Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Stacy Travis’s He’s A Keeper is an apt reminder of her capacity for writing a contemporary romance that engages its reader. As the first book of a new series, this story draws you in from its prologue with the hero, Holden, who is publicly and humiliatingly dumped. Talk about a hook to engage a reader in the story.
Chapter 1 begins two years later, where we find Holden sworn off women and living his life for his sport: soccer. He’s eschewed relationships and decided to focus on making his dream come true: being chosen for the Premier League in Europe. Unfortunately, he injures himself, and his dream is put on hold as he recovers. With too much time on his hands, he needs connection, so he spends time with his niece at the local library. There, he meets Molly, the quirky, beautiful children’s librarian who, we find, feels uncomfortable with reading to the children.
Molly holds down two jobs: one as a librarian at a private school and the other as the children’s librarian at the public library. Unfortunately, her second job is on the line to be cut if she doesn’t find ways to bring people to the library. When she meets Holden and determines he’s a great partner with children’s storytime, she asks him to help her. Unbeknownst to her initially, she doesn’t realize he’s a famous professional soccer player. At first, she sees a man trying to forgo his responsibility to his niece. With a gruff exterior meant to dissuade others from attaching to him, Molly begins to see something more in him. She starts to feel an attraction to him which she fights because her past, like his, is also complicated. Unfortunately for them, but thankfully for Travis’s readers, these two cannot help but begin to fall for each other. However, the future holds complications. Will they find their happy ending?
As a beta-reader for Ms. Travis, I found myself gobbling her manuscript in a little over a day. With the exception of some story issues, Holden and Molly’s chemistry draws you further into He’s A Keeper. The complications of their pasts and the actions they take to forgo falling for each other becomes child’s play to the love that develops between the two. Travis deftly balances their progression of characterization with the spiciness of romance, keeping you engaged in her story.
There is a certainty to Stacy Travis as a writer. The ease of her style along with her indelible story pacing ensure that future stories are must-reads. As for this reader, I cannot wait for book 2 of her newest series, San Francisco Strikers. He’s A Keeper had made me a fan of Travis’s sports romances.
In love and romance,