Winning The Player by Leesa Bow

Winning The Player
Written by Leesa Bow
Published April 14th 2014
266 Pages
Thank you to Destiny Romance and Netgalley
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When injury destroyed her dream of playing college basketball, Aubree Taylor fled overseas. Now she's finally home again and ready to move on with her life. Until she runs into Hunter Stone on her first night out, the only guy who's ever meant anything to her – and the last person she wants to see.

Since she ran out on him two years ago, Hunter hasn't been able to get Aubree off his mind. The sexy football star has had girls all over him for years, but Aubree is the only one to have ever seen behind the cocky persona he puts on for the crowd.

Despite her attempts to keep her distance, Aubree is unable to resist the strong attraction between them and it isn't long before they fall into a passionate relationship. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but Hunter's arrogance and inablity to trust are testing her to her limits. Aubree must decide whether to follow her heart and lower her guard…or risk losing the best thing that's ever happened to her.

Almost twenty one year old Aubree Taylor once had it all, but her future as a professional athlete was short lived when a knee injury ended her career three years ago. She then spent the next two years travelling, before now deciding to return home to Adelaide and moving home with her mother. Aubree has secured a new career at the community nursing home in administration, no longer having the luxury to explore her opportunities. Luckily she has Maddy for support, her bubbly and vivacious best friend. But Aubree has never told Maddy about the night she found herself in Hunter Stone's bedroom, a crush that was taken too far and caused Aubree to flee.

Since the night that Aubree walked out of his life, Hunter has never been the same. The womanising Australian Football League player is idolised by woman throughout the state, the tall, attractive Adelaide Blackbird's star knows what he wants and never needs to go without. Now that Aubree is back, he wants her and will stop at nothing until he has the only girl who has ever made him feel at ease.

But Aubree's heard it all before and she'll be damned if she'll become just another notch on the arrogant and self centered Hunter's bedpost. But Hunter wants more, he could have any women he wants, but with his sights set on Aubree, will she be able to resist him this time round?

My Thoughts

Winning The Player is the first Aussie footy based fiction I've come across and although I have an aversion to New Adult novels, I couldn't wait to read it. I found Aubree to be not only realistic, but charming in an offbeat sense. She isn't perfect, isn't self absorbed or finds herself fighting off men with her unnatural beauty. She's real. She represents how so many of us feel at one point or another, her future was all but shattered and she's struggling to pick up the pieces and move on. She's tough and doesn't need a man to make her feel loved or needed, she wants to pick herself up and make something of the life she's left with. Hunter on the other hand, I couldn't relate to him at all.

Hunter is an imbecile. He gives the reader the impression that there aren't many women in Adelaide that he hasn't slept with and that he has a reputation of being explosive in bed. I was so unimpressed that I was hoping someone would relive him of one of his testicles just so he would reign in his testosterone charged chest beating. I can understand that his character was an elite sportsman and his football was a way of life, but did he need to be the stereotypical sportsman that seem to dominate New Adult today?

Regardless, Leesa Bow has created characters that will invoke emotions in readers. Women will relate to Aubree and her quiet and reflective personality. This isn't your typical New Adult novel though, although it does feature very mild sex scenes, it just a natural progression of the storyline. It's not sex heavy and concentrates more on Aubree, healing and learning to start again. I only wish that Hunter was more than a stereotype, Aubree deserved so much more. Even if you don't love your footy as much as I do, the storyline is engaging, will keep you riveted and unable to put down. Definitely grab a copy of this one and give it a go.

Ms Bow, I shall leave you with... Go Pies. Humph. Blackbirds indeed. Very clever.


  1. Yay, I'm so glad you read this one Kelly and provided us with this great review! This was actually raved about at PTA Live so I'm interested. You don't get many books focusing on Aussie footballing life and this one sounds perfect. I'm glad you enjoyed it lovely!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. Thanks Jeann, it's the first one I've come across too. I really enjoyed it, apart from Hunter's character. He just grated on my nerves. But Aubree is lovely and you'll find yourself relating to her in one way or another. She's fabulously real.

  2. Aussie footballing life? I'm intrigued! Although, I don't typically read much New Adult or many romances, but I think I'm going to give an exception for this one. Thanks so much for sharing Kelly, and, as always, beautiful review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    1. I don't either Zoe, most new adult books leave me cringing. They all seem to be the same. But I love my footy and took a chance on this one and it wasn't your average NA. There was barely any sex in it at all, but more of a cat and mouse game of the two main characters getting together.

  3. Ohhh, well to be honest, I'm not keen on NA. Or football. DON'T SPEAR ME. It's just...they run around hugging each other about a ball? I...just. No. I just go back to reading my books. To be fair, though, I've never really understood many sports. Except for running. But that's zombie apocalypse training. SO. Probably not on my radar, but heck, that's quite the steamy cover...

    1. I think you might be thinking of Rugby League, AFL is much more manly. LOL. But you should watch some footy at least. You know, they're quite fast, so when the zombie apocalypse does roll around, you'll be able to jump on the nearest players back and ride to safety. Surely we're not expected to run ourselves?

  4. Brilliant review Kelly, although it really reminds me of a similar (ish) story I read on FictionPress a while back. Focused on AFL as well I believe, and definitely written AMAZINGLY.

    I prefer AFL over NRL (seriously, how does NRL even work?), but still not a huge fan of either. I'm more of a soccer fan. This novel sounds promising, thanks for sharing!

    1. I don't understand NRL at all either, you're not alone there. I've been a Collingwood supporter my whole life, I'm pretty footy mad actually. When the Pies are playing, you'll often see horrid Tweets, cursing and cracking it on Twitter. Can't say I understand soccer either though, when you're brought up in an AFL mad family, you don't have time for other sports.

  5. I’m a NRL fan coming from Queensland, State of Origin is a way of life for me. I felt very similar to you one this book. I really enjoyed it but wanted to take out Hunters eyes with something blunt and hurty. My family is netball mad, if netballs on everyone must shut up or risk death.

    Thanks for such a great review Kelly!


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