Review: The Rugby series (so far!) by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

Posted April 25th 2018 by The Faerie Queen in Reviews, Sports Romance Month / 0 Comments

Today is a bit different! I listened to all three books from the Rugby series last month for Sports Romance month and didn’t get round to reviewing them, but then I saw that there’s going to be a fourth book soon (!!!!!!!), and I wanted to make sure you all had a fair chance to binge the series so far before the release! And as an added bonus, the first book is currently FREE.

Because this is a bit different to my normal reviews, I’m popping all the book info after my reviews.

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The Faerie Queen’s series review

I am a big rugby fan. Well, international rugby. I don’t really watch too much local stuff, but then I don’t have access to live TV. (I’m a millennial and stream everything, m’kay.) I’m a South African, so rugby is sort of in my blood. Plus, my boyfriend is half English and half Welsh, and he used to play rugby in school and at uni, so I get caught up in the Six Nations as well as the World Cup and Championships. So why did it take me so long to read a romance series featuring rugby players, given how much I love sports romances?!

Together for Ireland

I learned about the Rugby series while at RARE in London a couple of months ago. I was checking out the Penny Reid queue when I noticed L.H. Cosway’s queue next to it. She had a lot of great-looking books advertised, but the Rugby series stood out to me. First of all, rugby. Second of all, how fun are the covers?! I knew I had to give them a try, right then and there.

As a whole, I really enjoyed the series. It introduced characters that were fun but flawed, and oftentimes what looked like flaws but were actually hiding the best things about the characters. (Sean.) There was humour in each book, but also lots of soul-searching with a dash of angst. Something I noticed in all of the books is that everyone seems to have terrible parents??? Seriously, everyone seemed to be having parental issues, or guardians for some characters. Also, one thing I personally would have liked a bit more of was more talk of the working out and actual rugby, but that is probably just me.

Penny and L (what is your naaaame) work really well together, so I’m glad they’re sticking it out with more books. I’m getting The Voyeur & the Vet as soon as it’s out on Audible (because I cannot resist sexy Irish accents)!!!

And now for the breakdown…

The Hooker and the Hermit

While a great start to the series, this was my least favourite book. There was comedy, there was relatability (with the heroine), there was sass. But there was also a lack of sizzle.

I felt Ronan was a bit too overbearing, so instead of being swept off the page by their amazing chemistry, I felt stifled by him. He was very much an alpha male, both in and out of bed. I don’t know if it’s a sign of me getting older, but this sort of thing doesn’t float my boat as much as it used to. I don’t mind an alpha as long as he’s respectful, but Ronan came across more controlling than I liked. And in turn, Annie was a little more passive than I want in a heroine. I guess that’s what made them perfect for each other. It’s almost like she needed someone to take care of her; yeah, she was doing great without him, but Ronan’s big, strong maleness gave her a solid base to explore outside her comfort zone.

And yes, I appreciate I just made Ronan’s domineering personality out to be a good thing. I guess it personally would piss me off, but it works for Annie, and that’s what really matters.

I’d say my favourite thing about the book was probably Annie sans lack of a backbone. She runs a successful blog (the source of sass), she’s great at her job, and she loves food. I love people who love food.

All in all, read this one to get an introduction to the Irish rugby team and other side characters, as book 2 wouldn’t be the same without the backstory shown in book 1, and so on. They might each focus on a different couple, but this is a sequential series, best enjoyed in order.

The Player and the Pixie

Of the three books out so far, this was my favourite. Why? Because I did not expect it to ever fall for the hero, Sean Cassidy. I already felt an affinity to Lucy Fitzpatrick, Ronan’s sister, what with her rainbow hair and desire to break free from her mother’s control. But Sean? The idiot from the first book? Nope.

And yet, lo and behold, I fell head over heels for this rather vain guy who likes to splurge on skincare products. Because it turns out he likes taking care of himself (not a crime) only half as much as he likes spoiling the people he cares about. And – here’s the winner – he sucks in bed. No seriously, he’s awful, and he knows it. But he doesn’t know how to improve, and women throw themselves at him just because he’s famous, so he fills his loneliness up with meaningless one night stands.

