If you've ever wanted to read a story where two of the unlikeliest characters end up together, Takeoff is the read for you. Takeoff is a single dad, sports romance, that kind of fits into the enemies to lover’s trope as well. Colt Chastain is a down south, Alabama bred athlete. When he lays eyes on Vickie Taylor, a Black queen in her own rights, he's smitten and intrigued. Their game of cat and mouse is exhausting and entertaining to read, and once these characters' story gets going, its's almost hard to put this book down. "'I'm not into the whole celebrity thing. And I don't go out with athletes or people with kids. I made that clear the night at the club.' I clear my throat and square my shoulders. 'I'm not going to say it again.'"
On the surface, Vickie Taylor appears to be a headstrong, stubborn woman that has cut herself off from love because of her past heartbreak. Her only serious relationship was with her ex, Jerry, and he left her heartbroken and was engaged shortly after that heartbreak. "I'm not the type of girl who swoons. I'm not the type of girl who falls hard for a man. I'm not the girl who believes in happily ever after. People come into your life, and they walk out of it. And it hurts the most when it's the people you love. The ones you least expect to leave. I'm the pragmatic girl. The one who keeps men at a distance. The one who sets the terms in the relationships. I'm the one who walks away, but when I do, I don't leave collateral damage." As you get further into the story, readers will see that Vickie has abandonment issues that she's never dealt with, forcing herself to put a protective barrier around her heart. When she lays eyes on Colt, she's adamant about abiding by her rules. "There are rules my sister and I have when it comes to dating, and she's broken every single one of them to be with Ethan Bradford. Rule one is that we don't date men with kids, and Ethan is a single father with a bitch of an ex-wife. Rule two is my rule, but celebrities and athletes are out. I don't need to be in a relationship with a man and his ego." But Colt is persistent, and once he turns up his southern charm, Vickie isn't so certain she can keep that wall up around her heart.
Colt Chastain appears to perfect. He's a rich basketball player, a single dad, and isn't sleeping with all the women that are thrown at his feet. After being widowed, and a subsequent failed relationship, he decides to focus on his son, Evan. "When I reach for the cold pillow next to me, I'm hit by a sudden bout of loneliness. The love you have for a child can do wondrous things, but it can't fill the deep void of emptiness inside. The kind that can only be fulfilled by another adult human being. The kind that you can hold and kiss, and make love to on a night like tonight. The kind who would wait up for you to get home and jump in your arms when you walk through the door. The kind who will celebrate your wins and mourn your losses along with you." When his teammates force him out one night, he has no regrets after laying eyes on Vickie. She's pretty, and after a brief introduction, he's fascinated by her. Her resistance would be off putting to another man, but not Colt, he has the endurance of a thoroughbred horse. The fact that he's friends with her sister's boyfriend kind of gives him the upper hand in courting her. But right as Colt gets Vickie right where he wants her, something life altering happens. Turning him from this sweet charismatic guy to a guy that's forced to deal with things the only way he knows how. If he thinks he had to work hard to get Vickie the first time, he has now idea how much work he'll have to put in on his second go round. "I would never give you the power to hurt me. The only people who can hurt me never would. But yeah, I let you in further than I've ever let anyone else, and that was obviously a mistake."
When I tell y'all Vickie was on my nerves for the first half of this book. Her resistance to let Colt in was frustrating. When I got to about 58% in this book, I realized something. I was a lot like Vickie, forcing me to have a transparent moment. I then started to try to understand her more and empathize with her. Something very few readers do when reading. That and the obvious elephant in the room, Colt was white. I'm not well versed on interracial romances. I've read a few, and when I find an author that can convey the couple's story without making me cringe, I stick with them. Evelyn has been added to this list. This story was heartwarming and endearing. I loved the family dynamics for both characters. And as an added bonus, this story was free of the word cock (lol). This story is a spin-off to the story Takeover and the characters from Takedown make an appearance as well. I loved this book and whenever Evelyn adds them to another story I will definitely be reading.