The Player by Claire Contreras
"There was something about the way she looked at me that made my heart beat uneasy, as if it was warning me that this just might be the one to flip my world upside down."
If you like the real football, like me, the one where you kick the ball rather than throw it you have to read this book ASAP. I have read a plenty amount of sport romances, I like them alright. They are funny and usually swoon worthy, and I like the sports aspect of the story. I have always found it interesting, however I always read baseball and American football. Never had I come across a football story and to my surprise one of my favorite romance authors, Claire Contreras wrote it, of course I had to go ahead and read it.
The Player is a sexy read. It doesn't have material that other books don't have. However, it is unique (as Contreras always is) in the inclusion of Hispanic characters. It tells the story of Camila, a Dominican girl who lives in New York in an apartment Warren Silva and his company are about to break down to make it prettier and more high quality for other suitable vendors. Warren, however, is not only a businessman but is actually a very famous soccer player for Manchester United.
There are some unique factors to this story: the soccer aspect was not one I had seen before, and I really enjoyed it as soccer is my sport and seeing all the teams I know made me happy. The sub story of Warren and his family is there but I feel it wasn't explored as much as it could have been explored. The family aspect of Camila was also not explored as much as it should have, and it would have been so amazing for Contreras to develop these aspects of the story.
There are some things I didn't really enjoy or care about: The whole "I am too rich, you are too poor" dilemma is one that I had seen before in many books, hence it didn't surprise me or make me feel anything. The big fight they have at the end is not one I found too problematic. Yes he lied, yes he had his reasons, no I don't think it was a good enough reason for there to be such a big fight.
I love Claire and I love her writing, but I feel this one didn't promise or reach the standards some of her other books have. When comparing it to Paper Hearts and Then There Was You, this one ends up feeling more of a complimentary book rather than one of her main successes.
All in all the story had some interesting elements, and swoon worthy scenes and dialogues. I enjoyed the characters enough to care about them, but not enough to follow their story if there would have been another book about them.
“You are my life, Camila. You. I love football. I love my fans. I love running down that field every day, but none of that means anything if I can’t enjoy it with you. And there’s nothing I love more than you.”
--- 3 stars ---