Endurance is already topping my best books of 2017 list. Daws does not disappoint in taking readers on another exciting adventure through London with a sassy doctor, a sexy footballer and an emotional roller coaster that will leave you wanting one more ride.
Author: Amy Daws
Series: Endurance is a companion novel to Challenge and follows another of the Harris Brothers. It’s best enjoyed after reading Challenge but is written to stand alone as well.
Genre: British Sports Romance
Release Date: 16 Mar 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5
He rejected her. She loathes him. Now they have to fool everyone and pretend they actually like each other.
Tanner Harris has been busy shagging his way through the ladies of east London, but getting caught by the paparazzi buck-naked with his trouser snake in his hands means he’s sowed his last wild oat.
Dr. Belle Ryan once thought Tanner Harris was the perfect kind of bearded bad boy she needed to relieve a bit of stress after her intense job as a surgical fellow, but an icy cold rejection from London’s sluttiest footballer puts the two at each other’s throats.
Fate and a favour conspire to put Tanner and Belle back in each other’s paths and they’re forced to do a lot more than get along to save face and their careers.
Rage turns to passion and tempers run sizzling hot when they realise they aren’t just falling for each other—they’re jumping head first. And neither have the endurance to keep their hands to themselves.
Before we even get into the book, I have to fan girl because I finally realized why Amy Daws is one of the most talented authors you’ll ever have the pleasure of reading. If you have not read an Amy Daws book, or if you haven’t read every single word she has written…you need to stop your life and go one click all of it.
I’ve been blogging for 2 years and reading like a mad person for about 4. I read nearly 300 books a year. I read more in a year than some people in a lifetime, if we’re being honest. I tell you this because I have learned a few things. There are authors who come and go. Trends that surge and then die back. But mainly I’ve come to realize there are people who write books and there are people who tell stories.
Storytellers used to be revered. When oral tradition was all cultures had, the storyteller of your clan or tribe was vital. And those people became storytellers because they had a magic about them. They didn’t just say what happened. They created entertainment. They made everyone who sat around the fire or the communal table with them feel as if the events were happening right then all around them. They created worlds to escape to and new feelings to experience and learn from.
I know what you’re thinking…all books do that. All authors tell stories. But here’s the thing, they don’t. Some people just write books. Yes, they’re creative enough to produce a plot line but they don’t make you feel on a new level. Amy Daws makes you feel every word. She’s magical, just like storytellers used to be.
In all of Amy’s London based books…I literally am so transported to London -a place I’ve never been- that I speak in British slang for days after reading her books. Why? Because I FEEL like I was really there. I’ve walked down London streets. I’ve ridden the London Eye. I’ve had a pint in a proper British pub. How? Because Amy can world build so beautifully that she makes London for me. Every page is real and tangible. It’s not just words on a paper.
And don’t get me started on all the damn emotions. I know Amy will make me laugh. She will make me cry. She will piss me off. She’ll teach me how to fall in love. She’ll break me. She’ll make me forgive. In. Every. Single. Book. With. Every. Single. Character. I learn and I grow alongside all of her characters. I laugh with them when they are happy and I cry with them when their lives are a mess. My heart both breaks and heals right next to them. Because they aren’t just words on a page. They aren’t just placeholders to move a plot line along. When one of Amy’s books is in my hands, they are real. They are as real to me as any living breathing person in my life.
I know I sound like a lunatic saying things like that but when you find an author who is a real storyteller, not just someone who writes a book…you will finally understand how characters can become so real that they take up residence in your heart long after the book is put away. That’s the magic. And when you find someone who has it, devour it. Cherish it. Support them. Beg for more. Add Amy Daws to your magic list and don’t ever turn back.
I want you all to understand that Endurance touched my life so deeply that I was finally able to express of these emotions I’ve had about Amy Daws’ writing. I know I just sent you through a storm of crazy to get to this review but I hope you will realize that this book or really any Amy Daws book will make you feel a crazy ball of emotions and it will be awesome.
As of the time that I’m writing this review, I haven’t touched a book in over 24 hours. You all know the last time I went that long without reading? Um last year when I literally felt like I was dying of a stomach bug. I live for words. I crave them. I probably have a reading addiction. But I can’t bring myself to start a new book and step outside of Endurance.
Now for the good stuff…
As I said in the quickie facts, Endurance is really a companion to Challenge. Challenge features footballer Camden Harris while Endurance is about his twin, Tanner. You can read Endurance on it’s own and it will make sense. However I really recommend connecting with Challenge first as Tanner and Belle are a big part of that book as well.
For new readers – Endurance is on the surface a cheeky sports romance. Tanner Harris is a playboy footballer literally shagging his way through London and causing quite the stir. His path has crossed many times with Belle Ryan, a surgical resident from a well to do family. Belle’s best friend is dating Tanner’s twin so it’s really unavoidable even though they seem to hate one another. But Belle does a favor for Tanner and it changes everything. It forces them to fake date in order to save both of their careers.
