Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: BLITZING EMILY by Julie Brannagh

Title: Blitzing Emily
Author: Julie Brannagh
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

From the book:

All's fair in Love and Football . . .

Emily Hamilton doesn't trust men. She's much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies' man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he'll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.

Every time Brandon calls her "Sugar," Emily almost believes he's playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?

My review:

BLITZING EMILY is a fast, fun read for a winter day - the witty dialogue, unexpected character development and happily-ever-after combine to make this story a definite pick-me-up story.

Emily Hamilton isn't a huge fan of relationships. She's failed at her own and her parents' divorce was a mess. As she was the one to break the news to her mom that her dad was cheating, it took a serious emotional toll on Emily.

Fast-forward to the present day, and Emily is a successful opera singer. She loves performing and everything that goes along with it, but she works hard to be the exact opposite of a diva; she's trying to repair the damage to her reputation caused by a nasty ex, and doing a fairly good job at it.

She runs a simple errand for her sister - deliver a bouquet of balloons and some chocolates to a guy at the football stadium. She slips on the ice and gives herself a significant concussion...and she's brought to the hospital by the balloon recipient, Brandon McKenna. As Emily doesn't follow sports, it's funny to watch the way the two of them interact. 

Brandon's used to females fawning all over him, but hedoesn't have a big head about it. He's tired of the one-night stands, vapid arm-candy girlfriends, and the fast life. With the end of his football career approaching, he's looking to the future - a wife, family, and perhaps a picket fence.

I loved Emily's ignorance about football (I admit to my own!) and how she comes to understand what it is that Brandon loves about the game (not the plays, but more the cheering crowd and euphoria that comes along with it). I really enjoyed how Brannagh broke the stereotype of dumb jock. If there were any idiots on the football team, she (thankfully) didn't give them much page space. She also created an alpha male who was protective in the sweetest, most relaxed way, and that was a pleasure to see. Also, Emily's influence over the guys on the team, getting them to listen to opera? Brilliant - and gave depth to a slew of secondary characters that I wasn't expecting, but was pleasantly surprised to find.

The most moving part of this story was Emily's own transformation, which I refuse to spoil for you. It involves an ex-girlfriend, a whole bunch of rumors, so overly gossipy sports casters and...well, read it. You'll see. :)

Four and a half stars - I look forward to more from this author, and her next book, RUSHING AMY, will be an automatic pre-order for me.

About the Author

Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She completed her first novel in 2006. Julie lives in a small town thirty miles east of Seattle with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons (Mojo and Oscar) and a rambunctious chocolate Lab named Moose. She loves to write, but she loves books even more.

Julie is represented by Sarah E. Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Sarah sold Julie’s Seattle Sharks series to Amanda Bergeron of Avon Impulse in November of 2012. BLITZING EMILY (first book of the series) will make its debut in January of 2014. RUSHING AMY will follow on February 11, 2014, and CATCHING CAMERON will be published on May 6, 2014.

When Julie’s not writing or reading, she enjoys the same things everyone else does: Sports, music, movies, visiting with friends, and the occasional cupcake.

Website: http://www.juliebrannagh.com
Facebook: Julie Brannagh
Twitter: @JulieDuvall

Julie Brannagh on Goodreads

Click here to follow the BLITZING EMILY tour.


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(Disclaimer: I was provided an digital copy from Tasty Book Tours for an honest and unbiased review.)