Thursday, February 10, 2022

Her Athlete's Wedding Secret (Maple Creek Sweet Romance #3), by Cindy Ray Hale (author), LIz Krane (narrator)

Cindy Ray Hale,, January 2022

Tessa Randall, reporter for the only newspaper in her home town of Maple Creek/ She has bigger dreams, though. The more modest one is to become editor of the paper when the current editor retires in the near future. However, this is obstructed by the fact that the paper has another reporter, older and more experienced, and very well thought of by the retiring editor.

Her other dream, closer to her heart, is to land a job as a sports reporter in New York City. Aside from the obvious reasons why a small town reporter, however good, doesn't have a good shot at getting such a job quickly, if it happens she'll have some big decisions to make about care for her mother. Mrs. Randall is bipolar, a hoarder, and a bit of a crazy cat lady. And she's not good at cooperating with her treatment.

Benson Patrick is the New York Giants quarterback, with a gift for getting in trouble with off-the-field pranks. The latest is doing donuts in Central Park with his truck, and his coach has reached the limit of his patience. He gives Benson an ultimatum--announce his engagement by the end of the week, Currently, he's in his home town, Maple Creek--where he'll be attending the wedding of some friends, friends he and Tessa Randall both went to school with. Coach thinks it would be a fine thing indeed if he marries a girl from his home town.

Tessa and Benson each have a problem. They also each have reasons, which I haven't touched on, for not seeking a lasting relationship. But Benson's career will be helped and possibly saved by marrying, appearing to settle down, and staying married till after his next contract negotiation, in three years. Tessa will get visibility, connections, and opportunities that will give her a real shot at a job as a sports reporter in New York. And in the meantime, Benson has the money to allow Tessa to provide care for her mother while she's in New York and not able to do it herself.

What I love is that they both are decent, honest, honorable people. They don't lie to each other about their reasons and motivations for this arrangement, though they do both keep a couple of secrets in the mistaken belief that they're not relevant. And as their feelings about each other start to change, they each try to hide the fact so as not to make the other feel pressured or trapped.

I'm not saying this is great literature, but it is a very nice sweet romance, with two people trying to do right by each other in their unusual situation. And they are honestly adorable as they realize they're really falling in love.

The author posted this audiobook on YouTube, and I am reviewing it voluntarily.

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