The Challenger (The Hustlers Trilogy Book 2) by Rowan Rossler – Review by Dr. Anya Schultz

The Challenger: A Sports Romance Saga (The Hustlers Trilogy Book 2)The Challenger: A Sports Romance Saga by Rowan Rossler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Challenger is a story about two people who are famous (within their fields), but have a lot of baggage and no capacity for love. Chavez is a pro tennis player who over the last year has gone downhill due to family issues, separating from his fiance, and issues with rage. While waiting for his therapist, he meets Flynn, a writer and motivational speaker. Both of these individuals are not in the place to add someone to their life but are unusually drawn to each other. The two of them are honest but shady about the hardships they are going through, but they are so attracted to each other that much of these feelings are ignored and sex and attraction are replaced as the fix-all. They are both trying to regain their lives, Chavez is trying to get back to tennis and Flynn is trying to start a new writing adventure. While all this is occurring, each of them are dealing with many other problems – Chavez has no coach and issues with his parents since the breakup – Flynn is trying to deal with a stalker that has been around for over a year. They decide to explore their feelings but in a messed up way – she becomes his coach for the amateur rounds of tennis and starts to travel around the world with him. This tour around the world brings them closer and closer together and each is finding puzzle pieces to becoming whole again. Flynn however is hiding a lot of information while Chavez is basically confessing his love. Flynn starts to realize that she loves him but doesn’t want him messed up in her history. Is there a way where the past can be healed and a future of happiness can prevail?
This book was okay. I did enjoy the premise of the story, but I thought the author left some things to be desired. For example, the sexy, steamy attraction the two characters had you could tell was there but she left a lot to the imagination – I would have preferred to have it written right on the page. The chemistry between the characters was good but I didn’t really enjoy the characters themselves. I didn’t really find anything special about either of the characters. I do like how you could see Chavez become more and more vulnerable, but it was a little hard to believe in a 25-year-old kid with anger issues – I guess that development though was intriguing. Flynn was an everyday female who came across as educated, brave, and well-rounded but I felt she just took a back seat to female characters. However, I did like that the disagreement that climaxed in the book didn’t take over the entire thing – quick resolve, but believable.

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