Tag Archives: Sport

Love Hard by Nalini Singh

Overview
Love Hard (Hard Play, #3) by Nalini Singh

Title: Love Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 9th – 13th April 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: “Do I look like I was born yesterday?”

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh brings you the next sizzling story in her Hard Play contemporary romance series…

Jacob Esera, star rugby player and young single father, has worked hard to create a joyous life for his six-year-old daughter. After the death of his childhood sweetheart soon after their daughter’s birth, all Jake wants is safety and stability. No risks. No wild chances. And II especially II no Julity Nelisi, former classmate, scandal magnet, and a woman who is a thorn in his side.

As a lonely teenager, Juliet embraced her bad-girl reputation as a shield against loneliness and rejection. Years later, having kicked a cheating sports-star ex to the curb, she has a prestigious job and loyal friends – and wants nothing to do with sportsmen. The last thing she expects is the fire that ignites between her and the stuffed-shirt golden boy who once loved her best friend. 88 Straitlaced jacob Esera versus wild-at-heart Juliet Nelisi? Place your bets.

Thoughts

From the blurb, I was expecting Jacob’s backstory to be far more painful and tragic. And it was quite sad and horrible. But nowhere near what I was expecting. I mean, teenage parent and the death of the love of his life is really sad. But he didn’t dwell on it but found a way to move on with his life. Something that I think is really awesome and important – he found a way to live his life and be happy in the moment.

All throughout this story, Esme just stole the show. She is just too damn cute and, although she isn’t the one the romance is about. I just wanted to give her a huge hug! She’s just a constant, adorable little show stealer. One that makes you grin and want to hug her through the pages of the book. The fact that Jacob is such a wonderful father just makes him an even more dreamy male lead…

Jules was such a great lead female (as is all of Singh’s female leads). Her friendship requirement to a relationship is such a great point. One that I think we all need to make in our own lives and relationships. After all, my partner is my best friend, and it’s the laughter and friendship that bring everything together.

This was another beautiful Singh story. One that uses all of her usual enjoyment and happiness. One that also reminds us that we always should look forward and embrace the future. And the potential for future happiness. It’s such a great journey. One that draws you all that much further into the Esra brothers’ world and makes you believe in true love again and again.

<- Rebel HardMore Nalini Singh ->

Image source: Goodreads

Rebel Hard by Nalini Singh

Overview
Image result for book cover rebel hard nalini singh

Title: Rebel Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 11th – 14th February 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: No point trying to make a decision about the rest of our lives based on two short meetings.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Hard Play series with a sweet, sexy romance featuring big, fat, OTT weddings, a meddling grandma, and a too-serious hero who needs to be unbuttoned.

Nayna Sharma agreed to an arranged marriage in the hope it would heal the fractures in her beloved family… only to realize too late that a traditional marriage is her personal nightmare. Panicked, she throws caution to the winds, puts on the tiniest dress she can find, and ends up in the arms of a tall, rough-edged hunk of a man who has abs of steel – and who she manages to mortally insult between one kiss and the next.

Abandoned as a child, then adopted into a loving family, Raj Sen believes in tradition, in continuity. Some might call him stiff and old-fashioned, but he knows what he wants – and it’s a life defined by rules… yet he can’t stop thinking about he infuriating and sexy woman who kissed him in the moonlight then disappeared. When his parents spring an introduction on him, the last woman he expects is her. Beautiful. Maddening. A rule breaker in the making.

He’s all wrong for her. She’s all wrong for him. And love is about to make rebels of them both.

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to read Nayna and Raj’s story since they first made their appearance in Cherish Hard. They are such a fun and intriguing couple. Partner their wonderful meet-cute with the restrictions and cultural clashes that they both feel. It was most definitely a beautiful, wonderful and intriguing story. Alright, I knew that they’d end up together… but the journey to get there was seriously intense.

My favourite thing about this contemporary romance is that it deals with a culture I know nothing about. Singh’s ability to look at how these two cultures work side by side was brilliant and impossible to put down. I loved how she was able to make you think of New Zealand and how people from other cultures fit into this wonderful world. There was something wonderful about having a different culture fit into a genre that I am currently completely obsessed with.

