The Risk (Briar U, #2) by Elle Kennedy

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Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

Book: The Risk (Briar U, #2) by Elle Kennedy
Published: February 18, 2019
Pages: 432
Genres: Romance, Athlete, College, New Adult
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 14, 2023
Rating: 4.5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

I read this book after reading The Dare (the 4th book in the series) and I enjoyed it even more than The Dare!

I loved Jake and Brenna both, which isn’t always the case. Most times I care for either the hero or Heroine more than the other but not with our Jake and Brenna! I loved that both characters were so strong and true blue. They didn’t pretend to be anyone else, they knew who they were at heart and that’s how they acted with the other one.

I loved reading the build up of their relationship and how it wasn’t this insta love where they were professing their feelings 30% into the book. Their relationship progressed at a normal pace and we got to see them slowly fall in love over time.

I loved how Jake was truly such a good guy at heart and wasn’t afraid to be in a relationship once he realized he wanted one. And I absolutely loved that Brenna wasn’t afraid to be with Jake, even though he played for her teams rival. My only wish is that we would have gotten to see where their relationship takes them in a few years but the author can still release a novella taking place after the book.

I enjoyed the Off Campus series a lot and enjoying this series as well!

The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy

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College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

Book: The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy
Published: June 16, 2020
Pages: 354
Genres: Romance, Athlete, New Adult, College, Curvy Heroine
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 13, 2023
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔

When I finished this book I was leaning more towards a 3 rating but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the book and how much I truly enjoyed Conor’s character so for him alone its getting bumped up to a 3.5.

I’m not sure whether Conor already had me here…

Because whoever is torturing this poor girl is certainly watching us right now and they can eat shit. “Lead the way, babe.”

Or here…

“Taylor Marsh, will you do me the incredible honor of updating your relationship status and becoming my fake girlfriend?”

But either way – I love him, I love him, I love him! He is not perfect, he doesn’t always say or do the right thing but he really does care about Taylor and he tries, he tries so hard. I loved how he tried to be the best fake boyfriend for Taylor and then starting falling for her and found himself missing her like a true boyfriend should.

The reason this book is not getting bumped up to a 4 is because of Taylor, plain and simple. I understand we all have body image issues and you can’t tell someone how to feel about themselves but her issues were just over the top. Many males in the book hit on her and checked her out and from the description she was curvy but not fat. Again, you can’t tell someone how to feel but her insecurities drove me nuts! She was doing better with her issues at one point and then it was just like nope, back to square one!

I loved the beginning of the book, it started out great, the middle was good but I didn’t like the chapters leading up to the end. The final hurdle the couple had to go through didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and felt unnecessary. I know these are college kids and we aren’t always rational at that age but I found myself very confused and wondering what the heck just happened in the book. And then boom, a rushed ending and suddenly everything is okay. I also feel like the epilogue didn’t give us a true glimpse of their future. I need to know that they made it as a couple because with the way things went at the end, even though they worked things out, I still feel like so much was uncertain.

I feel like if the ending gone differently and not been as rushed, and we had an epilogue that was more in the future and gave us more certainty on this couples future this could potentially gotten a 4 rating.

Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Level-headed Francesca Lane never thought she’d miss her own wedding. But when her fiancé betrays her, she puts on her wedding dress and ditches the altar for a masquerade ball—at a sex club.

There, she meets NFL star Tuck Avery, dressed as a prince and hiding behind a mask as he celebrates his birthday. For one night, Francesca and Tuck indulge in a wickedly incognito affair. No names. No strings. And the masks don’t come off.

Unfortunately, Francesca soon realizes her prince is the wealthy jock who lives in the penthouse of her apartment building. His hobbies include parties and supermodels—or so the tabloids say. Another shallow jerk is the last thing Francesca needs, so she vows to keep Tuck from recognizing her, not that she’s his type anyway.

But fate has a teeny-tiny trick up her sleeve… a plus sign on a pregnancy test. Can this tormented prince accept love, or will he push his princess away forever?

