Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Review: First & Goal by Laura Chapman

Set your lineups and pull out the old game tape—football is here. This year, you can experience fantasy football vicariously through (or commiserate with) Harper Duquaine in First & Goal by Laura Chapman; The first in a series of four featuring "Queen Harper".

What begins as a way to make nice with her new co-workers soon becomes an obsession for Harper as she navigates the ups and downs of managing a fantasy football team. Add in a pair of meddling brothers, a crew of quirky colleagues, and a league-mate who makes her toes curl, and Harper’s football season has plenty to keep her interested.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Then beat them.

When Harper Duquaine’s no-nonsense approach to work unintentionally ruffles the wrong feathers at her new job, she joins her co-workers’ fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way). 

Embroiled in a world of lineups, stats, and trades, Harper’s quest to make nice topples when her competitive streak emerges. And her promise to herself that she’ll be a strong, independent woman and leave the drama and heartache behind is seriously tested when she catches the attention of her two biggest competitors: J.J., a local celebrity determined to win a fantasy championship, and Brook, the mild-mannered coach who seems too good to be true. Both threaten her resolve to remain single… and, more importantly, her chances at winning the prize pool.

With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

My Thoughts
There was something about the blurb which attracted me to this book. Generally I'm on the fence where chicLit is concerned but I really enjoyed this one despite as a Brit "not knowing a keeper from a sleeper"Fantasy football is very dominant is this book, unlike me Laura and Harper do know a lot about American Football. Harper herself like her father and brothers is a dedicated "Packers" fan.

Laura is good at her job but new at the office having taken a transfer when her relationship with a coworker ended. In the testosterone world of car dealerships she needs a way to become one of the guys. An opening in the fantasy football league seems like the ideal solution.  

Whilst this is a romantic comedy it is also about the value of friendship, family, being one of the guys and not putting work before people. The story is well paced and features well defined three dimensional characters. Harper is an easy character to like and emphasise with whilst Brook came over initially as too good to be true. I liked the strong contrast in character between Brook and JJ as the two ex footballers and how the differences were such a strong part of the story.

It is a really engaging read which had me hooked from page one and didn't let go making it hard to put down. This is a book that you can recommend to friends. Needless to say I really enjoyed this book. It had a good plot and would make an excellent movie. I don't consider myself a sports fan but I am and always have been a sucker for light feel good sports films.

Highly recommended.

(Digital copy provided by the author and CLP Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.)

What others are saying:

Rhonda via GoodReads: "... fun, entertaining,  .... flow of the story was very good .... grabbed my attention from the first words!"

Format: Kindle Edition
Author: Laura Chapman
Publisher: Marching Ink (6 Sept 2015)

Amazon | AmazonUK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GoodReads

About the Author
Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and a forthcoming Christmas anthology from Marching Ink. A native Nebraskan, she loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Laura is currently in pursuit of a fantasy football championship while penning her next novel.

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