When I Need You
Book 4 in the Need You series
Author Lorelei James
Narrated by Lidia Dornet, Roger Wayne
Publication date Sep 26, 2017
Running time 9 hrs 21 min
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
Heir to Lund Industries and ladies’ man Jensen “The Rocket” Lund has three conditions when it comes to dating:
1) No single mothers
2) No cheerleaders
3) No medical personnel
So it makes no sense that he’s wildly attracted to Rowan Michaels, who breaks all three.
Rowan didn’t pass the rigorous requirements to become an athletic trainer and Vikings cheerleader in the hopes of landing a pro athlete. Been there, done that, and she has a young son as proof that football players and fidelity don’t go hand in hand. When Rowan learns her new neighbor is Jensen Lund, the smoking-hot tight end who takes being neighborly to a whole new level, she’s grateful for the team’s strict no fraternization policy because the sexy man defines temptation.
But Jensen is intent on rushing straight to the goal line to prove to Rowan he’s much more than just a player . . . on and off the field. https://tantor.com/when-i-need-you-lorelei-james.html
Although this series is steamy, erotic and, a guilty pleasure, there’s something about them that never fails to really touch my heart, my mind, or a nerve.
In this story, a pro-Football player with the Minnesota Vikings, and one of many heirs to a huge family corporation headed by his brothers and cousins, has had a brush with a seriously scary injury and decides that there’s more to life than having his wick waxed by anonymous fans. He has already figured this out when he meets his friend’s sister, Rowan, a single mother of a child more into dance than sports. He doesn’t recognize her even though she was a cheerleader at his college and is still a member of the Vikings’ cheering team. So, even if she is attracted to him, she can be pissed at him for not remembering her and want to distance herself from him because he is a football player.
But he has his rules against which women he won’t date, and Rowan hits them all. Having had bad football player experiences herself, she has rules that exclude him from a potential lover. Add to the mix a corporate ban on relationships between the players and any potential relationship is doomed from the start, right? But, love resists all obstacles and you know they will end up together.
The couple eventually understand their rules are based on generalizing the problems they have had with a few people to an entire population. But as far as the corporate rule goes, It is eventually pointed out that even though the rule applies to both the players and the cheerleaders, the players will not be penalized for a relationship but the cheerleaders will be kicked out of the program. While it may be a stretch, in this point it is obvious that women are abused by “corporate structure” and not just by individuals. And, James points out that cheer leading is a grueling and demanding athletic endeavor, but is viewed by our culture as fluff, while football is seen as a “real sport.”
In addition to a quiet, but astute, poke at this salient and important issue, James makes these characters interesting with fun or poignant quirks and issues. For example, Rowan’s son is a little effeminate and enjoys dance more than martial arts. Rowan initially struggled with this because she understood the kind of bullying young, male dancers can endure and it took her a while to figure out her son was going to dance — even if it meant turning a martial arts exhibition into a dance performance.
I remember the personalities and issues more than the steamy sex; for contemporary, steamy, romance series that is saying a lot. This is written in first person, but not the go-pro camera, immediate present — more like a recounting of what happened rather than a play-by-play.
I also like the narrators – they offer good voices to the characters, even Rowan’s son.
This one is a win-win for me and I have enjoyed the series. So, if you seek a contemporary steamy with substance where rule-breaking is applauded then this might be the series for you. While I don’t think you need to have read the entire series, it’s helpful, character-wise and for the series history, to have some understanding of what is happening.