Review: Team Player (Julianna Keyes)

Team Player
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: March 28, 2019
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Don’t hate the player…

BOTTOM NINE
Gwen Scott wants to love her job with the Charleston Thrashers, the MLB team she’s worshiped since she was a kid, but she can’t. Hateful colleagues and mind-numbing work make her days unbearable—until her head for baseball gets her exclusive access to the Thrashers’ clubhouse and she comes face-to-face with Tyler Ashe, the team’s sexy shortstop and baseball’s most ineligible bachelor.

BASES LOADED
Ty has sworn off relationships in order to focus on his all-star career, but with his best friend gone, his team struggling, and the press blaming him for every loss, the most recognizable man in the majors is in a slump. Until he starts spending his time off the field with a stern blonde who recites baseball stats for kicks and sees through his arrogant façade.

TWO OUT
As the Thrashers’ season gets into full swing and Gwen adjusts to her new job, their fun banter and friendly teasing turns into stolen kisses and countless steamy nights. The team’s strict policy against player-staff relationships throws a curve ball into the mix, but they can’t hide from their feelings any more than the most famous man in baseball can hide from the spotlight…


Team Player is a classic contemporary sports romance. It’s written in third person dual point of view. While that’s not my favorite type of narration, it was well done. I almost didn’t notice it was third instead. I loved how each chapter started off with a fun Tweet that applied to what was coming up.

There was a lot of stuff going on in this book. Gwen was dealing with her aunt’s death and trying to hold onto her job with the Thrashers. Her attraction to Ty wasn’t something she was ready to face. Ty wasn’t quite ready for Gwen either. His baseball career hasn’t been the same since his best friend abandoned him. Despite all of this, they don’t want to fight their attraction and start to secretly see each other. The secrecy of their relationship adds a bunch of other things for Gwen and Ty to deal with.

Gwen and Tyler were both similar and completely opposite people. Gwen was quiet and spent a lot of time trying to fly under the radar. Tyler was a cocky athlete who was always in the spotlight. Surprisingly, both of them were loners. Neither had a good support system or friends. I thought that was weird and a little too convenient, but it was one of the things that helped them connect to each other. They had great chemistry. I loved their quiet moments together — especially how they watched a baking show together.

I think what shocked me most about Team Player was that it wasn’t the couple or the romance that was my favorite thing about the book. I loved other stuff more. I thought Gwen and Ty’s backstories were really good and important. I wish they had gotten a little more focus. I loved reading about Gwen’s relationship with Marge and how it shaped her life — especially when it came to her job with the Thrashers. The dynamic in Gwen’s office was fun and fresh. I loved how smart she was when it came to her job. I adored all of the Thrashers’ players. Ty’s teammates were hilarious. They made his character feel more “real”. I would love books about a couple of them. (Preferably in first person…) Overall, Team Player was a fun contemporary sports romance.

Review: Fumbled Hearts (Meagan Brandy)

Fumbled Hearts
Series: Tender Hearts, #1
Author: Meagan Brandy
Narrators: CJ Bloom, Alexander Cendese
Publication Date: September 21, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

He’s the persistent playboy who refuses to walk away. I’m the impassive new girl with nothing left to give.
Things are about to get complicated…

After months of refusing, I finally agreed to make the move to Alrick Falls. My family thought it was best – that a new scene would be good for me—and I was sick of having the same conversation.
So here I am, and the plan is simple. Smile through each day and avoid her at all costs.
It’s perfect.

Until the cocksure quarterback comes into play.

The last thing I want is his crooked grin and dark brown eyes focused on me.
Yet here he is, constantly in my space, pushing me, daring me to care. Telling me what I think and feel, as if he knows.
He doesn’t know anything. And  I plan to keep it that way.


Yeah. I’m not where to start with this review, but I’m going to apologize ahead of time if it ends up being a complete rant.

I have to give Meagan Brandy props for her ability to write completely messed up characters. I have read a couple of her books now, and both of them had characters who had been through some rough times. Kalani’s flippant, hard-shelled personality was exactly what I would expect of someone trying to shield herself from the world. I loved how Nate broke down Kalani’s walls and how sweet their relationship was.

