Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2016. Going back through my Goodreads reviews, I had a lot of 5 star reads. I couldn’t pick my top ten favorite books of the year, so I decided to just go with ten of my favorites. You might be surprised that all of these covers do not feature abs… Each of these books was special to me for some reason. Also, these are books I read in 2016. Some of them may have been published prior to this year.


1. The Start of Me and You
Emery Lord

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The Start of Me and You was such a beautifully written coming of age novel. One of my most favorite ever.

2. The Hard Count
Ginger Scott

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I love every book Ginger Scott writes, but The Hard Count was truly magnificent. It touched on just about every topic relevant to today’s youth.

3. Paper Princess (The Royals, #1)
Erin Watt

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Paper Princess was pure genius. It hooked me and then shocked me.

4. The Way I Used to Be
Amber Smith

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The Way I Used to Be is a debut novel about the aftermath of rape. I found it to be the most well-written YA novel on the subject I’ve read so far.

5. Us (Him, #2)
Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

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My boys were back in Us. I loved how this book dealt with everything Jamie and Wes experienced as a male couple.

6. Addicted to You (Addicted, #1)
Krista & Becca Ritchie

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A sex addict and an alcoholic. Sounds like a horrible book, right? It wasn’t. It was magical and emotional. Probably the best series I binge read this year.

7. Steadfast (True North, #2)
Sarina Bowen

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I love the way Sarina Bowen portrayed Jude’s addiction and recovery. So insightful and caring.

8. Banking the Billionaire (Bad Boy Billionaires, #2)
Max Monroe

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Banking the Billionaire made me laugh more than any other book this year.

9. The Goal (Off-Campus, #4)
Elle Kennedy

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I couldn’t leave off The Goal. I had been waiting for Tucker’s story forever. I love the way the series wrapped up.

10. Too Late
Colleen Hoover

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Oh, CoHo. Just when I think I know the kind of story you’re going to write, you come up with Too Late. This dark romance had me eagerly checking Wattpad for updates to the story. It was crazy good.


There were many, many books I wanted to put on this list. I could have made a list entirely of the best YA novels I read or the best steamy romance, but I decided to go with this hodge-podge because I wanted to spotlight these gems.

Review: Naughty Boss by Whitney G.

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Author: Whitney G.
Publication Date: December 15, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He definitely wasn’t supposed to get that email…

Subject: My Boss.

Have I already told you that I hate my boss today?

Sexy as hell or not, this pompous, arrogant, ASSHOLE asked me to pick up his dry cleaning the second I walked through the door. Then he told me that I needed to take his Jaguar to a car wash that was ten miles outside of the city, but only after I needed to stand in a never-ending line to buy some type of limited, hundred-dollar watch.

I honestly can’t wait to see the look on his face two months from now when I tell him that I’m quitting his company and that he can kiss my ass. KISS. MY. ASS.

All those former fantasies about him kissing me with his “mouth of perfection” or bending me over my desk and filling me with his cock are long over. OVER.

Your bestie,
Mya

PS–Please tell me your day is going better than mine…

Subject: Re: My Boss.

No, you haven’t already told me that you hate your “boss” today, but seeing as though you’ve sent me this email directly, I know now

Yes, I did ask you to pick up my dry cleaning the second you arrived to work to day. (Where is it?) And I did tell you to take my Jaguar to the car wash and pick up my thousand-dollar watch. (Thank you for taking five hours to do something that could be accomplished in two.)

You don’t have to wait two months from now to see the look on my face when you tell me you’re quitting. I’m standing outside your office at this very moment. ( Open the door. )

No comment on your “fantasies,” although I highly doubt they’re “long over.”

Your boss,
Michael

PS—Yes. My day is definitely going far better than yours…


Naughty Boss is a delightfully sexy novella about a woman who accidentally tells her incredibly hot boss via email that he drives her insane in more ways than one. The story is filled with hilarious emails, texts and super tense up close and personal moments. I loved absolutely every minute of Mya and Michael’s struggle to keep things professional.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading a book by Whitney G. — you’re missing out. Her writing is sexy, witty, erotic and oh so fun. The only thing I could possibly complain about is that I never want her novellas to be novellas. I love her characters and stories so much that I want them all to last for hundreds of pages. I highly recommend Naughty Boss and any of her other books to readers who crave well-written, super sexy stories.

