Anna Jeffries has spent the last thirty-two years blending in, content in her worn-out reading chair—her happy corner of the world—spinning romantic scenarios she’s certain reality can’t deliver. After three years of teaching Shakespeare at UC Berkeley, Anna is working toward full tenure. Her life in the classroom means everything and she can’t imagine wanting more… until she does.
Dane Sivac is in his second year as the wide receiver coach, and with new talent on the team this year, he’s beginning to think his future may hold a permanent position with Cal—as permanent as any coach can hope for. When his star receiver begins struggling on and off the field, the sports psychologist asks Dane for help. For Dane, emotions are best ignored, but his player’s seemingly uptight Shakespeare professor is driving Dane nuts… until she’s not.
Invested in the future of a student athlete they’ve both come to care about, Dane and Anna are forced to work together. The attraction is undeniable, but opposing teams rarely get along. Right as Dane makes the type of romantic gesture Anna has only known in fiction, her career is threatened and she is reminded, playbook or not, she was never good at games.
**Playbook generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
4 "She's kind of magical..." Stars
This story is my first of this series and of this author and really enjoyed the angsty, real-life romance of it. With an interesting setting and very intriguing characters, through the third person point of view Tracy Ewens delivers a very sweet budding relationship between two broken yet charismatic characters.
Dane and Annabelle live their lives content with loneliness as they cast those feelings off as something else. When they meet they're instantly taken with the other while neither can pinpoint why that is. Through the mutual interest in the success of one their players/students the two form a flirtatious friendship and relationship. Their banter and arguing is top notch and the sweetness they both exude make for great romance. There are a few times I felt the inner monologues of each character were repetitive without revealing too much information and giving something to hang onto while they were hanging on themselves. However, the author continually pushed the plot forward and kept me very interested in these two characters. Secondary characters and the sub plots of each main's jobs were fascinating as well. It was an environment I could see myself having fun within.
Tracy Ewens writing proved to be what I crave from my romance books. Angst and conflict coupled with a character driven plot guided by charming, unassuming characters and terrific writing. This story felt easy to read and quick to gain my interest and hold my attachment. I'm excited I've read it and look forward to meeting other characters from this talented story teller.