2017 End of Year Survey

This survey was created by Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Number Of Books You Read: A lot. i don’t want to brag. 😉
Number of Re-Reads: 1
Genre You Read The Most From: contemporary romance

1. Best Book You Read In 2017?

(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2017 release vs. backlist)

Honestly, I’ve read a lot of amazing books this year. I’m going to have to go with the one that first comes to mind. It’s a standout for sure. Grip by Kennedy Ryan.

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

Oh, gosh this is a sad category. I’m going with After by Anna Todd. I hated this book. I thought I would love it. Nope.

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

Even though I hated the first book, I continued the After series out of morbid curiosity. I was shocked that I actually loved After Ever Happy, the last book in the series.

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

Hmm…I don’t know. Probably Sincerely, Carter or any other book by Whitney G. I’ve wanted more people to read her stuff. I feel like this year they finally did!

 5. Best series you started in 2017? Best Sequel of 2017? Best Series Ender of 2017?

Best series: Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Best sequel:

The Iron Tiara by Beth Flynn

Best series ender of 2017:

Still (Grip, #2) by Kennedy Ryan

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2017?

Mariana Zapata, Kennedy Ryan, Emma Scott, Tijan, Jamie Howard, Mignon Mykel, Jenn Bennett, L.J. Shen, Jen Frederick to name a few.

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

It would have to be fantasy or sci-fi, so I’ll go with Illuminae.

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

I haven’t read a ton of thrillers this year. My favorite was probably Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine.

 9. Book You Read In 2017 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not much of a re-reader. I guess I’m just going to skip this one.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2017?

I loved this cover so much that I started at the beginning of the series and read the entire thing.

11. Most memorable character of 2017?

Cletus from Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series. The dude is strange, but I love him.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2017?

I have to go with either Grip or Still.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2017?

Yep. Another Grip. This series just made me think so much! I felt like I learned a lot from this romance series.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2017 to finally read? 

I’ve had The Law of Moses forever. I’m sad I didn’t read it until this year.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2017?

You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.

180 Seconds, Jessica Park

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2017?

Shortest: 32 pages

Longest: 849 pages

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

I guess I just wasn’t expecting this one to go where it did.

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

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Sadie & Andrew!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

All of the guys and girls from the Billionaire Bad Boys series by Max Monroe!

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2017 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

21. Best Book You Read In 2017 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2017?

Rhett

23. Best 2017 debut you read?

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

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

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2017?

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2017?

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

I love Meghan Quinn, but this book…

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2017?

There are too many to even mention.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2017?

I don’t think I have one. I love them all.

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

I was horrible and didn’t have a single discussion post this year!

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

I went to the Hilary Clinton book signing in Seattle with my friend. It was cool. I got to shake her hand.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2017?

Reading recommendations from trusted bloggers and finding new authors to love.

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

Most challenging would probably be keeping up with my NetGalley requests. I requested way too many.

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

Sorry, not spending the time to look it up.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

All of them!

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

Hmm…I loved visiting Elliot Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I want to return there when I can spend time looking around.

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 and the 2017 New Adult Challenge.

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2017 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2018?

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2018 (non-debut)?

I can’t even narrow this down! There so many. Seriously!

3. 2018 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

I haven’t been paying attention 2018 debuts. 🙁 Still trying to read 2017’s!)

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2018?

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers, #5) by Sarina Bowen

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2018?

Read more for fun and less for ARCs.

6. A 2018 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

I haven’t read a 2018 release yet.

 And those are my lame answers! Sorry I didn’t spend more time on some of them. I hope you enjoyed this post anyway. I know there are a lot of books that didn’t get the love they deserved from me!

 

Mini Reviews: Man Candy, Undone By You, and Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin

Man Candy
Series: Real Love, #3
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Publication Date: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Is there room for two in that sleeping bag? When it comes to love, a chiseled loner takes the scenic route in this irresistible standalone from the author of Eye Candy.

Dax: After spending the summer buried up to my eyeballs in my family’s affairs, I’m ready for a break. The kind of break where I can spend two solid weeks camping and fishing in the company of absolutely no one. Then I find myself directly in the path of a drop-dead gorgeous tornado by the name of Becca Stone. Who can resist a night with a damsel in distress? Especially when she happens to be a leggy blonde? The last thing I expect is for Becca to show up on my cabin doorstep the next night, shivering in the rain and ready for seconds.

Becca: One minute I’m admiring the rock-hard jaw of the Magic Mike lookalike who walks into my bar, and the next I’m getting fired by my own brother. Loudly. In front of everyone. Luckily Dax Vaughn is a gentleman who aims his white-hot smile at me. Oh, it’s on. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Then a torrential storm washes out the main road and causes a massive power outage, giving us two whole weeks to enjoy each other’s company. At which point Dax will go back home, leaving “us” in the rearview mirror. That’s the plan. Or it was . . . until I started falling for him.


