My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 “More Than He Wanted A Ring” Kisses
I’ve read a few different kind of book boyfriends but I have to tell you this book was my first ‘pro-athlete’ book boyfriend. And he surprised me….a lot. In a good way. This whole book surprised me to be honest, and since I am normally rarely surprised, I guess that must mean in a very good way. This deserves further explanation…
Zach Murphy is 34 and on his last leg in his football career. He’s got one last chance to achieve his goal of winning a Super Bowl…finally getting a chance at the ring he wants so bad. But football is not just about the game you play on the field. It’s the politics and the schmoozing, making the right impressions on the right people, kissing the right butts and Zach has never been very good at that. A small town Texas boy, trailer trash that made something of himself but still refuses to compromise on being the person he is to his core.
‘Football gave him life, while women sucked the life out of him. Football made sense to him. Women didn’t. Especially this woman.’
I loved Zach…he was real, authentic, very genuine and lovable, overall a very well balanced character. He’s been through a lot of heartbreak, which makes your heart bleed for him (and made me tear up – surprise!) Plus it doesn’t hurt he’s 6’3” Texan boy with shaggy black hair and warm chocolate brown eyes and the body of a god. He’s all alpha male and full of ferociousness and yumminess. It’s hard not to drool over Zach…really hard.
‘Kelsie gazed into his warm brown eyes. She liked this Zach, liked when he softened his edges a little and relaxed. She liked how he smiled with his whole face, especially his eyes, and those rare dimples came out. Yes, if Kelsie Carrington-Richmond didn’t watch herself she might do something inexcusably dumb and fall hard for a guy like Zach, which wouldn’t be fair to him.’
Kelsie Carrington-Richmond is the perfect blue eyed, blonde haired former beauty queen that stomped all over Zach’s heart. She was his crush…she was more than his crush, he was a 17 year old in love and he put his trust in her, only to have that thrown back in his face at the worst possible time in his life. Granted…she didn’t know that at the time – but still, she was a teenage girl sucked into the usual vortex of peer pressure and doing what was ‘cool’. Not the most honorable thing to do but chalk it up to inexperience and lack of brain cells being in the proper regions they needed to be at the time.
‘Kelsie Carrington-Richmond was a bitch of the worst kind. She didn’t deserve to be in the same company of a man as kind as Zach Murphy.’
So after a very nasty divorce Kelsie comes looking for Zach…for forgiveness, for help, for a lot of reasons….the last one on this list being the hopes of a friendship. Zach is obviously guarded with the past that he has with her…rightfully so. Thru a twisted first encounter and a lot of the ‘right people in the right place, right time’ scenarios, Kelsie finds herself employed by the Lumberjacks to ‘smooth out’ Zach’s ruff edges…refine the country Texan into something more presentable for the media. That’s only the beginning…the tip of the iceberg, but it’s what brings them together, starts to mend the fences of a very broken and tattered relationship. Is it salvageable…yes. Is there something more beneath the surface of Kelsie and Zach….hell yes. Was I tortured waiting to finally get to that point of them succumbing to that fact…you betcha I was!
“Are you ever going to forgive me?”
He frowned and stared at his hands. “Not sure. I’m struggling with it.”
“You don’t forgive easily.”
“I haven’t met anyone who’s truly earned my forgiveness. The few times I’ve forgiven they’ve proven they don’t deserve it.”
“You must live a tragic, lonely life, Zach Murphy.”
“Yeah, maybe.” The sadness in his eyes undid her.
I swear, I am okay with books drawing out that longing and desire for the couple to be together but I have never been teased this badly by a book. There are two scenes that I was like a cheerleader with my pom-poms, cheering them on to make this thing between them happen already and it was like a false start both time. They get you all hot and bothered and then douse you with ice water – it sucked! I would have been mad if I hadn’t been so disappointed because both scenes were sexy, hot, I was so excited (for them!) and then I was like….wait a minute? What just happened??? No No No! Wait! Rewind….try this again!
“All a guy needs is the right woman. The one that makes you see that there’s nothing else in your life that compares to her.”
Oh and btw – 52% – be prepared….cause I wasn’t. Knocked me for a loop, I did not see that coming and I applaud Jami for completely shocking me with that twist. It was interesting, unexpected and I liked where it took the story line. So…with that twist comes a lot of internal battle with the two of them – doubting each other, questioning if what they were doing was right…you get the picture. She’s damaged from her ex husband, he’s damaged from her. She’s desperate to get out of the situation he is in, he’s desperate to make his current situation better, the easiest way of doing that is by keeping her around to help him. Do they both profit in one way, shape or form from the other…yes. It’s a mutually beneficial scenario…plus it involves sex. Score!
‘Convince Kelsie of what he already knew. That she was his – and his alone – for today and all their tomorrows. Wishful thinking from a desperate man who’d never given up the dream of Kelsie loving him and him alone.’
There is enough angst and conflict just surrounding Zach and Kelsie’s relationship…then you throw in the drama with the team that Zach is having to deal with, the main catalyst being the Quarterback, Tyler Harris. Compounding that conflict with the team is the owner’s daughter Veronica, hate her btw she’s a douche…and then for good measure let’s throw in the evil ex that makes a quick appearance (sleaze bag alert!)
‘She wanted to be more desirable to him than a coveted Super Bowl ring.’
‘He wanted Kelsie even more than he wanted a ring.’
I really enjoyed Down By Contact, it was a sweet, surprising story that kept me thoroughly entertained. While it is part of a series, and I am a stickler for always reading series books in order – I broke my rules for this one (gasp!) and I am very glad I did. Would it have been helpful to know the other characters…probably, but it didn’t bother me or stop me from liking the story I was reading. It definitely makes me want to read the first two books even more. If this is what I can come to expect from Jami Davenport, count me in…cause it’s good stuff. 🙂
Jami Davenport has been writing since she was old enough to know the alphabet. An advocate of happy endings, Jami writes sexy romantic comedy, sizzling suspense, and equestrian fiction.
Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her husband, a former Green Beret turned plumber, two dogs large enough to saddle, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. Jami is an avid sports fan and loves football and baseball. She’s been a Seahawks and Mariners fan through the good and bad times. Now that the Sonics are gone, she wishes Seattle would get an NHL team.
In her spare time, Jami rides and shows her dressage horse and grows roses. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, the setting for her first two books. A third-generation Washingtonian, Jami has never lived anywhere else. In her opinion, it’s the most beautiful place on earth. Check out Jami’s Website.