Review: Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

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Series: Royally, #1
Author: Emma Chase
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Emma Chase, LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark-haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse-drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.

Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.


Once again, Emma Chase had me smiling, laughing and swooning with her newest release, Royally ScrewedRoyally Screwed was the story of Olivia, a baker who’s down on her luck until a prince happens to walk into her shop. Prince Nicholas came for the pie, but he can’t seem to forget the woman who made it. He would do anything to have Olivia — even if only for a short time.

I really enjoyed Royally Screwed. It was a fun take on the commoner falling for a prince theme. What set it apart from other books in the same category was its humor and the characters themselves.

Olivia was a typical American woman fighting to live the “American Dream”. She put all her effort into saving the family bakery and gave up everything she wanted for herself. I loved how down to Earth she was. Nicholas was exactly who I expected him to be: confidently cocky and purposefully oblivious to what life required of him. The combination of their personalities and life situations made for an explosive relationship. It was so much fun to read.

Royally Screwed was exactly what I have come to expect from a novel by Emma Chase. Her witty dialog and confidently cocky males always make me smile. I love how she combines love and sensuality with humor to create amazing romances. The only thing keeping Royally Screwed from a 5 star rating on my part was that I constantly tried to compare Nicholas to Jake Becker from Sustained (The Legal Briefs, #2). Jake’s my most favorite Emma Chase male ever and Nicholas just couldn’t compete with the perfection that is Jake Becker. (Sorry!)

‘Tis the Season Book Tag

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I was tagged by Joey over at Thoughts and Afterthoughts for the ‘Tis the Season Book Tag. Thanks, Joey! It couldn’t have been timed more perfectly.


Do you have a favorite winter read?

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This year, my favorite holiday read was What Light by Jay Asher.

Find a book with blue on the cover!

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So Much More by Kim Holden isn’t very holiday-ish, but the cover is blue!

Find a book you’d use as the star on a Christmas tree!

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It has a star, so I couldn’t help myself.

Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter vacation!

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How about a coastal town in Italy?

Which fictional character would you take with you on your winter vacation?

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My bestie Frank Sanger came to mind.

Name one book on your wishlist this year!

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As a Kasie West fan, I’m embarrassed that I haven’t read this book yet.

Favorite holiday drink, treat, and movie?

Drink: hot apple cider
Treat: iced sugar cookies
Movie: The Sound of Music


Normally I’d tag some friendly bloggers, but, since it’s so close to Christmas, I’m going to tag everyone and anyone who wants to do this fun tag. 😉

Review: Downed by Jen Frederick

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Series: Gridiron, #3
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.


“He’s the guy no one likes…”

Um, yeah. That’s true. I didn’t like JR “Ace” Anderson at all after his actions in the second book in the Gridiron series, Jockblocked. I wasn’t actually very excited to read his book, but I adore Jen Frederick’s writing and I knew she would be able to change my mind about him. She totally did.

Ace started out acting in Downed much like did in Jockblocked. I had a hard time connecting with his cocky self-centeredness. He didn’t seem to be able to see beyond himself and I didn’t like that or him. Then, Bryant appeared on the scene.

Oh my, that girl Bryant. What a character! I wasn’t sure what to make of her at first. Bryant’s southern charm was over the top and almost ridiculous — but for some reason it worked. Her sugary sweetness had such an interesting impact on Ace. Bryant confused him and I loved it. She was everything Ace needed — in and out of the bedroom! Bryant healed Ace in ways he didn’t even realize he needed to be healed. And Ace did the same thing for her. Bryant helped Ace realize the type of man he truly was — one I could love.