I can’t imagine being in a situation where all I want is to please my family. To find a way to make them happy, even if it is at my own expense. And the fact that Nayna sacrifices so much for her family is just beautiful. And seriously tragic. Particularly when you realise that the older sister who has kind of put her in this situation suffers pretty much no consequences for her actions. Raj is the perfect person to partner with such a tragic story – he acknowledges and sees what she is going through and decides to try and protect her, no matter what others are then going to think of him.

This is a beautiful romance. Yet, aside from the cultural issues and the different challenges Nayna and Raj face, it is the flirting that I love the most. Those awkward, funny moments, the moments where Raj is sending topless photos. The moments when work mates are giving each other a good ribbing. The multiple parts of the story that have you grinning in appreciation and leave you with a gigantic smile on your face.

I absolutely adored this story, like I do all Nalini Singh books. And now I need to dig through my TBR and start Love Hard.

<- Cherish HardLove Hard ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Overview
Image result for book cover the cad and the co-ed

Title: The Cad and the Co-Ed
Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 5th – 6th February 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Avoidance was the best policy.

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Synopsis

Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

THE CAD
Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he was a cad.
No one is quite certain.
Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act. 8 The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED
Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship. The only problem is, her best option – by far – places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

THE PLAN
Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.
Eilish is determined to hid her secret.
She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.
But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

Thoughts

As the third book in the Rugby series, this was probably also the most heart breaking. After all, Eilish gets pregnant and kicked out of her family. Bryan is a recovering alcoholic who has completely stuffed up many, many things in his own life. And just, in general, the battles that these two have to face are really sad. And that’s just the first chapter – you know that things aren’t going to be all rosy anytime soon when you start out with a beginning like that.

Yet again, this series took me by surprise. I’ve never read a book that features an alcoholic. Let alone one that features the alcoholic as the male lead in a romance. Whilst this isn’t a dark spin on the issue, it is one that highlights the negatives and difficulties of such a thing. It’s an intense and wonderful journey. I’m someone who has a few people in my life with substance abuse issues, so I was incredibly excited to read about it in such a hopeful manner.

From the beginning of this book, I wasn’t a huge fan of Josey. Everyone has a friend that they’ve known forever and have kind of outgrown. For some of us, it’s more a matter of change and you can reconnect. For some it’s not a painful outgrowing. And then there’s friendships like Josey’s… the ones that really don’t fit anymore. The friendships that are beginning to turn toxic and are more of a chore than an enjoyment. It makes me actually want to put a pause on reading this series… because Josey is featured in the next one and I really didn’t connect to her throughout this whole story.

I’m at the age now that stories which feature parents in any way, shape or form are becoming more and more attractive. I was always told that you like reading about the people who are about the same age as you, and I’m certainly finding that to be the case. Alright, Eilish is a few years younger than I am in this story. But her issues are very adult ones. And her maturity and beauty shines through this whole story.

<- The Player and the PixieThe Varlet and the Voyeur ->

Image source: Amazon

The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Overview
Image result for book cover the hooker and the hermit

Title: The Hooker and the Hermit
Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 3rd – 5th February 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: It’s boring as fuck, but at least I’m trying.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

New York’s Finest
Blogging as The Socialmedialite
April 22
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!
You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.

Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New Yorks Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actually reality? not so much.

THE HOOKER
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media – social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggest pairing them together.

What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

Thoughts

I did read the Rugby books a little bit out of order. Mostly because I was so excited to start them, that I received The Player and the Pixie before The Hooker and the Hermit, so sunk into that one instead. But, that meant that the instant this book arrived on my doorstep, I sunk myself right into it. And didn’t really come up for air until I’d turned that final page. Which may explain why I’m a bit behind in all of my adult responsible stuff at the moment…

Annie is the most heart-wrenching, yet beautiful lead female that I’ve read in a long time. She is so completely shut off from the world. I mean, I’ve had a lot of introverts filling up my shelves… but the level of her introversion? Stunning. And horrifying. I also don’t get the social media thing completely (although I do enjoy it a little), so I was completely perplexed about how she has such a strong online identity. Her past, her present, wow. They were seriously intense and made me want to reach through the pages of the book and hug her… tightly.

