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Hail Mary is the second book in Julianna Marley’s Maverick series. This can technically be read as a standalone but I would actually recommend checking the first in the series before jumping in here just to get a grip on the characters.
There’s attraction between these two from the get go but it’s more of a slow burn and I appreciated that. I liked that Whitney didn’t rush to fall into another relationship after her previous one fell apart, and that Shay didn’t try to change the kind of person he was, flaws and all, right away. It kept them authentic to me. When their relationship did start to shift, I was ready but more importantly, they were ready.
I loved that Shay didn’t apologize for the man he was, for the things he did. Once he opens up to Whitney about why he is the way he is (without giving anything away) I could totally understand where he was coming from.
There are a lot of supporting characters in this book and sometimes I felt that their story almost overshadowed Whitney and Shay’s-almost. I adored Shay’s family and I did like the rest of the supporting characters, I just needed a little less from them at times. Overall I enjoyed this book and would read the next in the series.
Peeling off the ridiculous black stickers from underneath her eyes, Whitney smirked. Had she really just done that? Good Lord her mama would have been horrified. But for as embarrassed as she was, the permanent smile on Charlotte’s face and the glow she had worn all night long while talking to people about her designs had been totally worth it. She had taken so many orders for clothing pieces that she feared she wouldn’t see her cousin until springtime. And Shay. That kiss still had her hands shaking as she threw the strips in the trashcan, running the washcloth under the warm water. She could still taste him on her mouth and she licked her lips again. Removing some makeup from her cheek, her chest grew heavy. It had been a long time since she had kissed a man. A real man. One who kissed with strength and purpose. Nothing like the mandatory quick pecks she had received from Adam over the course of their relationship. But nobody had ever felt like Shay had. She almost married a man whose kisses didn’t pack a punch with them the way Shay’s had, her stomach twisting at the thought. Dabbing off the heavy eyeliner she cleared her throat. The look on his face when he realized what they were doing could only be described as painful. As if he had just made the biggest mistake of his life. Men like Shay Cunningham didn’t come after women like her. It was just a fact. Which was fine, more than fine, actually, as it was better this way. She didn’t know the first thing about a professional athlete’s life and she should have stopped him the moment he grabbed her, but he had taken her by surprise. And he felt good. So good. Scrubbing the bright red lipstick from her mouth, shimmer smearing across her face, she heard loud pounding at the door. Dropping the washcloth into the sink she darted towards the front door. Magda had mentioned that Quinn had finally fallen asleep just a little before she arrived home. Swinging the door open quickly to end the banging, she saw Shay on her doormat, his hair damp looking like he just stepped out of an editorial magazine. Swiping his hand across his mouth slowly, she knew he was anxious. And Shay being anxious made her nervous. He was the most assertive, self-assured man she had ever met and he just stood there watching her, forcing the air to turn thick. “Hi,” she breathed. “Hi.” “Are you alright?” she asked swallowing against her dry throat. Nodding, he moved through the door slowly, stopping as his forehead met hers. Closing her eyes, her heart rammed against her chest so hard she was almost afraid that he could hear it. “Is Quinn awake?” “No,” she whispered, shaking her head as he walked her backwards, feeling his hands finding their way to her hips. “Is Charlotte home?” “No.” She closed her eyes again and he continued pushing her further inside the house. Curling her lips under, she peeked up at him. His face unmoving, his eyes searched hers and it felt like he was fighting a war. One that his life depended upon. “Why are you here, Shay?” “I’m not sure.”
About the Author:Julianna Marley is fairly certain that she was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line. She’s in constant search of warmth, sunshine and water. When not writing about all the places she yearns to be, she can be found enjoying obnoxious amounts of coffee and getting bossed around by a four year-old. Julianna loves romance, humor and football.