Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O'Connor, popular NFL running back. On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she's not prepared to deal with the arrogant-and adamantly opposed-man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine… Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams.
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I liked it. I really did. I wasn't surprised because I have liked other stuff this author has written.
Or so I thought.
Here is where I confess I am not very bright. This was a Whispersync deal. I will buy pretty much any WS combo that comes in under 5 bucks unless I have issues with the writer and/or narrator.
Saw this. Jumped on it. Of course, I thought this was written by Allison Packard, not Allison Parr. Yep. As an aside, Allison Packard writes a pretty darn good book, too.
And then (remember, I am not very bright) I realized this was NA. Wait, I don't like NA. I don't buy NA because I don't want to encourage all the whining and self-centeredness in NA. "Just Say No to NA" would be my battle cry in the publishing wars.
Guess what. There is no whining or self-centeredness in this book.
Our heroine, Natalie, is 23, a grad student. There is a lot of setup about what she is in grad school for (archeology) and what her career goals are. A bit of that (remember, I am not very bright) went right over my head. But I understood enough, grasped enough, remembered enough to muddle through it. Her educational issues are the reason for the conflict in the book. The particulars are not that important to understanding what is going on and the motivation behind actions.
Our hero, Mike, holds the key (and the title) to Natalie being able to do a dig on land in Ireland. Natalie had previously been given permission to dig on this land, but the previous owner dies, leaving the land to Mike.
Mike says no to the dig. He has his reasons, of course, but they are revealed later. Mike is a quarterback for a fictional NY football team. This means he can go to Ireland in the off season for family reasons and then hang around for what seems like a really long time.
As far as the story goes, I had some basic issues with it. There were some things that just didn't make sense. Basic-reactions-as-human- beings-type things. Maybe I missed some things because I listened to the Audible version, but some things just didn't flow. There were a couple of times where we are in one location doing one thing and next thing you know they are sitting having tea. I think this is just a transition that was not easily picked up on in the narration.
The sex is 99.9 percent behind doors. Oh, that was one of the transitions I didn't pick up on. Our young couple apparently starts an intimate relationship and I missed it. They are kissing and cuddling, then the next thing I hear after they have a fight is that was the first night Natalie had not visited Mike's room. Ummm, okay. Didn't know that was going on. But that could be my lack of brightness again. And it could also be one of the vagaries of audiobooks. I couldn't flip back to search for something I may have missed so I just went with it.
As always, everybody is too beautiful, too successful, too cute. But you learn to get over that.
I did enjoy seeing Natalie have healthy, supportive relationships with other women. I did appreciate the fact that Natalie was a bit timid about certain things, but she just plunged in and educated herself and executed what needed to be executed.
All in all, it was a positive, mature YA book.
Narration was good. There were accents, different languages, all well done. While there weren't necessarily "men's" voices and "women's" voices, all were distinguishable. Very nicely done.
This is the second book in a new adult series, and we switch to a new couple with the fictional New York Leopards football team. It's a classic forbidden love story - boy meets girl that really shouldn't and sparks fly - but there's no instant love which I appreciate. Plenty of drama, a smidge of angst and a whole lot of sweetness made this a light, easy listen. I enjoyed it.