Quarterback Sneak by Baylin Crow

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary:

The boundaries of our friendship are tested and lines are crossed.

RUSH: I’m in love with my best friend.

There wasn’t an exact moment when I fell for him. It was something that grew and evolved over time. He loves me back, but it’ll never be more than platonic. It can’t be because he’s straight.

Then one night he kissed me and left me with more questions than answers. The very next morning my trust was shattered by a family secret. I’d been lied to my whole life. He was by my side through it all, offering support when I needed it most.

How can I risk losing a friendship that held me together when I was falling apart?

TORIN: He friend-zoned me.

Four years ago, I gathered enough courage to kiss my best friend. What I’d hoped would be a pivotal moment that would start a new kind of relationship between us was over before it began. His world was upended, so I put my feelings aside and stepped back into my role as a friend he could count on.

He wasn’t ready then, but now it’s time to find out if he’s willing to take a chance on us being something more.

We’ve been friends, roommates and teammates, but I want him, body and heart.

Review

This was a fun, super-quick, novella-length read. I needed more sports-romances in my life, and this was recommended by another sports-romance junkie. Normally I’m not a fan of this POV (1st Person) but this one I didn’t mind it in.

Rush and Torin Hopkins are childhood best friends, who play football and have more than friend feelings for each other. Rush learns a family secret that derails their blossoming relationship. Fast forward into the end of their college football careers, they finally get their act together.

It had one of my absolute favorite moments a couple can have, the first public kiss. It just gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings.  

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The Rivalry by Beth Bolden

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Five out of Five Stars

Summary

The first time NFL quarterback Heath Harris meets Sam Crawford, it’s just them, a luxury yacht and a few days of fun in the sun. Sam turns out to be nothing like Heath expects. He’s kind and funny and irreverent—and also unbelievably, shockingly sexy. For three short, glorious, life-changing days, there are no rules.

The second time they meet, Sam has just been traded to Heath’s team, and instead of lovers, now they’re rivals. Heath has spent the last five years working desperately to be the best quarterback the Riptide could ever need, but when injuries threaten to derail his career, Sam is right there, standing on the sideline. Ready to take over, and ready to ruin everything Heath has given his life for.

Rival. Enemy. Teammate. Friend. Lover.

As their orbits collide, sparks fly, and Heath struggles to find the right label and the right box to shove Sam into, hoping to keep him contained. But Sam—and Heath’s feelings—refuse to cooperate.

Sam might not be just one of those things, he might be all of them, and so much more.

Review

Miami was supposed to be a vacation to fish, relax, and hang out with one of his best friends. Except, an early baby arrival, left Heath going on vacation by himself. He did not expect to be on the same boat as Sam Crawford, a younger quarterback and a rival on top of that. The attraction between the two is hard to deny.

Heath, bless it, he’s inexperienced and awkward. He does all he can to cover his inexperience up, which causes a bit of a misunderstanding of what they want from each other in the long run. I loved that Heath wasn’t a confident athlete. He was 100% real. He’s so focused on his career and being the football player he thinks he should be and he forgets to live life on his terms. I felt that in my bones. I related to him so much. It’s hard to pursue a relationship when you don’t have the experience people think you should have.

Sam complimented Heath so well. He’s younger, a little brash at times, but he lives life according to his terms.  He pushed Heath out of his comfort zone, helped Heath learn more about himself while at the same time taking care of his own wants and needs.

At first, they were at each other’s throats and fighting for the starting quarterback position. Eventually, they start to learn from each other. They learn what makes each other tick and how to push each other.

Now to the steam factor … Oh boy, there were some scenes. The tension was expertly drawn out and I needed them to give in to each other. There were intense, burning moments but there were moments that you could tell home much they cared for each other. I melted, just a little bit. They weren’t perfect, but they were just what each other needed.

This is my absolute favorite novel by Beth Bolden.

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Being Enough by Alie Nolan

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary

Eli has been looking forward to his yearly trip to Camp Lost Lake—a sports camp for underprivileged kids—all season. He is more than ready for a month-long break from his offensive coordinator responsibilities. Until a public fight with the Piranhas’ star tight end, Colton Roth, and the subsequent media fallout, results in the pair being forced to spend the summer at Camp Lost Lake together.

Colton is almost as good at antagonizing Coach Conley as he is at playing football, but as usual, his behavior has landed him in hot water. Now, his position with the Piranhas is on the line, and he must stay away from any potentially scandalous situations. Trying to stay on his best behavior doesn’t last long though, and after hooking up with Coach Conley, it looks like Colton might have put the final nail in his career’s coffin.

Can Colton and Eli survive an entire month in the middle of nowhere together? And will either of them still have their careers intact after the summer is over?

