“I want to stay forever… I want to have you for as long as I can have you Lucas, even if that is a week or a year or a decade.”
Mia Carter never thought getting suspended from her part-time job for having attitude could be the best thing to ever happen … maybe. When Lucas Ainswright—one of the world’s biggest sporting stars—needs a minder, it just so happens that attitude is just what is needed to keep Lucas in line. Now Mia’s job is to manage the sporting world’s bad boy and keep him at the top of his game for the season. Game on!
Lucas Ainswright is a total and complete asshat!! As one of the world’s elite soccer players, Lucas has a most enviable life and he damn sure knows it. He has more money than he knows what to do with, he has talent oozing out every orifice, he has a home that would make most men weep and, he has “companionship” with little to no effort on his part. Lucas also has a dark past and an addiction that haunts him on a very regular basis.
Lucas Ainswright has a natural talent that time and practice have only improved upon. He has absolutely earned his place as the Saints team captain and his salary is well-deserved but he is not a pleasant person to be around. To make matters far, far worse, it is imperative that Lucas be kept happy and doted upon so he isn’t tempted to fall back into his addiction. Another measure to keep Lucas in line are daily drug tests and a minder, a person who lives with him to ensure he behaves himself. Enter Mia Carter.
Mia Carter is a feisty sports physiology student whose part-time job requires her to visit clients for random and frequent drug tests. Every once in a while, a client gets nasty and Mia is compelled to put them right back in their place. Which is how Mia has found herself bored out of her mind and with nothing to do. Enter Lucas Ainswright’s father. With the promise of a hefty salary, bonuses and, living quarters in a multi-million dollar mansion on the beach, Mia jumps at the opportunity to be Lucas’s latest minder. Different from nearly everyone else in the world, Mia has no idea who Lucas is so she is completely unaffected by his celebrity. Additionally, Mia is accustomed to dealing with assholes so whatever attitude Lucas has to throw at her, Mia is skilled and quick enough to throw right back. Bring. It. On.
With the ground rules established, Mia begins to settle into Lucas’s world even if the settling is rather uncomfortable. Lucas is resentful of Mia’s presence and even more resentful that she is technically his father’s employee. At every turn, Mia tries to do her job, get in and get out before Lucas can lob some new form of awful at her. Lucas may be hot as hell but his attitude is cold as ice and Mia often finds herself off balance and scrambling to keep up. A place the normally confident Mia has rarely ever found herself. The only real bonus to working with Lucas is her access to the Saints’ team doctor’s and the opportunity to broaden her physio skills. Mia soaks up every moment of work with the team and is completely oblivious to the fact that Lucas is ever so slowly allowing her into his inner sanctum. Others however, are noticing.
Lucas’s attitude runs hot and cold and with every negative event, Mia considers packing it in and leaving him to his own ruin. Lucas’s friends, however see something totally different happening and beg Mia to continue on in her role as minder. Those who know Lucas best know there is a nice and relatively decent guy beneath the assholish façade. They give Mia insight into Lucas and his past though they never excuse his bad behavior. In fact, Lucas’s friends often hold him accountable for his behavior and refuse to allow his celebrity to factor into their own actions and judgements. Mia learns quickly and coupled with her own feistiness is mostly able to handle Lucas. Mostly.
The Bottom Line: Team Lucas is, in many ways as funny as it is sad. Lucas has a life anyone would want but he is desperately unhappy and often acts like a spoiled brat. His behavior has nearly cost him everything and though he resents Mia’s presence, he also knows she is necessary. Mia is instantly likeable and quite funny with her strong will and generally unedited mouth. I appreciate immensely that Mia doesn’t behave as most girls would in the presence of someone like Lucas. Mia is certainly attracted to Lucas and she likes him the longer she is with him but she refuses to dote on him as nearly everyone else does. She is respectful of Lucas and his abilities but she has a job to do and she will not fail. Mia never throws herself at Lucas, never begs for his attention and that is most refreshing. I would have very much like to have seen the relationship between the two develop a bit more quickly (it doesn’t happen until the 90% mark!) but overall, the pacing of the story and the unfolding of the plot is good. Team Lucas is filled with interesting characters that are generally full-bodied and well-developed. The dialogue (mostly between Lucas and Mia) is the highlight of this read and drives the story from start to finish. In all, Team Lucas is a good start to what I hope will be a very solid series.
Ally Adams is a journalist who lives in coastal Victoria, Australia with her husband and furry friends. She is a literature major, romance reader and writer.