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All's fair in Love and Football... Emily Hamilton doesn't trust men. She's much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies' man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he'll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them to All's fair in Love and Football... Emily Hamilton doesn't trust men. She's much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies' man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he'll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits. Every time Brandon calls her "Sugar," Emily almost believes he's playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?


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All's fair in Love and Football... Emily Hamilton doesn't trust men. She's much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies' man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he'll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them to All's fair in Love and Football... Emily Hamilton doesn't trust men. She's much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies' man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he'll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits. Every time Brandon calls her "Sugar," Emily almost believes he's playing for keeps—not just to score. Can she let down her defenses and get her own happily ever after?

30 review for Blitzing Emily

  1. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    Very slow, relaxed pace. BLITZING EMILY is an extremely slow paced romance. There wasn’t any real fire between NFL player Brandon and opera singer Emily. ***Detailed Review*** After an icy fall brings Emily and Brandon together in the ER, they are mistaken as being engaged. Both immediately sees benefits in their careers and agree to let the engagement stand for thirty days. However, Brandon and Emily fall into a comfortable relationship together and when thirty days comes and goes, they agree to Very slow, relaxed pace. BLITZING EMILY is an extremely slow paced romance. There wasn’t any real fire between NFL player Brandon and opera singer Emily. ***Detailed Review*** After an icy fall brings Emily and Brandon together in the ER, they are mistaken as being engaged. Both immediately sees benefits in their careers and agree to let the engagement stand for thirty days. However, Brandon and Emily fall into a comfortable relationship together and when thirty days comes and goes, they agree to ‘see where things go’. And that’s how it goes for the entire story. There isn’t a declaration of love, they don’t actually sleep together for a while and neither talks about the growing feelings, despite always wanting the other around. I did like how they didn’t let their hectic schedule interfere or cause problems, but this was probably because they weren’t defining their relationship. An angry ex-girlfriend with a fake paternity allegation breaks the couple up as Emily’s past demons won’t allow her to believe Brandon’s word. Now a big show of love is needed and what better way to show him that she loves him than by giving up her biggest opera show yet to cheer him on in the Super Bowl. Overall, this slow paced romance just didn’t light my fire.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    3 1/2 stars - Football player with yummy abs, you know it! First Impressions... I love football. I love romance stories with football players. I love pretend relationships that become more. So, yeah, this one sounded great. The Characters... I love Brandon. Never saw his player side just the sweet side. He may not have been looking for a relationship when he scooped Emily up and took her to the hospital after her fall but he sure found one. He took care of her. He made her laugh. He stood up to her 3 1/2 stars - Football player with yummy abs, you know it! First Impressions... I love football. I love romance stories with football players. I love pretend relationships that become more. So, yeah, this one sounded great. The Characters... I love Brandon. Never saw his player side just the sweet side. He may not have been looking for a relationship when he scooped Emily up and took her to the hospital after her fall but he sure found one. He took care of her. He made her laugh. He stood up to her diva ways. What really won me over was how he was always so quiet and controlled when he was angry. I actually think that's more scary than yelling and it impressed me. Emily really is a diva but her opera singing ways are pretty fun mixed with an NFL defensive end. I did want to shake her a few times but she got over it eventually. She does need to learn some football though. This football lover was not pleased with her lack of plays. Emily's parents where strange. Her dad mostly annoyed me but I did love her sister. She's the star of book two so that should be fun. The Story... Mostly I enjoyed this story. There was this strange quality to it that had me tilting my head and staring at my iPad. Honestly, the story felt like it was a month long but actually spanned about a year. The story was stretched to fit and I felt like I missed things along the way. Two weeks would go by and the only real indication was the phrase "two weeks later". I just found it odd that this couple in this situation would have nothing noteworthy in two weeks. I guess I either wanted it to last a month or wanted to know the details. Could I Put It Down... I raced through the first half of this book. It's a long one at 496 pages but the first half zipped by. The second half was a little harder. That's the time when I noticed the passage of time issue I was having. I'm thinking that the book could have lost a hundred pages and been a lot better. But in the end, I did read it in two nights. In The End... I enjoyed Brandon and Emily's story. The incident where the boy scouts found them was pretty darn hysterical. People who love sports players with yummy abs mixed into their romance will love this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kim Hornsby

