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Author: Julie Brannagh

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Covering Kendall by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Covering Kendall by Julie BrannaghCovering Kendall by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football,
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily, Rushing Amy, Catching Cameron
Published by Avon on 21 October 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Blitzing Emily, Rushing Amy, Catching Cameron

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Bellevue, Washington // Santa Clara, California

First Line(s): Drew McCoy dodged pouring rain as he darted through a puddle-infested parking lot and into the entrance of the biggest bookstore in Bellevue.

Covering Kendall by Julie Brannagh is the fourth book in her Love & Football series and while it does involve the Seattle Sharks football team can almost be read as an independent story as there is almost no mention/interaction of the previous characters. In this story Drew McCoy of the Sharks meets up with Kendall Tracy who is the GM of a rival team, which is something that they don’t know at first. There are sparks and I think that its going to be a really juicy story but somewhere along the way it just sort of fizzles out.

I liked Drew and Kendall and I liked their story and I am every so glad that there wasn’t a random subplot where everyone focused on the heroine’s uterus or her weight as with the previous installments. It was a quick read that I essentially read in less than a day so I was involved with the plot but there was just something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. There were also some random inconsistancies that just took me out of the plot. Like how the Sharks played Dallas back to back (at home and then away) and even this non-football watcher knows that is a no-go. Although I did read an ARC so its possible that all these little inconsistencies that bothered me were corrected in the final version. Many times I’ll grab a copy of that final book to check but I just don’t care enough about this story to do so.

Covering Kendall Quote

 

As I said above, I read this quickly and I liked the forbidden love aspect of the story but it just seemed like the two main characters put way more stress upon themselves than needed. Then, of course, there was the pointless breakup leading to angst and moping before they get back together for their HEA. And boy what an eye-rolling HEA did they have. It was just so cliched and forced and a little too perfect to feel real. I get that with a romance there is some suspension of belief, there is that wish fulfillment that every reader wants in that perfect ending. But you can have a good satisfying ending without getting overly cheesy at the same time.

For me, I think that my love affair with the Love and Football series might be waning. Each book just gets to be a little less enjoyable for me and so I am unsure if this is a series that I will continue with or not. Though I will keep my eye out for other stories by Julie Brannagh as I did really enjoy the first book in this series.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Covering Kendall
three-stars
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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Review: Catching Cameron by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Catching Cameron by Julie BrannaghCatching Cameron by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football,
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily, Rushing Amy, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 06 May 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Blitzing Emily, Rushing Amy, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Seattle, Washington // Whidbey Island, Washington

First Line: Zach Anderson was in New York City again, and he wasn’t happy about it.

Catching Cameron is the third book in Julie Brannagh’s Love and Romance series but its only loosely connected to the first two books in the series. There is barely a mention or interaction with the previous characters and the only thing that really connects them is the setting and the fictional football team that Zach plays on. Therefore, this book can almost be looked at as a standalone novel but despite this I really liked how Catching Cameron began. It was just as the story progressed that I got more and more annoyed with the story and the characters. First there was the very annoying assistant that Cameron had and whose attentions could be seen from a mile away and yet at the big reveal everyone was just shocked. This just came across as unrealistic as the assistant was such a complete and total cliche. I really could have done without this character in the book. I did like Zach and Cameron and their second chance at romance and thought that this book could have stood with just that drama alone.

But the thing that bugged me the most with Catching Cameron was how everyone kept harping on Cameron’s weight. She was described as a thin, fit, and an excising loving person yet it seemed as though everyone around her kept telling her she was fat and needed to lose weight. Including a very rude waitress who changed her order from a hamburger to a salad. If I had been reading a print version of this book I totally would have tossed it across the room during this scene. I thought that the vagina obsession in Rushing Amy was bad but this was stomach turning. And it wasn’t just the waitress that harped on her weight but also her boss, her assistant, Zach, and even at times Cameron herself.

Catching Cameron Quote

Then there was the double standards about how Cameron could never move her very popular, high ratings show, to film in Seattle as the main office of the studio was in New York. And yet, didn’t the male lead of Rushing Amy work for that same studio and live in Seattle? So there were many eye rolls at this because how does it work for one but not another. I also hated how Cameron’s boss treated her as if she was just a pretty brainless girl and not he smart hard working, ratings earning person that she was. He belittled her at every turn and dismissed all of her ideas as childish. I don’t know what Cameron put up with it as long as she did as her show stood on its one and she had proven herself time and again just how knowledgeable and smart she was in her field. It really really irked me how she was treated. Though, I did like the realism of it because Cameron is a woman and as much as it galls me women deal with this sort of misogyny every day. Especially in such a male dominated world of sports broadcasting.