Everything else drove me absolutely positively nuts. Despite understanding Kalani’s attitude, I hated it. I hated the way she acted. She had a superiority complex that was insane. She complained others were judgemental, but she was just as judgemental. The way she treated people — Nate included — was not good. Kalani hid things from Nate when she didn’t have a reason to. She kept him at arm’s length even when she swore she loved him. She was a mess and I don’t think she truly got the smack in the face she needed.

I loved Nate. He didn’t hide who he was or what he did. He treated Kalani in a way I didn’t think she deserved. Nate did have a time of stupidity, but I wasn’t shocked by it and he had legit reason to be upset. He could have solved his problems before they started, but I didn’t blame him for his conclusions.

The rest of the characters were crazy, over the top high school students. I never really got a good read on Kalani’s cousin and her boyfriend. Parker was a sweetheart, but I couldn’t figure him out for a while. Things didn’t go where I thought they would with him, so I have to admit that despite not loving this book I will be reading the second. I loved Nate’s parents. Everyone else sucked in that snotty, mean girl/guy way.

Now for one of my biggest complaints about Fumbled Hearts. It was set in high school. HIGH SCHOOL, people! These characters and their actions were more suited for COLLEGE. Kalani had been emancipated for like FOUR YEARS before this book. She was 18. Who gets emancipated at 14? Maybe some kids do, but it seemed crazy when it could have easily have been only a year or two with the storyline. Then, there was all of the drinking and sex. I know this stuff happens in high school, but with the attitudes of the characters it made the whole feel of the book that much older. I kept waiting for someone to show up pregnant with all the talk about sex without a condom at times and pulling out. Seriously, why is this included? Nate’s parents seemed more than happy to let their son have sex under their roof AND didn’t say much when he admitted to not using a condom all of the time. If you’re going to write sex into a YA book, PLEASE advocate safe sex or show the consequences. Finally, there was the ending. It was cheesy and I honestly expected more from it.

I found Fumbling Hearts to be an addictive listen. The narrator did a great job, and I wanted to know what was going to happen to these messed up characters. I just didn’t really enjoy where things went. It was all too problematic for me. 🙁 I’m hoping book 2 is better.

Review: False 9 (Megan Erickson)

False 9
Author: Megan Erickson
Publication Date: February 4, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A mouthy soccer stud virgin meets the secretive new girl on campus…

The last time I got laid was… oh right. Never. The only game I have is on the soccer field, where I mostly exist to make my teammates look good. I don’t get the glory or the girl, and in true Lavin Saint fashion, the first impression I make to the gorgeous new girl on campus is chair-crashingly, soul-crushingly bad.

Bianca Santos seems undeterred and even intrigued by my inability to form coherent sentences around her, which is why it sucks when I find out she’s my coach’s niece. Off limits.

Except Bianca doesn’t listen to that memo, and the more she focuses on me with those beautiful brown eyes, the less I care about the real possibility of being relegated to the bench. So when I find out she’s hiding something that’s threatening her, I’m done playing passive defense. I’m on the offensive now, no matter the risk—my sport, my sanity, or my life.

This time, I’m getting the glory. And the girl.

False 9 is a standalone romantic comedy with some sports, a bit of action, and a whole lot of sarcasm. HEA and no cliffhanger.


False 9 was my first time reading a book by Megan Erickson. She’s not an author I’ve had on my must read list, but I have seen her name around a lot. What drew me to read False 9 was a review I read by my blogger friend, Lenore. She had some really great things to say about False 9. After reading her review, I decided that I wanted to read this book.

I didn’t have quite the same reaction to False 9. I honestly think it might have been the books I read prior to picking it up. I had a couple of 5 star reads with some pretty darn amazing writing. False 9 just didn’t have the same level of writing. I liked it, but wasn’t blown away.

