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Defending Hearts

(Atlanta Skyline #2)

by
3.89  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  52 reviews
When The Pitch Gets Personal

Atlanta Skyline’s star Swedish wingback Oz Terim—or as the fans call him, the Wizard—has an airtight plan for his life, his career, even his meticulously renovated house, but he barely gives a thought to the Islamic faith he inherited from his Turkish parents. So no one’s more surprised than he is when he’s the victim of anti-Muslim hate crime.
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Published September 19th 2017
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Marlene
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

I picked this one because I live in Atlanta. I always enjoy reading books about the place I live – or places I have lived. I still have a soft spot in my heart for books set in Alaska after three years there.

But this story isn’t really about the city, and the city doesn’t feature much in the story. Instead, this could any big city in the U.S. that is trying to get FIFA-level soccer established in the U.S. And there are lots of medium-to-large cities that co
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Kristiej
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book first time around and when trying to pick the next book to read, this one kept say quite loudly, PICK ME! PICK ME! So I did

4.5 out of 5

I had such a good time reading the first book in the series, Crossing Hearts and since this one was an even better price - $.99 at Amazon at the moment, it was a given that this book would be up next. Interestingly it has a completely different feel to it than the first book. I enjoyed it just as much but the main characters were way different i
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Jess
This was perfectly readable, but I confess I kept thinking about how it was in many ways an obvious Mezut Ozil ripoff.
Scarlett Ian
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first read by author Rebecca Crowley and I’m not usually a big fan of sports romances but this book is so much more than just a sports romance.

This book follows Oz, who is a professional soccer player, and Kate, who works for a security firm hired to help protect Oz. He’s been receiving threatening messages based on his Muslim faith and gradually they become more than just idle threats. Kate is with him every step of the way and over time Oz realizes he can’t fight his attraction to
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Bette Hansen
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very enjoyable read. A unique story with some very interesting characters.

Soccer star Oz "Wizard" Terim has life firmly in hand. Getting paid to play the game he loves, living in Atlanta, and renovating his house. All according to plan. Then he becomes a victim of an anti-Muslim hate crime and his life is turned upside down. Kate Mitchell has spent the last 10 years in the military. Now a civilian again she finds herself working private security and stuck babysitting a pro athlete of
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Lisa Stacks
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oz and Kate in this Skyline ⚽ series book. Oz is from Sweden of Turkish parents and Muslim living in Atlanta when he gets harassed he hired Kate security to protect him. She an ex Army vet working for a security company opposite what Oz wants but she might be what he needs. A totally new look at sports romance told in a new exciting way. Missed the other book and diffently will download it. Net Galley
Hannah Hearts Romance
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bamf-women
Finally!

I'm sure someone recommended this book to me and I wish I could remember who it was and thank them. After trying and trying I finally found a soccer romance that understands soccer AND is a great story. I enjoyed this book for more than the (real) football, though. Crowley takes on racism, xenophobia, white terrorism, sexism, and classism all in one go and makes it look easy. The hero is complex, imperfect, and delicious. He's quirky and adorable and also maddeningly obtuse sometimes. Al
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Heather 123
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
After a disappointing read of the first book in this series, I was hesitant to give this one a chance but I'm glad I did. This book was so much better than the first one. There was genuine concern and reluctance on getting involved for both parties. They took their careers seriously and the impact any potential relationship would have for either of them.

There was true depth to both characters and the author took the time to develop their relationship rather than rushing into it.

Looking forward
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Sarah
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this. I'm not into sports romances or romantic suspense, which this was a tiny bit, in general, but I heard good things about this one and it lived up to the hype. It explained enough about soccer (which I know very little about) that I could follow, but didn't get so technical that it got boring. Crowley delved into the emotional complexities of both the hero and heroine and made them realistic. Just really great overall. ...more
Jo
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Richly nuanced characters made this a delicious read from first page to last. Highly recommended.
JenReadsRomance
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sports-romance
It's about a female bodyguard named Kate, she's ex-military, and she's protecting a soccer star, Oz Terim, who's being targeted by hate groups because he's Muslim.

