The story line and plots are loosely constructed. Characters are partially developed. It was almost like the author was practicing a writing drill for college.
If you need a definition of "potboiler" look no further than this book. Best I can say for it is that it is well written in the technical sense. Realistic dialogue and descriptions, especially of Italian food, make the book tolerable. But there is no mystery, no suspense, no surprises - nothing, in other words, to give the reader a sense of discovery or achievement. This story was obviously quickly dashed off. The plot is transparently thin: third rate NFL player winds up in Italy and becomes the star of a ragtag team. He finally meets a girl from the States and they fall in love. I have only 20 minutes more to listen to but I already know what's coming. The big game. They'll probably win. Then he and the girl will go back to the States, get married, and disappear from notice. Or they'll stay in Italy and do the same. Ho-hum. If it turns out any different, I'll either edit this or write a follow-up.