Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars
I can’t believe one scene in The Marriage Effect led to an amazing story like Focused.
From start to finish, Noah and Molly were a fantastic opposites-attract, enemies-to-lovers couple. He’s a grumpy football star, completely focused on his career to the detriment of everything else in his life. She’s a rising star in the marketing department at the Washington Wolves, and her promotion hinges on being Noah’s handler during the filming of a docuseries about his adjustment to a new team. They have a history and they hate each other, so that no-fraternization clause in her contract shouldn’t be an issue at all. Right?
So Molly and Noah’s history: When she was 16, they were neighbors, and she had a crush on the college football star, and even snuck into his room one night. Needless to say, neither Noah’s dad or Molly’s brother/guardian took too kindly of what almost happened between them. It was a bit from The Marriage Effect, but it’s covered in Focused, so no worries if you haven’t read TME. (But you totally should!)
Now it’s 9 years later, and as they film the series, Molly gets through Noah’s gruff exterior in a way no one could have predicted, breaking through The Machine and getting to the guy inside. The guy who has shut everything and everyone else out. The way he falls for her just sneaks up on him and it is MARVELOUS to have been able to read it all happening along the way. The guy who has blinders on is completely blindsided by a scrappy girl he never expected to bring him to his knees.
Focused is a standalone/start to a new series about the Ward Sisters, who are the younger siblings of Logan from the Washington Wolves series. It’s sweet, it’s emotional, and I’m not afraid to admit that I cried as Noah realized how empty his life was without Molly in it.
I received and advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.