There's a lot I liked about this book: it's well-written and genuinely surprising in good ways, plot-wise. I loved the fully inclusive world of Atlanta and that Oz's teammates are international, multiracial, and multiethnic.

Oz's struggles with being targeted for his faith since he's not a very devout Muslim. His family is Turkish and
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Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Oz is a Swedish, of Turkish ancestry, soccer star playing for a US professional team. He was able to both play and attend college at Harvard. He also happens to be Muslim and because of that was harassed and got threats. Which lead to his introduction to Kate. Kate was in the Army for 8 years and then spent time in Saudi Arabia is a security contractor. Now she is back home in Atlanta working for a private security company.
I really liked this one. Enough so, that I went and bought the first book
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Anthonia
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting to read. I had a good time with characters in the book. Oz is the main character in this book and he happens to be a pacifist and a perfectionist on top of that he loves to drink and plays video games. Not to mention he is a Swedish Muslim soccer player that happens to have array of tattoos on him. Then we have Kate a army vet and who happens to be a security consultant. All in all the characters are three dimensional and the heat in this story will have you smiling. A ...more
Bec

Atlanta Skyline soccer star, Oz Terim, or the Wizard as his fans like to call him has been receiving threats. So, hiring a security detail is the right thing to do, even though it goes against everything he believes in. However, hiring Kate Mitchell is in his best interests, even if she isn't part of his plan for his life. Will Kate be able to keep Oz safe, or will the person responsible for the threats get to him and keep the pair from achieving their happy ever after?

Having absolutely loved th
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Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)
Defending Hearts is a wonderful romance with an outside of the norm premise. Kate works for a kind of second tier security business, trying to sell protection/security services to people on the phone. She's essentially a sales person, but knows her stuff. She's a veteran with all the training that comes with military service. She's done personal protection, and so she's a physically strong, mostly confident woman. When she meets Oz as a potential client, she's intrigued by the cool, stoic soccer ...more
Crystal
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
As much as I love (and often devour) sports romances, that wasn't what initially drew me towards Defending Hearts. What snagged my attention was the religious elements. Our hero, Oz, is a Muslim soccer player that is the victim of anti-Muslim hate crimes. Our heroine, Kate Mitchell, is in charge of his security. I loved Kate from the first chapter. She's an incredibly strong character that can stand toe-to-toe with just about anyone. While her past and her family definitely play a roll in a lot ...more
Tony Parsons
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Atlanta, GA. Kate Mitchell (former Army Transportation Combat support services; Iraq/Afghanistan, American oil co. security, Saudi Arabia) sold private-security services to athletes.
Lorraine let her know Roland Carlsson (Atlanta Skyline mgr.) & Özkan “Oz” Terim (#18, Turkish, Atlanta Skyline wingback “Wizard”, Harvard) were there to see her.
The Citizens First forums were quite xenophobic.
Peak Tactical will provide the service to the team.
Oz’s resident had every kind of security measure money w
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Maria
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, sexy-hero
"Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review"
This book was delightful! A romantic plot against a background of cultural, social, religious and nationality differences: Christian versus Muslim, European versus American, high-educated versus basic-educated, rich versus poor… It’s about how two very different people from different worlds become attracted to each other, fight that attraction and finally succumb and deal with their differences.
Oz is a rather cool and compelling hero
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Lynn Brooks
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4 1/2 STARS!

In a powerful voice, Rebecca Crowley takes on a hot topic with her latest book in the Atlanta Skyline series … and does it well! She delivers just the right amount of oomph to bring his plight to light in our minds and have us rising up behind him in support. The subject is of a relevant topic, the friendship rallying behind him is touching, the sports factor brings in fitting action to keep us wanting more, and the sweet love story developing from strife has us mesmerized. Overall,
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Cara Ross
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Defending Hearts is more than just a romance, it's fictional tale, but it has a very clear thread of truth that runs through it.

