Published by Sourcebooks Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Fake Relationship, Millionaire/Billionaire Hero, Romance, Sports
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An ambitious Southern belle
Marabelle Fairchild knows she's a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she's a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn't expect? A smokin' hot football coach to throw her off her game...
A reclusive NFL bachelor...
NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh's most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on his career...not his playboy status. He doesn't need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances.
What could possibly go wrong?
So on paper this book has all the things I would normally really like in a book, hot sports guys, a fake relationship, some meddling secondary characters, an ex who meddles, it should work. But it didn’t. Not for me at least. Maybe for other people, but it just didn’t work for me.
So our heroine is Marabelle, nice southern name, with a uppity, socialite, controlling mother to go along with it. I have to say though I had a lot of issues with Marabelle, but the thing I liked the most about her was how much she rebelled against her mother in her own way. She is wearing these super frumpy clothes, she does her own thing, teaching at an elementary school making not a lot of money, worked hard for a house she loves, she makes her own way. What’s not to love about that. My issues with Marabelle is she is so in her head that is just so frustrating. But she is almost so much of a contradiction sometimes that I didn’t find her all that believable. She has some serious self-esteem issues (and could seriously benefit from a counselor), she really does not see herself as a person who would ever appeal to anyone, so when she gets super hostile at other women for coming near her fake fiance, it just feel weird, like out of place.
Now for our lovely Nick. I wanted to like him. He’s a coach of a football team, he seems to be a good coach. He meet Marabelle through his nephew, I guess his sister took off to Europe and Nick looks in on the kid every once in a while (which honestly didn’t feel like very much, kind of like the nephew was an afterthought, or just a catalyst to see Marabelle). But my real issue with his guy is he seems to have kind of a bizarre view of women. And honestly I don’t know if its his view or just the wording the author chose. He says/thinks things like, “she needs a chaperone” and when she looks attractive he the comments about how he wants to rip the eyes out of other guys, I know its suppose to be hot, like how possessive he is, like it’s suppose to show how much he likes her, but it comes off as icky to me. I thought I was reading too much into it until Nick goes to talk to his ex-brother in law and he recommends getting rid of a female employee just to make the ex-wife feel better, the way the whole conversation went down was super no cool with me. Like simply being a woman with lady parts makes her some kind of temptress or someone who needs to be watched, I dunno.
Overall, I didn’t really like it. The pacing wasn’t exactly steady throughout, there were some very parts that seemed to lag more than others. The sex scenes were pretty good, so point there. The drama element with Nick’s ex worked decently, it is kind of what made me keep some level of interest. I wasn’t a super big fan of just the tone, like it was kind of hooky, just didn’t feel authentic. I could see where this book would appeal to other people, but it did not work for me.