I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Defending Hearts by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boys of Fall #2
Narrator: Chandra Skyye
Published by Tantor Audio on October 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours, 30 minutes
They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School's legendary championship football team. Fourteen years later, they're back to relive their glory, save the team-and find themselves again . . .
Globetrotting photographer Alex Murphy returns to Stewart Mills for a football fundraiser but stays to document the football team and the town's changes. Since his project includes photos of the Walker farm, he rents a room there.Needing money to save the family farm, Gretchen Walker doesn't have time to deal with the sexy photographer in her house. After all, Alex is a man with no sense of home, and to her, home is everything. But when she finds herself falling for him, she'll be forced to decide where her dreams really lie.
Photojournalist Alex Murphy returns to Stewart Mills following his trip there for the football fundraiser. He plans to do a piece on the team and rents a room from Gretchen Walker and her grandmother at their farm. Gretchen and Gram need some extra money and he needs a longer-term place to stay.
What I enjoyed about the story was Alex’s introspection about his life and career, examining what was really important and where he was heading. I also appreciated Gretchen’s dedication to her grandmother and the farm. Her reality was enlightening and I admired her independence and skills.
What didn’t work so well for me was the romance. While I thought Alex and Gretchen had chemistry, most of the focus was on why Gretchen couldn’t get involved with Alex because he was her tenant. The reasoning just felt too contrived, an excuse for conflict that was just annoying. It didn’t fit the character and I quickly tired of her musings about it.
While the narrator was competent, it often sounded like she was reading the story and not prepared for the connection of the sentences to the paragraph. Her voice was also fairly monotone, making a story that I was struggling with even more of a challenge.
I liked the story, didn’t love it. The conflict was just too flimsy and didn’t ring true. What saved the story for me was the strength of the two characters. I liked them better when they were dealing with their personal issues rather than the romance. I’m hoping the next story offers a more interesting story premise.