    Brannagh hits it out of the park for her debut novel, Blitzing Emily! I started this book when Kindle delivered it at 9pm and spent the next 5 hours reading it, despite my droopy eye lids. From the get-go you care about both the main characters, Emily and Brandon, something that often takes a chapter or two for me. Brandon was sexy as hell, and cute and funny, Emily was just self depreciating enough to make us love her immediately. Blitzing Emily is the story of an opera singer who's spent her wh Brannagh hits it out of the park for her debut novel, Blitzing Emily! I started this book when Kindle delivered it at 9pm and spent the next 5 hours reading it, despite my droopy eye lids. From the get-go you care about both the main characters, Emily and Brandon, something that often takes a chapter or two for me. Brandon was sexy as hell, and cute and funny, Emily was just self depreciating enough to make us love her immediately. Blitzing Emily is the story of an opera singer who's spent her whole life focusing on her career and faithfully staying on path to her goal of one day singing at the Met. When she meets a Seattle Sharks football player, a series of events has them temporarily thrown together, only to find that they actually like spending time together. I'll let you find out what happens but basically it's the cute story of a womanizer, realizing that what really counts in life is a good relationship that makes you feel like you can reach your potential. Personally and professionally. I like this for a romance novel. What Brannagh does wonderfully besides extremely funny, sexy repartee between these two, is make the progression of the once horn dog, Brandon, and the focused opera diva's relationship, believable. I have what I call the 'oh please!' factor when reading a romance and this story did not make me roll my eyes, wondering if the author was underestimating my IQ. Brannagh wrote a story that moved at a good clip with just enough conflict to keep this skeptic interested, but not frustrated. Add a heaping help of humor and tenderness, a sister who's funny enough to need a book of her own and you have Blitzing Emily. I laughed out loud several times. I loved the football edge even though I know nothing about football. But Brannagh does, and using the backdrop of the NFL works wonders here to make Blitzing Emily a fresh, engaging story. Everything worked beautifully, like a finely executed football play, ending with a touchdown and that kick thing with the pointy-toed guy, that gets a bigger score. If you like a little humor with your contemporary romance, or you just plain like football, you won't go wrong with Blitzing Emily!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    2.5 stars. Pros: Characters were likable enough. Cons: Way too long - about 200 pages of his book could easily be cut out. 3rd person perspective felt off. Disjointed - I often had to go back a few times and re-read a sentence to figure out who was speaking. Jumps in time threw me off. Not enough details about Emily's hurtful past - so it made her actions/distrust seem childish and annoying, rather than us feeling bad for her. I had been reading for an hour and was only at 15% and nothing has happened y 2.5 stars. Pros: Characters were likable enough. Cons: Way too long - about 200 pages of his book could easily be cut out. 3rd person perspective felt off. Disjointed - I often had to go back a few times and re-read a sentence to figure out who was speaking. Jumps in time threw me off. Not enough details about Emily's hurtful past - so it made her actions/distrust seem childish and annoying, rather than us feeling bad for her. I had been reading for an hour and was only at 15% and nothing has happened yet? What? Repetitive - we get it, she smells like peaches and moss. I actually read Rushing Amy (Book 2) first, and really enjoyed it. So I went back to try Book 1. I am almost glad I did it this way - I would never have read that book if I begun here. So - skip this one and begin with Book 2! You aren't missing anything and I think the author actually improves. I am still going to read Book 3 - maybe just not right away.. :-)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Redfern

    I always enjoy a good football romance and this is the perfect time to read one! Blitzing Emily is the first book in a new series called Love and Football by Julie Brannagh. Emily Hamilton is an opera singer who does a favor for her sister Amy and delivers a big bouquet of balloons, candy and a teddy bear to Brandon McKenna, player for the Seattle Sharks. During the delivery she takes a header on the icy parking lot thanks to Brandon and ends up with a concussion and a temporary roommate. Due to I always enjoy a good football romance and this is the perfect time to read one! Blitzing Emily is the first book in a new series called Love and Football by Julie Brannagh. Emily Hamilton is an opera singer who does a favor for her sister Amy and delivers a big bouquet of balloons, candy and a teddy bear to Brandon McKenna, player for the Seattle Sharks. During the delivery she takes a header on the icy parking lot thanks to Brandon and ends up with a concussion and a temporary roommate. Due to a mistake at the hospital, the media thinks they are engaged and so they enter into a "fake engagement". Yes, it's been done before but this was a delightful story that keeps your attention from first page to last. Emily is a sassy diva who knows nothing about football and Brandon is an infamous "horn dog" who needs to clean up his image. He is also funny and smart and basically a gentleman. They are perfect for each other but past baggage rears its ugly head and problems occur. Both Emily and Brandon have to come to grips with past and present mistakes before they can get their hearts desire. There is just the right amount of spice blended with humor to make this story really enjoyable. This is an excellent debut novel from an author who I look forward to reading more from in the future. Her next book, Rushing Amy, is due out in February with a third book later in the spring.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane Lynch

