Review: The Guy on the Left (Kate Stewart)

The Guy on the Left
Series: The Underdogs, #2
Author: Kate Stewart
Publication Date: December 8, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

It started with a lie. A night of blurred lines between a teacher and a student.

I wasn’t her student, yet it was the single most defining night of my life.

I’ve never been the man she thinks I am.

Most people have no idea about the life I’ve lived or the words that ring true when it comes to me—still waters run deep.

But you’d be hard-pressed to find a coed on the TGU campus who knows otherwise…because I’ve never corrected them.

The clock is ticking down, it’s Fourth and Inches with the ball inside the one-yard line and the focus is on me, The Guy on the Left. I’ve never felt like a football god, inside I’m…just Troy.

It’s time to set the record straight.

For my son, I‘ll find the strength.

In her eyes, I’m determined to gain redemption.

I will have them both, even if I have to take my eye off the ball.


Before I get into my thoughts on The Guy on the Left, I want to clarify something in the blurb. The blurb makes this sound like a student-teacher romance. It’s really not. Troy was 18, Clarissa was 25, and they did not meet in a school setting. I won’t go deeper into things, but I’m not into student-teacher relationships and this book did not push my boundaries with that. Okay. Now that I have said that. Here’s what I thought about this book.

When I read The Guy on the Right (The Underdogs, #1), I had all these questions about Troy and the family that lived next door. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Troy. He didn’t seem like the best person. The Guy on the Left put everything from that book into perspective. I ended up really loving and respecting his character in ways I didn’t think could happen. Most importantly, he was a good dad.

What surprised me even more than loving Troy was that I didn’t love Clarissa. I liked her, but her decisions and grudge holding made me lose some respect for her. I get why she did what she did in the beginning, but she played the martyr too when it came to their past too much. That being said, Troy’s evolution probably wouldn’t have been so fantastic without Clarissa’s constant need to paint him as the bad guy.

Troy and Clarissa’s relationship was fascinating, but what really got to me in this book was Troy’s relationship with his son, Dante. Dante was pure delight. The way Troy cared for him wasn’t special — it was the way a father should care for his son. What made it made it so fun to read was how it showed who Troy truly was behind all the rumors and frat boy actions. And, like I said, Dante was a delight. He made me smile so much.

Overall, The Guy on the Left was a great new adult romance. It wasn’t as sweet in a funny way like The Guy on the Right was, but it was sweet in an emotional way. I loved how it kept in line with what The Guy on the Right set up, but was it’s own book with a completely different type of relationship. I’m really excited to continue this series with The Guy in the Middle.

16 thoughts on “Review: The Guy on the Left (Kate Stewart)”

  1. I am so excited for this one! I definitely want to read The Guy of the Right first (it’s probably but necessary but I “have” to). It’s great to see such a good review and I already like the sound of Troy.

    1. Bummer. For you, you might have had to get past a few chapters or so to get into it. I think the beginning might not have been the best for you.

  2. Glad you mentioned the teacher-student thing. As a former teacher, I hate that trope. I am glad to see you really enjoyed this book though, because I recently bought the Guy on the Right, and am eager to work it into my TBR. Yeah for liking the kid. They are always utilized well, but it sounds like he was a great addition to the story

  3. Well said! I’m also not a huge fan of student-teacher romances. Particularly when the student is under age. I’ll be looking forward to your review of The Guy in the Middle. I read the novella but don’t think I’m going to read the full book.

    1. Thank you! I am pretty sure I read the first one because you recommended it, so really I should be thanking you. 😉

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