Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Slow and Steady Rush by Laura Trentham

The Basics:
Slow and Steady Rush by Laura Trentham
St Martin's Press
Contemporary Romance
Book One in the Falcon Football series
Published March 10, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Amazon Kobo Goodreads

Why I picked up this book:

New author, new series, librarian main character? I'm in.

She lives by the book—and is still searching for her happily ever after. 

Darcy Wilde has tried hard not to live up to her last name. As a librarian in Atlanta she lives a fine life far away from the football-obsessed town of her childhood. But when her beloved Grandmother needs help, Darcy takes a leave of absence and heads back to the home and past she left behind.

He knows how to play the field—and is in no rush to settle down. 

Robbie Dalton knows a thing or two about painful pasts. After bouncing around in foster care and the Army for years he is finally ready to move on and make a home for himself in Falcon, Alabama as the newest high school football coach. Sparks fly when the sexy new coach and the sharp-tongued librarian meet, but neither of them is looking to make ties.

But when it comes to love, sometimes you’ve gotta throw away the rule book to cross the finish line… 

Everything changes when Darcy falls in love, not only with the gruff, protective, and smoking hot man who's sharing her days and nights, but also with the complex tapestry of people who weave Falcon together. Could this be where she belongs - and who she belongs with?

My thoughts:

Slow and Steady Rush falls into the small-town-romance spectrum of contemporary romances. My mind always and immediately goes to Stars Hollow in the television show Gilmore Girls when I read small town books because that's the standard by which I judge fictional small towns.

Falcon is a much darker vision of small town life than Stars Hollow ever was, with violence, gossip and prejudice present. I've got mixed feelings about how it was all handled, though I understand the impulse to try to bring everything together in a tidy, HEA way in a romance novel. The book definitely operates with shades of grey, and I guess that I found it admirable but also a bit disappointing because it meant I didn't get the big smackdown that I wanted.

Small town romances often come with a colorful cast of local characters, and Slow and Steady Rush is no exception. The most typical are probably the three elderly librarians, former co-workers of Darcy's grandmother, whom Darcy compares to the witches of MacBeth. There's also the local, ah, woman on the prowl, we'll say, who has set her eyes on Robbie. Some of it is entertaining, some is a bit cliched, but overall I think it contributed to feeling that Falcon has a vibrant community.

Slow and Steady Rush features a fair amount of meddling and manipulation. Though it's all done with good intentions, it still made me a little uncomfortable. I don't like it when the heroine is backed into a corner or ambushed with obligations. I'd much prefer to have her presented with options and choose the right one rather than be tricked into doing things.

I also found it annoying that Darcy was held responsible for a piece of gossip that, really, shouldn't have been a big deal anyways. It was obviously a genuine accident and everyone should have been more understanding. I was shaking my fist through much of the book, waiting for Robbie to apologize to Darcy for being such an ass, and I never felt fully satisfied on that front.

Bottom line:

Slow and Steady Rush had some great moments, but overall, I was more annoyed by it than entertained. If you love high school football or that small community feel in your romance, you might be willing to overlook the few things that irked me so much.

3 stars
For fans of football books, small towns, 'going home' books.

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Slow and Steady Rush:

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