    Opera Diva, Emily Hamilton, helps her sister, Amy, out by making a Valentine delivery to the Seattle Shark’s headquarters. NFL star, Brandon McKenna, is annoyed when he sees balloons with his name on them being delivered to the stadium from his stalker ex-girlfriend. He startles the delivery person who falls, getting a concussion. Feeling responsible he takes her to the emergency room. Only family is allowed with the patients, so the nurse calls Brandon Emily’s fiancé. The next thing they know t Opera Diva, Emily Hamilton, helps her sister, Amy, out by making a Valentine delivery to the Seattle Shark’s headquarters. NFL star, Brandon McKenna, is annoyed when he sees balloons with his name on them being delivered to the stadium from his stalker ex-girlfriend. He startles the delivery person who falls, getting a concussion. Feeling responsible he takes her to the emergency room. Only family is allowed with the patients, so the nurse calls Brandon Emily’s fiancé. The next thing they know the rumor spread making the news. Discovering that being “engaged” is helping both of their careers the two decide to play along for a month and then stage a break up. Blitzing Emily is a really cute story. It is fun and hard to put down. These two opposites make a fantastic pair. The more they learn about each other; they discover they are good for each other. I love the bantering dialog between Emily and Brandon. Their conversations are very entertaining and will have you laughing. Julie Brannagh did a great job with this story. After reading the preview of book Two, Rushing Amy, I am intrigued to read the next book. I have a feeling this is going to be a successful series. ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    This book hooked me from Page One. I fell in love with the charming hero, Brandon, almost immediately, and found myself turning digital pages long past bedtime to see what happened next—and I'm not even a football fan. A compulsively readable debut from Julie Brannagh. I can't wait to get my hands on her next release. This book hooked me from Page One. I fell in love with the charming hero, Brandon, almost immediately, and found myself turning digital pages long past bedtime to see what happened next—and I'm not even a football fan. A compulsively readable debut from Julie Brannagh. I can't wait to get my hands on her next release.

  8. 4 out of 5

    MissKitty

    I read this because I wanted to see how a relationship between an opera singer and an athlete would work out. The author didn't do a bad job, though it could have been better. I read this because I wanted to see how a relationship between an opera singer and an athlete would work out. The author didn't do a bad job, though it could have been better.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I'm currently reading the second book of this series right after reading the first and I probably shouldn't have because this one left me frustrated, but they had a bit scene from the next book in the back of this one and it sounded so good. The thing is I'm reading it and experiencing the EXACT SAME FRUSTRATIONS! I think the problem here is that I have a very different outlook on life than the author, and maybe a lot of romance writers because I often find myself frustrated by contemporary roma I'm currently reading the second book of this series right after reading the first and I probably shouldn't have because this one left me frustrated, but they had a bit scene from the next book in the back of this one and it sounded so good. The thing is I'm reading it and experiencing the EXACT SAME FRUSTRATIONS! I think the problem here is that I have a very different outlook on life than the author, and maybe a lot of romance writers because I often find myself frustrated by contemporary romances. There are a few I adore because they write romances I understand and don't equivalate love with sacrifice, always on the woman's side. I'm not going to promise much of a review here and I'm not going to promise that there won't contain spoilers in what I write, I'm going to tell you this includes a rant about the mindset. I love to get lost in a book, I'm clearly not one that reads for academic betterment but rather just for the pure enjoyment of entering someone else's life and sharing their experiences. Despite that when I read romance I can't help but think in the back of my mind about the responsibility romance writers have to the next generation of women growing up. So many young girls and women gravitate toward this genre because it's fun and because it takes the time to acknowledge that the relationships forged between people are just as important and exciting as fighting dragons or taking down terrorists when it comes to fiction. I have a lot of respect of the genre and the writers in it, and I appreciate those that remember how important the message they send is. My teenage daughter is already sneaking books in this daughter and this particular book and series of books, like many other has a message I don't want her to receive. Love does not always mean sacrifice, it means compromise and it's not always the woman that needs to do so. And if it is THAT'S NOT HEALTHY! The constant message I saw throughout this book is that putting your career and your dreams first is not acceptable because dreams mean nothing unless you have a romantic interest to share them with and that if your dream and his conflict it's wrong for you to pursue yours. The mom gives up her career as a ballerina to marry the Dad who is an engineer. Emily's entire family gives her a hard time about going to sing at the Met which is her ultimate dream instead of attending the super bowl. Brandon consistently lies to and manipulates Emily throughout the entire book so when some HUGE came up to rock their relationship and he asked her to trust him that it wasn't true she didn't and she's the bad guy. He knew her history, he knew how he treated her smoothing over manipulation with cajoling and kisses, but she's the bad guy because she didn't instantly jump on the trust train when he's accused of doing the one thing that would destroy her. Her family takes his side and honestly despite words to the contrary it came across to me that to her family her romantic relationship was more something to be proud of than her personal successes. Personal success won't keep her warm at night, of course. Despite how he behaves and what he might do wrong she's always the bad guy the one who needs to make the sacrifices and apologies. Um NO! I don't believe in relationships where falling in love means for anyone, but most especially the woman, to sacrifice their dreams or career aspiration in order to be what the other person wants or needs them to be. I don't believe a marriage should make the female and her wants and needs come second. And I don't like books where the writer is showing the reader that's how it should be because that reader could be my daughter someday and THAT'S not the message I want sent to her by anyone. While the book did have it's humorous moments, most of the humor fell flat for me because I found myself constantly angered by Emily being railroaded and expected to change in order to fall in love. Her dreams are important too, her wants are important to and if having a "true love" means she has to change them or sacrifice them then I don't really think she needs one after all. A real "true love" would want those dreams for her too and would put her wants and needs as a top priority in my personal opinion. I've heard it said that guys from romance novels don't exist and maybe the exaggerated sex scenes don't exist, but guys like this particular lead minus the NFL player status, are all over the place, I just don't recommend that anyone with any self respect actually date them.

