A powerful contemporary romance set in the fast-moving world of international rugby.
When your world crashes down
When they all say you’re out
When your body is broken
I will rise.
I will return.
And I will be undefeated.Nick Renshaw is the golden boy of British rugby. When a serious injury threatens his career, he starts to spiral downwards, a broken man.
Feeling abandoned and betrayed by those closest to him, he fights to restart his life. Maybe there’s someone out there who can help him. Maybe he can find his way back toward the light. Maybe … not.
Dr. Anna Scott might be the one person who can help Nick, but she has her own secrets. And when Nick’s past comes back to haunt them both, the enigmatic doctor is more vulnerable than she seems.
Broken and betrayed, the struggle to survive seems intolerable. Who will give in, and who will rise, undefeated?
Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KFF
I was quite impressed by this contemporary sports romance written by two authors, their first collaboration. I have read a fair enough share of sports romance but this is a cut above the rest mainly because even though written in third person which isn’t my favourite style, it is narrated in a way that gives the reader a lot of information about rugby but not to the point where it puts me to sleep or make my eyes glaze over.
Dr. Anna Scott, an American sports psychologist just moved to the UK to escape a scandal and make a fresh start. Her previous relationship was a disaster. She just opened her new business and can’t afford to make a failure of herself. A driven and strong independent woman who needs to validate herself to her parents, she’s carrying a lot of baggage and getting involved with one of her patients doesn’t seem like the best way to do it. Is she willing to sacrifice love over career?
Nick Renshaw, who has rugby running through his veins ever since he was a young boy, is the star of the rugby league and on the verge of realizing his dream when recruited to one of the top premier leagues in rugby. But when things seem too perfect, everything falls apart including his relationship with his fiancée. Scandal on top of another scandal plagued his career and personal life. Will he be able to rise above this trials and tribulations?
This is a well written tale of two people who underwent a lot of highs and lows, success and failure, sadness and joy, both with each other and when they were involved with other people. I feel for Anna and Nick’s pain when their secret relationship imploded. When you think everything is finally smooth sailing, another test to their relationship comes along. However, these two are resilient and strong, they are a formidable pair.
“When your world crashes down… When they all say you’re out…When your mind is broken… I will rise…I will return… And I will be undefeated.”
I love the authors’ style of writing. It is fast paced and it gripped me right from the first page I just couldn’t put it down. I felt like I was there in the stadium during the World Cup final. I felt the passion, the adrenaline, the anxiety and the euphoria it was almost like watching a movie in my mind. It is this style of writing: the technical details of the sport, that special feeling of sharing the experience that sets this book apart from the rest of the stories I’ve read of the same genre. I have never been a big sports fan, although when push comes to shove I’d rather watch a rugby match than a football match. I am totally gob-smacked that not once did I skim through some pages of this book, I savoured all the words and thoroughly enjoyed all pages of this story!
It’s been noticed,” she began carefully, “that you’re not engaging with the team or … or with me during my teaching sessions.”
His lips pressed together and his scowl deepened.
“Look, I know this is all kinds of awkward,” she sighed, “but your behaviour is already giving Sim concerns. It’s making him wonder about your commitment to the team.”
Nick exploded, his anger filling the space as he leapt to his feet and began to pace up and down, hands scrubbing over his face roughly.
“He’s questioning my commitment?! I train harder than anyone! I train on my off-days,” he spat furiously, his voice tight with emotion.
“I’m out there, slogging my fucking guts out harder and longer than anyone else during practices!”
“I’ve fought to come back from injury. I’m fit! I’m ready! I…”
“NICK!” Anna slapped her hand down on the massage table. “Will you listen to me!”
His jaw snapped shut and his stormy eyes narrowed on hers.
“Sim didn’t see that commitment during my sessions.”
“And we both know why that is,” he sneered. “You don’t want any commitment from me.”
Anna’s eyebrows shot up and Nick looked as though he was already regretting his words. He took a deep breath and looked away while Anna chose her next words carefully.
“You assured me that you could be professional and…”
“Yeah, well excuse me if seeing you again is fucking with my head! Not everyone can be as cold and calculating as you!”
She knew she deserved his anger, but her own frustration was rising to meet his. The volcanic pressure inside started to build, searching for an exit, searching for weakness.
“I cannot have any sort of relationship with a client!” she hissed, her body rigid. “You know that!”
“Didn’t stop you before,” he taunted.
“You weren’t a client then,” she choked. “But you’re right—I should have stopped. Oh boy, am I regretting it now!”
And she tossed her clipboard onto the table, pointing a finger in his face.
“Are you trying to ruin this for me? Is that what this is? Your ego can’t bear it, so you’re going to make sure I lose this contract? Or maybe ruining my reputation forever will settle the score. You tell me, Nick! What do you want from me?”
She was breathing rapidly, and two points of colour marked her cheeks in an otherwise chalky complexion.
He spun around, prowling toward her, his jaw clenched, his hands balled into fists.
“What do I want? I want to fuck you so hard you’ll never forget it’s my cock that’s been inside you. I want you screaming my name. I want you to say it wasn’t a mistake. I want to make you come so hard you pass out. That’s what I want, Anna, and it’s fucking killing me to not even touch you!”
Currently he is a Personal trainer living in Cheshire, and has an online fitness program: Fear Nothing Fitness.
It’s been the best fun working with Stu on this story. And yes, he did think about joining the Marines once.