’s influence?? Dylan was selfish and mean, many of the things the typical alpha male romance novel hero is. Her three brothers didn’t act that way. Why was she such a jerk? I didn’t “get” Dylan at all. I grew up as a tomboy and a sports nut myself, and I’m independent and strong and live with three men. I was never any of the things this heroine was. She didn’t ring true for me.

One of the things I hated the most about her was the fact that she calls the hero by his last name the entire book. I don’t think she ever called him Tyler once. That irritated the heck out of me. The chapters in his voice are even titled, “Vaughn”. Why give him a first name at all if we’re going to refer to him by his last name? His family and friends all called him Tyler. She called him Vaughn. How romantic. It just reinforced for me how obnoxious a character Dylan was.

I had to force myself to finish this (it took me a month) because I disliked Dylan so intensely, and that was the only reason why it dragged on for me. When she chose a job over love and dumped Tyler I wanted her character out of the story altogether. She was so clueless and over the top mean I wanted him to find someone else. Even after the HEA, I wanted better for Tyler.

I hope I’m in the minority here because other than the problems I had with the female lead, it’s a good book. It had humor, romance and great cast of supporting characters. Dylan just didn’t do it for me, and that’s a shame.

Donna Reads: The Baller: A Down and Dirty Football Novel by Vi Keeland

ballerBrody Easton is an MVP football quarterback, and he’s an arrogant, insufferable ass. Delilah Maddox is a sportscaster, assigned to interview the football team in the locker room. In her first interview as a professional sportscaster, Delilah interviews Brody, and he drops his towel on purpose, just to fluster her. From that point forward, he decides to mess with her, and then he decides he wants to be with her. Delilah isn’t interested in having a fling with an athlete.

The story moved along fairly quickly, and I enjoyed the snarking back and forth between the two leads. However, there were too many ghosts from the past in this book. I was glad they found love again with each other; it just took them a while to get to that point.

The other woman angle is what spoiled this one for me. I hated the handful of chapters told from his first love’s POV. I skimmed most of those, reading only enough to get the gist of what was going on because I didn’t care what she was doing, thinking or feeling. She needed to be less prominent. She didn’t belong in this book.

Another issue I had is one that’s a pet peeve of mine – the lack of descriptive text. What did these characters look like? There wasn’t enough description about either one of the main characters or even in the romance scenes. Those were sadly lacking. I expected more, given his character and the way he dirty talked her all the time (and given that cover!). All I know of their physical appearances are that she had lots of dark hair, and he had green eyes. I couldn’t mentally draw a picture of either one of them. There was more description of the “other woman” character than there was of the two protagonists. Why?