Lavin Saint was a cute character. He was this studly soccer player, but he was super awkward and insecure when it came to the ladies. It was pretty darn adorable and refreshing. He won me over with his sweetness. I liked who he was. He was a good guy to himself, his family, his friends, and Bianca.

Bianca… I hate to say it, but I didn’t like her. She was going through some tough stuff. I completely understood some of her reactions, but others were just nuts. I think her personality hit me wrong from the beginning. There is a comment about something that happened and what she thought that struck a nerve with me and set me off on the wrong foot with her. Which I feel bad about because she did really care about Lavin. They did have great chemistry.

There were two things about this book that stuck out to me. One was Lavin’s group of soccer friends. I loved all of them! Despite not falling completely in love with False 9, I would be tempted to read books about Zac, Dre, and especially Shane. The other was this cool suspense part of the book. That really got my attention and kept me reading.

False 9 might not been my favorite sports romance, but I still enjoyed it. I might not have had as strong of reaction to it as Lenore, but I do think it was well worth reading.

Mini Reviews: A Bunch of Them!

I haven’t been in the mood to write lengthy reviews lately, but I wanted to be able to share some of the I’ve read lately. That means that  today you’re getting a bunch of mini reviews from me! The format is going to be a little different from my normal mini reviews because of the number of them. You can find more information by clicking on the title of each book which will link to the Goodreads page for that book.  Many of these books are off of my TBR. Here we go!


Hired
Author: Zoey Castile

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★

I don’t know…I feel like I should have liked this one more than I did. I was a big fan of the first book in the series, but Hired fell flat for me. It took me a really long time to become invested in the story. Aiden and Faith were both interesting characters enough on their own. I loved that they were an interracial couple and all of the different social issues the author delved into. I just didn’t love their relationship until like 75% into the book. They just didn’t have a big enough spark or something. I was bored too much with the majority of the book. Sad, but true. I’m still planning on reading the next book in the series because I do think the author is talented. This one just wasn’t for me.

Play to Win
Author: Kelly Jamieson

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

I love a Kelly Jamieson hockey romance, and I was so excited to get to read the first book in this new series. It had everything I love about Jamieson’s books: gripping writing, two amazing characters, a fun plot, and a love story to swoon over. The only thing that bothered me at times were the myriad of new characters. The Wynn dynasty is a large on and keeping everyone straight was tough. There was a helpful family tree at the beginning, but that’s kind of a pain to flip to on a Kindle version. I’m sure as the series goes on I’ll get to know everyone better. I also wasn’t sure by the end of the book who the next one was going to be about. There were kind of two options. I would be fine with either, though. Overall, I loved reading this book and I’m happy Jamieson is giving us more hockey romance.


For Emery
Author: J. Nathan

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

For Emery is the fourth book in the For You series. It can be read as a standalone novel, but some of Grady’s personality and character traits are woven throughout the series. That is important because Emery is from further back in Grady’s past and his previous behavior is a reflection of their relationship. Emery was a great match for Grady. Her story was actually more interesting to me than his. I actually didn’t fall quite in love with Grady’s character as I hoped. There were just some times that I didn’t like him and that made me question how much I liked Emery’s relationship with him. Overall, it was a good romance. I loved how it ended.

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
Authors: Meghan Mullally, Nick Offerman

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is probably one of my favorite celebrity memoirs ever. If I had to describe it in one word it would be fun. That’s what the entire listening experience is. These two were candid, funny, and a good time to listen to. If you like either of these two actors, you will enjoy this book. I highly recommend the audio version so you can listen to them tell their stories — they even describe the pictures in the book for you so that you’re not missing out on anything.


Love the One You’re With
Author: Lauren Layne

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I have so many reasons to be happy I finally read Love the One You’re With. It’s my last book in this series to read, my last LL book that I hadn’t read yet, and it’s the book that’s been on my Goodreads TBR the longest! Now those are all great reasons, but the biggest reason I’m happy I finally read this book was because I loved it. Grace and Jake were so much fun! They got up to some crazy antics and I loved how entertaining it all was. I also loved Grace and Jake together. They made a sweet couple.


