Author: Charles Martin
Publisher: Center Street
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
From New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin, when a man wins everything only to lose it, he recognizes the love of his life is the only thing worth having.Review:
Twelve years ago Matthew "The Rocket" Rising had it all. Married to his high school sweetheart and graduating as one of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of college football, he was selected as the #1 pick in the NFL. But on the night of the draft, after reaching the pinnacle of success, he plummeted. Accused of a crime with irrefutable evidence, he lost everything--his career, his reputation, his freedom, and the love of his life.
Having served his sentence and never played a down of professional football, he walks out of prison with one goal--to win back his wife, Audrey, whom no one has seen since the trial. He returns to an unwelcoming reception from his hometown only to discover that Audrey has taken shelter from the media and the outside world at a convent. As chance would have it, there she has found a young man with the ability to have the football career Matthew should have had. All he needs is the right coach. Though helping the boy means Matthew violates the conditions of his release and, if discovered, will be forced to return to prison for the rest of his life, he's willing to take this singular chance to prove his innocence and win back Audrey's love.
I want to start off by saying I'm not a huge fan of football...never have and never will be. I blame my brothers for that. I say that because even though I'm not a fan of football, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it as a backdrop in a story.
Charles Martin has a wonderful ability to tell a story and weave every aspect together in away where it flows. There was nothing choppy or left me questioning...unless it was meant to, and my goodness how I was asking questions at the beginning when we are introduced to Sister Lynn as she was helping a kid work through his football training.
Audrey, when introduced is a young woman, hard pressed to help her new husband Matthew. She's been with him through thick and thin, through everything as he worked his way to the majors and has been beside him the whole way. She is just as well known as he is. She is tough, but also loving to Matthew and helps keep him humble.
As things happen and everything starts to unravel, Audrey does what she can to protect herself from everything that has happened. Matthew changes as well and he is a broken man, a man who has lost everything he has ever hoped for, and despite what has been placed against him, he still fights for his innocence and for the truth to be known.
The struggles that Audrey and Matthew both face on their new lives is hard. It shapes them and leads them to who they will become. Matthew's fight for freedom and Audrey's desire to keep away from the nightmare that unfolded around her. We witness all of this from Matthew's perspective. It was an interesting way to watch the story unfold.
This is an emotional story that keeps you turning the pages. You want what is right to win and you hope that these characters come out OK.
4 out of 5
About the Author:
Special Guest Post
A Conversation with Charles Martin
Author of A LIFE INTERCEPTED
At a speaking event, an audience member once called out, “You write like a girl!” and it used to ding me when readers waved my books in my face and stated, “You write love stories.” Made me feel like a windswept Fabio should be posing on my covers. I’d scratch my head and glance over my shoulder. “Why can’t I write cool, guy-stuff like Vince Flynn, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, W.E.B Griffin, or Louis L’Amour? What’s wrong with me?” But while I enjoy those stories and admire those writers, deep down I don’t want to write like them. It took me a while to see that. To be okay with being me. I like what I write. That’s why I write it. I used to joke that I write like me cause I can’t write like them. I quipped, “If I could, I would.” We both know that’s not true.
I’m writing the stories in me that I can’t NOT write, regardless of how they come across. When that lady stood up and screamed, “You write like a girl!” she was affirming that I write with emotion. That I don’t bury it. That I say things that her heart and others’ hearts need and want to hear. And yes, that goes for me, too. And I’m okay with that.
Us guys are good at living out of one side of our hearts but we stumble when it comes to living fully out of both sides. (This goes for me, too. Just cause I’m talking about the idea doesn’t make me a pro.) We’re good at storming the castle, at slaying the dragon, but we ain’t too good at dinner table conversations in the weeks, months, and years ahead. “Good with sword and spear” does not necessarily equate to “good at listening to wife” or “good at engaging with kids.” Maybe my stories are my attempt to awaken this part of my own heart.
Thank you to the Hachette Book Group, I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest opinion.