The All-Star Antes Up

Author: Nancy Herkness

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5


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THE ALL-STAR ANTES UP (WAGER OF HEARTS #2) is Luke and Miranda's story, and oh what a story it is. A very wealthy quarterback and an assistant concierge at a luxury condo should have nothing in common. But from the moment they meet, and not under the most ideal circumstances, there is immediate chemistry and an attraction that just keeps getting stronger. This was a page-turner that kept my interest from the first page to the last.

Herkness's THE ALL-STAR ANTES UP (WAGER OF HEARTS #2) has a unique storyline since it's about a bet between a CEO, a football player and a best-selling author. All are beyond wealthy, but none are lucky in a lasting kind of love. They're setting out to change that with very high stakes if they lose the bet.

The prologue set the stage and gave nice background to the story since this is book two in the series, and I somehow missed book one. Miranda understands Luke and his relationship with his brother even if he doesn't. This was heartwarming, especially each time Luke realizes her comments are spot-on. Luke is warm to everyone he meets but also has a backbone. He does the right thing and protects those around him--especially Miranda. Generous with his time and money, Luke shows good sportsmanship throughout. He is definitely a team player and a leader and is looked up to by many.

Miranda draws out his protective side, which she doesn't think she needs. They at times are taking two steps forward and one step back. Miranda has a horrible boss to deal with day in and day out, since no matter what she does it's just not good enough. Yet she does a great job and all the residents love her. Watching her relationship build with Luke was refreshing.But is she in for a fall since she's so out of his league?

There are family dynamics involved, both through Luke's brother who's trying to bring him down and Miranda's family that doesn't want to see her get hurt. The love between Miranda and her brother, her sister-in-law and her nephew shined throughout the book. The interaction with teammates, management, and obligations to their respective jobs gave the book a really well-rounded plot. There is nice closure with hints of what will come in the third book in the series. I for one can't wait to return to this series (though I would be happier if the loving gets turned down a notch--just a personal preference).

Herkness is a new-to-me author. Although I didn't read the first book in the series, there was enough background information that my interest was immediately captured. I look forward to reading her first book in the series, THE CEO BUYS IN, in addition to book three in the series which is due out in 2017.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Jo

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