Book Review: When I Need You by Lorelei James

Posted December 30, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: When I Need You by Lorelei James

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When I Need You by Lorelei James
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley Books on July 25, 2017
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: "Schooled", Wrapped and Strapped, Unraveled, What You Need, Just What I Needed, Racked and Stacked, Hang Tough, Spun Out, All You Need, I Want You Back, Want You to Want Me

Fourth in the Minneapolis-based Need You sports-based contemporary romance series and revolving around the wealthy Lund family. The couple focus is on Jensen “The Rocket” Lund and Rowan Michaels.

My Take

I always love a series that allows me to follow the characters and see how their lives evolve, and When I Need You does a 180 on one of ’em. You know those football players and their egos… Well Jensen got a wake-up call in All You Need, 3, and it seems he’s makin’ some changes!

James is using a first person dual protagonist point-of-view from Rowan’s and Jensen’s perspectives, so we watch their relationship develop from both sides.

Pretty tacky of that camp to not do refunds! On the other hand, I do love that Lund Industries gets so hands-on about helping their community. I’ll betcha Mama Lund is thrilled Jensen finally came up with a project!

I love how close both families are and how much Rowan cares for her son. She’s protective and yet willing to listen to others, wanting only for Calder to be his best person. On the Lund family side, they’re close with regular brunches and events, family events. Just ’cause they’re rich doesn’t mean they can’t care.

Oh, boy. There’s a nasty little bit in here that appears to be the game changer for Jensen. It also demonstrates some of the behind-the-scenes action in a sports team as well as the hypocrisy of the team rules. I do love how Jensen steps up!

I gotta say the story went too fast for me…I wanna know more about Jensen and Rowan. Wait…maybe it’s not them so much as those Lunds over all? I love their LCCO. I love that each of them, eventually, lol, is interested in helping. Yeah, I suspect that it’s the older generation instilling their own sense of giving back, and it’s nice to see how the kids take that on.

Yeah, the story was also a bit slow with Rowan holding back the most. Rowan drove me crazy with her fears! And, yeah, I saw that as a good character trait, protecting her son, but as a reader…arghhh!

It’s beautiful as Jensen discovers what’s really important in life, and Rowan learns to ease up in her life and her son’s. And, ahem, that Harry Potter is an essential in any child’s life.

The Story

Rules, rules, rules. Rowan has her list of priorities while Jensen has his three rules about dating.

But it doesn’t look good to their corporate rulers!

The Characters

Rowan Michaels is an athletic trainer at the University of Minnesota, a Vikings cheerleader, and a single mother. And she breaks all the rules. Calder Adam Michaels is her six-year-old son who loves, loves, loves to dance. Alicia is Calder’s nanny during the week. Talia will become a summer babysitter. Grammy and Pop-pop are Rochelle and Michael Michaels who run an organic orchard upstate.

Her brother is Martin Michaels, an American snowboarder who loves weed and video games, and is a freelance website designer, who happens to be Jensen’s neighbor in the Snow Village. He was also Axl’s groomsman. Verily is his girlfriend, a Swedish snowboarding champion.

Jensen “The Rocket” Lund (he has a history degree!) is a tight end on the Vikings football team, a ladies man, and has three rules. Chef J is Jensen’s personal chef. I want one…actually, I need my own chef!

The Lunds are…

…a Swedish family who emigrated to America and made good, building Lund Industries (LI). Jensen is a paternal grandfather with a sweet tooth who lives in Sweden.

Brady Lund is Jensen’s oldest brother and CFO of LI. He’s married to Lennox (What You Need, 1). Chaos is Lennox’s new kitty. Kiley is Lennox’s pregnant BFF. Walker is another brother who started his own construction company. He’s married to Trinity (the new it girl on the art scene), and they have a baby, T-Dub (Just What I Needed, 2). Betsy is his office manager. Jase is Walker’s partner who’s married to Tiffany with whom he has a baby girl, Jewel. Annika, their sister, is the VP of PR for LI. She’s married to Axl Hammerquist, a hockey player (All You Need, 3). Selka and Ward Lund are their parents. Uncle Archer is the CEO, and his wife, Aunt Edie, works with Aunt Priscilla. Ash (COO of LI) and Dallas Lund (Priscilla and Monte’s kids) are cousins…and Ash is in trouble. It doesn’t seem to be over Veronica, but it may be about Olivia. Nolan, another cousin, has another flavor of the week.

