Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Keeper by Jillian Liota

Soccer goalie Rachel Jameson is in her final year at Glendale College on academic and athletic scholarships. It’s quite the achievement for a young woman who grew up in a home filled with drunken abuse, who barely made it out of high school alive.

But she’s smart, dedicated, and has her eyes set on that cap and gown next spring. Nothing’s going to get in the way of a hard-fought battle for the freedom and independence she’s so desperately craved.

Until she meets Mack.

He stumbles into her world with a flirty smile and warm eyes – a man that pushes Rachel out of her comfort zone and into his arms. Their chemistry is swift and undeniable, and soon after meeting the two recognize the depth of their connection.

But an unfortunate circumstance forces the two to abandon their romance before it has truly begun. Rachel’s carefully planned life begins to shake like an unstable house of cards, and when she risks losing Mack completely, she has to decide what’s more important.

Her future.

Or theirs.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I fought with myself about how I felt about this story; I mean I loved it, but it was RJ that had me. She was so undecided to the point she was mean at times. And after learning just what happened to her in the past, it became clear why she was the way she was.

Mack was, oh what was Mack? He was the sexy guy she met at her brother's party and he asked her out. So where was this going to go? And yes, Mack has a past too. One that will break your heart even more than RJ's past will.

So you meet a guy at a party that literally throws himself at you to get away from another girl, what do you do? Yes, you go out with him. And things between RJ and Mack are so easy, they talk, laugh, and get along so well. Until Monday morning soccer practice rolls around and Mack is the new soccer coach.

Can RJ forget about Mack so she doesn't lose her scholarships at school? Will Mack give up his coaching job to be with RJ?

This is a first for me from this author and I really enjoyed this story and I hope there will be more from this group of friends.

This is an enjoyable soccer-based sports romance. RJ is a goalkeeper and she is managing to get through college on academic and sports scholarships. She, therefore, has a lot of pressure to work hard both on and off the field. Given her very difficult teenage years, due to an abusive father, she keeps herself on track in fear of having to return home. She also has a very successful brother who plays for the LA Galaxy team and it is at one of his parties that we first meet her... and Mack.

Mack's background story unfolds through the book, and we learn that he has not had it easy either, but for a completely different reason. He and Rachel (RJ) feel an immediate connection at the party, but then obstacles arise to make them acting on the chemistry complicated. We get to go along for the ride as they do their best to work out a way forward.

The writing is really good and it was easy to just keep turning the pages. That said, I did sometimes wonder at some of the twists, which were not always entirely logical to me, but overall, the story kept me fully entertained. I will look out for more books by this author.

Though I really liked the storyline, I’m giving it three stars because this is one of those books that kind of made me want to pull my hair out. They’re together, then not, then together, then not… it felt like an endless tennis match. Then you add in a heroine who has a terrible father, a best friend who, quite frankly, sucks, and a brother who is clueless… I just didn’t love this one.

The story starts off with a bang, Rachel Jameson, aka RJ, and Mack meet at a party and the attraction between the two is immediate, prompting Mack to ask RJ on a date. The two have serious feelings toward one another after just one date, definitely love at first sight. Then RJ shows up for soccer practice to discover that her new coach is… Mack. Then begins the back and forth. RJ can’t afford to get involved with her coach because of her scholarships and Mack can’t afford to be involved with a player because this job is a last chance for him after a rocky past. Cue a ton of angst.

Now, one other thing that really bothered me was RJ’s “best friend.” I didn’t like her at all, she’s mean and not supportive of her friend. It really bothered me that she was always telling RJ how “mean” she was being to Mack. I hate when a best friend is written like this, especially in a book about a girl who feels abandoned on more than one occasion, especially during childhood.

The writing is fantastic and the story flowed well, plus it’s definitely a page turner, I just wasn’t a fan of some of the aspects of the story.

Jillian Liota is a brand new author writing contemporary romance and new adult fiction. She has recently relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii with her amazing husband, 2 cats, and 3-legged pup. She is the author of the upcoming contemporary romance novel The Keeper, which focuses on a female college soccer goalie.

Jillian LOVES to read novels full of angst (probably too much). She’s also a big fan of taking walks with her husband and dog Maia, watching Reality TV shows, and is excited about exploring her new home on a small island.

Connect with Jillian

Facebook  ~  Google+  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Keeper by Jillian Liota to read and review.

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