Landing the PR contract for North Carolina’s new soccer team could take Holly Taylor’s career to the next level. Her task? Make Kepler “Killer” de Klerk, an athlete with a party-hard reputation, a star. But revamping the sexy footballer’s image while battling her unwanted attraction to him is easier said than done.
The car accident that derailed Kepler’s European career also gave him some much-needed perspective. He’s ready to give up on fame and focus on the game he loves. The last thing he needs is a headstrong brunette pushing him back into the spotlight, even if butting heads with her is the most fun he’s had in ages.
The more time Holly spends with Kepler, the more she sees how different he is from his tabloid persona. But when she’s offered her dream job for a price, she finds herself torn between the career she’s spent years building and the man she doesn’t want to give up.
It isn’t often that you see a professional soccer player as the hero in a sports romance, or South African heroes for that matter. So when I saw that The Striker’s Chance had both of these angles in the hero, my interest was piqued.
While soccer (or football, if you’re so inclined) isn’t at the top of my list of favourite sports, living in the UK showed me the excitement and drama that appears to go hand in hand with professional soccer. I think Rebecca Crowley has done a fine job with showing this drama and the passion with which fans and athletes approach this sport.
I do have to say that I wasn’t entirely sold on the romance between Holly and Kepler. There was just a little something missing for me – I can’t really put my finger on it, but I didn’t quite get there with these two.
Maybe it had a little to do with how I viewed the character of Holly. She frustrated me a little, with her constant to-ing and fro-ing on the whole issue of her attraction to Kepler. I get that she wants to maintain her career separate from her personal life, but I just didn’t get why she did some of the things she did in the course of the story that flew in the face of this want.
Now I really liked Kepler. I believed in his struggle against the public perception of his character and past actions. You could feel his sorrow at losing his career and reputation, and he was one of those heroes that I really enjoy reading – one who actually trains and puts in the work in order to be a pro-athlete.
I have nothing against the name Kepler (it is totally in line with the character), however when I first saw it, all I could think about was former South African (& Aussie) cricketer, Kepler Wessels.
Rather than imagining this face as Kepler:
on occasion, all I could see was this:
I really like Rebecca Crowley’s voice, and look forward to reading more of her work. While the romance in this didn’t quite hit the mark for me, the rest of the story was very enjoyable.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release date: 2 September 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest review.