Since I read The Player and the Pixie first, I knew a little of Ronan’s history with Sean and Brona. But, meeting her in the flesh, so to speak, was so much more… painful. And kind of horrifying to be honest. I mean, I know that people like this exist… and there are hints of them in the many other books that I’ve read… but having to read about this character face to face (so to speak) was even more creepy. It made me constantly feel for Ronan and hope for his happily ever after with Annie. Plus, it made every moment that Annie runs away all that much more painful and tragic.

This is such a wonderful new-age kind of romance. It takes place with technology, twitter and social media front and centre. Something that I don’t see in a lot of romances. I love that it discusses media, and how we are judged for what we look like. And just many, many issues that are front and centre in our own daily lives. It makes it all that much easier to feel connected to and a little more in love with Ronan and Annie.

The Hooker and the Hermit is a fantastic novel and beginning of a series (if you’re not like me and getting WAY too excited). I fell head over heels in love with this story. Head over heels in love with the characters. And head over heels in love with this whole set up / series. Most definitely one of those unforgettable books that I’m going to be reading again and again in years to come.

<- More L.H. CoswayThe Player and the Pixie ->

Image source: Amazon

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Overview
The Player and the Pixie (Rugby, #2) by L.H. Cosway

Title: The Player and the Pixie
Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 25th – 28th January 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: SmartyPants Romance
Year: 2016
5th sentence, 74th page: And far too pitiful, aggrandizing, and introspective.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehold. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

THE PIXIE

Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER

Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.
His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard body make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sea has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN

Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world – and Lucy’s big brother in particular – that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

Thoughts

As with everything that involves Penny Reid, I was hooked from the very first moment of this story. The fact that it also introduced a new author to my happy little brain whilst taking me into this fun new world… it just made me much, much happier. I love that both Sean and Lucy appear to be a little mainstream… but end up being completely, totally and utterly unique, with some very fun little compulsions…

This may be the first romance that I’ve ever read which features a man who isn’t good in bed. The fact that he’s a player, sexy and just ridiculously well known for all of his conquests… well, it just made everything so much better. I love that Sean has absolutely no idea what he’s doing and ends up being the more vulnerable and kind of sappy one out of the couple. Which, you would think, would make him a bit of a less dreamy lead character. But, somehow it doesn’t. There is still something ridiculously drool worthy and dreamy about the character that still continues to pull you in.

The other aspect of this story that was a whole new experience for me was the fact that this tale features a kleptomaniac. Again, it’s a feature in a character that I’ve never come across. One that worked beautifully and gave Lucy a whole heap of new vulnerabilities that left me smiling. It also highlights how unhealthy some relationships with family members can be – and how we can struggle to manage them. I know that I have my own compulsions when I’m struggling, so it was lovely to read about someone who was kind of worse than me.

I pretty much inhaled this book. Actually, my partner tried to talk to me a few times whilst reading this, and I’m not entirely sure that he got any kind of response out of me. It’s just that good. You fall in love with Lucy and Sean from the beginning. You feel all of their emotions. And you just… enjoy the whole journey. From the very beginning to the very ending.

<- The Hooker and the HermitThe Cad and the Co-Ed ->

Image source: Goodreads

Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Overview
BOOK REVIEW & EXCERPT: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh : Natasha is a Book  Junkie | Romance Book Blog

Title: Cherish Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Hard Play #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 22nd – 23rd December 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Still, she couldn’t stop second-guessing herself as Sailor led her out of the house through a side entrance that opened out into a small, manicured garden.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…

Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.

As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

Thoughts

I’ve been hanging to get to the Hard Play novels ever since I read Rock Hard. After all, Gabe is absolutely drool-worthy. And the brief glimpses you get into his family are absolutely brilliant… they’re such a beautifully, wonderfully close knit group that I can’t help but feel I would love to be a part of. Which left me grinning when I finally managed to get around to this novel.

Isa has such a sad little backstory. She’s most definitely the kind of girl that is searching for love and family. And, although she’s often described as a little shy, I loved her backbone and gumption throughout this. She may not be the most outgoing person, but she’s definitely able to stand up for the people that she loves. And, as Sailor quickly finds out for himself throughout their love story, she’s more than capable of standing up for herself.