Book: Princess and the Player by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published: November 8, 2022
Pages: 283
Genres: Romance, Athlete
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 12-13, 2023 Rating: 3 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔

I wanted to love this book so badly, I really did, but I can’t bring myself give it a better rating. The premise was great, the beginning was binge worthy and then it all fell apart in the middle. The entire middle of the book is Francesca trying to come up with reasons not to tell Tuck she’s pregnant and putting it off every chance she gets. I understand her being afraid and not wanting to lose him but she’s 30 years old at this point, she’s not an 18 year old kid. And that was literally all the middle of the book was – when is she going to tell Tuck she’s pregnant? And then the end was very rushed and didn’t wrap things up as nicely as I would have liked.

I did enjoy the characters! I liked that Francesca was a fighter who kept her head held high and didn’t let her cheating jerk of a fiancé ruin her. It was refreshing to see a heroine that keeps going, even after being knocked down several times. I absolutely loved Cece and Brogan, and Jasper too, I feel like they made the book honestly! And I obviously enjoyed reading about Tuck as well! He also didn’t have an easy life growing up and is now at a big moment at his life when his football career is coming to an end, which is a huge life altering change. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to pursue Francesca and continued to seek her out because he knew there was something there with their chemistry.

The ending, while forced, made me smile because our couple got their happily ever after which is really all I want to see in a romance book like this. Overall it was a good read but will I read it again? Most likely not.

Ruthless Knight (Royal Hearts Academy #2) by Ashley Jade

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Welcome to their kingdom…

Cole Covington is the most popular heartbreaker at school.
Every guy wants to be him and every girl wants to screw him.
Except me.
His devastatingly good looks, golden arm, and flirty smiles don’t do it for me anymore…because I know what’s lurking underneath the star quarterback’s gorgeous armor.

At least I thought I did.
Sometimes the most beautiful people…hide the ugliest truths.
And sometimes the only way to save someone…
is to walk beside them through hell.

Sawyer Church is the bible-thumping nerd of Royal Hearts Academy.
Girls pick on her and guys don’t notice her.
Except me.
Sweet, curvy, and sarcastic, she’s impossible to ignore.
No matter how much I try.
Everyone at school has her pegged as the chubby, Jesus loving geek, but unlike them—Sawyer’s real and never pretends to be someone she’s not.

Until I ask her to be my fake girlfriend.

Sometimes the most beautiful souls…hide the greatest pain.
And sometimes the only way to save someone…
is to fight for them.

Book: Ruthless Knight (Royal Hearts Academy #2) by Ashley Jade
Published: January 20, 2020
Pages: 608
Genres: Romance, Athlete, Curvy Heroine, High School, New Adult
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 10-11, 2023
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

Where do I even begin with this book?

This is the first book I have ever read of Ashley Jade’s but I am officially a fan! I have had the first book in this series in my to-buy pile for a while but never got around to it and then saw the reviews for this one and decided to jump right into the middle of this series. I’m so glad I did!

I want to know what it’s like to feel like I’m enough.

Sawyer Church as not had it easy – she has been bullied all her life and always made to feel like she wasn’t beautiful simply because she is overweight. She is a size 14 though to me I would consider that thick or curvy but that’s just me. She has had a crush on Cole since she came to California and always wants to believe in the good in him, even when he is acting like a jerk.

“You ended with a positive. You can tell a lot about how someone feels about a person by the way they end a statement, especially when they’re feeling conflicted about them.”

Cole Covington has had a thing for Sawyer for a while but due to having a reputation to uphold wont admit it to anyone, least of all her and treats her horribly in public.

“You think love is perfect? Like one of those fairytales?” He shakes his head. “Hell no. Love is hard…difficult. It’s dealing with someone’s shit day in and day out but never giving up on them because your heart won’t let you. It’s having a million reasons to leave them…but always having one good reason to stay.”

Sawyer and Cole’s journey was definitely not an easy one and had a lot of ups and downs but what I loved the most about them was that they truly loved each other and saw who they were as a person underneath it all. Cole was not always the easiest person to love but Sawyer loved him anyway and wasn’t afraid to call him on his crap. And Sawyer got what she needed most from Cole – someone who loved her for her, despite what her body did or didn’t look like.