There were also several other men I adored in Downed. First, Bryant’s dad. What a sweetheart! I loved how much he was involved in the story and Bryant’s life. Second, all of the other football players. They were such a rowdy group! I especially loved their interactions with Bryant. So cute and funny!

I loved Downed. It proved what an amazing writer Jen Frederick is. I truly didn’t think Ace was going to be redeemable, but she proved he could be. I highly recommend this book and series to anyone who enjoys a fantastic sports romance.

2016 End of Year Book Survey

The 2016 End of Year Book survey is a year end survey created by Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner. This is the survey’s 7th year! If you would like to complete this survey, you can find the original survey post and link up here.

And now we begin my 2016 End of Year Book Survery!


 

Number Of Books You Read: 320
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary Romance

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1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

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I chose The Hard Count by Ginger Scott because I felt like it was so well written and applicable to today’s youth. It encompassed so many important things. Amazing book.

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

A gift of time cover

Don’t get me wring, I really enjoyed A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn. It answered all of my questions and resolved so many things from Nine Minutes and Out of Time, but it was kind of a weird read. The first half of the book reminded me of Out of Time, while the second half reminded me of Nine Minutes. It was hard to switch between the two tones. Still loved it, though.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

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I was expecting to fall in love with Taking Chances by Molly McAdams. It had such great reviews and made Huffington Post’s top ugly cry list, but I hated every moment of it.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

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Surprise, surprise. It’s not very hard to get the ladies to read a book with a cover like this! Thank goodness the writing is amazing!

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series I started:

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Addicted / Calloway Sisters series by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Best Sequel of 2016:

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Us (Him, #2) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Best Series Ender of 2016:

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The Goal (Off-Campus, #4) by Elle Kennedy

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

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This could honestly be a really long list, so I’m going to pick the first author to pop into my head: Max Monroe. The entire Billionaire Bad Boys series was hilarious and super sexy. Loved it!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

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I’m not much of a fantasy fan, but I love Amy Harmon’s writing and she did not disappoint with The Bird and the Sword.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

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Too Late by Colleen Hoover was like crack. I anxiously waited for each addition to this story on Wattpad.

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

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I hate to admit it, but I don’t re-read many books. If I had to choose one to re-read from this year, it might be Banking the Billionaire because it was so dang funny!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

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This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

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I am picking two most memorable characters, one I hated and one I adored. I hated Miranda from So Much More by Kim Holden. She is memorable for being a complete jerk. I adored Frank Sanger from This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills because Frank Sanger is for everyone — me especially.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

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Like I said above, this book was amazingly written and so important.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

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Tarryn Fisher knows how to make you think like no other. Marrow is probably one of the most thought provoking books I’ve read this year.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

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Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“You have to be willing to be happy. Despite the mess of your life—just accept what’s happened, throw away your ideals, and create a new map of happiness to follow.”

-Tarryn Fisher, Marrow

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn (64 pages)
Longest: Some Kind of Perfect by Krista & Becca Ritchie (664 pages)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

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A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn

 

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

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Jamie & Wes

 

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

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Sloane & Frank Sanger

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

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Steadfast (True North, #2) by Sarina Bowen

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

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I found My Perfect Mistake on Cristina from My Tiny Obsession‘s blog. Loved it!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

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Knox Masters

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

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The Way I Used To Be felt like it was written by a seasoned writer and it was a touching story.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

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Amy Harmon created a beautiful set.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

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If you want to laugh and smile a bunch, then read Banking the Billionaire by Max Monroe.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

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When it Rains by Lisa De Jong was a sob fest. So good, but so sad!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

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Paper Princess (The Royals, #1) by Erin Watt

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

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I can’t even begin to explain it. I felt so many emotions I didn’t want to feel.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

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Lily is an a dachshund. The octopus is, well, an octopus. Add in Lily’s owner Ted and this story is delightfully unique.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

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Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair

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1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

It’s hard to keep straight what blogs I discovered when, but one that pops to mind is Rant and Rave About Books.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

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F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher. It was before I switched by self-hosting.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

I don’t think I had a discussion post this year. Shame on me!

