Review – Loving Him Off the Field by Jeanette Murray

Loving Him Off the FieldPublisher: Intermix
Publish Date: October 21st
How I got this book: NetGalley

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense…

Aileen is a sports reporter trying to make a name for herself without relying on her looks, And what better way to do that than to break a scandal about one of the fastest rising stars on the Santa Fe Bobcats? Killian seems too good to be true, so she knows he must be hiding something…

It’s hard enough breaking into the NFL—even more so when you’re a single dad. Killian isn’t proud that he’s keeping his son a secret, but his ex has a reputation that could tarnish his squeaky clean image for good. So when Aileen starts sniffing around, Killian decides to distract her by any means necessary.

But Aileen is more than capable of giving as good as she gets…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I love sports romance books, they are some of my all-time favorites. While I like Murray and enjoy her writing, there was something about this book that I just didn’t connect with emotionally.

Aileen is a sports reporter for a small blog looking to break out of the fluff pieces she keeps getting assigned. Her boss gives her a shot, but she has to break the story behind the Bobcat’s secretive and press-shy kicker, Killian.

Killian hates being in the spotlight, and will do anything to stay out of media attention. When Aileen starts following him around and hounding him in her own charming manner, Killian finds it difficult to keep her at an arm’s length. But the more time they spend together, the more Killian and Aileen realize a relationship might not be such a bad thing, until Killian’s secrets come out, and jeopardize everything they’ve built.

I did really enjoy the set up with this book, with Aileen being a reporter. It’s a theme I’ve read before and enjoyed before. I knew that Killian’s secret would probably be a doozy, and given that his secret revolved around his kid and the child’s mother, I was extremely anxious to find out what it was. While I thought it was a super interesting twist, I also think it took a really long time for Murray to finally reveal everything, and by that point I was getting more annoyed at the hints than anything else.

As individuals, I think I liked Aileen a lot more than Killian. She was open and honest and friendly and sweet. She was the kind of heroine who had morals and scruples and wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in. I really liked that about her, and was able to connect with her because of it. However, I found that connecting with Killian was a lot harder. While I could understand wanting to protect his child, he was so incredibly closed off from everything and everyone that I struggled trying to understand why. I never really got the feeling that his one incident would stem such a reclusive personality with every aspect of his life. I really couldn’t relate to him, and struggled to fall for him as a hero.

Because of the lack of connection I felt toward Killian, my belief in the romance suffered. I couldn’t understand what attracted Aileen to him, and why she was willing to stick around when he continually treated her crummy. I wanted more for the heroine I was really enjoying, and never felt like Killian really gave her all he had to give.

All in all, I thought Murray did a good job executing the overall story, and it was well written, however I just found myself struggling to really fall into the book. I wish that I would have been able to connect better with Killian and the romance, but he just didn’t work for me. However, I will be giving the next book a try, because the overall cast of characters are truely wonderful.
I give Loving Him Off the Field a C+

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