Book Review. Defensive Mindset. Wendy Temple. 

Defensive Mindset

Wendy Temple

Genre: Romantic Suspense, LGBT

Publisher: Ylva Publishing

Publication date: April 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-3-95533-837-4

Book Description:

Star footballer and successful businesswoman Jessie Grainger has her life set, and doesn’t need anything getting in the way. That includes rebellious rival player Fran Docherty, a burnt-out barmaid with a past as messed up as her attitude. So when the clashing pair find themselves on the same Edinburgh women’s football team, how will they survive each other, let alone play to win?


About the Author:

Wendy Temple’s first love has always been sport. She kicked a football as soon as she could walk. At school, girls weren’t allowed to play football, so she played hockey instead. Hockey became her go-to sport for many years, but she played five a side football as often as she could/was permitted!

Wendy also loves music and from a young age got into punk. She remembers watching the Sex Pistols on the BBC news and her mum and granny being appalled. Wendy was ten and thought they were amazing.

Wendy believes that sport and a good family saved her from a life on the fringes of society. At age fifteen she was experimenting with drugs and skipping school. She failed all her exams apart from English. It was her love of sport that had her returning to school to re-sit exams and try again.

Upon leaving school Wendy studied physical and community education. After college she became a youth worker, running sports clubs, after school clubs and youth clubs. Working for an orthotics company inspired her to go to university to study Occupational Therapy – providing invaluable insight into physical and mental health, including addiction, which is one of the major themes in Defensive Mindset.

Wendy has spent most of her life in Edinburgh bar a couple of months in London. For her, Edinburgh is a city that can feel like a town: “It’s cosmopolitan, quaint and steeped in history, an ideal setting for any story,” says Wendy, which explains why Defensive Mindset is based in Portobello, Edinburgh!




My Rating 👍👍👍👍👍

Jessie plays for Lothian Thistle, and in the final game of the football season Fran Docherty, playing for the Ayr Hawks, inappropriately touches her on the pitch, gets a slap, and Jessie is given a red card, and three match ban. The following season Jessie is not too happy that Fran is now signed to play for Lothian Thistle. 

While football is a theme in the beginning, and close, of Defensive Mindset there is much more depth to this book, and a relationship blossoms between Jessie and Fran. 

Fran is a character I at once took to. Her background is slowly revealed. In her family addiction runs deep, and Fran has her own demons to struggle with. Although Jessie is at first our protagonist Fran takes over telling the story in equal chapters. The nuances of the relationships between not just Fran and Jessie, but teammates, parents, relatives, and managers, are well written. The character development is superb. I loved reading a book with strong female characters. 

The last leg of Defensive Mindset, with Fran opening up to Jessie, had me up all night reading, and with my heart going out to Fran.

I read Defensive Mindset because of the football element, I wasn’t prepared for the emotional wringer this book put me through.