I don’t know about y’all but I’ve been kinda disappointed in the sports romances out there lately. Not liking the characters & weak stories make for some dismal reading.  Finding one that was amazing I wanted to share that find, just in case any of you felt let down lately too.

W/out further ado my review of DOWN BY CONTACT. FYI…Jami will be a guest @ MR on May 6th. 🙂

4 stars

Zach Murphy lives for football and it has served him well.  Now in his thirties he knows his time is running out. This year with the Seattle Lumberjacks is probably his last shot at making his dream of a Super Bowl ring come true.  Unlike his old team, the Lumberjacks’ owner expects him to socialize and attend black tie affairs.  When it comes to the world off the field Zach is uncouth, to say the least.  He tries but always gets it wrong. 

Veronica, the owner’s daughter, has it in for Zach and wants him off the team in the worst way.  When Zach once again bumbles and creates a fiasco involving Veronica and the governor’s wife she sees a way to get rid of him.  Zach has to take finishing lessons in the social graces and host a black tie charity affair at his home.  If he fails he’s off the team.  To add insult to injury his lessons will be taught by Kelsie Carrington-Richmond, Zach’s teenage dream and worst nightmare. 

Will Zach be able to learn the social graces required to stay on the team and chase his dream from the person who broke and crushed him?

Will Kelsie and Zach be able to forgive themselves and each other?  

In Texas Zach was ridiculed for being ‘white trash”/”trailer trash”.  He didn’t have much raising when it came to manners and the finer points of social interaction, abuse being the norm in his family.  Zach’s past broke my heart and made the man he becomes even more worthy of admiration and respect.  He may not know which fork to use but he has more class in his little finger than those who treated him so shabbily all those years ago have in their whole bodies.

Kelsie was a Mean Girl.  What she did to Zach in high school was incredibly cruel but even Kelsie wasn’t aware of the extent of that cruelty until years later.  Zach was the one person who loved Kelsie for who she was inside, not the beauty queen, her parents’ social standing, or any of those other societal trappings.  Zach was the only real true friend Kelsie ever had as she discovers too late.  Having had a serious run in with Karma she travels to Seattle in the hopes of apologizing to Zach for her past actions.   She wants to lay her old self to rest.  In order for that to happen she needs to make amends with Zach and atone for what she did to him. If Zach can forgive her he may be able to help her start her business; a charm school for jocks. Kelsie doesn’t possess a lot of marketable skills and this shows some ingenuity on her part.  Use all that etiquette drummed into her by her mother to support herself and allow her to move out of her car. 

Having read more than a few sports romances I can honestly say DOWN BY CONTACT is by far the best.  Grittier, earthier and possessing a heartwrenching emotional depth many others lack, Zach and Kelsie’s story was one I didn’t want to put down.  DOWN BY CONTACT starts strong and stays strong.  Well developed characters who immediately engage you, believable football scenes, and a hero and heroine who have a lot of growing and letting go to do if they hope to obtain that happily ever after. 

DOWN BY CONTACT has it all, tragedy, hope, redemption, a healthy dose of humor, and love, the deep abiding kind as well as the smoking hot variety.  Having pretty much given up on sports romances I was extremely pleased to discover that won’t be necessary.  This was my first book by Ms.Davenport but it certainly won’t be my last.  There’s a backlist to acquire and hopefully more Seattle Lumberjacks books in the future.