Monday, December 12, 2016

Book Tour for Trying Sophie by Rebecca Norinne (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers who enjoy sports-themed romances will be charmed by this tale of childhood enemies unable to hide their adult attraction through steamy encounters and endless flirtations.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Trying Sophie by Rebecca Norinne, along with my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf.  You can learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this first installment in the Dublin Rugby series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a collection of Ms. Norinne's favorite eBooks from 2016 too!

She doesn't date players...
Sophie loves her life: she's travelled the world and lived by her own rules. But when she finds out about her grandfather's heart attack, she drops everything and boards a plane to Ireland. Two weeks, that's the plan. Until one look at her childhood nemesis has her rethinking everything. She's sworn off athletes, but she might just give him a try...
He's the biggest player of all.
Sex and rugby. Those were the only two things Declan cared about, right up until his first love waltzed back into his life. Even as he slept his way through Dublin, he never stopped thinking about her. Never stopped wondering if she thought about him, too. So even though he's never gone after a woman the way he chases down opponents on the field, this time, he won't let her get away.
On the field, he's invincible, but she just might break him.


Sophie might try to fight what was building between us, but she couldn’t hide her feelings from me. Her body gave her away. It was there in the dilation of her pupils, the quick intakes of breath, the strong, heavy beat of her pulse in her neck.
But there was something else there too, and it tugged at my conscience. Fear resting heavy and unspoken between us. Why though? She had to know I would never hurt her. Not consciously. But what if it wasn’t about me? What if her reaction was because of something, or someone, in her past?
My gut churned and I felt a fiery ache in my chest, a desire to maim or kill whoever had put that fear in her. “Did someone hurt you?"
The words were barely audible, but I knew she’d heard them when her eyes flashed with surprise. She gasped and she shook her head. Gripping my arm tight, she rushed to set my mind at ease.
“No,” she answered. “Not how you think."
I sagged in relief, the air rushing from my lungs in a heavy gust.
“But you’re afraid."
Sophie turned and paced. When she returned, she asked, “Why would you think that? That someone hurt me?"
“If you could see what I see right now, you’d know why. You’re terrified. Of this.” I gestured between us “Of me?"
I paused a beat, giving her the chance to correct me, but she didn't.
“Help me understand."
I was begging her to let me in and a small part of me was disgusted at sounding so weak and needy. But I was weak. Needy for her in a way I’d never been for anyone else. I was consumed by her.
“Declan, I …” She stopped and marched back to the bench we’d occupied earlier. “Come sit with me,” she said, gesturing to the space next to her.
When I joined her, she twisted her hands together nervously. Speaking down to them, she said, “I’ve heard the stories, you know. You’re promiscuous and I’m … well, I’m not. I’m a one-man kind of woman and I expect the same of anyone I’m with. I’m afraid you can’t give me that."
I started to say I could be the type of man she needed if she’d just give me a chance, but the words wouldn’t come. The truth was, I wanted to be that guy, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know if I was capable of it.
“I’m not used to being so open, so vulnerable with … well, with anyone really, and it has me unsettled. But the most frightening thing of all is, I think I feel something for you. I didn’t want that to happen."
I knew she was just being honest, but her words cut me to the quick. From the moment I’d laid eyes on her, that’s all I’d wanted. The truth was, I’d wanted this girl my whole life. So yeah, I hoped she’d feel the same … eventually. And now that she was getting there, hearing her tell me how it was the last thing she’d intended felt like a punch to the gut.
She stared at her hands again, and her long, blonde hair fell around her face, hiding her expression. I wanted to lift her chin so I could see her eyes when she spoke, but I stopped myself. If anyone could understand needing to shield oneself from that sort of intimacy, it was me.
“I didn’t want to feel anything for you … or anyone for that matter. I didn’t need this sort of complication in my life.” She lifted her head and a sad smile tugged at her lips. “I don’t even know you, not really. And what I do know tells me I should stay far, far away. But this thing between us? It’s potent. And it terrifies me because I don’t know how to deal with it."
There were a couple of ways I could play this. The easiest would be to flirt and charm my way past her resolve, make her feel good about her desire … and then just make her feel good, period. But I’d promised her grandfather I wanted more from Sophie than just sex. I knew we had no real future to speak of, but we could have a wonderful now. I had to be okay with that.
I slid my hand along the back of the bench to touch her, something I wanted to do so badly, but instinct told me not to. “The truth is, Sophie, I’ve been half in love with you since I was eight years old.”




