The End Game
By Kate McCarthy
Jordan Elliott is pursuing her dream. Having won a hard earned and much sort after international soccer scholarship, she has left her home town of Sydney, Australia and her beloved twin behind to follow her dreams and become women’s soccer next big thing.
Arriving in Texas, she is determined to focus all her energy into her studies and getting noticed for her mad soccer skills. What she doesn't want or need is to have her head turned and her mind overloaded with the distraction that is Brody Madden. But when she is asked to tutor him, her heart overrules her brain. Together they are sport royalty, but will they be able to hold onto their crowns?
Brody Madden is the star of his football team. The wide receiver that is expected to be snapped up in the next NFL draft, he lives, eats and sleeps football. But football is all he has that’s good, having struggled academically his whole life. Coming from a political family, being dyslexic is something that isn't acceptable. His father and mother have brushed it under the carpet and made him believe that he is stupid and will never succeed at anything… even football. When his new tutor suddenly believes in him, he sets out to prove to her that he isn't what his family or anyone else thinks of him; a dumb jock. But nothing comes easy and pressures finally take their toll. How do you make everyone believe you are something when you don’t believe it yourself?
Please do not let the fact that this book is classed as a sports romance put you off because this book is so much more than that. This book is a real journey for both main protagonists, but particularly for Brody. Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that is so easily dealt with and now commonly diagnosed. It doesn't have the stigma it once did, but for Brody it has ruined his life. The author tackles his and Jordan’s story with kid gloves and with a genuine sincerity. It is at times difficult to read as we reach the highs of the love that develops between them, and then the lows at watching Brody capitulate and freefall into a darkness caused by his unloving parents and the pressures he feels to be the best; no matter the consequence. It ripped my heart out, not just for him, but for the effect on the one person that believed he could be whatever he wanted to be. The love, trust and loyalty Jordan has for Brody is beautiful. The strength she gives him is limitless, but that soon becomes his obsession and then a crutch rather than a solution.
This is my first Kate McCarthy read and I feel like I have found a real gem of an author. Her writing is effortless and the depth of character and story she has created is addictive. It is emotional, angsty but also has spots of humour courtesy of Big Banana Boy, aka Jaxon, Brody’s cousin. It seriously covered all bases for me and it is a book that has shot into one of the best reads of 2015 for me.
If you are looking for an all-consuming, often tough but heartbreakingly good romance, this book is an absolute MUST READ. I highly recommend it!
Emma - 5 Crowns
“Professional athletes are pillars of their respective communities. They are heroes in the eyes of boys and girls and are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that positively represents their community.”
The public loves a good scandal. Seeing someone fall from the pinnacle of success makes a great headline. No one knows that better than I do. What started out as a promising career in college football, spiraled into scandal and shame.
But being a hero is easier said then done. Especially when there are those who expected to see the great Brody Madden fail. I craved nothing except being the best—willing to do anything to prove them wrong. But I went too far, and I tried too hard, and it broke me.
“At the time of going to print, Jordan Elliott was unavailable for comment.”
I met Brody Madden in my senior year of college. An Australian native on an international scholarship, I was the female soccer sensation with stars in her eyes and no room for a hotshot wide receiver with a chip on his shoulder.
But a heart bursting with ambition and a driving fire to succeed isn’t made of stone. I became his strength, his obsession, and the greatest love of his life. Only I wasn’t there when he needed me most.
This is a story about love and a game that takes everything. Where the path to glory is paved with sacrifice. Where pressure makes you, or breaks you, and triumph is born in the ashes of failure. Where two people’s end game will change everything.