Hidden Falls #1
In Making the Play (Hidden Falls #1) by TJ Kline, Bethany Mills loves her son, but there's only so much she can do for him. She knows he needs more interaction with men in his life to teach him the things that she can't, but there's no way she could choose just any man to fill the void left by her ex-husband. When her son is almost bowled over by his hero when he does something a little reckless while playing in the park, Bethany knows it isn't smart to fall for the gorgeous footballer, but she'll do anything for her son. Even if it means getting her heart broken all over again.
After an injury sidelines him from the game he loves, Grant McQuaid has been doing everything he can to get back into tip-top shape and prove to everyone that he still has what it takes to play football. However, meeting Beth and her son puts a kink in his plans, and soon he begins to see that there's more to life than football. Can he convince Beth to give him a chance, or will his professional life interfere too much and chase Beth away for good?
I love Ms. Kline's books, and this first story in her Hidden Falls series was an incredible read. Right from the beginning, Ms. Kline drew me into this story with the close relationship the heroine has with her son and her determination to teach him right from wrong. There's nothing she wouldn't do for him, which is palpable when they meet the hero, even though she knows it's in her best interest not to be enticed by Grant's charming ways. Especially since he surprises Bethany with the way he interacts with her son so well.
As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories. Bethany's ex-husband is a real piece of work and it was understandable why she was so hesitant to get involved with Grant. What if she gave him a chance and he ended up being disappointed like her husband was? What would happen to her son if he began to get too attached to Grant and things didn't work out between them? However, there were also some really good light-hearted moments between the hero and heroine as well as the hero and Bethany's son. Grant is a wonderful role model for her son, and I enjoyed the interactions they had with each other. Their interactions prove to the heroine that she can learn to trust someone again.
I really liked both the main characters, as well as the secondary ones. Grant's family are warm and the way they accept Bethany and her son was delightful. However, in saying that, I could understand why Grant's dad was worried for her. His advice gives both the main characters a lot to think about, yet at the same time, it's advice that could bring them closer together, if Bethany can accept whatever Grant's future holds.
Bethany is a great mother, and I could understand why she would do anything to protect her son. She's also strong and brave for taking a chance on Grant, even knowing that things might not work out between them. Then again, Grant is different than her ex with the way he interacts with her son. He treats her son as if the boy was his own. While Grant, he's struggling with his injury and I could understand his frustrations. Would he be able to combat his injury to get back on the field to play? If he did, would he be endangering his life if he got hurt again? Grant faces a few tough obstacles, and I enjoyed reading how he faced each one. Bethany and her son are good for him, as they help him realize that there's more to life than getting back on the field, especially if there's a chance he may not be able to play again.
Overall, Ms. Kline has penned a strong romance between Grant and Bethany. There's so much chemistry, and even though Bethany tries to fight it, it's palpable that she wouldn't be able to stay away from Grant for long because the hero is a good man and treats her son like he's special to him. The way this story ended had me cheering for this couple's happy ever after, because Bethany deserved the love of a man willing to push past her fears and show her that she can trust a man again. I would recommend Making the Play by TJ Kline, if you enjoy sports romances or a hero willing to do whatever it takes to prove to the heroine that love is worth fighting for.