I’ve not read very many stories in which the lead male is actually a few years younger than the woman he falls for. It’s not really such a well-known / accepted trope. Which meant that having Sailor a few years younger than Isa left me feeling very happy and content. I love storylines that feature couples who aren’t exactly within the normal limits that we place on society. And the age difference in this was pretty much negligible and reminded us all that you can find love no matter what your differences.

Isa and Sailor are a fantastic couple. Throughout this novel, they both decide to sacrifice things they didn’t think they would give up. They both grow together, and ultimately find a new, better version of happily ever after. Then, there’s the hints of Nayna and Raj’s relationship which are making me seriously keen to pick up Rebel Hard

<- More Nalini SinghRebel Hard ->

Image source: Natasha is a Book Junkie

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

Overview
Rock Hard (Rock Kiss, #2) by Nalini Singh

Title: Rock Hard
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #2, Hard Play #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceSport
Dates read: 16th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Nalini Singh
Year: 2015
5th sentence, 74th page: “You see why a second date would’ve been a bad idea, don’t you, Ms. Baird?”

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

In New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businesman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Barid.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO – a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake – clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

Thoughts

Charlotte’s history is alluded to in Rock Addiction, and like Rock Courtship, that little allusion in the first novel made me really, really want to find out more. And I was seriously happy that Charlotte and Gabriel get their own full-length novel. Because, wow, Charlotte’s story is seriously intense and somehow all the more beautiful for the horrors that she faces.

One of my favourite things about this novel is the dynamic between Charlotte and Gabriel. Sure, the other couples thus far have a great dynamic… but I much preferred the argumentative side of this couple. It had me laughing and grinning all throughout. And I seriously enjoyed that not matter what happened, they constantly bickered and found a place in which they could both be themselves and stand up for themselves.

I found this book even more impossible to put down than most of my other Nalini Singh books. Mostly because I just HAD to find out what happened to Charlotte. What her horrifying past was. And even though there were breadcrumbs all throughout and bits and pieces, it isn’t until about three quarters of the way through that you finally find out exactly what happened. This, intertwined with the familiar scenes with Molly, but from Charlotte’s point of view… worked fantastically, unforgettably well. There is just this amazing sense of completion and wow that you get when they finally get their happily ever after… because Charlotte has been through the damn ringer.

Although it is mostly Charlotte’s past and hang-ups that get in the way of their relationship, Gabriel is in no way perfect. And I love that his own hang-ups and imperfection is represented by his workaholic tendencies. The more you get to know each of these characters, the more steadily and heavily you will fall in love with them. Although, I’m looking forward to returning to Molly and the band in Rock Redemption.

<- Rock CourtshipRock Redemption ->

Image source: Goodreads

Born to Run by Cathy Freeman

Overview
Image result for book cover born to run cathy freeman

Title: Born to Run
Author: Cathy Freeman
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Australian authorsBiographies, Indigenous Australians, Inspiration, Sport
Dates read: 20th – 22nd November 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Puffin Books
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: We pressed them together to signify that we were blood brother and sister forever.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Hi guys,

Ever since I was little I only had one dream – to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

When I was twenty-seven years old, my dream came true. I’ll never forget that night at the Sydney 2000 Games – as I crossed the finish line, it was as if the whole of Australia was cheering for me.

Sometimes I still wonder how it happened. When I was growing up, I felt no different to anyone else. I lvoed having fun with my brothers, sleeping over at Nanna’s and going horse riding with my dad. But I especially loved to run. With the help of my family, coaches and teachers, I became the best female 400-metre runner in the world.

I hope you enjoy my story, and that it inspires you to chase after your dreams, too!

❤ Cathy

Thoughts

I remember watching the Sydney 2000 Olympics as a kid. Remember watching Cathy Freeman light the torch, remember when she won her golds. Although I didn’t understand what the “big fuss” was, I did feel that same national pride as everyone else. What I had never realised was that she wrote a biography seven years later. I only discovered this because I happened to be looking for a book written by a female athlete. And I’m really glad that I did…

This is one of the easiest biographies I think I’ve ever read. It is open, honest and fun. there isn’t a lot of detail throughout the pages, but rather, an outlining of each piece of information as you progress through the years of her life. And it was a far more interesting journey than I was kind of imagining. Freeman not only talks about her love of running and freedom, but she also discusses her thankfulness for her family and the support that she’s received.

