Series: New York Leopards #1
Published by Carina Harlequin on April 8th 2013
When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.
While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.
Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.
Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.
I don’t know what it is about books and movies centred on American football (or as Americans call it…football) but it is like catnip for me! The Blind Side, Friday Night Lights, Remember the Titans I cannot get enough! So when I heard of Allison Parr’s series I knew I was in for a treat and RUSH ME is definitely a favourite book to add to my football obsession!
Rachel Hamilton is a publishing graduate currently holding down an unpaid internship while her savings pay for her Brooklyn rental and groceries. When her roommate invites her to a swanky party in Manhattan Rachel accidentally wanders into the wrong apartment and comes face to face with a world far removed from anything she could imagine – professional football. Trading barbs with NFL quarterback Ryan Carter only serves to remind her that this is not her scene however when Ryan’s teammates take a shine to the only girl who hasn’t fallen head over heels for their cocky football star Rachel finds herself constantly thrown together with Ryan. As the months pass, Rachel and Ryan bicker constantly, challenge each other’s preconceptions and prejudices and realise that perhaps first impressions aren’t always reliable and opposites really do attract…
There is one reason above all others that I adored this book; the main characters COMMUNICATE! Yes they talk! They don’t give mixed signals, they don’t say “I’m fine” while secretly simmering with anger, they lay it all out there and damn the consequences. It was so refreshing to read and interesting to see it all play out.
I adored both characters, Rachel was a fresh and funny heroine, eager to give her opinion despite an underlying feeling of inadequacy present at all times as she feels she’s floundering while everyone else’s careers seem to be on track. When she meets Ryan and is introduced to a world of extreme privilege rewarded for simply “kicking a football” she cannot comprehend it. She can’t understand how brawn is favoured over intellect but as the months go on and she spends time with Ryan she comes to realise that there is a lot more to football than meets the eye. Likewise with Ryan, after years of being fawned over as God’s gift to sport and women, meeting Rachel is an eye-opener and it plays on his insecurities too as he is constantly reminded that without football he doesn’t have a secure backup plan. Through the couple’s constant bickering both Rachel and Ryan come to realise that their fears and inadequacies are one more thing they have in common that neither want to admit.
There’s some serious chemistry between these two and the sexual heat is searing when they stop talking however their conversation is definitely the sexiest and most interesting aspect to this couple. Their banter is never completely innocent and always has a sharp edge to it that cuts right to the nerve. At times I winced at how vicious and brutally honest the pair were towards each other as they really uncovered each others’ vulnerabilities and attacked them to break down the barriers both had erected to protect themselves. I simply loved it. They used words as both weapons and to heal, there were no stupid silences; every moment between them was pulsing with energy.
The secondary characters were another highlight for me especially Ryan’s teammates whom Parr managed to make distinctly memorable. The exploration into the world of publishing was another highlight for me on a personal level and I also highly enjoyed how Parr explored Rachel’s Judaism and Ryan’s Catholicism and how they differed but more importantly ultimately interconnected.
RUSH ME was a fantastic, refreshing take on the New Adult genre/category with memorable characters full of passion and a great storyline that provided me with plenty to think about. Thoroughly enjoyable!