Football hero Jax Monaghan hadn’t had it easy in life. Despite his thriving football career he always destroyed everything beautiful he’s ever had. That was until he met his wife, Alivia, who had taught him what love and family was all about. But when he watches his wife fall apart due to his decisions, he’s reminded just what he is capable of – and he makes what he thinks is the ultimate sacrifice. Walking away.
When Jax returns home in order to be closer to his children, he can’t help but want to be closer with Alivia again as well. But the brutal reality of his choices keep knocking him back to the starting line. As the past threatens them further apart, Jax and Alivia are forced to line up together and play for the same team. Had their entire marriage been a trick play? Or was it simply just a false start into their happily ever after?
Liv’s eyelashes fluttered open lightly, and she greeted him with a lazy smile, a smile that he was proud that he had put back onto her beautiful face again.
“Hey you.” She looked up at him, stretching before curling back into his side, her voice husky.
“Hey yourself,” he winked. Running his fingers through her hair, they laid in comfortable silence, and he wondered if she was replaying the last twenty-four hours inside her head just as he was.
“I guess we have to head back to reality, huh?” she whispered against his skin, goosebumps spreading across his body.
“Yeah,” he resigned, wondering exactly what that reality held for them now. “But we get to see the munchkins,” he added, smiling at the thought of the girls.
“I miss them so much.” She looked up at him and he hoped like hell that reality held with it the possibility of waking up every morning with her again, just like this.
After several close, but unsuccessful attempts at convincing Liv for another go around in the shower before they checked out, Jax refused to give her a towel when she stepped out of the shower until she promised to finish what they had started when they got home. She had been quiet while packing their bags, a reminder not to rush her. The sex had been hard and fast, but he needed to take things with her slow and easy. Still unable to shake the small pang of fear that last night had been an isolated breakthrough; that they had finally succumbed to the sexual tension that had been suffocating both of them, but that she had no intentions of letting him back into her life. That his words had finally resonated with her that he, in fact, had nearly destroyed her.
Pushing the unproductive thought aside, he carried their bags down to the lobby before grabbing them both a much needed coffee before reluctantly handing in their room keys to paradise. Pulling onto the freeway towards home, he instinctively reached for her hand, and this time she took it. Running his thumb over her knuckles, he couldn’t have imagined two days ago, when she couldn’t get far enough away from him inside the car, that now, heading home, to their home, he was holding her.
False Start by Julianna Marley has to be one of the most romantic, sexy, funny and frustrating as hell love story I have read til date and I will more than likely find myself reading it again.
Alivia Monaghan, is a strong business woman who not only finds the love of her life that fully completes her, she is blessed with two beautiful daughters, a thriving party planning business and the best friends any woman could ask for. Alivia's life is perfect but running on full steam, enough to bring a woman crashing down. Will her need for perfection and being in total control push the only man she ever loves away?
Jax Monaghan, football hero, sexy as can be and could have any woman he wants, but his heart was lost to Alivia the beauty that soon becomes his wife. Jax has known what life feels like when the people that he loves seems to be spiraling out of control. A person from his past wants to destroy the one thing that matters most to him and watching her fall apart is killing him and reminds him of his parents and he would never want to put his wife through that hell. He feels his only option is to walk away from her. How long is he willing to be apart from his family and what will happen when and if he returns?
When Alivia and Jax are together it is wonderful, hopeful and sexy since they seem incapable of keeping their hands off each other. They have the perfect balance of marriage, business and friendships. Those friends will be a big part of the story; they add the laughter, tears and patience that they need to see this couple through the drama that surrounds them. With Jax's past decision to run away, Alivia can not get past the hurt and belief that he would do it again. Guarding her heart Alivia may just push him away and with Jax always trying to protect her from falling apart again he felt incapable of being heard. So stubbornness and distance seems to be coming between them once again.
Julianna Marley writes a perfectly frustrating love story with wonderful characters that you will gravitate to want to know more about. False Start has just the right amount of sexual moments that I found intensified the love between Alivia and Jax and made we want a happy ever after for this couple and made me cry at their lowest moments. If only they can stop... breathe... let one speak while the other one listens, they might have a chance at keeping their family together. I am a very happy reader with this story!