If any of you are members of Goodreads, you probably know about the Giveaways section of their website. I actually didn’t until about six weeks ago, when I frantically entered about 100 different giveaways. So far, I’ve only managed to win one book – Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody.
This is a debut sports romance novel by Australian writer Kim Carmody, who I believe works in the sports industry. I have to admit that I had no idea about the ‘sport’ part of the genre, I was just expecting generic chic-lit. I honestly didn’t even know it was such a large and popular sub-genre until I started reading other reviews of this book. Who knew!? I have issues with this, as I can’t imagine any other sports romance novel to be much different to this one – large, manly, famous sports star woos young and attractive female etc etc.
That being said, I do like the occasional chic-lit, and as I’d won it and a debut author was counting on my review, I gave it a go.
The book begins with young, tall, attractive Australian sports PR person (I’m really not sure what her job title was supposed to be), 25 year old Emma Lexington, getting a transfer to work for a New York NFL team for 12 months. When she gets there, she meets, and becomes slightly obsessed with the huge, manly, sweaty, charming quarterback star Will Jensen. Worried she might lose her job if she takes their relationship any further, she repeatedly turns down his (rather stalkerish) advances, until they finally get it on and live happily ever after.
It was alright. I read it pretty quickly over two days, despite it being quite lengthy, but looking back, I skimmed through quite a bit because it started to get quite boring. My main issue was the lack of descriptive language used. Carmody fails to describe any of the settings; any of the clothes they’re wearing; what anyone looks like. I really struggled to lose myself in it because I just could picture it in my head. She uses phrases like ‘I went to his apartment and it was incredible’. Why is it incredible? What does it look like? What aren’t you telling me!? She also makes a big deal about Emma wearing the dress she first met Will in, to make him jealous when they’ve fallen out over something trivial. Yet again, we get no description of the dress. Not even a colour. We’re just told she looks sexy in it. By the way, she ALWAYS looks sexy.
I know, I know, chic-lit isn’t supposed to be up there winning literary prizes or anything, it’s just supposed to be a bit of escapism. I struggled to escape because I wasn’t given anything to escape to.
Another issue I had was Will’s character. I didn’t find him attractive at all, I found him overbearing and unable to take no for an answer. He has a complete lack of respect for what Emma wants or needs, and comes across horribly arrogant.
I didn’t mind the first half of the book; the ‘chase’ section, if you will. There is the will they, won’t they excitement. After they finally get together, however, it just gets boring.
One thing that was a pleasant surprise, was the lack of NFL in there. I was a bit worried, being from the UK and knowing absolutely nothing about American Football (is that the one that does the Superbowl?). It was hardly mentioned. Other than Emma working for the team and Will playing for them, there wasn’t much else. No descriptions of games, very little sports lingo. I was happy with that.
I feel quite bad because I’ve only really listed negatives here. The book was mildly entertaining, I quite liked Emma as a character. She came across as fairly realistic, other than being a bit too beautiful. I understood her dilemmas, but thought she was a bit stupid in her decisions. As other reviews suggest, I was probably the wrong person to be reviewing this book. There’s loads of positive reviews out there, with people saying how much they loved Will etc. It was just not for me. I’m sure this wasn’t the kind of review Carmody was hoping for (sorry!).
I rate this book a solid 5/10. It was an easy read, but not particularly enthralling, unless you’re really into that sort of thing.
5/10 – Begrudgingly Finished