REVIEW: Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr
Dear Ms. Parr:
This book is definitely my favorite in the NY Leopards series of books. It has two tropes that I love — reunited lovers and friends to lovers. There was one other thing that made it memorable for me. Both characters are Jewish and their faith and families played an important but not overwhelming role. It just served to remind me of all the cultural differences in our world and how very Anglo Saxon romances are that this particular aspect was memorable.
Tamar Rosenfeld has been in love with Abraham Krasner since the age of twelve. She even screwed up the courage to tell him so. He’d always known but as a young buck about to get drafted he didn’t have an interest in young Tamar, the daughter of a family friend.
When Tamar moves to New York as a new journalist for an online sports magazine, one of the beats she’ll cover is that of the NY Leopards. She doesn’t immediately reveal her past with Abe nor does she seek him out. She moves in with three other young women and makes up a list of things to do while she lives in New York including get over Abe Krasner.
Abe reaches out to her because her mother told his mother that she’d moved to Manhattan. Suffering a mix of excitement and trepidation, Tamar allows Abe back into her life. Despite Tamar’s early feelings of rejection, I was super disappointed that she did not move on emotionally and mentally from Abe. I wished she had dated someone other than Abe and that she allowed him back into her life too quickly. Tamar is a virgin and honestly if she had had at least one other sexual encounter I would have felt better about it. She does try to resist him but her friends, interested in having someone famous around, kind of thwarts her efforts.
While Abe’s excuse for why he rejected her made sense, I wanted to see him have to work harder to win her back. While Tamar didn’t act like she had no backbone, I felt she was too pliable when it came to Abe. The internal emotional conflict frustrated me from that standpoint. Yet I couldn’t be unhappy entirely because I really liked Tamar and Abe, despite that initial rejection, was a lovely suitor.
The second half of the book relies more on an external conflict. Tamar is doing a piece on concussions and helmets in the football league. There’s a safer helmet available on the market but not every team uses them. A competing manufacturer just so happens to have an official sponsorship deal with the League, generally, and the Leopards specifically. The timeliness of this issue helped ground the story in realism. Concussion syndrome in the NFL is a big deal yet no one believes the actual League is doing more than lip service but worse, there are many players who want to play hard and win at all costs no matter what the long term repercussions may be.
Later in the book, Abe stands by Tamar in a very strong fashion which made up a bit for his earlier rejection. There was something endearing about the way that the two interacted. The longstanding friendship that morphed into something stronger and more intimate was sweet and tender. Of course, there are moments of typical possessiveness but I enjoyed those because they came at the right time in a way that reassured Tamar, and the reader, of Abe’s intentions.
His jaw firmed up, and in an instant he had pulled me flush against his body and kissed me so intensely all thought fled my mind, replaced with a perfect storm of heat and desire. His mouth played a symphony of pleasure against mine. It reverberated throughout my entire body until I was weak and clung to him.
When he raised his head, he was smiling in satisfaction, and I was utterly breathless. “What was that?”
“That,” he said, “was to let you know that you will never get me out of your system, Tamar Rosenfeld.”
You get scenes of past characters together as well as witness the wedding of the one non white couple referenced in the Leopards’ books. Overall, this was a solid B- read for me. I would have given it a stronger grade had I not felt like Tamar was in stasis for all of her young life, just waiting for Abe’s kiss to awaken her. B-
This was a fun book and a quick read. I preferred Running Back, but still plan to buy Parr’s next book. The lovely connection between Tamar and Abe because of their shared history, and Abe’s sheer niceness kept me into the book, though Tamar came off as a very young character who still had some growing up to do. Imaginary Lines also had less (to me) of the snappy dialog that particularly appealed to me in Running Back. Still, a good solid effort and she goes on my auto-buy list for now.
I liked this book, too. I have enjoyed the whole series — it captures the world of the NFL better than some others I have tried. And although the men are big-money football players, none of the women give up their own interests or careers as part of their happy endings.
I agree about Tamar; I wish she had more than just a couple of failed hook-ups in the five years she was supposedly trying to get over Abe. I wasn’t bothered by her virginity, but it just didn’t feel like she’d really tried to move on, even though she hadn’t seen or spoken to Abe since she was 19.
Abe seemed a little too sure of himself and of Tamar — he seemed to take her and her feelings for granted. It bothered me that their relationship had to happen on his timeline, not hers. But in the end he really stood up for her, and was even willing to put his football career on the line for the sake of their relationship, and that helped a little in making up for the power imbalance.
The helmet storyline was handled well, and I liked how it brought in the characters from the earlier books. I can imagine this happening pretty much as it did in the book, I’m sad to say (as a football fan).
Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha
plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one?
Thanks a lot!
Terra – it is https://wordpress.org/plugins/really-simple-captcha/