Title: Coach Maddie and the Marine
Author: Blaire Edens
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: Jan 11th
After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister.
For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can’t help falling for her.
Source: ARC from Entangled: Bliss via NetGalley
On the surface this is a sweet, easy romance that doesn’t ask too much of the reader and provides a nice story with nice characters who have faced emotional hardships but come through the other side to find happiness. With an added touch of football just to keep things interesting.
If you look a little deeper, though, everything here moves really quickly (then pretty much stops and jumps over a few months), and the most important issues of grief aren’t really dealt with, except in a magic light bulb moment. Which is a shame, because it all felt a bit too airbrushed and rushed for me.
Both Maddie and David are nice people, although I don’t feel like I ever got to know Maddie all that well. David seems pretty perfect at first, although he definitely has a few problems of his own. However, one moment the two of them are absolutely convinced anything between them would be a terrible idea, then they’re talking about marriage. The pace of their relationship really didn’t work for me.
As for the football side of things, that was fairly cute. I was worried at one point that David would step in, leaving Maddie as the token female coach who knew nothing about the sport but was really good at cheering everyone one. Instead the game helps bring the two of them together and it’s all pretty sweet. It might have been nice to have seen more of Maddie’s success on that side of things, but this is a short read so I suppose there wasn’t room. It might also have been nice to have had at least a little support from the other parents along the way, because that initial reaction left a sour taste in my mouth.
So overall this is okay. If you’re looking for a clean romance that’s also light and easy, it will definitely do that for you, but I can’t help feeling that a little more depth might have made the whole thing a touch more memorable.
Coach Maddie and the Marine is out January 11th!
Visit Blaire Edens for more details.