Center Courtship

Liza Brown. Intrigue, $14.95 trade paper (306p) ISBN 978-1-940758-49-7
In Brown’s debut contemporary romance, a famous, tenderhearted NBA player takes a shot at romance with a tomboyish chop-shop owner, giving the townspeople of Massillon, Ohio, plenty of new gossip. Mae-Belle Rogers’s nephew is devastated when an injury keeps him from attending a meeting with his idol, basketball star Elsu Benjamin. Mae-Belle Rogers sets out to save at least part of his dream, planning to show up at Elsu’s place, get her nephew’s basketball gear signed, and get out. She never thought she’d end up hanging out with Elsu, let alone becoming the object of his affections. Elsu has a girlfriend of sorts, but due to his schedule and her unsupportive nature, he rarely sees her; he’s in no rush to end the relationship and risk her bad-mouthing him to the press until he meets easygoing Mae. She shows signs of returning his interest, but her past experiences of abuse and selfish family members make it hard for her to join him on the road to happiness. This installment introduces some memorable characters readers will want to follow; however, they’ll be exasperated by Mae’s constant fluctuation between determination and self-loathing, her repeated need to be reassured, and the story’s cliff-hanger ending. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
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