Review: Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken

Fraternize
Series: Player’s Game, #1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Note: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.


I am normally a big fan of Rachel Van Dyken’s new adult novels. I love the heart she brings to them. However, I was not a big fan of Fraternize. It was well written and entertaining, but I had a lot of little problems with it. (Caution – SPOILERS AHEAD).

First, I am a native Washingtonian. I grew up and live about 40 minutes from downtown Seattle and Bellevue. I had a hard time buying into a Bellevue Bucks  AND a Seattle Seahawks NFL franchise. Seattle and Bellevue are a measly ten miles apart. There is no way the area could support another NFL team. Traffic is bad enough as it is. I did appreciate all the Russel Wilson love, though. And I loved how parts of the game of football and grueling practices were included in the book.

Second, I didn’t love the love triangle between Miller, Emerson, and Sanchez. It made me very uncomfortable. Everyone was too close for comfort. Miller and Sanchez were teammates, neighbors and friends. Emerson had a past with Miller that she wasn’t over. Sanchez was overly aggressive in his attempts to woo Emerson, even though he knew Miller had a past with Emerson. Miller and Emerson had been best friends and then more. The had a very intimate emotional connection. I could feel their bond, and I wanted them to be together. That’s not what happened. Emerson ended up with Sanchez.

Third, my biggest problem was I didn’t care for Sanchez. Like I said, he was overly aggressive when it came to Emerson. He had a filthy mouth when it came to his attempts to get her to go out with him, and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. It was disrespectful and made me uncomfortable. I get that underneath it all, he was a nice guy. I just didn’t get that from him until the end.

There were some things I did like about Fraternize. I liked how Emerson wasn’t the standard NFL cheerleader. I loved that she was fit even though she wasn’t a size 0,2, 4, 6, 8…I also loved that she loved food. Emerson’s confidence was cool. Another thing I loved was the ending. The one about Miller. It leads into the next book, and I’m actually really excited to read it. I loved Miller, and I am hopeful Rachel Van Dyken will give him his happy ending.

Honestly, Fraternize was a good book that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure there are going to be lots of people who fall in love with Emerson and Sanchez.

6 thoughts on “Review: Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t care for this one. It doesn’t sound like I would either. I’ve only read one book by this author before and I kind of hated it, so I haven’t really been inspired to pick anything else up by her anyways.

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