For Challenge readers – Forget everything you think you know about Tanner Harris. This man is so much more than the jokester we see in Challenge. Tanner and Belle are two of the most self aware characters I’ve ever seen. I liken it to a trip with luggage. Cam and Indie know they need a bag. Don’t we all? But they think a carry on will serve them just fine and they just stuff the hell out of that one bag. Tanner and Belle though…these two are fully cognizant of the fact that they have baggage. They have their money out ready to pay for their checked bag fees. They know it’s the way of their world and they are okay and upfront about it.
I know. Fake dating. We’ve seen it before. But there is a very big twist here. Normally the fake date scenario involves one of the partnership actively trying to get the other to fall in love. The CEO needs a fake fiancee to save his company but he actually wants to trap her and make her fall for him. You know how they go! Endurance’s fake dating, however, is about survival. These two are really just covering their asses. Sometimes quite literally in Tanner’s case. They both have magnificent careers and they will defend them in any way possible.
Tanner is without his twin for the first time ever and he drowns his sorrows in sex. It gets him in trouble with the paparazzi and his team. When Belle does him a favor and picks his naked self up, the paparazzi link the two. To save both of their jobs and good names, the fake date is on. And the fake date becomes “friends” with benefits, as it would for most people if we’re being honest. But what happens when the chemistry between them is anything but fake? That’s what Endurance is all about.
And yes there is a happy ending. It’s a standalone and I’m sure Amy doesn’t want loads of angry emails. So spoiler alert, they fall in love. However the road to love and the happy ending is different for every couple, so really I haven’t spoiled anything.
For fans of Amy Daws, you are going to see so many of your beloved Londoners in Endurance. Obviously Camden and Indie have a big role in this novel. But we also get to see Gareth and Booker as well as Vi and Hayden. We see Dr Miller, Reyna’s mom. And we get to see a very special peek into Reyna and Liam’s lives. We even briefly see Theo and Leslie. And Frank! It’s a book that is such fun for long time readers because it really intersects the worlds we’ve visited before.
Speaking of characters we know…I’ve always been kind of obsessed with Vi and Hayden whose story is called That One Moment. They’ve been my very favorite London couple since I first met them and are so special to me. Tanner and Belle have accomplished the unthinkable though. They are my now favorite couple. Yes, they are that amazing.
But for new readers, don’t worry! Tanner and Belle will wholeheartedly invite you into their world. You won’t feel like you are missing anything. I promise!
Tanner is a footballer and pretty infamous. He’s having to navigate life on and off the pitch without his brother, his twin, by his side for the first time. It throws him for a loop and he covers a lot of it with partying. He’s labeled the jokester but Tan has a very kind heart. He feels a lot more than people may give him credit for. And as I said earlier, he’s so beyond self aware. He knows why he misses Cam so much. He knows why it’s throwing his game off. He knows he has family baggage. But it’s all okay because he can handle it. He’s for the most part pretty happy with who he is.
Belle is a brilliant doctor. She saves babies, as her friends tell everyone. Belle is doing an internship under a surgeon who actually operates on babies while they are still in the womb. They work to give babies a chance to live before they ever take their first breath in the world. It’s really stellar and shows a lot about Belle and her heart and drive. But she has a lot of crazy too. She knows her family messed her up. A lot. She knows she has a horrible temper. And she knows she fights with people to push them away. It’s who she is and who she always will be. Take it or leave it is Belle’s philosophy.
Both characters easily become so real because they are like us. They have really good qualities and bad habits. They aren’t picture perfect. They’re everyday normal people who happen to have pretty cool jobs.
The “I am what I am” point of view of each character is what makes them so good and so special. Belle and Tanner aren’t trying to change each other. They’re accepting each other. And they fall in love with each other despite their faults…maybe because of their faults. This is a couple that meets one another where they are. The good. The bad. The ugly. The crazy. And isn’t that the best love story ever? We all want to be loved for what we are, as we are.
A lot of romance ideals are based on this idea that you want to be a better person to be worthy of your partner’s love. There is a need to feel worthy. To feel enough. However our couple in Endurance have a different outlook. Belle and Tanner want to be better people BECAUSE of their partner. It’s not about proving their worth but it’s about knowing that with the love and support, they have the ability to set the world on fire.
These two…they argue. They sometimes run from another. They make each other sad once in awhile. But at the end of the day, they have each other’s backs. Tanner doesn’t get all alpha male and try to tell Belle she should be a housewife. He fucking loves that she is a doctor and works to save tiny babies. He brags on her at any chance. And Belle never tells Tanner that football is a waste. She tells him how fantastic a player he is, even better than he realizes. They are supportive of who each other are, in the here and the now.
That’s the most epic and beautiful love I can imagine.
I think that is why Endurance resonated with me so completely. It’s not the love story you expect. It’s the love story you want. The love story that some of us are still waiting to find in our lives. And it feels tangible and like we can and will find it one day unlike that sexy billionaire who hasn’t whisked us away yet. He’s fun but unlikely. Tanner Harris and his kind soul hidden by laughter and crude jokes…I have faith he exists.
At the time of this post, I still have several e-copies of Endurance up for grabs via Amazon Giveaway
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