REVIEW AND EXCERPT: ONE GOOD MAN by Emma Scott

 

It’s spring, 1970. The Vietnam War has been raging for years with no end in sight. Janey Martin, a California college student and aspiring journalist is tired of writing puff pieces about her university men’s sports teams. She wants to be taken seriously as a journalist and as a woman. With riots at their doorstep, her wealthy father sends Janey to the Sorbonne in Paris to finish her college education away from the chaos.

Janey is reluctant to leave the Big Story that is Vietnam, but vows to prove herself. Much to her dismay, her first assignment is to interview the hotshot star forward of a local soccer team. Janey is sure Adrien Rousseau is going to be like every other playboy jock she’s ever dealt with, but quickly learns there is much more to Adrien than meets the eye.

The mysterious, sexy footballer just might be the biggest story of Janey’s life.

Review

‘Find a big story within a smaller one…’

‘Find one {a story} that looks like nothing on the outside {puff pieces if you will}, but once you crack it, something incredible comes out.’

Janey Martin doesn’t doubt that these ideas are sage advice, but for an aspiring journalist – one who views the Vietnam War as the ULTIMATE BIG STORY, it’s difficult for her to take a step back and acknowledge that, oftentimes, it’s the less significant events or situations that have the most depth, that have the biggest impact on people because they’re relatable and because they matter in heartfelt ways…not to say that war and all that comes with it isn’t significant because it is, but the frontline – the one at home…the one that changes the dynamics of lives each and every day is where the focus is and while there is definitely a link to those bigger stories,

Janey is the perfect heroine because her imperfections, her passion, her snark, and her heart are all what makes her the best kind of reporter, and while she hates the fact that her father sent her away from what she thought was a story that would help launch her career, the real story…the one that not only changes readers’ opinions and casts things into a much different light is actually way more personal…way more important…and way more self-defining than any story she could have written about the Vietnam War or any other worldwide concern.

At first glance, Adrien Rousseau is just another rich and arrogant athlete – one whose cocky attitude and asshole antics make him personify every stereotype that Janey has ever felt about sports stars, but because the article she needs to write about Adrien is a means to an end, her arduous task becomes even more than the burden it already has, but not quite in the way Janey expected.

I love heroes who are perceived to be one way, but because readers are privy to their perspectives, they understand that these males created a persona to hide behind for one reason or another, and that is exactly what Adrien has done, and it’s why Janey begins to understand that he is nothing like she expected and that he is one mass of contradictions.

But the reason behind Adrien’s mask is not easily understood, so as Adrien and Janey’s story continues, Emma Scott allows her readers to do some investigating of their own as they are presented with Adrien’s conflicted internal thoughts and Janey’s astute observations and drive to uncover everything that Adrien works hard to hide.

One Good Man is an incredible story – one that illustrates the true measure of a man when it comes to not letting people down and accepting a set of circumstances that may not be what he would have chosen for himself. I loved how Emma Scott characterized Janey in a way that forced the heroine to look beyond Adrien’s mask because Janey’s inquisitiveness and her ability to read a situation pull her towards Adrien’s truth regardless of her initial reaction to him.

I’m so glad that I found Emma Scott when I did; I adore her storytelling because it’s obvious that she writes from her heart and that she listens to her characters’ voices and then shapes them accordingly because each one is incredibly dynamic, and that allows readers to understand all facets of who the characters are and why they do what they do…even when other characters may not understand.

Janey and Adrien’s story is not one I will soon forget because it truly showed just how fragile life is and why sometimes the best stories are the ones we write about ourselves just by living our lives.

5 Poison Apples

Excerpt

I reached over and pushed ‘stop’ on Janey’s tape recorder and turned to her. “Saturday then?”

She coughed in surprise. “What happens Saturday?”

“We conclude the interview. You need to see a football match firsthand or your article is going to sound like a bunch of amateurish gibberish. You want to be taken seriously?”

She pressed her lips together for a moment. “Yes.”

“So do I. Saturday at noon at Stade Jean-Marc. We’ll finish the interview after.”

“Antoine wants the article in two days,” she said.

“Tell Antoine I said to wait.”

She took another long pull from the lemonade, her pride not letting her say yes to me so quickly.

“Saturday then,” she said. “For the article.”

“Right,” I said, holding her gaze. “For the article.”

She finished off the lemonade and set the glass down. “Thank you very much, Sophie. It was just what I needed.” She gathered her belongings and turned to me. “See you.”

“You have a drop of lemonade on your chin,” I said.

“Where?” Her hand flew to her mouth. “No, I don’t…”

I held out the cocktail napkin with my sketch of her, my brow raised.

Janey dropped her hand from her dry chin, fuming. I expected her to flounce away. But she snatched the napkin out of my hand, dropped it into her bag, and coolly walked away.

I wasn’t in love with her, but in that moment, I knew someday I would be.

Emma Scott is a bestselling author of emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy thoughtful, realistic stories with diverse characters and kind-hearted heroes, you will enjoy my novels.

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