Defending Hearts is the story of Oz Terem, a Muslim soccer player for the all new Atlanta Skyline soccer team, that after being spotted praying before a game, a disgusting nut job who is riding the anti Islamic wave flowing through the country, to declare him an enemy, and decides to target him.

So insteps Kate Mitchell, ex-military and the new personal security for Oz.
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Jen
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for my honest review.

Defending Hearts takes you on Oz and Kate's journey of having a relationship together and falling in love. The romance plot line itself runs along the lines of your typical romance, but the situations the couple are faced with brings up strong issues that some don't think about all the time. This story pulls hate crimes and religious differences into the mix and it highlights the problems with both of these things in so
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Kari
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-review, 2017, kindle
This is the second book in the Atlanta Skyline series. It held up fairly well as a stand alone book, so you could read this without reading the first one.

I thought this was a cute romance. I enjoyed the slow build to Kate and Oz's relationship. In fact, it takes over half the book before they really get hot and heavy. I loved their banter and particularly loved the pool table scene. That was really amusing. The tables are turned in this one and t was refreshing to see a man who wants to wait to
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Amber
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
After years working and being deployed in the Middle East, Kate has been trying to adjust to civilian life. She has a job selling private client security, but she hasn’t made many friends in the six months since she moved home. When Atlanta Skyline player Oz walks in with his coach needing protection, Kate thinks it will finally be her big break.

Oz is of Swedish and Turkish heritage, and has lived in Atlanta for the last three years. Soccer has been his life for as long as he can remember, and
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Tanja OMGReads
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: omgreads
Book #2 in the series and I still love it.

I really loved the plot of this book. I don't know what I was expecting but this wasn't it. We have Oz who is targeted because of his religion and Kate, a bad-ass who is hired to keep him safe and alive.

You may get the feeling that this two couldn't be more different but some how the author made them fit perfectly together. This sport romance is a bit different from anything I've read so far and if you're looking for something "new" than this book is fo
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Heather andrews
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Oz sometimes has a hard time coming up with answers, "good. Great. Excellent. Amazing. I’m running out of English words.” For kate there are times when it's all about priorities, “I’m sure this can wait.” She shoved the box aside and scrambled into his lap, straddling him, her mouth finding his with heat and hunger." I liked this book, Oz was a little OCD so those scenes were entertaining to me.
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D G
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a very satisfying read as there was substance in the book. The characters were very well developed. I was interested in the way in which the author fleshed out the characters as the story progressed. The conflict between Oz as a Muslim and the hate group was handled very adeptly given the current political climate. I would highly recommend this book.
wRb
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much more than a Sports Romance

The book is so timely especially with the resurgence of racism, bigotry and anti-immigrants sentiments in the country. The characters and story were so authentic. I just don’t like how it dragged around Kate’s indecisiveness when she’s supposed to be this strong, experienced, ex-soldier. But generally, a good sports romance.
Christi
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Devoured this book.

This book doesn't quite fit in a standard storyline genre...other than a sports romance. But I wouldn't stop there. This novel took a very sensitive topic and brought it to light in a beautifully handled manner. The characters were detailed and had the perfect amount of zing as well. Well done.
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Natalija
Oct 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
My expectations might have been too high because of the Crossing Hearts which is still one of my favourite reads of 2017. Though I liked the premise of this book I found that I wasn't convinced by the romance. It just lacked that something speacial I saw between Eva and Rio. Despite all, I love this series and plan to continue on it. ...more
Sadie
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won a free copy of this in exchange for a fir and honest review.

This was much better than most romance I've read. It followed the basic formula, but there were some twists that aren't typical. I liked the our heroine wasn't the damsel in distress type. Overall, I actually enjoyed this.
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Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily-ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City, London, and Johannesburg, Rebecca now resides in Houston ...more

Other books in the series

Atlanta Skyline (4 books)
  • Crossing Hearts (Atlanta Skyline, #1)
  • Saving Hearts (Atlanta Skyline, #3)
  • Hearts in Extra Time (Atlanta Skyline, #3.5)

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