Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 out of 5Original Review Link
Michael Santiago lives and breathes football. This makes him the best defensive end on his team, the Portland Tide, if not the entire National Football League. It doesn’t, however, do any favors for his social life. Not that Michael cares about that. Friendships and romance have no place in Michael’s life, not with his history.
Fate – and a lack of groceries in his fridge – sends Michael to the grocery store and plants him directly in the path of Mary Richardson. Michael knew Mary very briefly back in college, and the intervening years have only made her more appealing. Michael doesn’t have any desire to break out of his self-imposed isolation, but he can’t seem to resist the urge to see Mary again either. It’s up to Michael to decide if he, a closed-off pro-footballer, can let down his guard long enough to have a chance with the warm-hearted high school teacher he never knew he needed.
There’s a new name in sports romance and it’s one to watch; C.C. Galloway. Author C.C. Galloway’s debut novel, HAIL MARY, has everything you could want in a story; romance, sensuality, action, humor, heartache and a dynamic couple at the center of it all.
Michael is a tortured hero who will break your heart. He doesn’t have the clichéd attributes of the tortured hero archetype, but he does have a past that’s sadly realistic and will make you want to weep. Ms. Galloway makes Michael’s guarded attitude understandable and the reasons behind it keep him likeable, even when he screws up with Mary. And speaking of Mary, she’s an everywoman heroine readers are sure to love. She’s smart, generous and kind, without being unrealistic or un-relatable. Mary is, quite simply, a character you wish was real so that you could be friends with her. Together, Michael and Mary are a perfect fit, though it takes a while for them to get to that point. One of the many reasons I was so drawn in by HAIL MARY was that I wanted to see Michael and Mary find happiness together; both of them deserved that dreamed-about happily ever after.
I can’t write about HAIL MARY without mentioning the football scenes. I’m not a football fan by any means, but it was clear to me that Ms. Galloway knows the sport extremely well. The scenes on the field and in practice further added to the realism of HAIL MARY, in addition to fleshing out Michael’s character and a majority of the supporting cast. There’s just enough about football to add exciting non-romance action to HAIL MARY without it being too much for those, like myself, who aren’t into that particular sport.
Michael and Mary are wonderful characters, but Ms. Galloway has a plethora of secondary characters in HAIL MARY that I desperately want to know more about. There’s a number of sexy Tide players I am dying to read more about, so here’s hoping Ms. Galloway has stories in store for them. I was pleased to find out that Mary’s best friend, Calleigh, will be getting a book next. Ms. Galloway has some teasers in HAIL MARY regarding Calleigh that are just too delicious for me to resist.
Judging by HAIL MARY, Ms. Galloway is an incredibly talented author who is sure to set the world of sports romance on fire. I loved HAIL MARY, and I can’t wait to see what Ms. Galloway delivers next!Note:
My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.