  10. 5 out of 5

    JOCA

    First read - 17 to 20 February, 2014 3 stars Let me start by saying that I couldn't put this book down, I did want to know what happened for Brandon and Emily but it took me longer to read than most other Avon contemporary romances because it kept frustrating me. I like the use of the fake relationship trope, and I liked being introduced to another NFL team (some of my most favourite books have NFL player heroes). I enjoyed having a heroine who had an occupation I've never read about before. And t First read - 17 to 20 February, 2014 3 stars Let me start by saying that I couldn't put this book down, I did want to know what happened for Brandon and Emily but it took me longer to read than most other Avon contemporary romances because it kept frustrating me. I like the use of the fake relationship trope, and I liked being introduced to another NFL team (some of my most favourite books have NFL player heroes). I enjoyed having a heroine who had an occupation I've never read about before. And there were plenty of moments that I thought were well written. Unfortunately, there were also the issues that frustrated me and jarred me out of the story, from beginning to end. There wasn't a clear indication of how much time was passing between scenes AND character actions didn't flow (an example not from the book but describes it accurately is the characters sitting on the couch, then being at the table in the next sentence). At one point Brandon says it's the middle of the week and then on the next page, after it's addressed as being the following day, Brandon says it's Sunday! Poor editing. I thought it took away from the trope for Emily to tell so many people that their engagement was fake at the beginning, and one of those characters we never saw again. And it was never really said that Brandon definitely wasn't the father of Anastasia's child, it's just assumed that he's not because Emily finally believes he would never do anything like that. The other significant issue I had is that for a book of this length (about 150 pages longer than other books published by Avon Impulse) is that until the halfway mark, Emily and Brandon never went beyond a kiss. THEN in the second half, an indeterminate amount of time passed and I was told they had been getting hot and heavy and pulling back from one another before they had sex but I never saw them getting hot and heavy or saw what stopped them from going further. I felt like I missed a lot of their relationship. Overall, I enjoyed this and I will read Rushing Amy but I hope that it has been edited to catch some of the issues above. Second read - 19 to 21 July, 2020 1 star So, I couldn't remember many of the details here but I found it just as problematic overall as I did the first time. The story was dragged out and needed to be cut. It felt like every type of plot point/trope that could be used was: fake engagement, opposites attract, sports hero, lying ex-girlfriend, cheating, hero's almost-career-ending injury, etc. etc. It was just too busy and distracted from the actual relationship development between the hero and heroine. I think the part I loathed most was the heroine believing the random ex about the baby because she'd been cheated on before. Her being cheated on before wasn't even the primary issue that was raised in relation to the previous relationship and she certainly didn't show how much that had impacted her up until the end. I would have much rather seen them work through how it went from fake to real, rather than this nonsense. I am unhauling this one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    BLITZING EMILY is a fast, fun read for a winter day - the witty dialogue, unexpected character development and happily-ever-after combine to make this story a definite pick-me-up story. Emily Hamilton isn't a huge fan of relationships. She's failed at her own and her parents' divorce was a mess. As she was the one to break the news to her mom that her dad was cheating, it took a serious emotional toll on Emily. Fast-forward to the present day, and Emily is a successful opera singer. She loves perf BLITZING EMILY is a fast, fun read for a winter day - the witty dialogue, unexpected character development and happily-ever-after combine to make this story a definite pick-me-up story. Emily Hamilton isn't a huge fan of relationships. She's failed at her own and her parents' divorce was a mess. As she was the one to break the news to her mom that her dad was cheating, it took a serious emotional toll on Emily. Fast-forward to the present day, and Emily is a successful opera singer. She loves performing and everything that goes along with it, but she works hard to be the exact opposite of a diva; she's trying to repair the damage to her reputation caused by a nasty ex, and doing a fairly good job at it. She runs a simple errand for her sister - deliver a bouquet of balloons and some chocolates to a guy at the football stadium. She slips on the ice and gives herself a significant concussion...and she's brought to the hospital by the balloon recipient, Brandon McKenna. As Emily doesn't follow sports, it's funny to watch the way the two of them interact. Brandon's used to females fawning all over him, but hedoesn't have a big head about it. He's tired of the one-night stands, vapid arm-candy girlfriends, and the fast life. With the end of his football career approaching, he's looking to the future - a wife, family, and perhaps a picket fence. I loved Emily's ignorance about football (I admit to my own!) and how she comes to understand what it is that Brandon loves about the game (not the plays, but more the cheering crowd and euphoria that comes along with it). I really enjoyed how Brannagh broke the stereotype of dumb jock. If there were any idiots on the football team, she (thankfully) didn't give them much page space. She also created an alpha male who was protective in the sweetest, most relaxed way, and that was a pleasure to see. Also, Emily's influence over the guys on the team, getting them to listen to opera? Brilliant - and gave depth to a slew of secondary characters that I wasn't expecting, but was pleasantly surprised to find. The most moving part of this story was Emily's own transformation, which I refuse to spoil for you. It involves an ex-girlfriend, a whole bunch of rumors, so overly gossipy sports casters and...well, read it. You'll see. :) Four and a half stars - I look forward to more from this author, and her next book, RUSHING AMY, will be an automatic pre-order for me.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Save Your Money For Books