I loved how much the characters grew as the book progressed. The Sawyer and Cole at the end of the book were so much more sure of themselves and were actually happy! It was so amazing to watch Cole grow as a human and be so in love with Sawyer that he didn’t care about anything else except making her happy and being with her. I loved his character so much, even when he was being a complete jerk.

The author does such a great job of developing these complex characters with real fears and issues. I can’t wait to read more of her work! I highly recommend this book!

Athica Lane by Brynne Asher

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Cam Montgomery is a single full-time dad who knows his priorities: his kids, his job, his team, his business. Dealing with his disaster of an ex-wife is bad enough, not to mention delinquent football players and a meddlesome mother. Cam doesn’t have the luxury of time for anything more, especially a relationship. Even if it is Paige Carpino—smart and sweet but at every turn, knocks him on his ass with the unexpected.

That’s figuratively speaking of course. Paige might come in a small package, but she makes up for it in spirit. An energetic spit-fire who has some heat to her sauce, she’s dedicated to her new business, her family, and a select group of friends. She’s never put herself out there, but then again, there’s never been anyone worthy of putting herself out there for.

Until one day in a burger joint, an asshole practically enters her into a wet t-shirt contest with his drink. Who knew a disaster like that could be the beginning of your life? Or more importantly, that asshole would be your reason for being. But anything can happen when you finally put yourself out there for a single dad, ex-football player, and the hottest man you’ve ever run into. Throw in the Carpino’s, the Montgomery’s, and an eighty-five-year-old bossy woman in the mix, and it’s a recipe for something big.

Book: Athica Lane by Brynne Asher
Published: September 29, 2015
Pages: 482
Genres: Romance, Sexy Alpha Male, Athlete, Swoony Males, Single dad
Format: Kindle
Date Read: March 9, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

Holy Cannoli, why didn’t I read this book sooner?

Cam. I love, love, love him! He is stubborn and overbearing in some ways but I loved that about him. He was so sure of himself. And honestly, is there anything sexier than a dad who loves his kids? The quote below from the book speaks for itself!

Dadmire – defined by all single women admiring a man who’s hot to begin with, but his hotness quotient increases leaps and bounds by him doing hot dad things. Examples: calling his girl punkin’ pie, his boy buddy and looking like there’s nothing he wants more in this world than the two kids in front of him.

That being said – I did not like Cam’s incontrollable anger and how he disregarded Paige’s feelings on a lot of things. And I didn’t like how Paige didn’t push the issue of how she felt about things and didn’t force him to include her in things going on in her life.

I also felt that Paige was a little naïve but she is also a young adult so it wasn’t out of character at all. Other than that, I truly enjoyed her character. She was a good person and I felt like she was the perfect other half for Cam. I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow throughout the book.

I loved the kids and how family oriented both of their families were, even though they were sometimes overbearing. I can’t wait to check out more books in this series because I really did enjoy all of the characters!

Blindsided by Amy Daws

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What happens when an almost thirty-year-old virgin agrees to let her Scottish footballer best friend give her some lessons in seduction?

Lots of banter, awkwardness, jealousy, and heat.

Midfielder Maclay “Mac” Logan is a loud-mouthed, tattooed ginger content with focusing on football. But when an adorably-freckled seamstress comes barreling into his life, he finds Netflix-And-Bickering with her to be his new favorite pastime.

Freya Cook is used to being the invisible woman with a needle and thread, offering cheeky punchlines as she helps dress London’s finest. She’s plus-sized in body and spirit, and other than her friendship with Mac, talking to the opposite sex is one skill she never mastered.

However, after one innocent game of Never Have I Ever, Mac offers to play Love Coach for Freya.

What neither of them see coming are the feelings that develop when the clothes come off.

Now they’re both about to learn the biggest lesson of all: Don’t fall in love with your best friend.

Book: Blindsided by Amy Daws
Published: November 21, 2019
Pages: 322
Genres: Romance, Athlete, Best Friends Become More, Famous Hero
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 6-7, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

“You’re pals with adorable pet names for each other who bicker like an old married couple.”

I absolutely loved the chemistry between Freya and Mac! They fit so well together and I loved how comfortable they were. The natural progression from friends to more was so refreshing to read; it wasn’t awkward at all!

