Cris Reads | COVERING KENDALL by Julie Brannagh

Kendall Tracy, General Manager of the San Francisco Miners, is not one for rash decisions or one-night stands. But when she finds herself alone in a hotel room with a heart-stoppingly gorgeous man—who looks oddly familiar—Kendall throws her own rules out the window … and they blow right back into her face.

Drew McCoy should look familiar; he's a star player for her team's archrival, the Seattle Sharks. Which would basically make Drew and Kendall the Romeo and Juliet of professional football … well, without all the dying.

Not that it's an issue. They agree to pretend their encounter never happened. Nothing good can come of it anyway, right?

Drew's not so sure. Kendall may be all wrong for him, but he can't stop thinking about her, and he finds that some risks are worth taking. Because the stakes are always highest when you're playing for keeps.

You know how sometimes you read the blurb for a book and you automatically get turned off by one specific element and just KNOW there is no reason for you to even read it because you couldn't possibly enjoy it? Well that's what I thought about COVERING KENDALL by Julie Brannagh. As soon as I read the word football I was sure it wasn't going to be for me.

Now, it's not that I know nothing about the sport. I mean, I understand the basics and can keep up with what's going on when I have to sit through a game. I'm just not a fan. And it seems that all my friends are, so I'm often subjected to hearing about fantasy leagues or sitting through the Superbowl. Let's just say I've kind of grown to resent the sport and that convinced me that I couldn't possibly love a football-centric romance.

I am not ashamed to say that I was completely wrong.

Yes, the main characters work and or play for the NFL, but it's not all of who they are. And it's definitely not all of what makes up their romance.

I loved Kendall and Drew together from the very beginning. They both might live and breathe football but they meet at a bookstore of all places, on a rainy afternoon, and that just made my day. I love reading books where the characters are also readers, especially when the heroine is a romance reader. People still read, everybody! Some people actually still go into bookstores to browse and sit through book signings. And sometimes that leads to their finding a huge, muscled, sexy football player with a heart of gold. (Damn, I should stop shopping for books online.)

These two were playful and adorable together from their first meeting, with a burning attraction that pulled them all the way back to Kendall's hotel room. Until reality set in and they found out who the other really was. Kendall and Drew work so hard at first to deny their attraction, knowing the gossip and drama it could stir up for both of their careers, but their thoughts seem to be stuck on each other and fate finds a way to continue to throw them together. I loved reading their flirtatious banter and their sweet conversations in the moments they were able to steal together.

Even the side stories in this novel drew me in. I was intrigued by the look at Kendall's struggle as a female GM in a testosterone dominated field, and her overcoming the sexist male colleagues who undermine her authority, to bring the team up to snuff. It gave her character a core of strength that made me look up to her.

Drew's parents and their fighting over his mother getting a job really served to underline the issues Drew and Kendall face with her trying to balance her demanding job and their relationship. I also loved Drew's parents as supporting characters and appreciated that Brannagh gave us an older couple that are obviously still so in love and continue to put in the work (and chase each other around like kids) to keep their relationship fresh.

I never thought I would ever love a book about the Romeo and Juliet of professional football, but Julie Brannagh made it happen! I can't believe I'm saying this but I can't wait to read more novels about the Sharks and see some of the other teammates find their loves. This was the first novel by Brannagh I've read but I absolutely adored her writing style and her balance of heat and heart. So hats off to Julie Brannagh for creating some interesting, sweet and funny characters, even if they do love football.

Disclaimer: As an Avon Addict, I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.


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Julie Brannagh has been writing since she could hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.
When she's not writing, she's reading--or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.

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