I have to admit that my feelings are a bit all over the place after finishing The Baller by Vi Keeland. I have never felt so torn after reading one of her books as I do here. On the one hand, there were parts of this book that I absolutely loved and of course there is Brody himself! But on the other, there were some things that I really struggled with in this story and those kept me from being able to love the book as a whole.
Delilah Maddox has just landed her first job as a professional sportscaster when she interviews famed quarterback Brody Easton. He has a reputation for hating women in the locker room and she knows that he is bound to be anything but friendly. But when he drops his towel as she is interviewing him and starts talking to her in sexual innuendos, she knows that it will be worse than she first thought. But Brody makes it known the second she pushes back that not only does he want to screw with her, but that he would like to screw her as well. Delilah lets him know that she has no interest in players, and she doesn't mean that as far as athletes. Soon though Delilah and Brody strike up a friendship and things get easier between them. That is until Brody makes it his mission to get her to go out with him. Delilah refuses to give in when she knows that all he wants is the chase and not to actually catch her. But when Brody tells her that he is willing to give something between them a real shot, can she let go of her fears and let him in enough to see if they could have something together?
The one thing that I didn't struggle with at all here was Delilah or Brody. I really liked them both. They each had things in their past that were similar and had changed them in different ways. Because of those things, they were able to understand each other more than others might be able to. Brody was sexy and confident, yet he also knew what it was like to be hurt and how devastating love could be at times. My heart really felt for him as well as for Delilah. Delilah also knew the dangers of letting someone in and allowing herself to love. These two had a clear connection and chemistry right from the start, and I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another. Their banter was fun and sexy, but it was when they were just getting to know one another that I loved the most. Their questions for one another were at times silly and completely random, of course mixed in with real ones as well, but those were where we really saw these two shine and the connection between them really showed.
This book is a dual POV story, so luckily we do get inside both of their heads. That being said however, I felt that being inside Brody's head at times was actually where I had a bit of an issue. For most of the chapters in his POV, we saw things he was currently dealing with or things from his past. While you might think that would be good (and to some extent it was), the focus for Brody's POV hardly ever actually dealt with Delilah. We saw so much more of his past with his ex Willow than we saw of his growing feelings for Delilah, and it was hard for me to see how Brody was falling for Delilah. I saw their connection and chemistry, but I feel like she should have been on his mind far more than she was if he was truly in love with her or on his way to being in love with her. I didn't find it to be 100% believable because of that. There was also something that happened at about 50% of the way through this story that changed how I felt about this book. At first I thought it was a one time thing, and that might have been okay if it had been. But it continued on throughout the story, and it really hurt my opinion of the book overall. I didn't want to see the things I did, and I had no emotional connection to what the author was giving us by doing this. Seeing these things and going through that not only was unwanted, but also had a bit of an ick factor to them for me because of what it was. (Sorry for being so vague, I do not want to spoil anything if possible while still giving my opinion here.) So while I really loved seeing Brody and Delilah together and getting to know one another as well as all the great moments they had, there were some pretty big things that stood in the way of me loving this book. As much as I love Vi Keeland, this wasn't my favorite of hers. Don't get me wrong, this was still a good story. I just think it really had the potential to be great and it wasn't what I had been hoping for, even with the parts I liked. I know this won't be the last I read from her though, and I really do think that Vi Keeland is a great writer. I think that her books are definitely worth the read, and if this sounds like one you might like I recommend giving it a shot! I think that there are a lot of readers who will probably love this one and not be bothered with some of the things I was.
**ARC Provided by TRSOR Promotions**