- File Size: 772 KB
- Print Length: 346 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Stuart Reardon Publishing (January 23, 2018)
- Publication Date: January 23, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B077J524TL
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,236 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Undefeated Kindle Edition
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When I first met Nick, he was on the rise in his professional rugby career. He'd just been signed to the next level and was finishing out his time with his current team. He was at the top of his game, full of confidence and passion for the sport. He'd been playing for years so he'd had many injuries over the years and the scars to prove it. They all did. As I learned while reading this story, rugby is an intensely physical sport and the players don't wear pads like American football players do. They just wear mouth guards and the rest of their body is at risk for injury. And when weather conditions are bad, the rain and mud make it even worse when they can't get speed or traction. My heart was in my throat as I experienced that game, the one that changed his life, through Nick's eyes. Having read the synopsis, I knew what was coming. I knew he was gonna get injured. So, it made me scared to turn the page as I anticipated the inevitable disaster, not wanting it to happen, but knowing that it would. I was devastated right along with him, worried that he might not make it back to the game that he loved.
Dr. Anna Scott has been through hell herself so she understands much of what Nick is experiencing. She might not always practice what she preaches, but she believes in it. She tries to help Nick by giving him the tools he needs to help himself. She knows that it's important that he believes in himself and his ability to recover and reclaim his place on the team. If he has doubts, then how can his coach and his team depend on him?
As they each struggle with their own demons they also struggle with their attraction to each other. A relationship between them is forbidden. There is no fraternization allowed between doctor and patient. They both have careers they have worked hard for and it's better to deny their feelings than to risk them, right? So, they form a friendship and Anna is supportive and encouraging as he fights his way back after rehab.
I really enjoyed learning about rugby and the author's passion for the sport bleeds through the pages. I felt like I was right there, in the locker room, and on the field. Being an American, some of the words were unfamiliar, but it didn't detract from the story. And can I just say, I really loved the support characters, Belinda and Brendan? I'm excited to report that there are already plans for more collaboration between these talented authors. I can't wait to see what they have for us next. The line forms here...
Although for me I truly felt this was Nick's journey, the love story that emerges between Nick and Anna is clearly at the heart of this book. Their forbidden romance because she is his rugby team's psychologist is full of angst but it is also filled with trust, respect and most of all the ultimate solace when each of their worlds blows apart when they are found out. Even when kept apart by circumstances out of their control, there is strong tether between each of their hearts that won't simply go away because rules dictated their future. The heartache I felt for both Nick and Anna, whether it was because of lies told or injuries sustained was deep for me. I was so invested in their lives it was hard to not shed a tear or twenty because of their fast-changing circumstances.
The backdrop of rugby even when there is a boatload of foreign jargon being tossed about in almost every chapter was fascinating to me. As an American, I felt a bond with Anna, learning together about the ins and outs of this sometimes very brutal sport and quickly becoming a fan, when I've never even watched one match! With Stuart Reardon's vast knowledge of the rugby world, the adage of writing what you know was clearly the way to go for his debut work since his experience as a former star player made this book that much more captivating.
Jane Harvey-Berrick and Stuart Reardon write seamlessly together. There is so much to absorb but I savored every word. Even though this book is quite lengthy it never felt that way. I was never bored nor was I prone to skimming, something I do when many passages in a book seem redundant. With Undefeated I was fully immersed in every single sentence, feeling almost bereft that it came to an end. It is quite the voyage through the eyes of both Nick and Anna. From doctor/patient to friends through email and then to lovers, they have certainly one helluva tale to tell. To say it is unputdownable is an understatement.
So don't be fooled that this is yet another attempt by a cover model to jump on the romance bandwagon. This is writing at its very best and I look forward to more collaborations from these two in the future.
5 HUGE STARS!!