Publication date: October 21th 2014
My rating: 3.5 stars
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Sometimes the best defense is a good offense…
Aileen is a sports reporter trying to make a name for herself without relying on her looks, And what better way to do that than to break a scandal about one of the fastest rising stars on the Santa Fe Bobcats? Killian seems too good to be true, so she knows he must be hiding something…
It’s hard enough breaking into the NFL—even more so when you’re a single dad. Killian isn’t proud that he’s keeping his son a secret, but his ex has a reputation that could tarnish his squeaky clean image for good. So when Aileen starts sniffing around, Killian decides to distract her by any means necessary.
But Aileen is more than capable of giving as good as she gets…
Aileen is struggling journalist trying to make a name for herself while keeping her integrity. She wanted to live up to her parent’s example as trustworthy journalists. Finding a breakthrough story is proving difficult when she doesn’t want to compromise her principals. That is until she spies Killian, the Bobcat’s kicker and media mystery. He stays out of the spotlight and almost nothing is known about him. Looks like Aileen has her work cut out for her, though, because Killian is reluctant, bordering on hostile. Aileen won’t take no for an answer and goes on wearing him down. She doesn’t plan on falling for him in the process, and even though they go beyond their professional relationship, Aileen wonders what kind of future they could have if Killian never fully trusts her.
Killian is intrigued by the petite, freckled Aileen until he finds out she’s a reporter. Killian avoids the media and press at all costs for the sake of his young son, Charlie. No one knows of his existence and if they did, it could stir up a hurtful past that Killian is trying to keep buried. Killian agrees to an interview, but on his terms in an effort to control what gets out. But the more he gets to know Aileen the more he falls for her.
I admired Aileen from the very beginning. It was evident from the start that she didn’t want to be a trashy reporter capitalizing on other’s drama and trauma. She has pressure from her boss to go after sensationalized stories, but she stands her ground and still keeps her integrity. Knowing she was basically on her own in the world after losing her parents at the age of eighteen made my heart go out to her even more. Aileen didn’t let Killian’s abrasiveness turn her away and didn’t let his comments hurt her for the most part, but I hurt for her.
While I can understand where Killian was coming from once I found out exactly why he wanted to keep Charlie’s existence secret, I didn’t get an inkling what the secret was until about 72% into the book. This made is especially hard to make allowances in the meantime for Killian’s gruff and rude behavior. Yes, he was attracted to Aileen and he couldn’t keep his hands off her, but Killian was on constant guard and never completely trusted her until almost the end. Even though it was more than evident, IMO, that Aileen wasn’t like other cutthroat reporters. Still, as a parent I can understand how his desire to protect Charlie would cause him to be so hesitant.
I did still enjoy their romance, and the fact that once Killian realized how amazing Aileen was, he went all in won me over. I was happy when Killian started seeing the big picture and let his walls down, not just with Aileen, but with his fellow teammates as well. They were able to provide support and friendship he’d been missing out on for so long. The ending of Loving Him Off the Field was everything that I hoped for.