What happens when you fall for your biggest competition? Sara Rider scores with this charming romance about soccer stars battling their tough opponents and playing the field of love.

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.

     Lainey Lukas was a woman with one goal in life and no one and nothing would get in her way of achieving it.  You see she is a soccer player with the AWSL and although as a woman who gets paid way less than man playing at her level in the same sport.  Yet she does it because she loves the sport that much.  Even though she had already technically gone to the World Cup she was still training and playing to go again with this new team The Falcons, in Seattle.  You see the last time she had been so badly injured in the last play of the game that she missed out on the ceremonies and never even got to hold the actual World Cup.
     So her mission now is to get her team to the World Cup.  With her being the captain she would set the bar.  The only problem is the higher ups wanted to do press conferences and such.  And she is not what you would call a people person.  She never really had friends or a family for that matter.  No she had one she just never really lived with them in order to play soccer she came out to live with her aunt and uncle.  What blows her mind the most is that not only are the press being brutal and condescending but her soccer idol showed up and is making comments she can hear and is taking over her press conference.  Plus, the female newscaster keeps going to Gabe Havelak like this is his press conference and not hers.
      This only makes her more nervous and tongue tied.  To where she sees red.  When that happens she tends to retreat into her head more and when she does speak you never know what will come out or how.  Not good when being interviewed.  The next thing you know there is a tug of war going on and a war of the sexes to be the team not to have to practice on the Cricket Field because of the bad juju there is there.  One thing leads to another and it goes to the network and it is official they are going national with this war. 
     Lainey used to have posters up in her room of Gabe he has been her idol for years in the soccer world up the with Pele.  Not today though all she feels is that he has mocked her.  She does not like that feeling at all.  If the rags are correct about him he thinks that his sexy smile will endear him to her and is does in all the wrong places for this event but not what needs to be happening right now or anytime for that matter she will put it on her bucket list.  (For things she wants to do after she wins the World Cup for the second time.)  It’s when he says that she should go with his lead that gets her as if she needs his help.  That really gets her goat and that is what gets them in even bigger trouble because she just talks off the top of her head. 
     You see Gabe is a secret admirer of Lainey’s also.  But he can’t let on because inside him he has a real fear of what it would mean to practice at the Cricket Field.  It is just the way he has grown up.  What or who will it take to get him to get out of that way of thinking?  As far as Lainey she has been so dedicated to her sport she has no time to live and one of the things on her bucket list is get a library card.  Something most of us takes for granted but she can’t find the time to do because she spends her every waking moment working at her craft.  She’s good but who or what can make her see what she is missing and who?
    Very cute story about a young woman who was always made to feel made to feel different and not equal to a man.  And her fight to make it in a man’s game and to help women make the cross over.  Yet, she comes to realize she has no friends, no life, and no man until she meets her idol Gabe.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by  Follow us at:

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