☆☆➹⁀☆ 3.5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
The whole world might be in love with him. But all he’s ever loved is her.
Grant Turner’s name is synonymous with football. The fans and media can’t get enough of the player known as The Invincible Man, a nickname he earned while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and the nickname he’s kept by being one of the best players in professional football today. No one can take him down. He’s unstoppable.
But even a suit of armor has its weak point, and Grant’s has always been Ryan Hale.
They were a couple of kids when they fell in love, and just when it looked like the happy ending neither expected was within reach, Ryan disappeared. No explanations. No good-byes.
Grant coped by throwing himself into the game for seven years, and he’s finally moved on. Or so he thinks.
When she walks back into his life, all of those feelings come crashing back, despite the warnings in his head that tell him she’ll leave him again. Grant can withstand the league’s toughest defensive line, but he’s always been weak where she’s concerned.
No man can take Grant Turner down.
But one woman certainly can.
One woman will.
Touching Down by Nicole Williams is a second-chance-at-love romance. While predictable, it is an engaging story that you can’t help but like. Ms. Williams’ tale is well-paced and well-written. The author’s plot twists add some interesting texture to the tried-and-true second-chance-at-love story. The main characters are individually likable. They are both good hearted and well-intentioned. Grant Turner and Ryan Hale meet in their rough childhood neighborhood. Both have neglectful parents, and they find their real family with each other and a neighborhood matriarch, Aunt May. There are not too many words devoted to the main characters’ back story. Ms. Williams’ provides just enough to create empathy for Grant and Ryan. Touching Down focuses more on their present reconnection.
Grant Turner is a good man. He has not let his success as a professional football play turn his head or change his moral fiber. He enjoys the benefits of fame and wealth, but he doesn’t get sucked into the vices that often tempt professional athletes. Grant maintains his ties to his childhood neighborhood and the woman who raised him. The only thing missing is the love of his life. Aunt May’s intervention saved Ryan Hale. Grant’s friendship and love bolstered her; it also presented her with a momentous challenge. Challenges can make or break you, and Ryan was not going to be broken. She did what was needed to survive (no spoilers here, so you’ll have to read the book to get the details).
While I found both Grant and Ryan likable, I did not feel a strong passion between them. Their love was based on friendship and familiarity. The relationship felt like that of a long-married couple—stable and secure without angsty rollercoaster emotions and games. I appreciated the slow-burn of their relationship as opposed to the ever-popular “instant love”. Ryan’s altruistic choices and Grant’s quick forgiveness come from the strong foundation of their love for one another.
Touching Down is a story of survival. It is a story of shared hardships, and it is a story of shared triumphs. There is an uplifting message about never giving up in this straight-forward love story that will warm your heart.
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