    Attention readers there I just found a new voice in sports romance! Blitzing Emily is the first book in author Julie Brannagh's Love and Football series. This story features opera singer Emily Hamilton and Seattle Sharks football player and somewhat scandalous bad-boy Brandon McKenna. Brandon literally sweeps Emily off her feet and their pretend/but- no-so pretend romance, is fun, flirty and kept me reading, because I couldn't wait for the sexual tension to unwind and for these two realize they Attention readers there I just found a new voice in sports romance! Blitzing Emily is the first book in author Julie Brannagh's Love and Football series. This story features opera singer Emily Hamilton and Seattle Sharks football player and somewhat scandalous bad-boy Brandon McKenna. Brandon literally sweeps Emily off her feet and their pretend/but- no-so pretend romance, is fun, flirty and kept me reading, because I couldn't wait for the sexual tension to unwind and for these two realize they belong together for real. Blitzing Emily is a refreshing change from the normal plot, and while there is drama, the drama is subdued, yet entertaining and the best part about this book for me was I felt happy the entire time I was reading. Fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars series and Rachel Gibson Chinook's hockey series will really enjoy this kick off of this new series by Julie Brannagh. Her sports romance writing style reminds me a lot of these two sports romance icons! Also just to clarify, although this is a fantastic sports romance, you don't have to be a fan of that genre to appreciate this book. Blitzing Emily contains all the heart warming characteristics that any Contemporary Romance fan could really enjoy. The next book in this series, Rushing Amy, featuring Emily's sister Amy and Ex-NFL star/turned Sports Commentator, Matt Stephens and is set for release next month. I already have it on pre-order! After reading the teaser at the end of Blitzing Emily, I knew I had to have the second book in this series as well!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Borgen

    Full review at: http://www.volpinareads.blogspot.com Blitzing Emily is a very sweet story of a football player meeting an opera singer. By now, you must know my weakness for football novels. I'm always willing to give it a chance when you mention love and football. I discovered this book through Bookbub which is an email I receive every day advertising books that are free or under two dollars. I clicked my free preview from Amazon and fell in love with the book almost imediately. Of course, that Full review at: http://www.volpinareads.blogspot.com Blitzing Emily is a very sweet story of a football player meeting an opera singer. By now, you must know my weakness for football novels. I'm always willing to give it a chance when you mention love and football. I discovered this book through Bookbub which is an email I receive every day advertising books that are free or under two dollars. I clicked my free preview from Amazon and fell in love with the book almost imediately. Of course, that was after I discovered the female lead character is an opera singer, another activity that I love! Blitzing Emily is told from both Emily and Brandon's POV. It's a sweet romance with a little bit of sexy thrown in. Emily literally falls into Brandon's life by happenstance and a little thing called Valentines Day ballons. The beginning of the relationship is by chance and a mix-up at the hospital. They soon discover the benefits of having a significant other through the media. This book could have gone the zanny way of silliness gallore. Lucky for me it didn't and this is why I will say it's such a sweet novel. We get to see a nice slow pregression of the relationship develop. Most times in stories people meet and fall in love right away and then faced with drama nonstop. This story gives you more of a feel of the real world when it comes to falling in love. Give and take with lots of little moments to just discover each other.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Leann

    I wanted to like this book, I really did! But it was just too lackluster for me. I know I'm really into a romance novel when the main characters come to their "love test" and I literally ache in my heart at the pain they're going through. If it's a really good book, I may even cry. There was none of that with this story. I just didn't feel she developed the characters enough, mostly because there were big breaks of time where the story jumped ahead, and the characters were in a completely differ I wanted to like this book, I really did! But it was just too lackluster for me. I know I'm really into a romance novel when the main characters come to their "love test" and I literally ache in my heart at the pain they're going through. If it's a really good book, I may even cry. There was none of that with this story. I just didn't feel she developed the characters enough, mostly because there were big breaks of time where the story jumped ahead, and the characters were in a completely different place than before the jump. For example, when Emily went on her first trip two weeks after the engagement. They went from barely knowing each other to "I miss you soooo much!" What happened in those two weeks in Seattle that led them to that point? Also, the POV on this story was off to me. Maybe I'm too used to reading romance novels in first person, but the third person POV didn't work for me here. It felt like the story jumped back and forth between the two of them from paragraph to paragraph, sometimes. It lacked continuity and confused my brain. I'm super into nicknames. But why did she call him bruiser, and why was it lowercase instead of capital? Very odd addition. And, as a knitter, I *always* notice when knitting appears in a book. She never mentions knitting once, and then suddenly, 350 pages in, she's knitting? Knitters don't work like that. It's an obsession, not an afterthought. It should've been mentioned in the first 50 pages. ;-)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Barrett

