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Thursday, July 24, 2014

ARC Review: Payoff Pitch by V.K. Sykes

Payoff Pitch is the fifth book in the Philadelphia Patriots series written by the husband and wife writing duo going by the name V.K. Sykes (Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes). This book immediately drew me in because I am a huge sports romance fan, and I also was really intrigued by the idea of a husband and wife writing together. While I did like Noah and Teddy and I liked several portions of this story, I did have a few issues overall though. The first half of this book was promising and I was really enjoying the way things were going, but then it started to go downhill for me and I found myself wanting to skip ahead or skim large portions of this book.

Noah Cade is a pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots and is still recovering from a career threatening injury. After having surgery, he has been working to get back in the game. When his aunt's health condition gets worse, he finds himself not only balancing his career but also two standard poodles that she has entrusted him to take care of. When Noah sees the pretty dog walker from the next door neighbors chasing their dog, he immediately seeks her out to help her and also get her professional services for the dogs. Teddy agrees to come and work for him and also live with him and the dogs to ease their transition while he is away so much. The attraction between Noah and Teddy is strong, but they agree to put their feelings aside in order to maintain their professional relationship. Soon things being to escalate though, and both find the chemistry to be inevitable and give in to their feelings. With the uncertainty of Noah's career, and his family pushing for him to take a place in their company things soon get complicated. When Teddy finds out about his family's business, she quickly realizes that they are on opposite sides of an important issue to her and her family. Can they work through their differences and learn to keep those things out of their relationship? Or will it be too much for them to overcome?

Noah was really easy to like, and I loved how sweet and loyal he was. He really cared about his family, and I loved how dedicated he was to his aunt and her dogs. He was really struggling with his injury and the thought of his career ending, and yet he went out of his way to not only put his aunt's mind at ease but to also make sure that the dogs had the proper care and love that they deserved. I thought that Teddy was great as well, and it was nice to see how much she loved what she did. It wasn't just a job for her and she really gave it her all while also studying to become a lawyer. I thought that she was really great for Noah as well, and it was good to see her supporting him and showing him that someone worried about him and cared what was going on in his life. I thought that the chemistry between them was great, but I do think that they circled around each other a bit too much. They needed to be more open with each other and communicate better. I also wish that they wouldn't have let outside forces interfere with their relationship as much as they did.

My main issue with this story though was that about halfway through, it suddenly became very political and turned into a debate on environmental issues. I can understand that that would definitely cause friction between the hero and heroine, but I honestly felt like it was taken way too far in this. The second half of this book felt less like a romance, and more like an environmental PSA. I got tired of the constant talk about fracking and why it was bad or why it wasn't proven to have conclusive evidence against it. It just really distracted me from the story and cause me to lose interest quick. I honestly would have put the book down and not finished if it weren't for the fact that I wanted to see if Teddy and Noah would end up together. I really wish that this book wouldn't have gone there. I read to get away from the real world and for enjoyment, and this pretty much killed that for me. I would say that if you ar fans of this series, you will probably enjoy this story and that you will appreciate seeing familiar characters. I also think that some contemporary fans will enjoy this one if they can get past the environmental stuff as well. But if you are looking for a romance that focuses mainly on the relationship and development of feelings between the hero and the heroine, I think this might not be what you are looking for. This being the first book that I have read by V.K. Sykes, I am not sure if this is common in their books or just happened to be this story. I would be interested to read another one of their books though to see if they worked better for me.

**ARC Provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |


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