The All-Star Antes Up by Nancy Herkness (Wager of Hearts, Book 2)
Publisher & Release: Montlake Romance, May 31, 2016
Time and setting: Present Day, NYC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 354 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
“No strings, no rings.” That’s Luke Archer’s motto. As the champion quarterback for the New York Empire—not to mention a self-made billionaire—Luke has given up on serious relationships. Women only want him for one thing: the thrill of being with a superstar. And he likes it that way too. But when his best friend announces he’s retiring from football to spend time with his wife and kids, Luke feels like he’s missing out on something much bigger than his career.
The assistant concierge in Luke’s luxury high-rise, Miranda Tate fled her family’s dairy farm to come to the bright lights of New York City. She works hard to move up and sends her spare earnings home to her brother. When she and Luke meet, there’s an instant sexual attraction which turns steamy quickly, but they’re in completely different leagues. Could Miranda be just the woman Luke needs to win the most important game of his life?
Add to Goodreads:
This is the second book in Nancy Herkness’ Wager of Hearts series. I read the first book, The CEO Buys In, several months ago and was eagerly waiting for this one to be released when I found it on Net-Galley. Of course, I requested it. As with Book 1, The All-Star Antes Up is a great read.
Although Luke Archer agreed to the wager, he doesn’t have time to look for his true love since he’s in the middle of football season and with a mysterious pain in his shoulder causing him problems, he has to keep his attention on his game. When his brother’s misbehavior has him running interference, the last thing he expects is to find the woman who just might be THE ONE.
As hard as he tries to keep it casual, his heart wants the exact opposite. Can he ask her to wait, or should he break it off and let her go?
I enjoyed the easy banter between Miranda and Luke. The pacing is great, and the story kept me entertained from start to finish. Both characters are easy to like. Miranda is feisty and independent. Luke is, of course, a hunk, but better yet, a really nice guy. The chemistry between them sizzles and only gets hotter as the story unfolds.
While sports romance is not my cup of tea, I could appreciate the research Ms. Herkness did regarding the football scenes. She obviously has a great love of the game, and it came through in her writing. She also must have done her research on dairy farming as well, since that was in Miranda’s storyline.
I thoroughly enjoyed Miranda and Luke’s love story and absolutely loved their “happily ever after.” I can’t wait for Gavin’s story. He’s the third person involved in the wager and so far, his character has been a bit of the instigator. I think his story could very well be the best one of the three. If you enjoy a light-hearted read with great characters, then you will want to read The All-Star Antes Up. Happy reading!