I was provided with an advance reader copy by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.
Published by Destiny Romance on April 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
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When injury destroyed her dream of playing college basketball, Aubree Taylor fled overseas. Now she's finally home again and ready to move on with her life. Until she runs into Hunter Stone on her first night out, the only guy who's ever meant anything to her – and the last person she wants to see.
Since she ran out on him two years ago, Hunter hasn't been able to get Aubree off his mind. The sexy football star has had girls all over him for years, but Aubree is the only one to have ever seen behind the cocky persona he puts on for the crowd.
Despite her attempts to keep her distance, Aubree is unable to resist the strong attraction between them and it isn't long before they fall into a passionate relationship. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but Hunter's arrogance and inablity to trust are testing her to her limits. Aubree must decide whether to follow her heart and lower her guard…or risk losing the best thing that's ever happened to her.
I’m sure I’ve said it before – there is just something so perfect about the match of sports and New Adult romance. Let’s face it, most visible professional athletes (at least here in Australia) are in that 18-25 age group – a time of life filled with all the promise of youth and the growing responsibilities of adulthood. The mixture of the excitement of pro sports and the angst & drama of NA romance is right on the money for me.
Winning the Player is a great new sports-themed New Adult romance from debut Australian author, Leesa Bow. I was very excited about this as I am always on the lookout for good sports romance – the fact that this is Australian-set and the hero plays Aussie Rules, well that’s just a bonus!
Here’s my thoughts on Winning the Player:
A real strength of Winning the Player are its characters, and particularly Aubree and Hunter. They were real, honest versions of people of their age and station in life.
Aubree has both great strength and vulnerabilty. She’s trying to come to terms with life post-sport, and finding her new place in the scheme of things. in other reviews I’ve seen, some have said they saw Aubree as a little whiney, but I didn’t see it that way. I could just imagine what it would be like if you’d lost everything you’d worked towards, as Aubree had – I thought her actions and behaviour was pretty spot-on.
Hunter – while I had some issues with the way he went about certain things, I liked that he wasn’t Mr Perfect. While he has that stereotypical pro-athlete swagger about him, there is a genuinely caring guy underneath that. I suppose, like many young men in his world, the fishbowl of professional sports doesn’t really allow him to show it as much as he should.
There was a great and believable tension between them, and I was very much engaged with them as a couple – angsty behaviour and all. I loved the journey both of them went on as people and together.
I very much enjoyed reading Winning the Player, and I am very keen to continue following Leesa Bow’s journey as a writer – this was an excellent way to start.