Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Crossing Hearts by Rebecca Crowley


New to the U.S. soccer scene, not to mention the English language, compact yet explosive Chilean soccer legend Rio Vidal is driven to define a role on his new team, Atlanta Skyline. But he must also adapt to a new culture—and accept that he can’t do it alone. His beautiful interpreter, Eva, has been his voice, his refuge. But she is becoming so much more. If only he could convince her he isn’t like the other men she’s worked with, players on—and off—the field.

As a translator for pro athletes, Eva Torres is used to dealing with self-interested super stars. But Rio seems different, and she’s blindsided when he locks eyes with her across a church pew. By now, after weeks of close contact with the endearing athlete with whom she shares a language, her thoughts are far from holy. She must remind herself flirtation is probably just his default style. Plus, she’s the only one he can really talk to. But when his ambition threatens to derail his career—and their deepening connection—they’ll both have to lay their hearts on the center line...

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

3.5 stars of soccer romance

I am a big fan of sports romances and really liked the idea of a soccer star falling for his interpreter. It will be interesting to see what other new routes the author will take in future installments in this series.

Rio was a great character and he made his position very clear from the beginning. I did not, however, warm much to Eva. I bought into the fact that she wanted to be taken seriously in her job, but her constant vacillation with Rio became difficult to understand. But I am sure that other readers may have a completely different take on her.

There were some good issues raised and I was interested in Rio's approach to overtraining, to ensure that he was always picked – for a man who seemed so confident externally, his fears were beautifully revealed and explained. His confessions of his home-life and family also brought much insight into why he behaved in this way. It made the contrast with Eva even more compelling.

It is a well written story, easy to read, and also has some interesting team members who will feature in future episodes.

3.5 stars

This is a sweet romance between a Chilean football star and his American translator. Football (or soccer to Americans) is the world’s most international professional team sport and I loved learning about the way teams work to overcome the language and cultural barriers between players, coaches, and managers.

Rio is far too good to be true. The national sporting hero remains humble and kind despite his fame and fortune. His only flaw is his obsessive need to overtrain. For me, there were moments when he was just too irritatingly perfect for me to like. With her charity work, deprived background, and church attendance, Eva is also pretty perfect. The two are well matched, but to really invest in a romance, I need some personality quirks and character flaws that make characters feel real.

It is only at the end that these two stopped being perfect. I found their slide from level-headed professionals to childish tantrums and poor communication more irritating than endearing. As a romance, this never really worked terribly well for me.

I did enjoy the sport. Football isn’t a high-profile sport in America and I enjoyed watching a national hero adjust to relative anonymity in Atlanta. The Swedish coach working with an international team is fascinating and I really enjoyed learning more about Eva’s job and Rio’s struggle to play well when his communication with teammates and coaches is so limited. I also loved Rio’s niche celebrity within the American Latino community.

Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Connect with Rebecca

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Crossing Hearts (Atlanta Skyline #1) by Rebecca Crowley to read and review.

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