"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Cicero

Friday, August 15, 2014

Game For Love: The Beautiful Game: Seal's Goal by Sharon Hamilton

 Professional Goalkeeper Patrick Harrington comes home to the U.S. from England to attend the funeral of his best friend, Navy SEAL Ryan Rosen. Ryan's fiancee is the girl who got away, the one he's been in love with ever since he set eyes on her in first grade.

Stephanie Carter's world turns on it's axis when Ryan is removed from her life, but not from her heart. Ryan's best friend, Patrick, becomes her path to healing the Trident-shaped hole left behind.

Compassion leads to passion as they find the possibility of a life together neither one planned, or ever dreamed could exist. Will Patrick's decision to join the Teams destroy their love and will her heart be able to handle a second loss? 


I had a few issues with this book. For starters, I know this book is supposed to be an accompaniment for Bella Andre's Game For Love series. I haven't read that series, but I was under the impression that they were about American football players. This book is about a football/soccer player, so that threw me off a bit.

I also had a hard time with the progression of the story. Patrick's best friend Ryan dies, and he goes to his funeral. There, he encounters Ryan's fiance, Stephanie. Now, Stephanie, Ryan, and Patrick all grew up together and were best friends. Both guys always pined after Stephanie, but once Patrick found out that Ryan wanted to pursue her, he backed off. Ok...now that Ryan is dead, Patrick decides it's time to make his move. He hadn't seen Stephanie in I think two years or something like that and seeing her again brings back all of these memories and feelings he had been repressing. I get that, and I'm on board to a certain point. If this is the same guy that stepped aside to let his best friend get the girl, wouldn't he wait at least a couple of months after burying the guy to go after her? Instead, he's kissing her the night before the actual burial.

And then there's Stephanie; who we find out has always loved both men, and even wanted to marry both of them when she was younger - but always loved Patrick just a little bit more. She never knew, or hoped that Patrick felt the same for her. Now Patrick is making his move, and it's an unexpected but also pleasant surprise. Stephanie is still devastated about Ryan - as she should be, seeing as he JUST died, but is still progressing her relationship with Patrick.

I'm all for the love of  your life vs soulmate debate, but I can't get behind the idea that these two characters are such good people when they're moving on, and planning a future together, just days after burying their best friend/fiance. There were a few instances where the subject of guilt came into play, but it was quickly glossed over. I think this story would have been a lot better (at least for me) if this was a bigger obstacle between Patrick and Stephanie; them wanting to be together, but being disgusted with themselves for even having these feelings so early on - it would drive them apart until they could come to terms with it. Because of this reason, I really couldn't enjoy the process of the two of them getting together. It seems that Ryan was a bigger, more glaring presence for me, the reader, than the actual characters. It took away the magic of falling in love.

Uncensored comments straight out of Kindle:
  • "If I’m not down at breakfast , get an extra key and come untie me. Room 10214." - LMAO
  • The author glossed over some of the beginning, I would have liked more detailed scenes of Patrick in his soccer element and with the different women he was with.
  • The scene changes abruptly. Would like an indication to let me know it's changing (***)
  •  ...he might pee and fart at the same time. - This book takes an unexpected turn to hilarity! Laughing so hard!
  • The way the author kept going on about Ryan and the Seals and the special missions, and putting them over everything else, I kinda started thinking that maybe Ryan wasn't dead and had faked his death for some kind of undercover mission.
  • They're trying to recruit you, dude.
  • One has to wonder what would have happened between Stephanie and Patrick if Ryan hadn't died. Patrick was going to be at the wedding; would he have been able to keep his feeling for Stephanie in check? Would they have ended up hooking up in a broom closet shortly after Stephanie said her vows? This is what happens when you rush these two characters together - I start to question their loyalties and commitments.
  • Already said this in the initial review, but it was a comment I left so here it is again: I'm not sure how I feel about this. Your best friend/fiance who you've both known since you were kids just died - and you're both exploring your feelings for one another??? It doesn't sit well with me. Even if they were meant to be together...they should have waited or at least treaded lightly.
  • You really wanna talk about Ryan now, Patrick?
  • Both of these characters are messed up - they shouldn't get together just yet. They need to figure their shit out, and let Ryan's memory not be so present.
  • There's a bit of head hopping; completely takes me out of the story as I have to go back and figure out when it stopped being Patrick's thoughts, and when it started being Stephanie's.
  • More head hopping with no warning.

I think this story might have been rushed when writing it. It has such great potential, but too many things just got in the way for me to truly enjoy it. Even so, I would love to read what happens with Patrick and Stephanie - does he make it onto the Seals? Is his brand new relationship with Stephanie able to handle it? Does Stephanie actually just up and move? What do her friends and family members think of this?

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