Now That You Mention It
Author: Kristan Higgins

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

What I want to know is why did I wait so long to read this book? I have loved every single Kristan Higgins book I’ve ever read. I’m so mad that I put this one off because it was a great book about healing. Nora has been through several tough times in her life. The latest one sends her home to an island in Maine. There she not only confronts her present situation, but her past and her possible future. Kristan Higgins’s writing was amazing as always. I loved all of the quirky characters and things that happened to get Nora where she needed to be.

Review: Fumbled (Alexa Martin)

Fumbled
Series: Playbook, #2
Author: Alexa Martin
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 23, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.


Alexa Martin’s début novel, Intercepted, was one of my favorite books of 2018. I was very impressed with her writing and story telling abilities. Her characters and their story was so much fun. I have been eagerly awaiting her next book from the moment I finished the first one. I’m happy to report that Fumbled was just as good as Intercepted — if not even better!!! That crazy because of how amazing Intercepted was.

Fumbled is the story of a single mother (Poppy) who is trying to make ends meat as a waitress at cabaret club. One night, her table contains the last man she ever wants to see again. TK is a famous football player and the father of her child — a child he didn’t want. Poppy wants nothing to do with TK, but he feels the exact opposite. Poppy has a hard time fighting her feelings for TK, and knows it’s only time before she has to tell TK about the son they share.

This book had my attention from the get go. Poppy was such a fun character. I loved how strong and resilient she was. Poppy made the best out of the hand she was dealt and didn’t complain. Her emotions were real and raw. I would have felt the same way she did. I could totally identify with how she put her son first.

As for Poppy’s relationship with TK, it was filled with some great ups and downs. They not only had to navigate getting to know each other all over again, they had to learn to trust again. Add in learning to share a child, and there was a lot going on for them. I found their second chance romance very cute. I did wish a couple of times that I had TK’s point of view. It would have been nice to know what he was thinking sometimes.

In case you have read Intercepted, I feel the need to point out that there were not any hashtags in this book. (There were a plethora in that one and they drove me nuts after a while.) There was only one small thing that bothered me with this book. I don’t know if it’s just a me thing or if others will make more notice of it with the foreshadowing. One of the big problems towards the end surprised me a bit. Like I said, it was foreshadowed, but I think it didn’t hit as hard for me because I didn’t get to know these characters before present day. I think if I had some previous knowledge of personality I might have felt a little more invested in this part of the story. Sorry to be vague. I don’t want to give it away.

Overall, I adored Fumbled. It was one of those reads that made me not want to put the book down. I’m happy to have read it, but sad that I have to wait for the third book in this series.

Review: Cold Day in the Sun (Sara Biren)

Cold Day in the Sun
Author: Sara Biren
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes.


The Last Thing You Said is a story that revolves around high school hockey. Our main character, Holland, is the only girl on the varsity boys’ team. She works her butt off every day to prove that she’s worthy of competing with the boys because not everyone believes she deserves to be on the team. The pressure to perform becomes even greater when her hockey team is selected to be spotlighted in HockeyFest. One person who supports Holland is her team captain, Wes. He’s the last person Holland expects to support her. Wes is also the last person Holland thinks would ever be interested in dating her, but he is. Holland shouldn’t be interested in Wes — she has a no dating teammates policy — but she can’t help the attraction that is starting to build between them.

I have been waiting for Sara Biren’s sophomore novel to be released ever since I finished reading her début novel, The Last Thing You Said. Her writing was so emotional and touched me in ways I wanted to experience again.

I found Cold Day in the Sun to be just as emotional and amazing as The Last Thing You Said. I loved the girl on a boys’ team theme. How Holland had to deal with her insecurities of being “the girl” was and all the issues that brought up were relevant to some of the situations going on in society today. The way her relationship with Wes wove into everything she was dealing with was a perfect. It wasn’t just her reactions to everything that made a big impact, but what others did and said about her spot on the team. There was a lot to think about it all — it made me wonder how I would react if my daughter was in the same situation or how I would feel if I was in Holland’s situation. I really loved how everything played out.

