The third person perspective doesn’t do the story any favors here, because I actually really loved the foundation of the book, but I always felt like I was watching it happen from a distance. There are some GREAT elements to the story, including tons of history between these childhood rivals turned present day frenemies, a sweetheart of a hero, and a super sassy heroine who doesn’t let the fact that she’s a double amputee slow her down. It’s a little bit fake relationship and a whole lot friends to lovers, with one shift in their dynamic bringing these two together. Danny is kind of adorable, and I loved how steady he was every step of the way. It just felt so internalized, like I wasn’t truly experiencing the love story come together. I’d love to be able to rate this higher because of all the good stuff going on, but it missed too many marks along the way.
The story follows Danny and Catie, two people who have been in each other’s lives for years. Catie has always considered Danny to be her nemesis, though their bickering in present day sometimes feels more like friends – though she’d never admit that. When Danny is slipped a drug at a bar and he has a close call, Catie agrees to provide cover for the rugby star so that the press doesn’t spin the story. They start up a fake relationship that feels more real than anticipated, and it’s not long before these frenemies start to wonder if their newfound feelings are mutual. But starting up something new with a sports star who attracts women like magnets is a scary prospect for a woman who has always been left behind.
I’ve been meaning to check out Singh’s work for awhile now, and I’m so glad that I did – even if this wasn’t a total win for me. There are so many great concepts explored in the story, and I loved the complexity of it. I also had no trouble jumping right into the series, though there are quite a few characters involved. The heart of the story focuses on Danny and Catie’s evolving relationship, and I found them both very easy to like. Catie makes such a strong heroine, and I loved her fire paired with Danny’s sweetness. That’s why I’m disappointed that the writing didn’t work for me completely. The internalization was the major issue for me – I felt disconnected and sometimes bored by the pace of the story, and I couldn’t get caught up in the swoons. If third person is your preference, then chances are that this will go a little smoother for you, but it always felt like there was distance between Danny and Catie.
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you a sinfully playful contemporary romance between two sworn enemies turned partners in crime…
Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who’s got the world at his feet. There’s just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis–Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.
Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she’s not about to allow Danny “Hotshot” Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn’t cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along for the ride. No. Nope. Never.
The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies… until a stranger’s reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They’re adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.
Let the games begin.
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