Saturday, October 1, 2016

Hard to Hold by Katie Rose

“Katie Rose writes sexy, skilled sports heroes who know how to treat a woman right!” raves Wendy S. Marcus. Now the award-winning author of the Bad Boys of Baseball series introduces a team of soccer stars who score on and off the pitch.

New Jersey Hurricanes striker Logan Hart lives for the grind of training, the adrenaline of competition, and all the perks of the road—until his ex hands him a baby and tells Logan to raise her on his own. He’s eager to pass this bundle of joy into more capable hands and get back to his hard-playing, hard-partying ways. But when a beautiful, blond drill sergeant of a nanny turns Logan’s life upside down, he sets a new goal: winning her heart.

Isabella Bennett takes pride in teaching the rich and famous how to become loving families. Her no-nonsense style is just what Logan and his crying, copper-haired cutie need. So why can’t she get the image of Logan’s tanned, muscular body out of her head? Isabella’s here to whip a new father into shape, not fall for a sexy ladies’ man. But their chemistry is too tantalizing to ignore, much like the temptation to trust someone with her deepest secrets—and embrace a loving family all her own.

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This was a pretty good read. Logan Hart is a professional soccer player and a bit of a playboy. This comes back to bite him when he returns home from overseas to be saddled with a baby that he’s been told is his from a one-night stand. Logan immediately contacts a nanny agency that sends over the stern, but gorgeous, Isabella Bennett. Isabella can’t have children of her own and that’s been her motivation for her current career as a nanny. Bella doesn’t think any man would want her because she’s unable to bear children, and her ex aided in these thoughts. From the moment she first meets Logan the sparks fly, but Bella can’t help picturing him with a house full of children that she could never give him…

There were a lot of what I would consider “unnecessary details” in this story, there were several scenes, especially with Logan’s soccer buddies that I felt just didn’t add to the story, they were just missing something... drama maybe? All in all, this was a pretty good read though, definitely flows well and I enjoyed the plotline as well as the characters.

I actually really enjoyed this book from the time that the baby was dropped off until the end, when we finally find out what the mother is going to do. However, I will say that I felt like there was some drama missing about having a baby unexpectedly enter someone's life, especially if he was a playboy. I really liked Isabella though. She was a headstrong woman who wouldn't let Logan push her around.

I love that the little girl takes precedence over everything else since babies are so reliant upon others to take care of them and put their needs first. However, I did have a hard time connecting to both main characters until I really got into the book, which isn't a good thing since it made me not really like the book at the beginning, but the further I got in, the more I liked the characters.

Hard to Hold is a fairly simple sports romance. Logan is a soccer star and at the start of the book, a woman he had a one night stand with hands over a baby to him, says it is his, then disappears, leaving him with the baby. This is where we meet nanny and love interest Isabella enter the story. She is strong, capable, and beautiful and Logan hires her to help him look after the baby that may or may not be his. Romance ensues.

Hard to Hold is an easy, laid back read but it isn't a very complex story. For me, a little too much time was spent inside the characters' heads thinking about how sexy the other one was and worrying about the same issues over and over. I enjoyed the story, but it didn't blow me away.

I am a big fan of sports romances, and a happy ending, but I need to feel connected to both the main characters. Here, I struggled to get into Isabella's mindset. Maybe if we had understood more of what Josh had done to her, rather than just knowing why. She is, by turns, a real know it all, and not in a supportive way, and then lacking in self-esteem and whiny. She was lucky to have some good friends – and definitely struck gold with Logan!

Logan did show plenty of development through the book, and one would be hard pressed not to like him. I was often amused by his internal rationalisation of things – which were both cute and imaginative. He is clearly a good guy, and perhaps the fact that Bella can't see that is the most annoying thing of all.

This is a sweet romance, with some interesting twists in the baby story and a satisfying ending.

Award-winning historical author Katie Rose makes her contemporary debut with the Boys of Summer novels, Bring on the Heat and Too Hot to Handle, which combine Katie’s true loves: baseball and romance! When not watching baseball, Katie is at her lake house in New Jersey, hard at work on her next book.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hard to Hold (Hard to Play #1) by Katie Rose to read and review.

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