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Winning Ruby Heart

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  104 ratings  ·  24 reviews
It's a race to their beginning

Exposing world-class athlete Ruby Heart's cheating scandal five years ago made reporter Micah Blackwell's career. Falling in love with her now could end it. Yet watching her determination to return to the top, he can't resist the woman she has become.

Working with Ruby to tell America her story, Micah falls deeper under her spell. But at a crucial mom
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  104 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Sep 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Winning Ruby's Heart, Jennifer Lohmann's newest romance, explores what happens when we fall in love with the very last person we expect. Setting her story in the world of sports broadcasting and ultra-marathoning, Lohmann has deftly paired a hero who has built an new life after a freak accident and a former Olympic heroine who can't figure out how to rejoin the world after a disaster of her own making. If you are looking for a smart, sexy, edgy romance about what second chances and rebirth mean ...more
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story a lot. The hero's disability isn't used as a cheap conflict crutch. The heroine did wrong, knows she did wrong, and the author doesn't let her off the hook by making excuses for her. Complicated leads, compelling conflict, and let me tell you how nice it was to read an athlete heroine for a change! Felt the ending was a bit rushed and the use of a villain to wrap things up at the end felt a little tacked on, but otherwise a very solid read. Thumbs up.
Sep 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, ebook
In Winning Ruby Heart Jennifer Lohmann has provided me with a first. Our hero, Micah Blackwell, is a paraplegic due to a football injury in college. This is the first romance that I've read where the hero is in a wheelchair and well adapted to it. I can't speak to the accuracy, but it seemed well done.

Ruby Heart is a mid-distance runner. She had been in the Olympics and pretty much had trained to be a runner her whole life. She was caught "blood-doping" which I understood to be like
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This was really interesting and attention-grabbing with the two leads diverging from the over-used stereotype of "wealthy and powerful playboy with a broken heart meets naive young beauty with a heart full of hidden, unlocked passion" and instead showcases two really interesting, unlikely romantic leads who are fully-realised protagonists that are quite different from almost all others in the genre. Ruby Heart is an isolated recluse who was once the nation's darling, an elite athlete, but her dr ...more
Jessica Figueroa
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgally
Ruby's career went down the drain when she was caught cheating using drugs to up her game. It's been five years since then and has decided she must stop hiding and go back to what she loves. While doing a harmless run she was caught by the sports guy, Micah who dragged her in the mud that ruins her years back. Now Micah wants to make a deal with Ruby to help his career and come up with a coming out redemption story for Ruby. Things start to get complicated the more they spend time.

Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of the things I loved in this book was how it held my attention and interest and I think that’s due to the author’s skilled writing. I’m not into sports and I found the heroine too self absorbed to empathize with her but I praise Jennifer Lohmann for creating two complex and dense characters (and a cast of also round secondary characters) and a overall solid plot. These were characters that were believable and that I could ‘see’ in my mind – the heroine’s determination, the hero’s quiet cour ...more
Kate Vale
Aug 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this story about a disgraced Olympic runner banned from the sport for five years because she cheated and Micah Blackwell, a top-notch reporter paralyzed during his NFL career. How each of them deals with their own special disabilities was intriguing and made me cheer them on--both in his chosen career and in her attempt at a comeback in ultra-distance races.