Oh, wait! I can’t leave out the music! If you read the blurb, you probably noticed the mention of glam rock. Let me just tell you that if you’re a fan of glam bands like Poison, you’re going to love this book. So many amazing songs are worked into the story in very fun ways. I loved how music was just as important to Holland and Wes’ relationship as hockey was.

Cold Day in the Sun was such a great book. It was one of those books I think everyone would benefit from reading. Sara Biren tackled a tough topic but mixed it with the sweetest romance to make it an emotional and fun read. I highly recommend Cold Day in the Sun. I think fans of Katie McGarry, Julie Cross, Ginger Scott, Sarah Dessen, or Morgan Matson would love this book.

Review: I Want You Back (Lorelei James)

I Want You Back
Series: Need You, #5
Author: Lorelei James
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James kicks-off her Want You Series with a Lund family cousin hot enough to melt the ice and mend a broken heart.

Former NHL star Jaxson Lund has returned to the Twin Cities, but he’s at loose ends, unsure if he belongs at Lund Industries, or where he stands with Lucy, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Mimi. Despite the signs she’d like to leave him in the penalty box, the attraction burning between them reinforces his determination to prove that he deserves a second chance…

Lucy Quade is in a good place with a steady job, a nice apartment, and a well-adjusted daughter, which is why she’s hesitant when Jax insists on co-parenting. It’s not that Lucy doesn’t trust Jax…she’s just unconvinced he can handle multiple responsibilities when he’s been singularly focused on playing hockey. But when issues arise with Mimi, Lucy’s shocked at how levelheaded and paternal he acts, giving her a glimpse of the Jax she used to know, the sexy, sweet man she fell for years ago.

Once Lucy lets her guard down, Jax goes all in to show her how good they are together, but will their past remain too large an obstacle to ever overcome?


If you have read the Need You series like I have, you have probably been curious about Jaxson Lund and Lucy Quade’s relationship. Well, we are finally getting their book!

I Want You Back is a second chance romance. Jaxson Lund has retired from hockey. He’s determined to turn his life around. He is no longer the alcoholic womanizer he used to be. Jaxson has come to recognize what a horrible boyfriend, father, and person he was while he drank. He wants to make that up to the two most important people: his daughter and her mother. Lucy is not sure what to make of the changes in Jaxson. He’s trying so hard to be a father to her daughter. She loves what she sees, but she’s not sure she can ever trust him enough to let him back in completely.

I went back and forth on what to rate this book. I enjoyed reading it, but it was a little slow at times. I guess that might not have bugged me if I wasn’t expecting a slow burn romance, but I wasn’t with the chemistry these two had. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the flashbacks of Lucy and Jaxson’s prior relationship. I think it was because it was only the good times and none of the bad? I liked getting to know how they fell in love, but I also wanted to know more about how they fell apart. It was also a little jarring to go from present to past and back in this book for some reason. I’m not sure why.

What I did love was the way Jaxson worked to show Lucy that he was back for good and in all the ways that mattered. I loved the way they worked through the hard parts of co-parenting. I loved how Lorelei James dealt with Jaxson’s issues with alcoholism, infidelity, and safe sex. That whole mixture really surprised me. I have never read a romance that touched on those topics all together. It made me think it should in more books. I wish more time would have spent on it in this book even though I thought it was well done.

Oh! I can’t leave out that I liked that Lucy wasn’t perfect either. She may have been wronged by Jaxson, but she had some issues of her own. I loved that Jaxson didn’t let those things slide, and that they worked together to both make changes.

Obviously, this book had a couple of ups and downs for me, but over all was a great read.

Review: Overnight Sensation (Sarina Bowen)

Overnight Sensation
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #5
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Let’s say you’re a rookie who had a great year…until the final game of the playoffs, when it’s your shot that bounces off the post, allowing the rivals to win. You have a lot to answer for the following season. You need hard practices and clean living. You don’t need a hookup with the league commissioner’s daughter and a widely misunderstood paparazzi shot.

