Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell: Review

Posted November 30, 2016 in review Tags: , ,

Hail Mary by Nicola Rendell: ReviewHail Mary by Nicola Rendell

Genres: Sports Romance
Also by this author: Just Like That

A funny, naughty, dirty *standalone* sports romance...

At a boxing gym in Chicago, Mary Monahan accidentally knocks out the most handsome man she’s ever met. After she wakes him up with a few slaps and some smelling salts, the very first thing he does is ask her out for ribs and beer. His name is Jimmy. He looks like a Gillette model. And he’s just too hunky to resist.

Jimmy “The Falcon” Falconi is mystified that Mary has absolutely no idea who he is. Mystified and refreshed. He is, after all, not your everyday NFL quarterback. He shops at Costco, has a soft spot for Pinterest, and is in the midst of an epic losing streak.

Jimmy falls for Mary fast and hard, the way he does everything—balls out and like it’s fourth and long. And he realizes he’s finally met his match. That stamina he’s so proud of? Doesn’t stand a chance against her Kegels.

But what they don’t know is she’s also his new physical therapist, recently hired by the Bears to work on his rotator cuff…and groin injury. If she can’t help him, he’ll be traded faster than they can say “offensive penetration.”

In spite of the thousands of internet memes featuring Jimmy’s face with captions like: “HEY GIRL, WANT TO TOUCH MY BALLS?” Mary finds herself falling for him and his unrelenting desire to make her his.

Until a toddler shows up at Jimmy’s door.

And throws their lives into total chaos.


To the reader: Sweet. Safe. HEA. This is a comedy that gets very dirty, so be advised. Other tasters' notes: Hints of honey and champagne. And a feisty little dog named Frankie Knuckles.

Hail Mary is my first Nicola Rendell book and honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect! I was interested because it features a sports hero and I always enjoy those stories. The humor of the story left me pleasantly surprised! I didn’t expect to actual laugh out loud at several parts.

So, Jimmy, the hero, is a QB for the Chicago Bears. He isn’t a very good one though. Since taking over as starter, the team has lost all 5 games. He isn’t this amazing, record setting player. He plays to earn enough money to make sure his niece is set for life. He has never been a Super Bowl hero or anything like that. It was refreshing to have a sports romance with a hero that ISN’T a Heisman winning, all American football God. He is humble and very down to Earth. He has a diversified portfolio including commercials and car dealerships. The heroine, Mary, has no idea who he is, but thinks she has seen him in a Gillette commercial. It isn’t until she meets him at Soldier Field that she realizes he is still an active football player! Mary is newly assigned as his PT. I liked her. She is spunky and humorous.

I was a bit surprised by the depth of the characters’ pasts. You learn that Mary has an ex boyfriend with a history of violence. Jimmy has a twin brother who just might be the devil incarnate. But, that twin brother is the father of Jimmy’s beloved niece. So, again, not what I expected. You have these humorous interactions between characters, then these deep moments that show a darker past than anticipated. Frankly, it is very well written and doesn’t come off as either too campy or too dark. While there weren’t any totally shocking, unexpected plot twists, this was a book that captivated me and kept me reading well past my bedtime.

Honestly, the book left me wondering why I have never heard of Nicola Rendell before! The writing was excellent, the plot was developed, and the characters were dynamic. Seriously, why hasn’t anyone mentioned her before?!?



The Hashtag series by Cambria Hebert, The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan, Driven by K. Bromberg (but not as angsty)…then you will probably like Hail Mary!

Hail Mary

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From Hail Mary:

With her hand in mine, I hail a cab on Fullerton. She isn’t saying much, and I like that. I like talking to her, getting dirty, watching her lose her words. Because I’ll tell you what, I’m planning on her losing a shitload more than that before I’m done with her. Losing everything to me. That’s the fucking plan.
The cabbie pulls off to the other side of the road a little way up from us and puts on his hazards to tell us he’s waiting. As we head for the crosswalk, I kick aside a drift from one of the plows, but it’s unsteady footing, icy and slick. As she begins to slip, her grip on my hand tightens.
“That’s enough of that,” I tell her, and scoop her up into my arms, newlywed-style.
She squeals and hangs on tight. She fits fucking perfectly in my arms, and I love the way she feels tight against me. Her fingers slip past my collar, and her fingernails dig gently into the back of my neck. “I can walk,” she says, mostly to my mouth. Then she raises her eyes. “It was just slippery.”
I don’t answer right away. I don’t want to come on too strong. I don’t want to scare her, but I don’t want there to be any fucking mistake at all about what I want or how I plan to get it. “I know you can. I’m sure you can do pretty much everything.”
Her eyes glisten, and I hoist her up a little higher in my arms. The walk signal starts flashing its hand as we get to the other curb. “I’m no shrinking violet.”
“Good. Because I’m going to need you to come strong for me tonight.”
Her body reacts before her face does, her back arching under my hand, that bend so delicate under my palm.
“Multiple times. Loudly.”
She presses her face to my chest and moans out what sounds like, “Who are you?”
“And you’re going to tell me what you like and how you like it. We’re not going to fuck around. Communication, pussycat. That’s the key.”
There go her words again. I’m getting to know that glaze in her eye, disoriented with desire. “And what about you?”
Now we’re even with the cab, but I’ve still got some things she needs to know. “I don’t come until you do. At least twice.”
She’s got no answer for that, so I bring her chin up toward me, stretching her pretty neck out with my thumb on her jaw. “You hear me?”
She nods. She breathes. She blinks.
“That’s how it’s going to go.”
“I think I can handle that.”
I laugh, sending a plume of steam out of my nose. This girl has no idea how badly I want her. How badly I need her. How fucking hard I am already to get inside her. “Yeah? You think so? You think you can handle me?”
Her eyes widen a little. “I think so,” she whispers.
Then I let her slip from my arms, such a fucking shame, but I’m not about to let her open her own door. As she gets into the cab—on the street side, the safe side—I say into her ear, “We’ll just see about that.”

About Nicola Rendell

Nicola Rendell writes dirty, funny, erotic romance. She likes a stiff drink and a well-frosted cake. She is at an unnamed Ivy and prefers to remain mostly anonymous for professional reasons. She has a PhD in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from schools that shall not be named here. She loves to cook, sew, and play the piano. She realizes that her hobbies might make her sound like an old lady and she’s totally okay with that. She lives with her husband and her dogs. She is from Taos, New Mexico.

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