Now it might seem as though I didn’t like this book much since I have only focused on the negative and I didn’t mean to start of that way but these are glaring things that really took away from my enjoyment of the story. Overall, I really did like the chemistry between Zach and Cameron and enjoyed reading their story. And if the plot didn’t focus on Cameron’s weight as much as it did I may have rated this one a bit higher. I also felt that so much time was spent on the build up that the ending felt a bit rushed and as a result fell into the trap of telling and not showing. But even with that I still read this one pretty quickly I just didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book, Blitzing Emily, which was filled with this fresh quirkiness that seemed to be missing here.

My thoughts summed up in a gif:

smile shrugh gif

irishdarkblue

 

Irish Recommends - Catching Cameron
three-stars
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie BrannaghRushing Amy by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football, Book 2
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 11 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Blitzing Emily, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Cannon Beach, Oregon

First Line(s): The wedding was over, and Amy Hamilton stood amongst the wreckage.

Rushing Amy is the follow up to Julie Brannagh’s Blitzing Emily and involves Emily’s younger sister, Amy. Amy runs a flowshop and its through her buisness that Emily meets her one true love Brandon. In Rushing Amy, Emily returns the favor (so to speak) by being the catalyst for Amy to meet her love interest, Matt. Matt is a former teammate and a friend of Brandon’s and he and Amy meet at the wedding of Emily and Brandon. Its a bit of a cliched meeting place but it works for this story. While the overall story of Rushing Amy was a cute, quick read there were things that bothered me with it.

My biggest issue was with how everyone seemed so overly concerened with Amy’s ovaries. A conversation about how old she was getting and how she needed to have babies soon or never seemed to pop up in almost every chapter. She would think it and others would comment on it and it just added this weird, creepy vibe to the whole story. One example of this is when Matt’s daughter tells Amy that she can’t break up with her dad because she wants siblings…um…seriously?? Ugh! This is 2014 not 1814 a woman’s main purpose in life and the source of all her happiness isn’t in having babies. I liked how Amy was focused on setting up her business and making it work but that strength of hers, her smarts and business sense was always overshadowed with talk of her baby making capabilites.

Matt also annoyed me a bit in how he wanted to take care of Amy buy tossing money at her and all of her problems. I get that he wanted to help but he never listened to what she wanted he just bulldozed in with what he wanted and her feelings be damned. Most of the time he was sweet and I liked that he was such a giving soul but listening is such an attactive skill and so few people seem to possess it. Amy and Matt could have avoided the whole pointless breakup if Matt just listened to her issues, provided advice when asked and then let her handle things how she wanted to handle them.

I enjoyed Rushing Amy but I didn’t think that it was as cute as Blitzing Emily. The issues mentioned above just took me out of the story and made me want to shake all the characters involved. I wanted them to find their HEA but at the same time they annoyed me enough that there were times when I didn’t care if they reached that point or not. There also wasn’t enough Brandon and Emily in this story and when they were there they didn’t seem like the same characters from the first book. I will continue to read this series but as of this posting I don’t think that Rushing Amy will be a book that I ever re-read.

irishdarkblue

Rushing Amy Quote

three-stars
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Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie BrannaghBlitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football,
Also in this series: Rushing Amy, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 07 January 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 496
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Rushing Amy, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Redmond, Washington // Kirkland, Washington // Leavenworth, Washington

First Line(s): Emily Hamilton planned to kill her sister. She just had to figure out where to hide the body.

Blitizing Emily by Julie Brannagh is the start of an adult contemporary romance series that involve a fictional football team based in Seattle, Washington. The first book centers around Emily, a rising star in the opera word and Brandon who is one of the star players on the Seattle Sharks. Their meet/cute is nothing short of adorable and its quickly followed by a hospital visit and a misunderstanding that leads to the media thinking that they are engaged. As Brandon is trying to change his image from playboy to serious he somehow manages to convince Emily to play along for a month.

What follows is a cute romance that I read in just a few hours enjoying most every minute of the ride. I liked the chemistry between Emily and Brandon and loved how Brannagh wrote their story. Well, other than the pointless breakup and the whole lack of communication that could have settled so many problems. I also got a bit frustrated with Emily’s sister Amy who couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it and just some other things that rubbed me the wrong way. There were moments in the story that made me sigh with frustration but then there were also those moments that make my heart ache and just give me all those wonderful happy/sad type feels.

Blitzing Emily isn’t a perfect book and there were some continuity errors and other issues that kept me from totally falling head over heels with it. But overall this was just the right book for me at the time I read it. It hit all those notes that I love in a book even while it contained some things I didn’t like. I liked how Brannagh managed to write a story with a football star and an opera diva, people from such opposite spectrums of fame, and make it work. I adored Brandon’s character and just loved all of his moments with Emily. Blitzing Emily was a fun, fast read and its one that I’d recommend to all who love a cute, sports themed romance and who are in need of a light and fluffy distraction. I enjoyed this one and will be looking out for Brannagh’s other titles too.

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

Blitzing Emily Quote

four-stars
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