Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: Sleeping with the Enemy

I expected Sleeping with the Enemy to be your typical romance novel. In a way, Tracy Solheim's latest book fit that bill. But there's more to it than a former couple being thrust together once again many years later (though that's one of my favourite tropes). There's another factor in play in this novel...someone intent on ruining the lives of these characters. That element added something extra to the story and made me like it that much more.

Here's the synopsis:
Dot-com millionaire Jay McManus is discovering that owning a pro football team like the Baltimore Blaze isn’t easy. An anonymous blogger is out to destroy his reputation, and now his team is being sued by its own cheerleaders. If Jay’s not careful, he could lose big—and not just financially.
Bridgett Janik’s brother may play for the Baltimore Blaze, but she’s not thrilled to be defending Jay McManus, the man who broke her heart. It’s bad enough she has to mingle with Jay during games, but working beside her former lover may be too much for her body—and her heart—to resist.
Jay’s determined not to let Bridgett slip away from him a second time. But, as the two follow the mysterious blogger’s trail, secrets—both past and present—are revealed, and Jay and Bridgett must decide if their relationship can be something more than just sleeping with the enemy.
Bridgett and Jay are both very strong characters. And by that I mean they're strong-willed, ambitious, tough, and so on. They both have demanding careers that they've let run their lives because they're too busy protecting their broken hearts (even though they insist they don't have hearts any longer, let alone broken ones). It was great to read about a woman who was high powered and respected in her industry and I think Solheim did a good job of balancing that career-mindedness with the romance. Her characters showed that you can have a career and personal relationships...even though so many of the characters were real humans and screwed up from time to time. It was refreshing.

I've read four sports related novels this year (plus two manuscripts) and all but one revolved around football. I like sports so I enjoy when novels are set in that kind of environment. Of course, I wish authors would branch out from football but I guess I'll take what I can get. (Side note: please recommend any books that feature baseball teams or players. Or hockey. I am Canadian, after all.) Anyway, the actual game of football doesn't have much to do with this novel. This book features the owner of the team so he's not actually playing the sport. I liked that it gave a behind the scenes look of a franchise.

While Sleeping with the Enemy is part of a series, you don't necessarily have to have read the rest of them. If the series interests you, though, I'd recommend starting from the beginning since past characters show up in this book and you'll know who ends up with who in each book (though these are romances so you'll have an idea anyway!). You'll also have a better grasp on all of the characters. That's one thing I didn't love about this was hard to keep everyone straight. Names were dropped that I should have known but I didn't and I therefore didn't see the point of mentioning them. 

I can't let a review of a romance novel end without discussing the actual romance, now can I? I love a good second chance romance. I sometimes get annoyed when it's clear there was miscommunication between the love interests in the past and it's just due to stubbornness/fear that they haven't worked things out. In the case of Bridgett and Jay, there are elements in play that you don't even realize are elements. That's not a can tell there's more going on but you really don't know what it is. I liked that. Finally, the sex scenes are just steamy enough for this type of romance but be warned if you hate reading about sex or if you're looking for erotica. These two had crazy chemistry. ;)

Overall, Sleeping with the Enemy was a good romance read. It didn't blow me away but Tracy Solheim kept me interested and invested in the characters and story she created. Would I read more of her books? Yes, I probably would. I'm involved in the world of the Baltimore Blaze now and I wouldn't mind seeing what else those characters get up to.

One course complete for the Fall Reading Challenge!
Course: Scandal Studies 101
Department: Romance
*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher via BookSparks as part of their Fall Reading Challenge. All opinions are honest and my own.*

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