Man Candy was my favorite book in the Real Love series by Jessica Lemmon. It was so fresh and funny. I adored Becca and Dax. Dax especially. There was something about the strong, almost silent guy. I loved his clipped responses and his maturity throughout the book.The only thing I could have done without with was part of the epilogue. I won’t say what, but it just didn’t fit for me. Otherwise, Man Candy was one of those perfect contemporary romance reads.



Undone By You
Series: Chicago Rebels, #3
Author: Kate Meader
Publication Date: March 5, 2018
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, LGBTQ+
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Kate Meader brings her signature “steamy sex scenes, colorful characters, and riveting dialogue” (RT Book Reviews) to this novella in the Chicago Rebels series, following the general manager of the Rebels as he scores with one of his players off the ice.

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know…

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?


I have to admit that I requested this ARC because I thought it was going to be about the third Chase sister, Violet. I didn’t read the blurb first. Imagine my surprise when I figured out this wasn’t her book, but her good friend Cade’s. It was a great surprise because Cade and Dante’s story was perfection. I loved every minute of their journey together. There was so much personal growth in it. Undone by You was such a great read! Each book in this series gets better and better. I can’t wait for Violet’s book even more now!



Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin
Author: Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Carly Robins

Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.


My library’s only copy of Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin was an audio book. Having two sets of family come over on two separate days for holiday gatherings meant I had a lot of house cleaning to do, so I loaded the audio version and started cleaning. I’m so happy I did!

I loved Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin just as much as the other Mariana Zapata books I’ve read recently. Her writing is so easy to identify with! I can remember having some of the same thoughts and insecurities as Gaby when I was dating. I loved how Gaby and Sacha’s entire relationship played out. It’s one of the funnest rockstar romances I’ve read. I didn’t want to stop listening to it! (Kudos to the narrator, Carly Robins, she was awesome!)

2017 New Adult Reading Challenge Update #8

Welcome to my final update for the 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge update! This challenge was hosted by Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much.

This year, I met and surpassed my goal of reading 100 new adult books. I surpassed my goal by reading 158 new adult books. Yay!

Here are the new adult books I’ve read this year. You can click on the title to be taken to my review.