What disappointed me was in how it all ends--a kind of deus machina way, too sketchily provided and not ful
Harlequin Books
"Lohmann offers a fascinating look into the world of long-distance running. The running sequences seem quite realistic, as does Ruby’s motivation and love of the sport. Additionally, the author creates, in Micah, a character with challenges who never seems weak. If anything, Ruby has more weaknesses. Great job!" (RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars TOP PICK!)
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kate by: Wendy the Super Librarian
Shelves: running
So many refreshing differences in this book: a flawed female athlete, an interesting hero with a disability, ultramarathons and a game of Carcassone! The ending wrapped up a little too neatly for me, but otherwise the writing was very good and the conflicts complex and thought-provoking.
The cheating ban in this felt weirdly long to me (I realize sports CAN hand down life time bans, but they so rarely do that this felt totally out of touch with reality), but the concept behind it was fascinating.
i wanted to like it more. i wanted to like ruby more. but i didn't and alas, the book wasn't for me. also, was Micah's boss named Dexter, Derek, or Derrick? because i saw all 3. ugh.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The heroine is a former Olympic runner who was suspended for doping (which she did) and the hero is the reporter who caught her - who also happens to be paraplegic. Both Micah's paraplegia and Ruby's cheating and path to redemption are handled sensitively and, as best I can tell, realistically. Ruby's competitiveness and athleticism play major roles and it was such a pleasure to read a book where a heroine is competitive and athletic, makes no apologies for either, and both are among the reasons ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
I received this book free from the Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I loved the plot because it was very timely. The idea of blood doping is very interesting and reminds me of the Lance Armstrong fiasco. I also found it very interesting when the hero, who is a paraplegic, explained how he has sex. I have read a lot of novels that include paraplegic, but this is the first one that went into so much detail. At first I was very confused about what was happen
Hsiau Wei
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Micah is a paraplegic reporter. He was the one who interviewed Ruby just before her doping was exposed. Ruby is a professional runner and has been in the Olympic. Being a runner is her life. However, when her doping was exposed, not only she lost her gold medal, it has turned her from America Darling into most hated people overnight. This happened 5 years ago and now Ruby is back on the marathon under a different name. Micah caught her when he was covering the marathon event. He want interview h ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, pwd
Alright- this book was a much longer romance than is typical and I really enjoyed it. I would give it an overall 3.5 stars, but that was lowered because I was disappointed with the ending. It was so abrupt! I know that romances usually end with the happily ever after, but not everything was tied up! What about the threats to Ruby? What about the man who pushed her? WHAT ABOUT GETTING MARRIED (as is typical in a romance)?!? This does a good job of really getting into the head of the characters an ...more
Sharon Forbes
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow! This is the most different Harlequin Romance I have ever read, but in a very good way! This is the story of Ruby Heart and Micah Blackwell. Ruby is a former Olympic runner, who was barred because of doping, which is receiving another person's blood that is full of steroids or whatever is needed to let her be an ultra performer. Micah is the reporter from the mega sports station assigned to cover her story as she tries to make a comeback in the running world. Micah was a quarterback for a bi ...more
Ken McDouall
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have a confession. Despite being a practitioner of reader's advisory and certainly not a book snob, this is the first romance genre novel I've read. Award-winning librarian/author Jennifer Lohmann seemed a good place to start. Not having anything to compare this to, I was pleasantly surprised to find strong character development, an interesting plot, and a rather intriguing world of competitive running. True, the "will they or won't they" plot arc lasted longer than my interest, but this is pr ...more
University of Chicago Magazine
Jennifer Lohmann, AB'01

From the author: "It's a race to their beginning…

"Exposing world-class athlete Ruby Heart's cheating scandal five years ago made reporter Micah Blackwell's career. Falling in love with her now could end it. Yet watching her determination to return to the top, he can't resist the woman she has become.

"Working with Ruby to tell America her story, Micah falls deeper under her spell. But at a crucial moment, his feelings for her conflict with his job—
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story with great character twists. As a runner I enjoyed the heroine, but was surprised by the unconventional hero Ms. Lohmann developed. The only negative I took away was that the ending felt rushed after the build up of romance between the main characters. Overall it was a pleasant read, and definitely challenged tried and true romance rules.
Julie (Manga Maniac Cafe)
3 stars

the characters just didn't click with me, and the plot didn't always hold my attention. Ruby is so convinced of her running abilities, I still don't understand why she let her coach convince her to cheat. Everybody does it doesn't cut it for me, and it shouldn't have cut it for her.
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
Good characters. Good plot. Very well written. I only wish the romance between Ruby and Micah didn't seen so hurried there at the end. I loved Dotty the Dalmatian.
I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads.
Christine Grant
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Intresting concept. Written by a collegue and purchased on Kindle. Although I didn't finish the book, I am sure I will return to it one day.
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Jennifer Lohmann is a Rocky Mountain girl at heart, having grown up in southern Idaho and Salt Lake City. When she’s not writing or working as a public librarian, she wrangles two cats and several backyard chickens; the dog is better behaved. She lives in Durham, North Carolina

Her favorite non-romance books are Wolf Hall and A Country Called Home. She'll read anything Mary Roach writes. Her fav
“blood doping, you might not have won?” “No.” Her unencumbered honesty and self-confidence surprised a snort out of him. “No?” “I was the best middle-distance runner in the world. Bar none.” “Why did you do it?” “I didn’t think it was a big deal. I had hair out of a bottle. I either wore sports bras or push-up bras—no one ever saw my real tits. Fake eyelashes and fake lips. What was someone else’s blood?” “And the real you?” “The real me is here in bed with you right now.” “Does the real you think of winning?” “All the time. But I’m not sure the real me deserves it. When will I have repented enough?” 0 likes
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