Title: Blitzing Emily: A love and football novel
Author: Julie Brannagh
Release Date: January 7, 2014
All is fair in Love and Football…
Emily Hamilton doesn’t trust men. She’s much more comfortable playing the romantic lead on stage in front of a packed house than in her own life. So, when NFL star and irresistible ladies’ man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions he’ll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.
Every time Brandon calls her “Sugar,” Emily almost believes Brandon’s playing for keeps, not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own Happily Ever After?
As my first foray into Julie Brannagh’s writing, I’m happy that I can look forward to another talented author on the rise in the contemporary romance genre. Blitzing Emily was a joy to read. Even though I know next to nothing about football, I really enjoy reading about football players and their love stories, see Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Star series.
Emily is married. To her career, that is. As an opera singer, yes, an opera singer, she has been working her butt off since she was young to achieve her goal of singing for the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She doesn’t have time for dating or for love, her last foray into the latter had left her in the dust of deep betrayal. She has lost her trust in most men and in relationships. But when a semi-serious fall on the ice lands her on the arms of Brandon McKenna, star player for the Seattle Sharks, everything in her life shifts.
Brandon McKenna is living a larger-than-life existence. He’s got the looks, the talent on the field, the money raking in from his career as a star player, and the love of all types of women. But a slight misunderstanding may cause him in the negotiations for the renewal of his contract with his team. But Emily Hamilton falling into his arms in the process of delivering a gift set of balloons and candies from a nut-case ex-girlfriend might just be what his life and his career need at the moment.
I really enjoy reading about fake engagements as a premise. I guess you can say it’s one of my favorite tropes in romance novels. And I really liked how the author has developed this set-up. I appreciated that while she did start from this familiar trope, she was still able to surprise me with how she weaved the rest of the story.
I also loved that there were so much of Brandon and Emily together, interacting, talking or word-sparring more like it. These offer the readers a much detailed look into the inner workings of their minds and hearts. I also love the reversals that Julie Brannagh did in the novel. This might be a bit SPOILERY so read on at your own risk. I love that it was Brandon who was not afraid of commitment, who believed in a lifetime love, who wanted to have a family, get married, and have kids while it was Emily who was, partially unconsciously shrinking away from committing whole-heartedly to a relationship. I love that Brandon is the one who wanted to talk, really talk and get to know Emily while Emily wanted a clinical way of getting to know each other for their shenanigan of an engagement. END OF SPOILERS.
I also liked how Emily’s character has evolved. Without revealing too much details let’s just say that she has been burned quite heavily in her previous relationships and her trust issues are issues as many as one can count TIME magazine’s. When the conflict arises in the latter part of the book, I wanted to scream at her too (her sister Amy did) and shake her. But then I realized that if I kind of understood where she was coming from. It might not make sense to everybody but it resonated for me. So I give the author props for presenting it that way.
Blitzing Emily is a love story but I find that more than finding that right person that fits you perfectly, it’s also about realizations that loving isn’t easy, trust is a good foundation of a relationship, and faith in the future you both can have drives because of the strength of your love and commitment are the things that will keep you together.
I can’t wait to read Julie Brannagh’s next novel. And what do you know, I already received an advance copy of that one featuring Emily’s younger sister, Amy. Off to read.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars; REALLY LIKED IT. You guys should go check this series out.
*I received an eARC from Avon via Edelweiss in return for an honest review.
About the Author:
Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.
Julie hasn’t quite achieved the goal of owning a pro football team, so she created a fictional one: The Seattle Sharks. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of four contemporary sports romances.
Connect with Julie Brannagh:
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