    We've all played a game of pretend before, who hasn't? But in this case, pretend is quickly becoming real.... Okay, so the concept of fake engagements isn't original, but I LOVED it in this story. LOVED IT! Brandon...oh, I love this guy. His banter. His charm. His charisma. I loved learning more and more about him. He's not just a football hero with a big head, no, this man has some true emotions and a great big heart. The last thing he expects is Emily to fall in his life, and boy do I mean fal We've all played a game of pretend before, who hasn't? But in this case, pretend is quickly becoming real.... Okay, so the concept of fake engagements isn't original, but I LOVED it in this story. LOVED IT! Brandon...oh, I love this guy. His banter. His charm. His charisma. I loved learning more and more about him. He's not just a football hero with a big head, no, this man has some true emotions and a great big heart. The last thing he expects is Emily to fall in his life, and boy do I mean fall! Emily....She's headstrong. Fierce. Independent. She knows what she wants. The two of them together? Let's talk chemistry. Sizzling HOT! Whew. So, a little mistake changes things for them. Now, because it works for them, they'll go along with this plan, but I'd say it just might backfire on them. I spent most of one day reading this book. Glued my bum to the beanbag chair, clicking along with my Kindle. The great pacing and the fun dialog made it easy. Brandon and Emily are a smash, and it was fun to watch their two very different worlds collide as the game of love makes a debut in their lives. I enjoyed this author's writing style and humor, and I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting more! It's fun, refreshing and full of reasons to smile.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy Raby

    Cute, funny sports contemporary that is comfort reading at its finest. I want to take Brandon McKenna home with me. Love his blond curls and Southern boy charm! The heroine, Emily, is a good match for him. In a way, this is an opposites attract novel. Brandon is an NFL player, and Emily is an opera diva. Neither of them knows a thing about the other's world, and that ends up kind of working for them because at least Brandon knows Emily likes him for himself and not for his football persona. Same Cute, funny sports contemporary that is comfort reading at its finest. I want to take Brandon McKenna home with me. Love his blond curls and Southern boy charm! The heroine, Emily, is a good match for him. In a way, this is an opposites attract novel. Brandon is an NFL player, and Emily is an opera diva. Neither of them knows a thing about the other's world, and that ends up kind of working for them because at least Brandon knows Emily likes him for himself and not for his football persona. Same goes for Emily. And yet their careers are not entirely dissimilar. Brandon and Emily play to different crowds, but they're both in the public eye, and they both find that public perception of them affects their careers. This is why they embark (at first) upon a fake engagement, because each of them has a little career problem that needs fixing. The characters are charming, and to my surprise I liked the bits about Emily's opera career, even though I'm not an opera fan. But the best part of this novel is the voice. It's cute and funny. There are little zingers in there that take you by surprise as you're reading. Julie Brannagh is an author to watch! Recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    2kasmom

    I am not super excited about every book I read. In fact, I consider myself a pretty picky reader. I just read a LOT of books. BLITZING EMILY is a really terrific story that gets you involved with more than just the two lead characters, Brandon and Emily. You meet their folks, teammates and more. I found myself cheering along with this book as if I were watching a movie (which I sincerely hope in the future I really get to do for this book.) Brandon is a football player for the Seattle Sharks and I am not super excited about every book I read. In fact, I consider myself a pretty picky reader. I just read a LOT of books. BLITZING EMILY is a really terrific story that gets you involved with more than just the two lead characters, Brandon and Emily. You meet their folks, teammates and more. I found myself cheering along with this book as if I were watching a movie (which I sincerely hope in the future I really get to do for this book.) Brandon is a football player for the Seattle Sharks and he meets Emily in an unusual way as she literally falls in front of him. Emily is an opera diva who never thought she could trust another man enough to have a future with one. This story is so much more than a love story but lucky for me, and anyone else who reads it, it has a terrific and profound love weaved throughout the pages. Even if you are not a sports fan, trust me - Brandon and Emily have a sweet, complicated, hot and funny story that just makes you sit up and take notice. It made me proud to believe in love once again. Cannot wait to follow up with the family again in RUSHING AMY!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I thought this was a promising book in a lot of ways, like I liked the main characters. I liked that they almost immediately pursued a real relationship while being fake engaged. But it needed to be tighter, overall. The obstacle . . . was not good to read and I'm not even entirely sure what the final resolution was. (view spoiler)[I was reading really fast by the end, but . . . it seemed like the last we heard was "unconfirmed reports say it's not his!" I need confirmation, people. (hide spoile I thought this was a promising book in a lot of ways, like I liked the main characters. I liked that they almost immediately pursued a real relationship while being fake engaged. But it needed to be tighter, overall. The obstacle . . . was not good to read and I'm not even entirely sure what the final resolution was. (view spoiler)[I was reading really fast by the end, but . . . it seemed like the last we heard was "unconfirmed reports say it's not his!" I need confirmation, people. (hide spoiler)] I didn't entirely buy Emily's reaction to it. And there was too much of other female characters hating on Emily for being with the hot guy. Football wasn't a huge element and I thought it was sort of . . . the popularity of NFL players was larger than life. I don't think people would care very much if a defensive end got engaged. Also, there were a couple of throw away lines about the Mariners winning games. MOST UNBELIEVABLE PART. :P Oh yeah, I also liked that the story took over a period of months. More romances that do that, please!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Allen 107 (The Kansan Reader)

