Fourth and Goal

Seattle Lumberjacks, #1

The thrill of victory means so much more when you've experienced the agony of defeat.

Rachel McCormick is on a mission to expose the person responsible for her father's career demise. Her disguise comes in the form of business suits, which serve the purpose of helping keep an emotionally cold and distant regard. Her target is one former best friend/lover and now struggling pro football player, Derek Ramsey. Rachel is prepared to go the distance with Derek if it means obtaining the truth, but the closer she gets the more she realizes she's in way over her head.

Derek is on a mission to regaining his glory days in football and this time taking the team all the way. The unexpected twist of having Rachel back in his life is a total game changer. Derek didn't expect a warm reception from her after their history together, but he definitely wasn't expecting the cold shoulder he received either. Despite the new appearance and attitude, she's still the same clumsily beautiful Rachel he remembers. This time around though, he needs to keep his head in the game and out of bedroom fantasies starring Rachel.

Under the guidance of a new head coach, crucial decisions are made and as the team begins to prosper, so does the spirit of the community. At the heart of the team are two players in need of a do-over and fast. This may be their last chance at any league title, but it all boils down to first making the cut. While Tyler is overly confident in his advancing, Derek is a bit more insecure. His nerve and drive aren't what they used to be, but a very headstrong and organized Rachel is about to change all of that.

Rachel's abilities have been called into question though, because of a scandalous fallout surrounding her father, which left her without a job. However, Derek puts his faith in her and while she puts her faith in him, the results begin speaking for themselves. When a proposition that includes running plays both on and off the field is presented, Rachel and Derek agree to terms that will be mutually beneficial. All that's required is leaving emotions out - easier said than done. When the team starts winning, Rachel and Derek start losing their hearts to each other.

The first in a new series by Jami Davenport is a wonderfully emotional underdog story with a team you can't help but love! The players are a true to form group of misfits who are struggling with a history of game losses and a community who has lost faith in their ability. If you've never been a fan or just don't know anything about the game, readers should be prepared for an entertaining and exciting crash-course. There is plenty of non-stop edge-of-your-seat action both on and off the field in this book. Ms. Davenport's writing is engaging and sizzles off the page with passionate sex scenes.

This book was so much more than I initially expected and I am thoroughly impressed with Ms. Davenport's ability to instill escapism in her story. For the duration, I was consumed with her tale of two friends to lovers intertwined with football. The writing of the secondary characters made it impossible not to become personally involved with them. They are clearly voiced three-dimensional characters that add depth and emotion to an already intriguing storyline. Even the frustratingly cocky and jerk-like behavior of Tyler, Derek's cousin, adds a facet to the story that is sure to be more fully explored in the next book. I can't wait!

Warning: be aware of certain football terminology used throughout the story (e.g. goalpost or end zone). After reading this story, they definitely conjure up a more erotic image. Happy reading!

Book Blurb for Fourth and Goal

In a game played on and off the field, only one of them will emerge the winner.

Armed with an uncanny ability for evaluating football talent, a dogged determination to succeed in a man's world, and an empty bank account, Rachel McCormick agrees to help struggling wide receiver Derek Ramsey get his game back. Rachel believes Derek, her former best friend and lover, knows the truth behind the points-shaving scandal which ruined her father. She vows to expose the secret even if it destroys Derek in the process.

When Derek's coach suggests sex as an excellent tension reliever the night before a game, Rachel takes one for the team. The next day, Derek has the best performance of his not-so illustrious pro football career. As Derek and Rachel rack up nights in bed and other places, the team racks up wins on the field. Rachel is torn between her loyalty to her father and her growing affection for Derek.

Now it's fourth and goal, one second left on the clock. Their hearts are on the line. Do they trust each other enough to go for the long bomb or do they get dropped for a loss?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content and graphic language.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2011 4.75