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I went to two this year. First, I went to Emerald City Author Event. Second, I went to An Evening with Anna Kendrick.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

It would have to be the Emerald City Author Event. I got to meet so many amazing authors, including Claire Contreras, Tarryn Fisher, E.L. James, Jay Crownover, Emma Chase, and so many more!

Oh, and also updating to the beautiful new header Aentee @ Read at Midnight created for me!

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

The past couple of weeks. My blog has been acting up. 🙁

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

This surprised me. It was my review of The Goal by Elle Kennedy.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Hey, I’d take more love for any of them!

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Hmm…I probably discovered it last year, but I think The Bookworm Box deserves all of the publicity it can get for donating so much to charity.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yep. I completed my Goodreads challenge. 🙂

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

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I adore Kasie West’s books and I’m so disappointed in myself for not having read P.S. I Like You yet!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

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To me, collaboration doesn’t getting any better than Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. I cannot wait for Good Boy and their new WAGS series!

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

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Wait for Me just popped up on my radar recently, but I’m so excited to read this debut!

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

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I cannot wait to read Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers, #2)!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Meet more amazing bloggers! Maybe some who are into NA/Adult contemporaries.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

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I love Kelly Siskind’s Over the Top series and I would definitely recommend Hooked on Trouble. BUT read the first two books in the series first!


And that’s my 2016 End of Year Book Survey. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Review: Jockblocked by Jen Frederick

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Series: Gridiron, #3
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

She’s always played it safe…

College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule—avoid risk at all costs. She’s cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffee shop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she’s willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who’s determined to sweep her off her feet?

He’s always played around…

Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew “Matty” Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it’s his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge—the hottie he’s lusting over just happens to be Ace’s childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it’s time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she’s not sleeping with the enemy.


I have to admit that I didn’t exactly fall in love with Matty Iverson when I met him in Sacked. He seemed like an annoying, douche-y college football player. I was surprised he was going to be the next leading man in the Gridiron series. I was kind of expecting / wanting Ty Masters’ story. Now that I’ve gotten to get to know Matty, I’m so happy Jen Frederick gave us his story.

Matty’s spent the last four years taking advantage of his college football player status, but lately he’s been a little put off by all of the honeys trying to get into his pants. Matty thinks that maybe his buddy Knox Masters has it right: Find a good woman and make her yours. Matty’s thoughts are confirmed when he meets Lucy Washington. There’s something about Lucy that Matty can’t get out of his head. Too bad Lucy’s determined to stay away from the jocks in the dating pool. But Matty’s not one to back down from a challenge — especially one involving someone as important as Lucy.

I didn’t think it was possible, but Matty Iverson was just as swoon worthy as Knox Masters. Matty was so much kinder and sweeter than I was expecting. The things he did for Lucy were pretty dang amazing. The best part was that he didn’t even realize he was doing anything amazing. Matty just did what he thought was right. I loved that about him.

I found Lucy very easy to relate to. She was a confident person, but she also had her insecurities. Lucy let those insecurities get the best of her at times, just like we all do. My favorite part of her back story was her friendship with Ace. The changes their relationship went through throughout the book felt like what could happen in real life in a male-female friendship. I also liked how the author dealt with her medical issues.

Matty and Lucy’s relationship was so cute. I loved how it began with Lucy not wanting to get involved with Matty. The way he tried to prove himself to her was really cool. I adored everything he did and totally would have fallen for him, too! There wasn’t just sweetness to this story, though. Lucy and Matty had an amazing connection. The sex was steamy and fun to read.

There were several other characters in Jockblocked that I adored and hope make it into books in this series. I wouldn’t mind Lucy’s roommates getting a story. I would especially love to see Hammer fall in love. That guy and his “romance” columns cracked me up. I really, really need a book about him!

Jockblocked was exactly what I’m looking for when I reach for a new adult sports romance. It was a well-written, fun and fast-paced read. There were serious moments, but there was also a lot of humor. I highly recommend it and the rest of the Gridiron series. I’m looking forward to jumping right into reading the next book in the series, Downed, next!