Jason Castro, ladies and gentlemen. It’s hard work becoming an overnight sensation…


Okay, people! Sarina Bowen is back with another hockey romance, and you’re not going to want to miss reading it. Overnight Sensation might just be my favorite Brooklyn Bruisers hockey romance yet. That’s saying A LOT because Brooklynaire, Nate and Becca’s story, was spectacular. I didn’t think it could be topped, but I think I might have been wrong because Castro and Heidi… Seriously, their story was so swoon worthy. I don’t know that I can truly articulate how awesome it was. I. Could. Not. Get. Enough. I don’t know how to do anything but gush about Overnight Sensation. I loved this book so much. Gah! I don’t even know how I can articulate how special it was.

I liked Jason Castro in the previous Brooklyn Bruisers books, but I had no idea he was going to be the guy he was. He took care of the people he loved and was a bit of a tortured soul. Heidi Pepper was everything Castro needed. She was young and trying to figure out her life, but she was doing it on her terms. While Castro felt like a serious guy, Heidi felt more light-hearted and a little comical. That made for some of the best sexual tension I’ve read in a long time! It also made them balance each other out really well.

Castro and Heidi weren’t the only ones who made Overnight Sensation special. The whole Brooklyn Bruisers team was back in action. It was fun reading about their interactions off and on the ice. I loved getting to see some old character around contributing to the fun. It was also good to get to know a tiny bit more about Silas and Bayer. I am really, really, really hoping Sarina Bowen gives them books. (Pretty please…)

I honestly don’t have one bad thing to say about this book. Well, maybe I should complain that it wasn’t long enough? I wasn’t ready to be done reading it. It could have gone on for another few hundred pages in my opinion. I’m extremely sad to be finished reading it because that means I’m going to have to wait a while for one of my favorite contemporary romance authors to grace me with another book. So, yeah, I recommend reading Overnight Sensation. You won’t be disappointed. 😉

Review: The Hail Mary (Ginger Scott)

The Hail Mary
Series: Waiting on the Sidelines, #3
Author: Ginger Scott
Publication Date: January 18, 2019
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Sports, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Sixteen years is a long time. In a marriage, it’s a milestone. On the gridiron, it’s a miracle. Reed Johnson wants more time for everything, but time is funny that way.

It can be cruel.

With a body that can’t quite take the hits it used to and a heart tired of being torn in two different directions, Reed is faced with a reality he’s not quite ready for—life without the game. He became a man under Friday night game lights and in college stadium tunnels, and without the grit and the glory that’s earned ten yards at a time, he’s afraid of what kind of man he’ll be.

But there’s more than a game at stake now.

Reed’s wife, Nolan, is afraid too. She’s seen what can happen when the love of her life pushes himself too hard, and she can’t escape the nightmares she relives after almost losing her entire world to one single play on the field.

There is no compromise when it comes to football. Same goes for the heart. You’re either all in, or you get crushed. For Reed and Nolan, the clock is ticking down. Time…it does that. One way or another, they’re going to have to make a choice.

This is their hail Mary.

This is win or lose.

(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)


Back in 2015, I read Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long. I loved both of those books, and I thought Nolan and Reed had gotten a good, strong ending. I didn’t look back at them and wish for just one more book. Maybe I should have, though. I guess I’m going to be happy that I didn’t know how much I wanted or needed more to their story. I’m so happy Ginger Scott envisioned something more for Nolan and Reed because The Hail Mary was a book I didn’t know I desperately needed until I started reading it.

In The Hail Mary, Nolan and Reed are all grown up. They are the same lovable characters I originally met, just a lot older and more mature. Nolan and Reed are dealing with life as a married couple constantly separated in a multitude of ways by a professional sport. I really respected the way in which Ginger Scott tackled all of the components of Nolan and Reed’s lives on and off the football field. There was this rawness and honesty to their feelings and what they were going through. As married woman near their age, it was so easy to relate to some of the ideas that were in their heads.