UNTIL LUCYYYYYY. Oh wow, I’m getting all giddy just remembering this. He and Lucy strike up a deal to help him with his shoddy lack of technique, and their secret rendesvous become so much more. It went from oh so hilarious to mmmmmm sexy in the best way. Ugh, I am falling in love all over again. I wish all guys accepted their lack of skill and then actually tried to do something about it. It’s such a rare quality.

This book was glorious and what really turned me on to these two authors!

The Cad and the Co-ed

Once again, we’re introduced to both main characters in the previous book. But this time, it’s not too much of a spoiler. This book is a “secret baby” book, and from what I gather, it was a bit of a dare from one friend to another to write it. Sean’s cousin, Eilish, managed to get knocked up the night she lost her virginity, and she kept the baby. While this would have terrified me, she took it like a champ and followed through, and good thing, too, because her kid was THE CUTEST. Meanwhile, Bryan was an alcoholic and remembered nothing.

Fast forward five years, and Bryan is sober. And you know what? Sober Bryan is the greatest. He likes to spend his evenings at home reading and yelling at his neighbours to keep the noise down. Plus, when he learns he’s a dad, it’s like everything in his life aligns properly, and he just thinks this kid is awesome. To be fair, the kid is awesome. Bryan will do anything for Patrick, and he wants nothing more than to become a family. I love it to the moon and back.

Eilish is pretty cool in her own right. Remember, she had a kid and, after being shunned by her family, shipped off to the US to go to study while raising a baby on her own. Yes, she had to change her degree to juggle her responsibilities as a single mom, but then she became a physiotherapist, and for the Irish rugby team, no less! Is this a good moment to tell you that I used to watch the physios run onto the field and wish I could be them. (And then I went and studied occupational therapy, oops.) Eilish is an awesome mom, fierce and protective and caring. She understands that Patrick and Bryan should have a chance at a relationship, but she’s so scared that she’ll lose Patrick, and she is prepared to fight for him.

Honestly, the three of them (plus Monkey Sean) are such an amazing trio together. But the rest of the family can go fudge themselves.

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The Hooker and the Hermit

Review: The Rugby series (so far!) by L.H. Cosway and Penny ReidAuthor: L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid
Narrator: Lucy Rivers, George Allen
Series: Rugby #1
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release date: June 2nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Pages: 339
Length: 12 hours and 23 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Kobo | Audible

By using some of the above links, you're helping to support the running of LiatoF. Thank you!

Star rating:
Heat rating: three-half-flames

New York’s Finest
Blogging as The Socialmedialite
April 22

LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!

You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.

Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together. What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

The Hooker and the Hermit is a collaboration between authors L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid, is a full length 100k word novel, and is a standalone.

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The Player and the Pixie

Review: The Rugby series (so far!) by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Author: L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid
Narrator: George Allan, K.C. Sheridan
Series: Rugby #2
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Release date: April 12th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Pages: 364
Length: 10 hours and 20 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Kobo | Audible

By using some of the above links, you're helping to support the running of LiatoF. Thank you!

Star rating:
Heat rating: three-half-flames

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?

THE PIXIE
Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby. As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.

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The Cad and the Co-Ed

Review: The Rugby series (so far!) by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Author: L.H. Cosway, Penny Reid
Narrator: George Allan, K.C. Sheridan
Series: Rugby #3
Publisher: Cipher-Naught
Release date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Pages: 306
Length: 10 hours and 57 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Add to TBR: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US | The Book Depository | Kobo | Audible

By using some of the above links, you're helping to support the running of LiatoF. Thank you!

Star rating:
Heat rating: three-flames

Keeping a secret this big is going to take lots of balls. Specifically, rugby balls.

THE CAD
Bryan Leech is a cad. Or, he *was* a cad. No one is quite certain. Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he's done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can't remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he's cleaning up his act. The only problem is, no one believes him.

THE CO-ED
Eilish Cassidy never thought she'd be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she's finally managed put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship. The only problem is, her best option-by far-places her directly in the path of her son's father, and he doesn't remember her at all.

THE PLAN
Bryan is determined to prove he's changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he's got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar. Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She'll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires. But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she's unforgettable?

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About L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.

About Penny Reid

Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

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