Title: To Win Her Smile
Author: Mackenzie Crowne
Series: Players #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 18th July
When sultry British Baroness Piper Darrow falls on desperate times, she needs a diversion—and cash. As a talented photographer, she jumps at the chance to travel to the U.S. for a Manhattan Marauders football event. But she gets more than she bargained for when buff quarterback Wyatt Hunter’s errant pass lands…in her face. And when it results in Wyatt’s comeback of a lifetime, the superstitious athlete is convinced Piper is his good luck charm . . .
With his sights on the Super Bowl, Wyatt will do anything necessary to keep Piper close. The fact that she’s a feast for the eyes is a bonus. And as they get closer, he discovers that beneath her proper English surface is a sweet, sexy seductress. Soon the notorious playboy finds himself genuinely smitten, and surprisingly open to love—until his powerful family uncovers something about Piper that threatens to shatter his trust. Now he’ll have to decide whether to team up with his fears, or his heart.
Source: ARC from Lyrical Shine (Kensington) via NetGalley
So far I’ve been really loving this series, set around the friendships and romances of an American Football team, so I was intrigued at the prospect of a British Baroness joining the cast. But, alas, as a Brit, I found her hit-and-miss Britishness really distracting.
I won’t go into all the in and outs of why, though I often wondered why when all of them talk with Scottish accents (apart from her friend whose slang seemed to know no boundaries as it rampaged around the country) the manor wasn’t actually IN Scotland. Yes, the far north of England has a lot of Scottish characteristics, but they have their own unique character, accents and dialects too, not that you’d know it in this book. Also cranes and chipmunks in Cumbria? Um…
It was also inconsistent. Piper might talk about the boot of her car one moment, then be discussing bachelorette parties (for non-Brits, we call them hen parties). It got to the point where I noticed every time she used a Britishism, and every time she didn’t, with car talk being particularly distracting. I also grew annoyed by her overly formal speech at times.
In fact, I wasn’t all that impressed with Piper. Her wishy-washy attempts not to give into her attraction to Wyatt were pathetic. I don’t know why she even bothered. He is pretty pushy, but her defence was non-existent. Coupled with everything mentioned above, she annoyed me a lot and around the halfway mark I came very close to giving up.
But I like this series, so I gave it another go, and once they do give into their attraction it does get better. There’s a lot more to Wyatt than the careless playboy he pretends to be. I came to like him as the book progressed, though I never loved him. I felt like Piper improved too when she had real problems to focus on. They make a cute team and that ending was plain adorable – if a little over the top when he knows how much she hates being the centre of attention.
So overall this was okay and probably works a lot better for those who aren’t British, or who aren’t bothered by things being a bit skewed in that quarter. It was great seeing old characters again, but if you’re new to this series you can start here without too much difficulty. It has sports, it has romance and even has a hint of British aristocracy to keep things ticking along. My own issues with this book aside, this series remains a thoroughly enjoyable read.
To Win Her Smile is out July 18th.
Visit Mackenzie Crowne for more details.