Another thing I appreciated was the way Ginger Scott wrote this story. It’s in dual point of view so we get both Nolan and Reed’s thoughts and feelings. It also includes some great flashbacks to earlier days and times the reader has missed in the 15+ years that have passed. While the characters were in their late thirties, The Hail Mary still felt like reading a new adult romance. I have to point this out because I loved that. So many times characters this age end up feeling older than I would expect them to. I may be “old”, but I don’t feel “old”. I don’t like when my characters feel older than I feel. I also liked the angst and emotion infused throughout the book rivaled some of that Ginger Scott’s NA novels.

I really, truly loved every minute I spent reading The Hail Mary. Ginger Scott brought Nolan and Reed’s story full circle in a very lovely way. I loved being back in a world I didn’t realize I missed so much. I know other fans of this series will feel the same way.

 
One-Click this amazing series today!
 
 
(The Hail Mary is book 3 in The Waiting Series, which follows high school sweethearts Reed Johnson and Nolan Lennox through football, life, love and everything messy that goes along with it. The series begins with Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long.)

Read the first two books in the series today!

 

Start with Waiting on the Sidelines here-https://amzn.to/2pU4JXy
Going Long is book 2, and find it here –https://amzn.to/2yk3lSC

 
About the Author:

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams, The Hard Count, Hold My Breath, and A Boy Like You.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Social Media Links:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GingerScottAuthor
Twitter: @TheGingerScott
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/thegingerscott/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GingerScottAuthor
Google: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+GingerScottAuthor/posts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/GingerScott
Website: http://www.littlemisswrite.com

Review: On Thin Ice (Julie Cross)

On Thin Ice
Series: Juniper Falls, #3
Author: Julie Cross
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Brooke Parker never expected to find herself in the tiny town of Juniper Falls, Minnesota. Of course, she also never expected to lose her dad. Or for her mom to lose herself. Brooke feels like she’s losing it…until she finds Juniper Falls hockey. Juniper Falls girls’ hockey, that is.

Jake Hammond, current prince of Juniper Falls, captain of the hockey team, and player with the best chance of scoring it big, is on top of the world. Until one hazing ritual gone wrong lands him injured, sitting on the sidelines, and―shocking even to him―finding himself enjoying his “punishment” as assistant coach for the girls’ team.

As Jake and Brooke grow closer, he finds the quiet new girl is hiding a persona full of life, ideas, and experiences bigger and broader than anything he’s ever known. But to Jake, hockey’s never just been a game. It’s his whole life. And leveraging the game for a shot at their future might be more than he can give.


Can I just start by saying how disappointed I am in myself for not reading a book by Julie Cross until now? I have seen several rave reviews for her Juniper Falls series in the past. I always wanted to read one of those books, but never did. Shame on me! I absolutely adored On Thin Ice. On Thin Ice is one of those young adult novels that digs deep, but leaves you feeling all happy and bubbly inside. Or at least that is how it  made me feel.

Brooke is a quiet sophomore new to Juniper Falls. She’s had a rough couple of years, and she longs to take back her life in a new town. On a calculated whim, she joins the new high school girls’ hockey team. Joining the team puts Brooke in direct contact with the boys’ teams hockey star, Jake. Being around the cute and charismatic senior is tough enough as it is, but the two share a secret. The more the two get to know each other, the harder it is to stay away from each other and the truths they have to deal with.

Brooke and Jake were characters I couldn’t help but love. Brooke was intense and sweet. She was also a mess. Jake was strong and had the best of intentions, but he was also a mess. Somehow their individuals messes faded when they were together. They were the support system the other needed to make the big, important changes in their lives. I loved them as a couple and as individuals.

I greatly respected where Julie Cross took this story when it came to the hazing incident. There have been so many gone wrong in the news in the past couple of years, and it’s never close to home until it is. On Thin Ice tackled it in a way that gave young readers options to look at if they ever encounter a similar situation. I liked that it wasn’t a quick and easy decision or fix for the characters.

I have a feeling Julie Cross is going to be joining my list of go-to YA authors like Kasie West, Katie McGarry, Emery Lord, and Morgan Matson (just to name a few). I am so excited to go back and read the rest of the Juniper Falls series.