Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue – no sorry we’re definitely not preparing for a marriage ceremony or the likes - not for the first couple of hundred pages anyway. But we are in for a story along one of the oldest – but I guess eternal – storylines, the one of love lost and found. Furthermore we do have a new setting for the story, as we are touching on a sports theme and ,for once, it’s not basketball or softball but women’s soccer and in the US of all places. If you want borrowed I guess you’ll have to look closely at the characters and see for yourself if they are original or not.
And as for blue, well I would say that Gwen is blue. The All American Sweetheart was left by her lover of 3 years – Keegan – just as they and the American women's soccer team was to begin the Olympic Games – no explanation whatsoever. Five years later after the finish of her career in soccer and on her way to a new life in the sports commentating business, Gwen is still thinking of Keegan… and who wouldn’t be as she seems like the perfect girl – don’t they all?!
Still clueless about the reason why Keegan left her, Gwen has moved on with her life and then again, not really. She hasn’t found a satisfying relationship but hides in a semi-closet with her friend Bob - a star hockey player - as a cover. The two of them put on a good show of dating and being in love, but when Bob is traded to a club in Michigan, Gwen’s life is thrown up in the air.
In Michigan, Keegan lives alone and has just decided to get back intothe business of dating, which is just a little bit surprising as she is also 12 weeks pregnant, but I guess that a ready made full family packages could appeal to some. This is the situation when Gwen rides into town to do a publicity event and decides to get in touch with Keegan. From here you are on your own … keep your eyes on the ball and follow through.
I found “America's Sweetheart” a good read, regardless of the fact that the author goes a bit overboard in describing the wickedness of Gwen’s mother. I know it’s fiction but sometimes a storyline is better of with a sort of understated drama and angst instead of the grand fireworks. The story of how Gwen connects with Keegan again is well crafted, and a nice gallery of family and friends supplies little twists and side stories that lend substance to the novel. So, all in all, a story worth your time.
I’ve followed up on the author to see if she posted another fic, and she did. Catherine Burke just recently finished posting "With All of My Heart" at The Athenaeum but, please, don’t waste your time on the new story until it’s been through a serious bunch of beta readers who can help smooth out the rough spots in the storyline and do a lot of much needed editing. In my opinion this story was just posted too soon, as I do believe that the author has the skills to turn out a good romance yet again.