  1. Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken

  2. The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood

  3. No Bad Days by J. Sterling

  4. Bossman by Vi Keeland

  5. Lila by Elizabeth Reyes

  6. The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard

  7. Troublemaker by Mignon Mykel

  8. Cross Check by Kelly Jamieson

  9. Sweet Home by Tillie Cole

  10. Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole

  11. Sweet Hope by Tillie Cole

  12. Sweet Soul by Tillie Cole

  13. The Baller by Vi Keeland

  14. The Cad and the Co-Ed by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

  15. All the Ways You Saved Me by Jamie Howard

  16. Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins

  17. Undecided by Julianna Keyes

  18. Undeclared by Juliana Keyes

  19. A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott

  20. Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

  21. Fake Fiancee by Ilsa Madden-Mills

  22. Breakaway by Mignon Mykel

  23. Undeclared by Jen Frederick

  24. Undressed by Jen Frederick

  25. Unspoken by Jen Frederick

  26. Until We Break by Jamie Howard

  27. Co-Wrecker by Meghan Quinn

  28. Girl in the Mirror by Elizabeth Reyes

  29. Under the Bleachers by K.K. Allen

  30. Altercation by Mignon Mykel

  31. Until It’s Right by Jamie Howard

  32. Johnny & Jamal by K.M Breakey

  33. Unraveled by Jen Frederick

  34. Unrequited by Jen Frederick

  35. Holding by Mignon Mykel

  36. Unwritten by Jen Frederick

  37. Love Story by Lauren Layne

  38. The Storm by R.J. Prescott

  39. Maybe Never by Sadie Allen

  40. Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

  41. Confess by Colleen Hoover

  42. Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

  43. The Gravity of Us by Brittainy C. Cherry

  44. Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny by Cindi Madsen

  45. Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

  46. 180 Seconds by Jessica Park

  47. The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken

  48. The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott

  49. Royally Matched by Emma Chase

  50. When It’s Real by Erin Watt

  51. Last Semester by Corine Mekaouche

  52. The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

  53. Broken and Screwed by Tijan

  54. Broken and Screwed 2 by Tijan

  55. A Girl Like Me by Ginger Scott

  56. Kian by Tijan

  57. My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

  58. The Silent Waters by Brittainy C. Cherry

  59. Into Your Arms by Chelsea M. Cameron

  60. Fallen Crest High by Tijan

  61. Lessons in Losing It by Jessica Peterson

  62. Fallen Crest Family by Tijan

  63. Fallen Crest Public by Tijan

  64. Fallen Fourth Down by Tijan

  65. Fallen Crest University by Tijan

  66. My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

  67. Fallen Crest Christmas by Tijan

  68. Logan Kade by Tijan

  69. Mason by Tijan

  70. Stay by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

  71. Carter Reed by Tijan

  72. Bad Penny by Staci Hart

  73. Sweet Summer Love by Sierra Hill

  74. Trust by Kylie Scott

  75. After by Anna Todd

  76. Wrecked by Jeannine Colette

  77. Vicious by L.J. Shen

  78. Ruckus by L.J. Shen

  79. Defy by L.J. Shen

  80. Shut Out by Kelly Jamieson

  81. Hello Forever by Sarina Bowen

  82. Damaged Like Us by Krista and Becca Ritchie

  83. Darkness Matters by Jay McLean

  84. Sex Symbol by Laurelin Paige

  85. Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

  86. Dear Agony by Georgia Cates

  87. After We Collided by Anna Todd

  88. The Iron Tiara by Beth Flynn

  89. Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

  90. To Hate Adam Connor by Ella Maise

  91. For Forester by J. Nathan

  92. Twisted Twosome by Meghan Quinn

  93. In Pieces by Danielle Pearl

  94. Something So Perfect by Natasha Madison

  95. Checkmate: This is War by Kennedy Fox

  96. Checkmate: This is Love by Kennedy Fox

  97. Checkmate: This is Reckless by Kennedy Fox

  98. Checkmate: This is Effortless by Kennedy Fox

  99. Checkmate: This is Dangerous by Kennedy Fox

  100. Beast by Elizabeth Reyes

  101. After We Fell by Anna Todd

  102. After Ever Happy by Anna Todd

  103. Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

  104. Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

  105. Beard Science by Penny Reid

  106. Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

  107. Fallen Heir by Erin Watt

  108. Eye Candy by Tijan, J. Daniels, Helena Hunting, Bella Jewel and Tara Sivec

  109. Hate to Love You by Tijan

  110. Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken

  111. Run Away With Me by Mila Gray

  112. Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

  113. Flow by Kennedy Ryan

  114. Grip by Kennedy Ryan

  115. My Soul to Keep by Kennedy Ryan

  116. Down to My Soul by Kennedy Ryan

  117. Refrain by Kennedy Ryan

  118. Legs by Kelly Siskind

  119. Defiant Attraction by V.K. Torston

  120. Mine for the Week by Erika Kelly

  121. Forever With You by Beverley Kendall

  122. Still by Kennedy Ryan

  123. On a Tuesday by Whitney G.

  124. Logan by Jay McLean

  125. Keeping Claudia by Suzanne McKenna Link

  126. Sugar & Gold by Emma Scott

  127. Guy Hater by J. Sterling

  128. Bourbon Sins by Meghan Quinn

  129. Played by Jen Frederick

  130. Scandalous by LJ Shen

  131. The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn

  132. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

  133. The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

  134. The Song of David by Amy Harmon

  135. Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

  136. Spider by Ilsa Madden-Mills

  137. Forgetting You, Forgetting Me by Monica James

  138. Bad Princess by Julianna Keyes

  139. Perfect Ten: A Rockstar Romance by Kelley R. Martin

  140. The Way Back to Us by Jamie Howard

  141. The Studying Hours by Sara Ney

  142. The Falling Hours by Sara Ney

  143. The Learning Hours by Sara Ney

  144. Ninja at First Sight by Penny Reid

  145. Behind the Bars by Brittainy C. Cherry

  146. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

  147. Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

  148. Kulti by Marian Zapata

  149. Team Player Anthology by L.J. Shen, Sara Ney, Meghan Quinn, Ella Fox, Charleigh Rose, Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Kate Stewart, Emma Scott, Kennedy Ryan, Rochelle Paige

  150. Lingus by Mariana Zapata

  151. Under Locke by Mariana Zapata

  152. Infraction by Rachel Van Dyken

  153. Learning to Love the Heat by Everly Lucas

  154. Brave by Tammara Webber

  155. Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata

  156. Bad for You by J. Daniels

  157. Something So Irresistible by Natasha Madison

  158. Drunk Dial by Penelope Ward

A giant thank you to Cátia for hosting this fun challenge!

Review: Brave by Tammara Webber

Brave
Series: Contours of the Heart, #4
Author: Tammara Webber
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Courage means rising up to defend your beliefs…
or daring to question them.

Erin McIntyre was captivating, but forbidden
His professional subordinate
The embodiment of unearned privilege
The daughter of his sworn enemy

Isaac Maat was impossible to read
Smart, ambitious, and emotionally detached
Hotter than anyone’s boss should ever be
And definitely hiding something…

He told himself that getting to know her would help him take down her father.
She told herself that getting under his skin would distract her wrecked heart from its misery.

