Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: RUSHING AMY by Julie Brannagh

Title: Rushing Amy
Author: Julie Brannagh
Publisher: Avon (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Where to Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

From the book:

Julie Brannagh's sparkling and romantic Love and Football series continues!

For Amy Hamilton, only three Fs matter: Family, Football, and Flowers. It might be nice to find someone to share Forever with, too, but right now she's working double overtime while she gets her flower shop off the ground. The last thing she needs or wants is a distraction … or help, for that matter. Especially in the form of gorgeous and aggravatingly arrogant ex-NFL star Matt Stephens.

Matt lives by a playbook—his playbook. He never thought his toughest opponent would come in the form of a stunning florist with a stubborn streak to match his own. Since meeting her in the bar after her sister's wedding, he's known there's something between them. After she refuses—again and again—to go out with him, Matt will do anything to win her heart … But will Amy, who has everything to lose, let the clock run out on the one-yard line? 

My review:

Amy Hamilton feels she lived in her sister's shadow for too long, and she realizes that she's only been there because of herself; no one put her there, or treated her as though she wasn't any less than her sister. But the fact remains that Emily was always - is still - the more talented of the two.

Amy's made something of herself by opening a small business - a flower shop in Seattle. It's hard work, the hours are long, and her nails will never be manicured again, but she's finally at a place where she's happy with herself and her choices. She has recently got out of a long-term relationship (ok...she was dumped, unceremoniously, by a crap boyfriend), and she's just not interested in starting anything again for a good long while.

Matt Stephens is just the opposite. He wants something real and lasting - something that's eluded him for so long, he isn't sure it exists. When he meets Amy after Emily and Brandon's wedding, he sees something in her that he likes, and isn't afraid to go after it.

Matt understands Amy from the beginning - he asks her out until she can't say no any longer. His intuition about Amy doesn't feel forced or unnatural in the story; he seems to really get her. He's willing to work hard at the chance to date her, see if he can turn his attraction into something more than a notch on the bedpost, and his perseverance pays off when she finally says yes. And I loved watching her mind change! Her thought process was so much fun (...and very much an insight into the way some women's minds work).

I enjoyed RUSHING AMY even more than the first novel, BLITZING EMILYThe best part about this story wasn't the story itself. It was the writing - I saw, from BLITZING EMILY to this one, a transformation. The writing was tighter, the characters had a bit more depth to their overall back story, and the secondary characters (especially Matt's daughter and ex-wife) gave the entire plot a better flow than BLITZING EMILY. 

I didn't realize these things when I read Emily's story, but now that I've read RUSHING AMY, I can see how the author's style is growing, evolving, and getting better with each book. The only thing I didn't like was lack of introduction of the next book's characters in the previous book (I don't recall Matt Stephens in BE, and I didn't notice Cameron in RA). However, that minor point aside, I can't wait to read CATCHING CAMERON.

Four and a half stars.

About the Author

Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.

Julie hasn't quite achieved the goal of owning a pro football team, so she created a fictional one: The Seattle Sharks. When she's not writing, she's reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of four contemporary sports romances.

Facebook: Julie Brannagh
Twitter: @JulieDuvall

Julie Brannagh on Goodreads


Two digital copies of BLITZING EMILY - one for you and one for a friend!

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(Disclaimer: I was provided a digital Advanced Reader Copy (e-ARC) from the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.)

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