I don’t care for reunited lovers stories, especially when those lovers were teenagers when they met. So I started this book thinking, “ugh,” but it wasn’t long before I was thinking, “Kat Latham, I’m sorry I doubted you, I love you forever.” Seriously, every book in this series (Knowing the Score, Playing it Close, Tempting the Player) has been fun, emotional, and sexy, plus the heroines always kick ass.
Ash is retiring from rugby. His team has just won the championship and he knows that it’s better to go out on top. He doesn’t have any plans for retirement other than to get drunk, eat as much cheese as he wants, and eat boxes of fudge.
Camila has traveled halfway around the world for Ash’s help. When she was sixteen and he was eighteen, they met on holiday in Spain and Ash was finally able to lose his virginity. He’d just been signed to the Legends and was not about to jeopardize his career by committing to a girl from California, so they said a teary goodbye at the airport and Camila promised to write.
Their reunion isn’t happy, because they both have misconceptions about the other. But Camila is desperate. She owns a youth camp on a lake near Los Angeles, but the bank is about to foreclose on it. The camp means everything to Camila, so she hopes that her ex-boyfriend will come and turn some troubled teens into a prize-winning (and camp-saving) rugby team. She doesn’t tell him that he’ll be coaching a girls’ team.
I’m going to tell you all the ways that this book could have gone wrong. Ash and Camila could have held on to secrets and recriminations for half the book. They didn’t; they confronted their past early in the book and moved forward. They could have flashed back to their hot teen love affair, reminiscing how sex was never better. I hate that scenario the most; it makes my eyeballs burn. Thankfully they didn’t dwell. They were teens, Ash was a virgin, it didn’t rule their lives. Ash could have moaned and complained about coaching girls. He didn’t. He loves rugby, and the more people he can share that love with, the better. And those misfit teen girls could have been annoying stereotypes, but they weren’t. They had just enough screen time to show off Ash’s awesomeness.
Now, here are some things that Ash says:
“You lot [Americans] used to be great at rugby, but then you decided you liked American football better. Worst decision since the American Revolution.”
“Being a girl is not a disability. Boobs, periods, cramps…I know you’ve got them, but I don’t give a monkey’s toss about them.”
“[The girls] are that horrible in-between age when everyone’s telling them to be as responsible as adults but without letting them enjoy the freedoms adults get. I’ll be constricting their lives enough over the next month. Letting them drop the f-bomb is the least I can do.”
I admit I’m very Ash-centric in this review, but Camila is pretty tough, too. She’s pulled herself up out of a crappy childhood and she’s impacted the lives of so many kids. She also appreciates how Ash looks in his rugby shorts, and knows that sleeping with him again is a bad idea because he’ll return to London. But then she thinks, “I eat chocolate and ice cream and enchiladas and tamales, even though I know they’ll turn to fat and have bad long-term consequences. I eat them because they make me feel temporarily good. Having sex with you will be the same. It’s going to hurt in the end, but I’ve started to think you’re worth the heartbreak.”
So, a lot of creative rugby training happens, and Camila and Ash sneak through windows, and campers toilet paper the trees, and then there’s a gut punch, and Ash loves his rugby brothers but does he love Camila more??? It meshes perfectly with the rest of the series and made me happy.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Taming the Legend
by Kat Latham
Release Date: May 11, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press