The Review

I found myself falling in love with both Colton and Eli in Being Enough.  They were a true opposites attract couple. Eli Conley is a coach who doesn’t have the time to deal with the drama that one of his players, Colton, brings with him. A risque situation on Colton’s part and a physical confrontation between them lands them both in hot water with their PR people. They needed to find a way to get these men to get along and they find it in Eli’s off season routine. Volunteering at a summer camp together.

Being at this summer camp, seeing each other outside the realm of professional football, allowed them to get to know each other. Being able to see each other in a different light, ignites an attraction they were unaware of.

Colton exudes confidence and sensuality. It’d be hard to resist, no matter who you were. Eli, being older and never having been in a relationship with a man? *fans self* It pushed all my buttons. He’s so open to everything that Colton offers him and willing to explore a completely new part of himself. This definitely had some steamy romance scenes.

I felt the emotions that tore through Eli from the opening pages to the last. He was experiencing something so new, but revelled in everything that Colton had offered him.

I’m really glad that I continued on with this series. It dove in and read it in one sitting. Do yourself a favor, check out this book.

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His Favorite Player by Alie Nolan

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Three out of Five Stars

Summary

Ryan has been living a lie his entire life in fear of losing his NFL career, because of who he is behind the lie. Football is all he’s ever wanted, the thing he loves most in the world—until he meets a gorgeous man in a bar, with bleached-blond hair, a sexy British accent, and a Piranhas hat, who changes everything.

Alec doesn’t understand American football—why would he? The cute stranger in the bar doesn’t need to know that though. What starts as a simple white lie about his favorite NFL player, turns into so much more.

Living in a new city, thousands of miles from his home town, the last thing Alec expects is to be swept up into a secret romance with one of the Portland Piranhas’ biggest stars, but is falling in love enough for Ryan to risk losing his career by coming out? Is it enough for Alec to go back in the closet until Ryan retires?

The Review

His Favorite Player was a quick, fun, and low-angst football romance. Ryan and Alec has instantaneous chemistry and a connection that built as time passed.

I love the trope, a celebrity falling for someone who has no idea who they are. There’s an appeal, for someone famous to find someone that makes them feel normal, and loved, and more than what they are famous for. It just tickled me that he lied that Ryan was his favorite player, with no clue he was talking to Ryan. He and Ryan are so happy together. There were times that had me grinning as I read scenes with them together.

They were such a fun couple, foodfight and all.

The *cough* romance *cough* scenes were plentiful. If you’re looking for more of that than a drawn out romance, this will hit all your buttons. I just wanted there to be more.

One scene that stuck with me, and will stick with me for a long time, is when Ryan’s father met Alec. I could sit here and tell you all about it, but I think it’s best experienced by reading it yourself. It was organic, honest, and touching.

On to book two!

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First Time by Stella Starling

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Cody McPherson is a high school senior everyone says is destined for the NFL. Simon Andrews is the transfer student who doesn’t want any attention. It’s 2007 and no one is out at Hamilton High School, but there’s a first time for everything, and when biology tutoring sparks the kind of chemistry not found in textbooks, 2007 starts to look like the year that there will be a lot of firsts at Hamilton…

First Time is a coming-of-age gay romance novella of approximately 34,000 words. Every Stella Starling romance takes place in the same interconnected, contemporary world, and First Time is a prequel to Cody and Simon’s present-day love story, which will be told in the novel Second Chance, scheduled for release in 2019.

The Review

This was such a sweet read 😍 I wish there had been more. I love a good coming of age, first-time, YA Romance. And this had everything you could want for a mature reader (I say mature because there is a sex scene towards the end that definitely steps over into the NA genre)

Cody McPherson is the star of the football team and is expected to make it to the big leagues. He just needs to get his biology grade up to par to keep playing and to make sure he keeps those scholarships he’s been offered. He’s been keeping his head down, not looking at his team mates in the locker room and managed to get away with not dating throughout high school because he was focusing on football. Simon Andrews is a nobody and just wants to make it through high school without causing any waves and to make sure he gets a scholarship so he can finally be himself without any barriers.

Cody has been fighting his attraction to Simon since Simon started tutoring him. He’s smart, kind, funny, and sweet. He’s everything that Cody wants but thinks he can’t have. Simon thinks Cody is a straight jock that’s completely off limits. They are so cute with each other. They both get flustered, stumble over their words when they are around each other, and dissolve into shy smiles and laughter. It reminded me of the first relationship jitters that everyone gets. You’re happy, excited and want everything all at once. This was exactly how they were with each other.

Cody’s friends melted my heart. They were supportive and had his back, just like they would have on the football field. They had me smiling and laughing with how they were with both Cody and Simon. It didn’t matter that they were gay, or from different ends of the high school social ladder. They were there for each other.

By the time I finished reading this, I was in such a good mood. It was exactly what I needed.

I wish there had been more tutoring scenes, awkward dates and maybe meeting Simon’s mom scene. I know it’s a novella, and there’s a full length book featuring their second chance romance, but I just needed more!! I’m definitely going to be reading more by Stella Starling.

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