    I liked this story. It was definitely different. We have a young opera singer Emily who has to make a valentine delivery for her sister's flower shop. When she tries to deliver it she falls and hits her head. Enter Brandon. A gorgeous (at least to me) defensive end for the Seattle Sharks. One thing that annoyed me is that the author either choose to not use really NFL team names or couldn't. I'm a football fan and I wish the names could have been used. Instead of the Denver Broncos she had the De I liked this story. It was definitely different. We have a young opera singer Emily who has to make a valentine delivery for her sister's flower shop. When she tries to deliver it she falls and hits her head. Enter Brandon. A gorgeous (at least to me) defensive end for the Seattle Sharks. One thing that annoyed me is that the author either choose to not use really NFL team names or couldn't. I'm a football fan and I wish the names could have been used. Instead of the Denver Broncos she had the Denver Mustangs. New England Patriots were New England Minutemen. Eck. It did annoy me. Hopefully she had good reason. Well due to a rumor Brandon and Emily are engaged. So for publicity they decide to stay together. That is wrong on so many levels but I would probably do the same thing in her situation except I would do it just to be with Brandon. Mostly I did like the storyline. Only had one problem with the book which I have already explained. I recommend this book to people who love football and romance put together.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    Overall a very frustrating read. Some of the situations were so contrived and OTT that it was hard to keep from throwing my Kobo against the wall. At one point I had to stop reading for a day in order to get the bad taste out of my brain. Also, (view spoiler)[not only is it ridiculous that Emily waits two weeks after learning that Brandon didn't lie, but then the whole thing just disappears! Anastasia lied but no one is confronting her or suing her? I call BS! (hide spoiler)] . Not a fan of drama Overall a very frustrating read. Some of the situations were so contrived and OTT that it was hard to keep from throwing my Kobo against the wall. At one point I had to stop reading for a day in order to get the bad taste out of my brain. Also, (view spoiler)[not only is it ridiculous that Emily waits two weeks after learning that Brandon didn't lie, but then the whole thing just disappears! Anastasia lied but no one is confronting her or suing her? I call BS! (hide spoiler)] . Not a fan of drama for drama's sake. A lot of timing problems (eg. no one orders a meal and then has it delivered in the time it takes to ask "how was your day?"). And Emily was pretty pathetic a lot of the time, but Brandon was no better. (Seriously, at one point - from his POV - he says he knows she wants to hear that he loves her but he doesn't say it. Seriously?!) After taking the break I came back and started enjoying the book again. But then it went a little off the rails again. Not in any hurry to read the next in the series, even though I really want Amy to find happiness.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Arshia

    Contemporary romances aren't my favorite but there are some authors that I like to read. I have added another author to that list. Emily and Brandon's story was really adorable, she falls for him and he engages himself to her all within 24 hours. However, all of this is a misunderstanding at first, a chance to better their careers second, and then finally a way to give their relationship the time to bloom. Both of the characters are very opposite of each other, she is an Opera Diva and he is a N Contemporary romances aren't my favorite but there are some authors that I like to read. I have added another author to that list. Emily and Brandon's story was really adorable, she falls for him and he engages himself to her all within 24 hours. However, all of this is a misunderstanding at first, a chance to better their careers second, and then finally a way to give their relationship the time to bloom. Both of the characters are very opposite of each other, she is an Opera Diva and he is a NFL football player. Yet the two characters just find a way to make their relationship work against their hectic schedules, angry parents, and jealous exes. The secondary characters introduced in the story are also a major draw for me. I fell in love with Amy and Emily's relationship. The sisters were really cute and I love how Amy eventually helped Brandon and Emily together because Emily's pigheadedness was starting to irritate me at the end!