From the moment I read the synopsis for this book it started to weave its magical spell over me.  With its delicious Irish hero and its strong-willed heroine theirs is a romance that crackled from the moment they were children to the eroticism of adulthood as they morphed from childhood enemies to adult friends to lovers.  Theirs is a romance that had moments of fun and flirtation but had surprising heart and soul that kept me fully immersed in their HEA from the first page to the last.

The moment Declan met Sophie he knew she'd always be special to him.  As a little boy though those feelings scared him and had him hurting her through words and deeds that remain with her today.  After Sophie left Ireland his life went through dramatic changes that led to success and acclaim on the rugby field along with a smorgasbord of nameless and faceless women.  Along with after-game pains that take longer to heal, his meaningless interactions with women are weighing him down too.  He's tired of being a commodity, tired of living a life that feels empty, and decides to do something about it with the help of Sophie's cantankerous grandfather.  Reuniting with her leads to introspective moments of self-discovery, heartfelt talks, and lots of erotic encounters that brought out a sweet and playful yet animalistic side that had me drooling over him.  Through it all Declan had many qualities that I love in my heroes...he makes no excuses for his past indiscretions, he's honest about the kind of man he is, and truly wants to be a better one.  He's loyal to his family, takes pride in his small town, and is truly grateful for all that fame has given him which all adds up to a hero who gives me lots of good dreams.

Sophie's childhood was one of lies, hurtful words, and being made to feel unworthy.  Her parent's divorce brought out the worst in her mother while her father's ignoring her has left her doubtful of all men.  Those feelings were reinforced by Declan's taunts and still linger today as she doubts his ability to commit to her when bombarded by temptations.  Though she forgives him for his childhood actions she can't forget which makes her quick to judge and quick to doubt the HEA he and Ballycurra represent if she's willing to put her heart on the line one last time.  Sophie's a strong-willed heroine who's made a nice life for herself as her travel blog has taken her around the world.  She speaks her mind and stands up for what she wants when it comes to a relationship with Declan.  Her biggest flaw is assuming the worst which led to some rocky moments late in the story which frustrated and disappointed me as Declan did nothing to warrant her doubts.  Despite that I liked them together as they made each other better, a formidable pairing that kept me fully immersed in their life-long romance.

From start to finish this story wove a heartwarming narrative of the price of fame, a tale that endeared me to this couple as readers got to see their love for each other grow.  Words and deeds matter and for Declan and Sophie they have a lot to overcome in finding HEA, inner turmoil along with outside obligations fuel their ups and downs and kept my heart on edge.  Along with this unforgettable main couple came a delightful cast of secondary characters.  From Sophie's grandparents who are the catalyst for her coming home and setting her on her path to HEA to Declan's rugby teammates who are enjoying their fame wholeheartedly, these are characters that brought a smile to my face.  The character to leave the biggest impression is the emotionally bruised Cian whose dreams of rugby fame were dashed.  He's left hollow and bitter, just as much of a player as Declan but doesn't see himself as a bad guy unlike how he views Declan.  Cian loves his friend but is resentful for all he's gotten which leads to him hurting Sophie early on but gaining a surprising friend later on.  His is a heartbreaking tale that I long to see play out as, despite his anger and tendency to lash out, he deserves a HEA for all he's lost.  Fans of sports romances will enjoy the brief interludes of play that are riveting, fast-paced, and exhilarating in their ability to make you feel part of the action.  It doesn't dominate the story though and won't alienate those who steer clear of these kinds of romances. The romance itself is extremely well-done by letting their connection evolve slowly, too slowly at times unfortunately, which ultimately made it more realistic and meaningful.  From the first page to the last I found this a decadently delightful start to a series whose drool-worthy heroes have me counting down the days until we revisit this quaint and exotic side of Ireland. 

My rating for this is a B+/A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Rebecca read her first book when she was four years old and has been hooked on the written word ever since. While working in technology PR in Silicon Valley, she began writing her debut novel and eventually published it six years later. At the end of 2014, she left behind her career in corporate communications to become a full time author. When she's not writing, you can find Rebecca exploring her new city of Dublin, Ireland, watching Leinster Rugby matches, or traveling the globe searching for inspiration for her next book.


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  1. Thanks so much for such a thoughtful and in-depth review of Trying Sophie! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading their love story as much as I enjoyed writing it. And don't worry ... Cian will find his own happily ever after in coming installments. But next up is Declan's little sister, Aoife.

    1. TYVM for stopping by and for your kind words! I enjoyed this romance & am excited by the promise of what's to come. Looking forward to Aoife's story but will be counting down the days (somewhat impatiently) for Cian's story.

      The Scarf Princess