>> Friday, September 23, 2011
TITLE: I'll Catch You
AUTHOR: Farrah Rochon
PUBLISHER: Kimani Romance
SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Category romance
SERIES: 2nd in the New York Sabers series (follows Huddle With Me Tonight)
HE'S THROUGH PLAYING THE FIELD...OR IS HE?When Payton Mosely beloved father died, she realised she needed to change her life. Her father was a dedicated high school football coach, so she left her job as an extremely successful contract lawyer and decided she's become a sports agent. It's hard to break into that boys' club when you're a woman, but Payton has a plan.
Cedric Reeves has just been sidelined, and the bad-boy pro footballer suddenly finds himself without an agent or a prayer of getting back in the game. What he needs is someone pulling for him...someone like gorgeous go-getter Payton Mosely.
A media-hounded celebrity like Cedric is just what the ambitious up-and-comer Payton needs to jump-start her career. That's why she's waging a no-holds-barred campaign to land the Saber running back as her first client. But how's the NFL sports agent supposed to keep things strictly professional when Cedric pursues her with a passion no sane woman can resists? Could this sexy bad boy be good for her after all?
Cedric Reeves, the New York Sabers' running back has been let loose by his agent after one too many scandalous stories and being dropped by his big sponsor. There's even talk that the Sabers might be reluctant to renew his contract at the end of the season. He's the perfect first client for Payton: the big agents are reluctant to take on such a troublemaker and have been telling him no, so he should be open to her overtures, and at the same time, if she manages to turn around such a troubled career, Payton knows she'll have more than enough interest from other clients.
Cedric is dismissive of Payton at first, but when she manages to get a few minutes of his time and wows him with her knowledge of the game and her determination, his attitude changes fast. But as they work together and the fantastic results start coming in fast, his attraction to her grows just as fast as his admiration for her skills as a negotiator.
This was a fun, fast read. I really loved the characters. Payton was fantastic. She might be right at the beginning of her career as a sports agent, but she knows exactly what she's doing. She's soon got Cedric's image sorted out (that felt a bit too easy, by the way. It's like: "ok, these people are always around when you get into trouble" "But these are my friends from back in the day, I don't want to sell out!" "They're parasites, they're not good for you, it's not selling out, it's moving on" "Ok" And problem sorted! It wasn't a huge issue for me, and I accepted it because it's a short book and there's plenty of other stuff to work through, but it wasn't as believable as the rest). Anyway, Peyton has also got the experience negotiating tough deals from her previous job and knows the game inside out, so she's extremely competent. And I loved that Cedric soon realises that. He's utterly and completely in awe of how good she is.
He's also extremely appreciative. Cedric might be a professional football player, but he's not one of the top stars. To his previous agent, with whom he'd been since he (illegally) paid Cedric a stipend while he was in University, he was just one of many clients. The man did as little for him as he could get away with, especially when Cedric started to be a bit of a troublemaker. Cedric should have found new representation long before the man dropped him, but to be honest, he isn't the brightest person when it comes to business (when he decides to sign with Payton, he basically gives her a blank check. He decides he trusts her, so he signs her contract without reading it and then keeps doing that with every deal she gets him. I guess it was the right decision, since Payton can be trusted, but it sounds like he was just as trusting with his previous agent...). Anyway, having Payton squarely in his corner, working hard to get his really excellent deals, blows Cedric mind. It also makes the decision of whether to go after her as a woman even harder. Their feelings for each other develop quite quickly, soon he needs her and is half in love with her, but he also needs her just as much as his agent, and he doesn't want to screw that up. In fact, neither of them do. But working together so intensely gives them a bit too many opportunities to give in to temptation.
I guess many of you reading this will want to know how well Rochon does the football bits of the book, whether she knows her stuff. The answer, I'm afraid, is I don't know. If this was proper football (sorry, kidding, kidding, couldn't resist!!), I could tell you, but I know practically nothing about American football. However, if I had to put money on it, my $$ would be on Rochon knowing what she's talking about. I felt there was a genuine love of the game showing in her writing, so I'd be surprised if she's making it up. I'd love to hear what people think, though!
MY GRADE: A B+.