  22. 5 out of 5

    TongieGirl

    4 1/2 Stars TOUCHDOWN! Now, that's how you do a football romance! My search is over! Brandon and Emily have such great chemistry, despite different careers...NFL all-star hottie (literally) crashes into up and coming opera "diva" (...or lead singer, for those not-in-the-know...)false rumors fly that the pair are engaged, which creates a major career hike for them both. So, Brandon and Emily agree to let the engagement rumor ride for a month...ya know, for the career boost and all...(wink, wink).. 4 1/2 Stars TOUCHDOWN! Now, that's how you do a football romance! My search is over! Brandon and Emily have such great chemistry, despite different careers...NFL all-star hottie (literally) crashes into up and coming opera "diva" (...or lead singer, for those not-in-the-know...)false rumors fly that the pair are engaged, which creates a major career hike for them both. So, Brandon and Emily agree to let the engagement rumor ride for a month...ya know, for the career boost and all...(wink, wink)....aaaannd cue passion... I'm totally hooked and can't wait to read the complete series!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    There will always be love and football... I laughed. I cried, yes really! Do yourself a favor and keep tissues handy from the 3/4 point. I sat on the edge of my seat as the SHARKS played in the big game and I could see if all unfold. I enjoyed sharing the journey Emily and Brandon took to their happy ending. There was just enough football talk to know Julie Brannagh is a FAN of the game, without making it the main focus of the story. This book will be a great spring/summer read for football fans w There will always be love and football... I laughed. I cried, yes really! Do yourself a favor and keep tissues handy from the 3/4 point. I sat on the edge of my seat as the SHARKS played in the big game and I could see if all unfold. I enjoyed sharing the journey Emily and Brandon took to their happy ending. There was just enough football talk to know Julie Brannagh is a FAN of the game, without making it the main focus of the story. This book will be a great spring/summer read for football fans waiting for the next NFL season to begin. Highly recommended and looking forward to "Rushing Amy".

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eva Millien

    The first book in the Love and Football series is an exciting and entertaining contemporary romance. The author does a fantastic job of creating a relationship between two characters that are total opposites in personality as well as their life choices. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series and looking for more from this author. See my full Review at: http://www.thejeepdiva.com/review-bli... The first book in the Love and Football series is an exciting and entertaining contemporary romance. The author does a fantastic job of creating a relationship between two characters that are total opposites in personality as well as their life choices. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series and looking for more from this author. See my full Review at: http://www.thejeepdiva.com/review-bli...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bette Hansen

    Excellent book! This is my first Julie Brannagh book but she has definitely gained a new fan. Really enjoyed her writing style and the characters were amazing. They felt very real, like they could live right next door. The pace of the story was excellent. It felt like the relationship moved along at a normal progression rather than a rushed immediate love. I will definitely be reading all the books in this series and highly recommend this one!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

    I feel like I keep picking up more and more books where the It Factor just isn't there. This is a cute premise, but.... But, but, but... I feel like I never got a handle on who either of the characters were. Sometimes the dialogue made weird jumps. The connection between them felt flat. All stuff that feels like a hard core critique could have fixed. Too much "almost there but not quite" I feel like I keep picking up more and more books where the It Factor just isn't there. This is a cute premise, but.... But, but, but... I feel like I never got a handle on who either of the characters were. Sometimes the dialogue made weird jumps. The connection between them felt flat. All stuff that feels like a hard core critique could have fixed. Too much "almost there but not quite"

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    I loved this book, everything about it. The characters were wonderful. I loved the heroine, she had a career of her own. Yes she was broken, but hell who isn't. She was tough, didn't take his crap, not that there was much. Brandon was dreamy, loved him from the beginning. I pictured him with an accent. Loved that he only called her sugar. Non stop read, Can't way to read Rushing Amy! I loved this book, everything about it. The characters were wonderful. I loved the heroine, she had a career of her own. Yes she was broken, but hell who isn't. She was tough, didn't take his crap, not that there was much. Brandon was dreamy, loved him from the beginning. I pictured him with an accent. Loved that he only called her sugar. Non stop read, Can't way to read Rushing Amy!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victoria (nocturnalintimacy)

    I thought the premise was cute, but there was a lack of development that drove me crazy. Both characters agree that the fake engagement is beneficial for them, but then suddenly they're in love? I wish the author had taken the time to show us that, because the fall is my favorite part of a romance. I thought the premise was cute, but there was a lack of development that drove me crazy. Both characters agree that the fake engagement is beneficial for them, but then suddenly they're in love? I wish the author had taken the time to show us that, because the fall is my favorite part of a romance.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ann Lorz

    This first book in the series is a hit. You'll love the characters and will find a ton of humor packed into the story. Fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago football books will love this. I can't wait for the next book in the series. This first book in the series is a hit. You'll love the characters and will find a ton of humor packed into the story. Fans of Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago football books will love this. I can't wait for the next book in the series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A romantic comedy with an unusual couple, an opera singer heroine, and a sexy NFL defensive lineman hero. Funniest scene involved a boy scout troop and some steamy sex in the woods. That scene alone was worth the price of the book! This is the first book in this author's new football series. A romantic comedy with an unusual couple, an opera singer heroine, and a sexy NFL defensive lineman hero. Funniest scene involved a boy scout troop and some steamy sex in the woods. That scene alone was worth the price of the book! This is the first book in this author's new football series.

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