Not only is this an inspiring story – it’s also one that is very much about family. There is not a chapter in the novel that doesn’t mention her mother and step-father, father and siblings. Anne-Marie her deceased sister is specifically talked about throughout. It’s not just about the journey and the hard work that Cathy Freeman had to put in to her passions to get to the Olympics. It’s also about the fun, the family and the journey. Something that I can’t forget and will definitely flick through again when I need a reminder that YOU CAN DO THIS!

My biggest regret with this story is the fact that I didn’t know about it until recently. This would have been a phenomenal book to read when I was younger. This is a good insight into a very well known Indigenous Australian and some of the hurdles that she had to overcome because of Australia’s racism.

 <- The Diary of a Young Girl ReviewAn Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth Review ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

A Bird, Half-Eaten by Nikesh Shukla

Overview

Title: A Bird, Half-Eaten
Author: Nikesh Shukla
In: I Am Heathcliff (Kate Mosse)
Rating Out of 5: 3 (On the fence about this one)
My Bookshelves: Sport
Dates read: 5th March 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Short story
Publisher: Borough Press
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: The first thing you told me was that you’re a Southpaw.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Preparing for a boxing match can be a single-minded and obsessive passion. Especially when you feel that revenge is necessary.

Thoughts

This is an incredibly intense story. It’s obsessive to the point of violence, yet, there is a recognition of this in the narrator’s voice. Moments of “problematic behaviour” are quickly recognised and recalibrated. Something that I don’t often see in stories with the slightly creepy stalker types. They don’t understand that there is something wrong in what they are doing…

I loved the way in which this story flickered from present training to past fights. The ways in which his own feelings of inadequacy (Heathcliff anyone) have developed and driven him to try and become a predator, someone who isn’t “a bird, half-eaten”.

 <- Anima ReviewThicker Than Blood Review ->
Image source: Harper Collins Publishers

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

Overview
Image result for the blind side book cover

Title: The Blind Side
Author: Michael Lewis
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Biographies, Book to Film, Non-fiction, Sport
Dates read: 18th – 24th February 2019
Pace: Slow
Format: Novel
Publisher: Norton
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: Did you see the way that kid moved?

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Synopsis

When we first meet him, Michael Oher is one of thirteen children by a mother addicted to crack; he does not know his real name, his father, his birthday, or how to read or write. He takes up football, and school, after a rich, white, Evangelical family plucks him from the streets. Then two great forces alter Oher: the family’s love and the evolution of professional football itself into a game where the quarterback must be protected at any cost. Our protagonist becomes the priceless package of size, speed, and agility necessary to guard the quarterback’s greatest vulnerability – his blind side.

Thoughts

I decided to buy this book since I absolutely love the movie. And I love books. So I really figured that I couldn’t go wrong. And I was right. I absolutely loved this book. I was drawn in completely and actually had quite a bit of trouble putting this story down. Which is quite surprising for a biography – normally I read them because they are easy to pick up and put down…

Inspirational biographies are always interesting. Especially when they give an insight into a area of life which I have no experience with. So pretty much anything from America suits this requirement. Memphis and Hurt Village, and all these other places that were mentioned gave me such an interesting insight into a life that I won’t ever have to live. The amazing way in which everything just lines up for Michael and how some incredibly giving souls are willing to help him was kind of jaw dropping. I want to imagine that people like that exist in the world, but it isn’t until you read about specific examples that you truly believe that it’s possible.

Although Michael Oher’s story is intense and powerful, I loved the anecdotes and tales from the NFL that filtered throughout this novel. I still don’t 100% understand this game, but I feel like I have a much better grasp of what is going on.

This novel managed to combine a powerful biography with the historical evolution of the game. Key players are mentioned, statistics cited and plays described. All alongside the plight of a young boy from a bad situation. It combines to create such a unique, powerful and enthralling story that I can’t stop thinking about.

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