Lucy (a graphic artist who works at LI and intends to be involved in the camp) is Mimi‘s mother and does NOT get along with Mimi’s jerk of a dad, Jaxson “Stonewall” Lund, who plays hockey with the Chicago Blackhawks. Jax is also in an unbreakable partnership with Simone in a bar.

Lund Cares Community Outreach (LCCO) is…
…a community outreach project sponsored by Lund Industry and run by Selka, Priscilla (the big boss), and Edie.

Astrid is a prissy college intern working at LI as a receptionist, and she wants in. She loves to organize. She also has a paying job at Brit’s Pub.

The Vikings are…
…a Minneapolis football team. Jensen’s teammates include Devonte, who is a defensive end and one of Jensen’s friends; the cheating dirtbag Hardy “Hardly Moral” Morell is a defensive tackle; Mitchell is a third-string tight end; Richards is a cocky cornerback; Hugo is a backup center; and, Rudolph is a tight end.

Dante DeLillo is Jensen’s sports medicine therapist and trainer. He is also a former mentor of Rowan’s. Bob “Bebo” Johnson is one of the special teams’ trainers. Ray-Ray is timing the race. Brian is a corporate office manager. Trent is a coordinator from Human Resources who isn’t aware of how deep in it that Coach Wallaby has misstepped. Angela is the liaison between the team and the national sports organization. Izzy is the media director. Bree is a new student assistant.

Daisy is one of the Viking cheerleaders and one of Rowan’s friends; she works in the actuarial department at Wells Fargo — her stripping had paid for her MBA. Other cheerleaders include Marsai, Heather (head of the cheerleading staff), Rebecca, Dallas (another of Rowan’s friends and Jensen’s cousin), and Coach T. The bitchy Raina is a first alternate on the cheers team.

Camp Step-Up is…
…Jensen’s first LCCO project. The failed camp employees include Vanessa and Todd is the music teacher. Astrid will be the program administrator. Jax helps out as janitor. Some of the camp attendees include Alex, the ace projectile vomiter; Eloise; and, LaShawn.

Snow Village is…
…an apartment building that’s popular with a lot of winter sport pro and semipro athletes from all over the globe. Bob is the building manager. Lenka, with the oral expertise, is their neighbor in the last apartment. Nicolai and Andrew are a couple of kids who live there; their parents are Gabriel, a retired hockey player who now coaches a club hockey team, and Gejel, who is a curling instructor. More kids in the complex include Andrew, Noelle, and Benji and Emily. Inga and Isla are sisters and professional ice skaters from the Ukraine. A married couple from Germany, Joseph and Dieter, are figure skating teachers. The Swiss Isabel is a cyclist. Mischa and Pavel are Hungarian. Beatrice, a former biathlete, is a flight attendant for Icelandic Air.

Igor “Iron Man” is a Russian hockey player and a teammate of Axl’s, who had been dating Dallas. Serena had been the camp director. Miss Gray is Calder’s teacher. Tiara is a mean fellow student of Calder’s. Sebastian Joe’s is an ice cream parlor that always has a line. Daisy met Markus on a dating site. Rand, a former hook-up, is a tool. Jacques is Nolan’s personal-shopper-from-hell. Peter Skarn is Jensen’s agent. Misti Lane is a local TV reporter.

The Cover and Title

The cover is…basic. A black silhouette of the Minneapolis skyline sits at the bottom with a green-to-blue gradation rising up as the primary background color. A giant graphic of Rowan, her left arm around the white-blond Jensen’s neck, her right arm down by her side as she clasps a football, his hands clasping her waist, their lower halves fading into the skyline. She’s in a sky blue sports bra while he’s wearing a high-necked tank top in a deep royal. All the text is grouped in the center starting with the series information in white with an info blurb in a pale yellow below that. The author’s name is huge in the same pale yellow and is immediately followed by a much smaller title in white and combines in a serif and script font.

The title is something Rowan and Jensen learn, that When I Need You , they are there.

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