AUTHOR: Heidi McLaughlin
GENRE: Romance (Series)
Available @ AMAZON
REVIEWER: Pistol Annie
The road for Noah Westbury has been carved out for him, long before he knew who his father was. Making sure he worked hard to deserve the opportunities provided to him, Noah is where he’s dreamed of being – starting QB for Portland Pioneers. Together, with his model girlfriend by his side, life can’t get much better. Except that standing in his path is Peyton Powell-James, his life-long friend and the one woman he can never have.
Peyton Powell-James always knew her future would be in football and dreams of having a successful sports journalism career once she graduates college. After being given the assignment to cover a professional game from the sidelines, Peyton believes that everything is going to plan. Until one fateful night changes her life.
Harsh reality sets in for Noah and Peyton. One could lose everything, while the other struggles to keep the families together.
A second-generation spinoff from Heidi McLaughlin’s highly popular Beaumont Series, begins with Noah and Peyton, who readers met and fell head-over-heels in love with as youngsters. It seemed true love was in play for these two as early as their teens. Now they’re grown up and that five-year age difference no longer seems so important — except they are still in the friend-zone. That’s about to change with a field full of angst and heartbreak heading their way. Tough times to tackle and nothing will come easy. As much as I hate to admit it, there were some fumbles that ended in disappointment for this reader.
Yeah, not so much of a game winner for me. I was sorely disappointed, too. The theme is a big favorite of mine. I love football-related stories with a really good guy as a star quarterback — and the best friends to lovers romance trope at centerfield is the pièce de résistance. You’ll get no argument from me that this one had some heavy hitting emotional feels. Peyton’s unexpected trauma simply took my breath away. I’ll admit that I misted up throughout most of those moments. McLaughlin knows how to bring a story to life on the pages. Present day brings both Noah and Peyton working hard at their careers and separated by miles. The friendship between these two is strained and facing some serious adjustments. The lifetime of close-knit-family-ties is an added stress and continued throughout. No one wants to rock the family boat. I felt like any forward movement in Noah and Peyton’s adult relationship was simply lost in the maze, and their personal love story was hijacked by too many interferences. I always enjoy family interaction that finds its path into a storyline, but this time around, I felt there was an overabundance and it overshadowed the main theme — the second chance at love for the main characters. But what was provided was extremely well presented.
I absolutely detested Noah’s present girlfriend and a Victoria Secrets model, Dessie. She’s one crazy beotch. And Noah’s responses to her shenanigans (mildly put) didn’t do anything to garnish my sympathies for him. At times, yelling what a stupid fool he was just didn’t get the job done — come on, Noah, any halfway smart guy and a star quarterback in the NFL would certainly do some confirmation reconnaissance when he’s sacked with highly suspicious and life-altering news — especially when delivered by a flake like Dessie? Heck, the penalties were beginning to pile-up so high against him that I was ready to cheer for Kyle on the other side, whom I was really growing to like a lot. And before you start worrying about a “triangle of love,” forget about it! There isn’t one — nada.
Give me more one-on-one interactions between our main couple. That’s my biggest complaint, and I’m stickin’ with it. Hopefully, as this new series continues with the rest of the second generation, readers will see more of the happily-ever-after between Noah and Peyton.
Just so you know, readers will have no problem enjoying this book without having read the original Beaumont Series. There is plenty of background supplied clearly setting out how all these characters relate to each other.