ABOUT For the Win:
What happens when you fall for your biggest competition? Sara Rider scores with this charming romance about soccer stars battling their tough opponents and playing the field of love.
Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.
Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.
The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.
Review by: Kathryn
Sara Rider is a new author and the cover and fact that it's a sports romance drew me to this book. I love a sports romance and it was great to see not only a male athlete but a female as one of the lead characters.
For The Win is Lainey and Gabe's story. Both Lainey and Gabe are professional soccer players. Lainey is an interesting character whilst she's strong willed and stubborn, she's also quite vulnerable and socially awkward and puts her career above all else. Lainey is so focussed on her career that she struggles to form relationship. Whilst Gabe is a wealthy, successful and quite cocky captain of the Surge, he comes across as a bit of a playboy to Elgin with, but as the story progresses we see that he is also sweet, caring and romantic. His family is highly important to him.
The side characters are wonderful and their banter adds quite a bit of humour to this book. I loved Gabe's family and the team mates who played on the Falcons and Surge with Lainey and Gabe.
Although they have an instant attraction, this novel is more of a slow burn. They are quite a complex and interesting pair. They have a fairly intense rivalry that continues to build with their attraction.
This is a fairly fast paced read and is quite an entertaining story. It's told in the third person which I'm not always a fan of but didn't mind with this story. I'm a huge sports romance fan and there are some very talented authors who write this genre, and although For The Win, is well written it didn't quite hit the mark for me. I still look forward to reading the next book in the series. I would recommend it for fans of Mariana Zapatas Kulti.