This story of average girl meets famous boy has been told before, but not quite like this. After accidentally stumbling upon Ryan Carter, quarterback extraordinaire, in an intimate moment with a fan, Rachael Hamilton makes assumptions and hurls insults that eventually come back to haunt her. Ryan and Rachael do not have an instant connection. As a matter of fact, they both jump to conclusions about the other and only tolerate each other for the sake of Ryan's teammates.When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up co-hosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.
Rachael is adopted as a big sister by the team's rookie player, Abe, and Ryan, assuming she is a lying gold-digger, makes it a point to be present whenever Rachael and Abe get together. As they spend more time together, Rachael and Ryan begin to see that they have many things in common and (surprise) they actually enjoy each other's company.
A series of stops and starts follows, culminating in one large, possibly unforgivable display or machismo and feminine histrionics.
The book started out stronger than it finished for me. I loved how real and believable the beginning is. I could really believe that Rachael stumbled into this party and also into the family of NFL players. The way the guys befriend her and reach out to her is sweet and ... perfect, actually.
Ryan and Rachael's feelings follow a natural progression. There was no insta-love or disproportionate feelings on one side or the other. Their attraction grows from spending time with each other and a genuine respect for the other person.
The story begins to lose its appeal a little for me once the sex takes over. I know its just a personal preference, but I am not fond of the way Ryan begins to treat Rachael. He expects things from her that he isn't willing to give. He also gets snap-ish an a little mean. But Rachael isn't much better. She flies off the handle and accuses and defends at all the wrong places. She becomes unreasonable at times.
And I really want to point out that my problem is NOT with the writing here, just that this type of relationship does not appeal to me. It was the surrounding characters and stories that propelled me forward and had me reading on to find the ending of Rachael and Ryan's story.
It's a good read and enjoyable story. Definitely worth your time.
I give it a 3.5.