I received this book for free from Berkley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.When I Need You by Lorelei James
Series: Need You #4
Published by Berkley Books on July 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
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Rules are tossed aside when a pro football player join forces with a spitfire cheerleading coach in New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James’s brand-new romance…
Heir to Lund Enterprises and ladies’ man Jensen “The Rocket” Lund has three conditions when it comes to dating: 1) No single mothers2) No cheerleaders3) No medical personnelSo it makes no sense that he’s wildly attracted to Rowan Michaels, who breaks all three.
Rowan Michaels didn’t pass the rigorous requirements to become an athletic trainer and Vikings cheerleader in the hopes of landing a pro athlete: been there, done that, and she has a young son as proof that football players and fidelity don’t go hand in hand. When Rowan learns her new neighbor is Jensen Lund, the smoking-hot tight end who takes being neighborly to a whole new level, she’s grateful for the team’s strict “no fraternization” policy because the sexy man defines temptation.
But Jensen is intent on rushing straight to the goal line to prove to Rowan he’s much more than just a player…on and off the field.
I love this series. Like, seriously love it. Since I read the first one, I’ve been stalking Lorelei James’ website and social media waiting for information about the next one, and the next one, and the next one.
We’ve met Jensen Lund several times in previous books in the series, and he’s always caught my eye. He’s a professional football player, which isn’t really my favorite romance sport, but something about Jensen himself has always held my attention. He was injured at the end of the previous book, All You Need, and when this one opens, he’s working on his recovery and getting back onto the field. His injury has brought a lot of his life into sharp focus, and he’s not thrilled with what he sees. As a result, he’s isolated himself to an extent, not doing much beyond working out and falling into bed exhausted (and alone) at the end of each night. Meeting Rowan blows his carefully constructed world apart.
Jensen has 3 rules of dating. No single moms. No cheerleaders. No medical professionals. He actually has surprisingly well-thought out and valid reasons for this rules; it’s not just “single moms have responsibilities and I want to be free to bang in the kitchen”. Rowan Michaels breaks every one of these rules. She’s a single mom to a 6-year-old who cheerleads for Jensen’s football team, and used to be a nurse. She also has exactly one rule for dating – no athletes. Which Jensen obviously breaks.
So even though neither of them wants to want the other, the sparks are immediate and plentiful. And, to be fair, neither of them uses their rules as reasons to not be together, but they do make note of them. Guys – this is exactly what I like in my romance. This relationship is a slow burn. These two try so hard to remain just friends, but from the minute Rowan slams her door in Jensen’s face, there’s no way they’re not getting together. The tension rising between them is delicious. I wanted them together almost as badly as they both wanted it, but I also really liked watching it happen in slow motion.
And, as much as I dearly love friends to lovers, I really don’t love when one or both of the pair is written as though the concept of romance or sex with the other has never crossed their minds and they couldn’t possibly imagine what it is about the relationship that causes all of their friends and family to think they’re a couple. Come on. “What? Just because we’re each other’s BFF, and we have gossipy lunch every Thursday, and a standing Saturday night dinner that we would never cancel, and we’re each other’s plus one to every social event, you think we’re a couple or attracted to each other? What complete pish-posh.” There aren’t enough eye rolls for that nonsense.
Jensen and Rowan acknowledged the overwhelming attraction, but also acknowledged that there were extenuating circumstances that made it more difficult for them to be together, not the least of which were Rowan’s six-year-old son, and a ridiculous rule against fraternization between the players and the cheerleaders. And both of them were savvy enough to recognize that if that particular broken rule became public, Rowan would be the one to suffer the consequences, not the currently-reigning shining star of the football team.
Once again, Lorelei James has created an amazing book with characters, both main and side, who are well-developed, beautifully written, and make me genuinely cheer for them. Every one of the 4 couples in this series is my favorite until the next one, and I don’t see that trend stopping. You could easily read this as a standalone, but I really recommend you start this series at the beginning. You won’t regret it. And then, you can check below for Lorelei James’ social media links and join me in stalking her posts and website for the next one.