Neither predicted their private war would lead to an intimate battle in which the victor would be the first one to SURRENDER.


I had been waiting on this book so long, I forgot why. I even forgot who Erin was. I had to ask a friend! That makes me sad because Brave and Tammara Weber’s entire Contour of the Hearts series is so good! I love her writing and the world she has created.

Brave was a slow burn romance. The characters, Erin and Isaac, started off as co-workers. Isaac was Erin’s boss, and he wasn’t her biggest fan. This spurred Erin into action. Their feelings built slowly throughout the story. I loved all of their moments together. Those lead to some very big ah-ha moments for Erin. The story was in her point of view, so those moments were extremely important.

While I loved Erin and Isaac together, the romance didn’t feel like the biggest part of the story. Erin coming into her own and learning about herself and her family took up a lot of the story. I really liked that story line. Isaac was woven into it, and how everything played out was very cool.The social and political aspects of Brave were important and relevant to life today.

The only thing I wanted more of from Brave was time with Erin and Isaac together. I didn’t get enough of them as a couple figuring out their lives together. I wanted more than just their attraction and the blooming of their love. I wanted to be deep within their bond.

It may have taken years to finally get Erin’s story, but it was well worth the wait. Tammara Weber gave her a story that showed Erin’s strengths and her heart. I loved reading it.

WWW Wednesday: December 27, 2017

Welcome to WWW Wednesday!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. The purpose is to share what I’ve reading lately. The three W’s stand for:

What did you recently finish reading?
What are you currently reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Recently Read

This was a busy week. I had two different sets of people come over for the holidays, so I did a lot cleaning. While doing that, I listened to the audio book version of Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin. Carly Robins did an excellent job narrating.

After all the cleaning was done, I was able to finish reading Man Candy (Real Love, #3) and the novella Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3). Both are 2018 ARCs.


Currently ReadIng

I am reading my last 2017 ARC of A Secret History of Witches.


Reading Next

I just realized I have a bunch of ARCs coming for the later half of January. I might try to read some of them now instead of waiting. Or might pick up one of the memoirs Santa graced me with this year. 😉 We’ll see what I feel like!


What are you reading? Make sure to leave me your link below so I can check out your post. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to In 2018

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to In 2018 (These could be new releases, or books you resolve to read, ten debuts we are looking forward to, etc.). 

I’m going with new releases I want to read in 2018. Some of these books don’t even have covers yet!


1. Still Me
(Me Before You, #3)
by Jojo Moyes

2. One Small Thing
by Erin Watt

3. Bad for You
(Dirty Deeds, #3)
by J. Daniels

4. The Last to Go
by Amber Smith

5. Forget You, Ethan
by Whitney G.

6. Long Shot
(A HOOPS Standlone Story)
by Kennedy Ryan

7. Brooklynaire
(Brooklyn Bruisers, #4)
by Sarina Bowen

8. Cracked Kingdom
(The Royals, #5)
by Erin Watt

9. The Chase
(Briar Hockey, #1)
by Elle Kennedy

10. Say I’m Yours
(Alabama Summer, #6)
by J. Daniels

Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Kulti
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publication Date: December 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.

“Sal, please don’t make me visit you in jail. Orange isn’t your color.”

This was going to be the longest season of her life.


Kulti is one of the best sports romances I’ve ever read. Why? For oh so many reason.

First, Sal is a professional soccer player. She’s at the top of her game. Sal’s both physically and emotionally strong. She knows she has flaws, but she accepts them and is proud of them. Sal works hard and is dedicated. These are all things I want my own daughter to be. They qualities I want to have myself. I love that Mariana Zapata created such an outstanding female character. Bravo for that!

Second, I was amazed at the amount of attention and detail that went to the sport of soccer. There weren’t just fly by moments on the field. There were moments at practice, during conditioning, the politics of it, and pieces of the games. I couldn’t believe how much time was given to the actual sport and what it takes to be a professional female athlete. It was amazing.

Third, the family relationships. I loved how supportive Sal’s family was of her on and off the field. I especially enjoyed her relationship with her father. The closeness they shared was special. I could see how Sal became who she was based on her relationship with him, as well as the rest of her family.

Fourth, there were great friendships in this story, too. Sal ran into some cattiness with other players, but she had two really outstanding female friends/teammates. They stood by and supported her in everything. Sal also had some male friends who had her back. I loved all of these relationships!

Fifth, I said relationships twice now, so I can’t leave out Coach Kulti. The guy wasn’t always my favorite, but he was exactly who and what Sal needed. He pushed her to be her best. He might not always have been a stand up guy, but everything he did for Sal was in her best interest. I loved how their relationship developed and changed over time. It was the perfect slow burn enemies to friends to lovers story.

Honestly, I could go on and on with reasons why this is one of my most favorite sports romances of all time. It was just that good. You should go read it now.