Today is my stop on the “The Second Coming” blog tour!! “The Second Coming” is the first in a new sports romance series from Carrie Aarons.
They call him the second coming.
Of honor for British football.
Of God in an athlete’s body.
Of every English woman’s fantasy.
Jude Davies is my country’s prodigy on the pitch. More famous than the nobility in Buckingham Palace, he and his merry band of scoundrels rule the Rogue Football Academy and the London nightlife scene alike.
And now, he’s aiming his well-honed set of skills directly at me. His devilish charm is lethal, but with the tragic hand life has dealt me, distractions like him aren’t an option.
Plus, we’re only playing a game. One of convenience, where he needs me to save his reputation, and I need his money to save the one person I love.
Until he wraps me around that immoral finger.
Until I crave that reckless, wild high he provides.
Until I hope for a future that will never happen.
That’s the thing about going toe-to-toe with the next football legend. He’s faster, stronger, and will destroy me every time.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Carrie Aarons is back with another new adult romance, perfect for fans of R.S. Grey’s “Scoring Wilder!” (I swear, her and R.S. Grey release books faster than any other authors I know!) This time, we’re traveling across the pond to England.
Ever since Carrie started posting hints about this book on her Facebook group, I’ve been waiting impatiently to get my hands on it! Since the book takes place in England, there is a lot of English slang throughout the book (not sure I’ll ever be able to read “blimey” without thinking of pirates though, to be honest). It takes some getting used to, but overall it’s a great way to be reminded that the book isn’t taking place in America. Well, that, and the fact that they call it football instead of soccer.
The book is told in dual POV, just like Carrie’s other novels. The POVs are split between Aria and Jude, the two main characters. As you could probably guess from the synopsis, Jude is the typical rich-hot-athlete-troublemaker who is actually deeper than he seems, as we find out as the novel progresses. Aria has to care for her Dad who’s sick with cancer, and is technically working two jobs at the Rogue Academy just to barely scrape by. Obviously, Aria and Jude have different living situations, but they’re similar in other ways. Jude has to take care of his younger brothers, mostly financially, but he goes to visit them often (as we see in a super sweet scene with him, his family, and Aria). It’s very apparent throughout the novel as a whole that family is important to both of them.
I felt that their relationship progressed nicely, even though time moves a bit faster (i.e., spanning multiple weeks/months in a short reading period of time). I liked their dynamic as a couple, and couldn’t put the book down! Both of their jobs were unique. Well, Jude is a star soccer player, but having Aria work in the sewing house was definitely a new profession that I don’t remember reading about in any other books. I am the first to admit that my knowledge of sports is very limited (as in, limited to the books that I read about sports…which are romance novels 99% of the time, so I can’t speak to the accuracy of my knowledge), so it was nice to learn some of the slang and jargon associated with soccer (or should I say football?).
Jude is extremely encouraging of Aria’s singing, and he helps jump-start her career and make her believe in her vocal abilities for the first time in years. He’s incredibly supportive of her dream, just as she is supportive of his soccer (I’m American, it’s soccer to me!), and this creates for a great dynamic between the two of them. Jude is just really supportive of Aria throughout the whole book, especially towards the end of the book when Aria deals with an adverse circumstance. They make a great pair and fit well together, and I really enjoyed reading their love story and watching their relationship unfold throughout the book.
Aside from some grammatical errors (remember: I read an ARC, not the final version!), there were two inconsistencies that threw me off a bit. At the start of the book, we learn that Jude is 19 years old, but later on, it becomes apparent that he is actually 20. I was also pretty sure that Jude’s friend Vance was picked up out of the foster care system and sent to the academy, with no mention made to his parents. However, later in the story the characters go visit his [Vance’s] parents house, so that was a little confusing. Again, it didn’t really affect the plot that much, just some things that I noticed.
The one thing that stuck out to me that I didn’t like as much was the way that the two characters talked about having sex. Before I get into why, I want to make it clear that I understand what Carrie was going for, and I think the book is really great! This is just something that made me pause. I’m going to include a quote from the ARC, which I highlighted so I could go back and reference it here (again, I want to stress that this is from the ARC and it may have changed for the published version! I’m simply going off of the version that I have). Honestly, I went back-and-forth about whether or not to even address this in my review, but it bothered me so I thought I should share it — after all, I’m promising you all an honest review.
“There are no questions in his eyes or on his tongue, and I remember that he said he wouldn’t ask me if I was sure. I know that once we start this, he won’t stop. He knows, just by gazing at me, that I am ready and don’t need to be checked upon like a child.”
Overall, I get the meaning. Once they start having sex, neither of them will want to stop, and like the quote says, “he knows, just by gazing at me, that I am ready,” which is something that’s totally valid, and if that works for them, then by all means do your thing. However, would it really be that hard for him to ask if she’s sure? And for her to ask him? The language of “once we start this, he won’t stop” is what gets me. I think a lot of my apprehension and negative feelings about these lines would be erased if the “he won’t stop” instead read “we won’t stop,” because it includes both of them. Even if they don’t specifically give consent verbally in the text, it seems weird for the characters to go out of their way to say that Jude isn’t going to ask. Consent can be retracted at any time, and I don’t think this little paragraph seems to support that. The “don’t need to be checked upon like a child” part rubbed me the wrong way too, because again, it’s not childish to make sure your partner is still okay with everything that you’re doing! I just didn’t think that this was something necessary to include, and the scene would have functioned fine (better, even) without it.
Looking back, it seems like this review is mostly negative, which was not the intention at all! I really enjoyed reading the book (It’s a relatively quick read–I read it in less than 24 hours during my finals week, if that tells you anything), and as I said at the beginning, I think fans of R.S. Grey’s “Scoring Wilder” would take to this book. (Crossover, anyone?) Carrie does an excellent job of setting up her sequels in the epilogue, so without giving anything away, I’ll just say that I’m excited to read the next couple’s installment!