The Guy in the Middle
Series: The Underdogs, #3
Author: Kate Stewart
Publication Date: February 29, 2020
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
I was born to play and bred to win.
My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.
With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.
Two birds, one ball.
Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.
For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach’s daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.
Back when the Team Player 2 Anthology was released, I read a preview of The Guy in the Middle. I had read the first two books in the series and knew I wanted to read this one to finish it off. To be honest, this book was really hard to review because each part almost feels like a book of its own.
Part 1 is all about Lance and Harper’s college relationship. It’s full of secrecy and falling in love when they least expect it. Things end dramatically for them and they go off to do their own things for a while. I loved how they fell for each other. I wasn’t a big fan of how Part 1 ended at first, mostly because I didn’t want to leave this college setting.
Part 2 is Lance going after he wants, but it’s complicated. Lance and Harper’s lives are in different places. It’s a bittersweet, frustrating section of their relationship. I liked this part, but, like I said, it was frustrating. I wanted to hurry up and get to that happy ending. I was also super shocked by some revelations. I think I got whiplash for a second.
Part 3 is where both Harper and Lance figure their stuff out. It was full of ups and downs, and I loved every angst-filled moment. There were more revelations and reactions and I felt for these characters every minute of it all. I loved how things worked out for Lance and Harper.
I lied. It was actually 4 parts. The Epilogue was basically its own part. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked going back to characters from the first two books. I ended up really liking how it wrapped everything up, though. It was fun to find out where everyone was and how their friendships and relationships weathered.
After writing this all down, I’m still a little confused on my feelings for this story in its entirety. It still feels a little disjointed. When it comes down to it, I did love reading the entire story — even when it stressed me out a bit. I think fans of the series will appreciate how everything came full circle and love Lance and Harper together.