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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Will definitely be a top read for 2017

    I knew a little about the background for Santos and Mari's story, but I did not expect to hit such high highs and low lows as the story unfolded. At one point, I was sad crying, then happy crying , then devastated. M E Carter wrote a book that addresses real trials and real situations that so many people face in their own relationships in some form or fashion. While I did not agree with all of Mari's choices, I definitely understood why those decisions were best for her. Carter made me think about my past relationships as well as my marriage. She made me think of the kind of advice I give and even what I think when people make decisions in their relationships that I don't understand. Everyone can learn about themselves from reading Santos and Mari's story. Carter keeps raising the bar with each new release, and this was no exception.
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    4.5 stars- Exercise in character redemption

    I wasn’t sure when I first started Goalie. I had never read this series or even this author, but it was labeled as a standalone and I’m a sucker for sports romances. The writing style felt a bit casual at times, and I wondered if I’d ever connect to the characters. Given that this is a book that centers on a couple trying to salvage a ten year marriage after repeated bouts of infidelity, I knew I NEEDED that connection. By chapter two, I was hooked; like read the entire book in one evening, hooked. Through it all, I never really forgave Santos. I never truly understood his reasons, or more I didn’t understand how he didn’t see where it was problematic. However, I don’t think that was the point. I didn’t need to understand or forgive him as the reader, only Mariana needed to decide if she could move forward. The author’s choice to write a book about this subject/couple can only be described as brave. There are plenty of readers who run the other way once any sort of cheating happens, heck even a hook-up outside of the main characters deters many. For those of us who aren’t dissuaded, casting a serial cheater as a hero seems a ridiculously steep hill to climb. The author did a fantastic job with the characters and emotions they waded through. From the outset, Mari came across as a good person who loves her family. She’s also strong and it was reassuring to see that she’s never satisfied to be treated as a doormat. Her feelings were honest, battling between a love she thought could never fail and an overwhelming sense of betrayal. I liked that we got to see the warring emotions, the different stages she moved through, and that she grew as a person throughout the book. Santos had an equally significant growth. As a reader, I may not have ever forgiven him, but his love for his family and wife were undeniable. I thought the author did a great job at proving that throughout the story. His emotions were palpable at times and I liked that he had to work through so many things on his own to earn his family back. Of course I wanted to slap him upside the head at times, but he always felt real and worth the effort. I appreciated the author never shied away from Santos’s character faults. She tested his resolve numerous times, proving his value as a hero to the reader. I found this couple’s journey really interesting and chock full of raw emotions. The revelations and self-discoveries were honest and I think many people who have been in a long term relationship can attest to feeling similarly at some point. Despite Mari and Santos’s unwavering love for one another, the author never cut the characters or their relationship slack and there were no easy fixes. The author never asks the reader to look past the cheating aspect. That was a relief to me. It’s always nice when a book takes a different path to happily ever after, and Goalie was definitely that. I came away really happy for this couple. They both fought hard for their marriage and their individual happiness. If you aren’t completely adverse to reading about a man who cheated, this is a fantastic book about when love isn’t enough and how hard a couple may have to work to surmount the tough times, as well as how a hero can be redeemed in spite of his transgressions.
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    2017 Must Read

    I have not read a book that had me this emotionally vested in characters since Colleen Hoover’s ‘It Ends with Us’. ME Carter starts right off with heartbreak in this third installment of the Texas Mutiny Series. * Cue ugly crying and rocking in a corner*. It was hard to read this story and feel like Carter was not touching on my relationships (past and present). The story line resounded so deeply within me. It had me reevaluating those relationships with new eyes, and damn it, I was blissfully happy believing things were the way I always perceived them to be. I both flove and hate Carter for this. Santos and Mariana’s story of not a damaged but a broken marriage, reached into my chest cavity and crush my heart. The magnitude of trials they both face and the courage they have to overcome them, not for their relationship with one another, but for their children and themselves was overwhelming. Whether she meant to write it this way or not, ME Carter takes us on a journey of self-discovery with the heart wrenchingly beautiful story that will first break, then inspire you.
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    This book fundamentally touched my heart and soul

    I'll be honest, I went into this book preparing to hate Santos and rooting for Mari to kick him to the curb. While, initially I still felt like that, alas, my feeling about him and his relationship with Mari changed. He really fought hard and won me over. I've noticed this is a continued trend with M.E. Carter, I went into Groupie prepared to dislike Tiffany or at least not love her, boy did that change. It is the same with Goalie. I slowly but surely fell in love with, not the person he was but the man he became. I mean generally Santos is an awesome dad, he loves his children, and besides the cheating he was a good husband in all other regards. "Watching" Santos and Mari's marriage disintegrate was heartbreaking, the damage and pain and the betrayal of what Santos has done ruined their relationship and the trust that was between them. What I love though is how hard these fought for their marriage, and the changes they gave each other so there would be no regrets. I absolutely love that they are good parents, and co-parent so beautifully, they put their children first, they are Santos and Mari's priority (as they should be). Reading about the journey these two went through was excruciating and brutal as heck. I cried so much, I went through every emotion under the rainbow. At first, I felt disillusioned, but in the end watching them grow individually and work on their flaws - Mari, too - and how they overcame obstacles and then grow together as two people was beautiful and heart-wrenching. I felt emotionally and mentally drained after finishing this book, my soul was tired and I felt it deep in my bones. the impact it had on me. This book fundamentally touched me, it changed me, it's raw, painful, brutal and incredibly moving story touched a special place in my heart and deep in my soul. This book was to its core realistic, it never once diminished the severeness of Santos actions or the consequences of those, Mari did not excuse his actions or look away or easily forgive what he had done. But, it taught so many good life lessons, that no matter what you have done, it is never too late to be remorseful and fight for redemption, forgiveness and a second chance. "I demand respects because I deserve respect." This is one of the most 'real' love stories I have read, I highly recommend it! Just prepare a s**t ton of Kleenex, you're gonna need it.
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