Monday, March 14, 2016

Jackson's Trust - Violet Duke

Rating: 4 Stars
Published: March 2016
ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon Goodreads
Jackson Gray knows a football fan when he sees one and the new sideline reporter, Leila Hart, is just that. There's something about her, and the twinkle in her eye, that draws him to her and when she opens up her witty mouth he's a lost cause, even though he doesn't believe in anything more than one night stands. Leila never intended to develop feelings for a coworker, she's used to guy friends, but Jackson is another man entirely, he believes in her, even though he doesn't know everything about her. When secrets start being out in the open though, Leila and Jackson find themselves more than willing to push past their personal boundaries and enjoy their feelings for one another, both never expecting the other shoe to drop.

"You make me want things I shouldn’t hope for, shouldn’t even imagine I can keep."

Sports romances can be really awesome or they can be a complete bust, it all depends on the reader and their true knowledge/love of the game and if the writer has really lived up to that sport or made it an after thought. Jackson's Trust is exactly what I would call a great sports romance, as a fan of football (but not over zealous) I really liked that this felt real, for some it may be over the top, but I didn't get lost at all. There wasn't any lengthy play by plays, really just the briefest description of the sport in general and of each character's reactions during big sports moments, but for me that just built up the world of the main characters. I hate when a female character is "such a huge fan," but I can't remember a single time in the book when the character actually seemed to have knowledge of the sport itself. Violet Duke does sports romance fans everywhere justice with Jackson's Trust, because it's all you should ever want out of a sports romance and then some.

Main characters Leila and Jackson are sort of like mirror images of one another, with equally private secrets and intense love of football, it was almost too good of a match up to be true. However, their slow development of emotions kept me hanging onto their every move. It was the kind of book where I knew something good would come of all the buildup and I wouldn't ditch being this couples third wheel for anything. The best part, though, was how much real life took place for the characters. I didn't feel like I was living in Jackson and Leila's world, I felt like I was living in the world of high stakes sports broadcasting, typical wealthy family drama, and a romance that defied past precedence. Then the secrets come out and I was still hooked, the secrets were good secrets, I could work with them. Totally loved what it did for them as a couple too. Then the big twist comes and, I'm serious about this, I set my Kindle down like it was on fire, repeated nope and no about 100 times, and walked away at 75%. You could not have paid me to finish Jackson's Trust within the first few hours after I reached 75%. I chose bed over reading, I never choose to go to bed over reading. However, like all readers, I have to know what happens and when I opened back up to that 75% mark to finish Jackson's Trust the next morning I got everything out of it I could have hoped for. Yes, the twist is huge, yes I hated it, but oh the things it did for this story and the characters. This book was a huge success in my opinion, because Violet Duke took a handful of cliches and a subject a lot of authors seem to struggle with and provided this piece of writing that stole all my attention and did it so very well. The writing is superb and it's a complete stand-alone novel, I love that.

Unfortunately, besides the detail that goes into football, there is a lot of detail that goes into the talking scenes between the main characters. Some of it is funny and witty, some of it is downright exhausting. There's a scene, with the use of the word "they," that absolutely made me want to throw a tantrum. It's got a purpose, I totally took from it what Violet was going for, but it was a lot and it got confusing. There's also scenes that I couldn't pinpoint what they were doing for the story, even though they were enjoyable moments. Then the twist comes, and like I said I liked what it did in the end, but it totally came out of left field, you could not have surprised me more. I like surprises, give me twists, but goodness don't toss it in there right after the moment when I was like "I could end the book right now and it would be rainbow and butterflies."

Despite my minor complaints, I was really surprised with how great Jackson's Trust was. This was my first read by Violet Duke, but I don't plan on it being my last, especially since the sequel to Jackson's Trust is about Bennett, the always obnoxious and completely hilarious best friend of Jackson. I really loved the slow buildup of Jackson's Trust and I can see most of my reader friends loving that too. The characters are all interesting, Violet's unique writing style immerses you right into the story, and I never got bored, that's for sure.

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