Series: Dreamspun Desires 73
Author: Louisa Masters
Length: Novel (209 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (1 Jan 2019)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: Sometimes love takes balls.
Newly retired championship footballer Simon Wood is taking on his next challenge. His plan for a charity to provide funding for underprivileged children to pursue football as a career has passed its first hurdle: he has backers and an executive consultant. Now it’s time to get the ball rolling.
Lucien Morel, heir to the multibillion-euro Morel Corporation, is shocked—and thrilled—to learn his father has volunteered him as consultant to a fledgling football charity. Better yet, the brains behind it all is heartthrob Simon Wood, his teenage idol and crush.
Although Simon and Lucien get off on the wrong foot, it’s not long before they’re getting along like a house on fire—sparks included. But with the charity under public scrutiny, can their romance thrive?
Review: The Athlete and the Aristocrat by Louisa Masters is the author’s most recent contribution to the Dreamspun Desires line by Dreamspinner Press. Doing the whole, judging a book by its cover, I was instantly taken in. A hot, rich, powerful, smart aristocrat and an equally hot, rich, powerful and smart athlete are thrown together when the titular athlete wants to set up a new foundation for children in need who do not have the access to equipment or their parents don’t have the time or money to allow kids to follow their dreams. It’s all noble intentions and a literary turn on in the world of romance for me.
A quick side note before I dive into the story, I looked forward to this book because I have previously enjoyed Louisa Master’s writing. It’s simple in the fact that the language the author uses gave me an instant connection to her characters. The other note that I would like to make is that although this book is not part of a series by Masters, we are brought back into the world of European elegance and riches which we first encountered in The Bunny and the Billionaire and even get to check in with three of the characters from that book. For me that was a bit of a thrill.
Back to the story at hand, The Athlete and the Aristocrat introduces us to retired professional footballer Simon Wood (*clears throat* as Ben, the “bunny” from The Bunny and Billionaire says in his brief appearance here “it’s soccer in Australia!”) and billionaire of the highly influential Morel family and their corporation, Lucien Morel. The little bit of cuteness in their background is that Lucien secretly had a crush on Simon while Simon was playing soccer and in fact convinced his father that Simon’s proposal for a charity had just as much merit as a charity for education and food for kids from struggling families. However, these guys have a bumpy road to their HEA, which is what kept me intrigued with this story. There is no doubting the attraction between Simon and Lucien, however, they did need to take time to get to know each other before taking the risk of mixing business with pleasure.
I think this story has a series of popular themes which will satisfy anyone who is attracted to these types of romances that include the whole fairy-tale ending for the brooding rich guy and the kind-hearted guy that steps into his life.