I loved the secondary characters as well- the Harris family, Macs family and Freya’s coworkers. I loved everything about this book from start to finish! I may have never read this author before but you can be sure I definitely will be reading her other books now!

Give this story a chance, you won’t be disappointed!

I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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Badass Athlete: I dare you to…
Delaney Shaw: Who is this?

The late night text is random, but “Badass Athlete” sure seems to know who she is…

Delaney Shaw.
Good girl.
Lover of fluffy kitties and Star Wars.
Curious.

His dare? Spend one night in his bed—a night he promises will be unforgettable—and she can solve the mystery of who he is.

She knows she shouldn’t, but what else is she going to do with her boring Valentine’s Day? One sexy hook-up later, her mind is blown and the secret’s out.

Maverick Monroe.
Bad boy.
The most talented football player in the country.
Just ask him.

Too bad for him Delaney’s sworn off dating athletes forever after her last heartbreak.

But Maverick wants more than one night and refuses to give up on winning Delaney’s heart. She isn’t one to be fazed by a set of broad shoulders.

Will the bad boy land the nerd girl or will the secrets they keep from each other separate them forever?

Book: I Dare You by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published: April 29, 2018
Pages: 254
Genres: Romance College, Athlete
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 6, 2023
Rating: 3.5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

I read this book in one sitting! It was short, sweet and predictable but I still enjoyed it so much!

I loved the character of Maverick, he was such an all around GOOD guy. And Delaney? What a sweetheart! These two were so well matched and had amazing chemistry. I loved them! I don’t really have much to say about this book – it was a good book, I wish it was longer, but still an enjoyable read!

I can’t wait to check out some of the other books in the series!

The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland

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The first time I met Max Yearwood was on a blind date.
Max was insanely gorgeous, funny, and our chemistry was off the charts. He also had the biggest dimples I’d ever laid eyes on.
Exactly what I needed after my breakup.
Or so I thought…
Until my real date arrived.
Turned out, Max wasn’t who I was there to meet. He only pretended to be until my real date showed up.
To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Before he left, he slipped me a ticket to a hockey game a few blocks away, in case things didn’t work out on my actual date.
I tossed the ticket into my purse and went about trying to enjoy the man I was supposed to meet.
But my real blind date and I had no connection.
So on my way home, I decided to take a chance and stop by the game.
When I arrived, the seat next to me was empty.
Disappointed again, I decided to leave at the end of the period.
Just before the buzzer, one of the teams scored, and the entire arena went crazy.
A player’s face flashed up on the Jumbotron. He was wearing a helmet, but I froze when he smiled.
You guessed it: Dimples.
Apparently, my fake blind date hadn’t invited me to watch hockey with him, he’d invited me to watch him play.
And so began my adventure with Max Yearwood.
He was everything I needed at the time—fun, sexy, up for anything, and only around for a few months since he’d signed with a new team three-thousand miles away. Max proposed we spend the summer helping me forget my ex. It sounded like a good plan. Things couldn’t get too serious when we had an expiration date. Right?
Though, you know what they say about the best-laid plans.

Book: The Summer Proposal by Vi Keeland
Published: January 10, 2022
Pages: 350
Genres: Romance, Athlete, Erotica, Famous Hero
Format: Kindle
Date Read: February 5, 2023
Rating: 5 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

This was the very first Vi Keeland book I have ever read and I have to say – I am officially a fan!

Max and Georgia were both very loveable characters that were realistic and not one dimensional at all. The author did a great job developing them as the story progressed. Their first meeting had me riveted and I did not want to put this book down!

“The Yearwood men are sort of like large trees. You can’t chop them down very easily, but when they fall, they’re sort of immovable.”

I absolutely loved Max’s zest for life and how he just wanted to be happy and didn’t want to waste time not doing things that he didn’t want to. I loved Georgia’s quirks and how hard she worked to start her own company and to keep it growing strong! But, even more than all of that, I loved these characters together. The chemistry they had was off the charts and they just fit together so well! I enjoyed Max’s family and would love to read more books about them as well as a book about Georgia’s best friend Maggie! I honestly just loved all of the characters and hope to see a sequel or a series continuing with them.

The Sweet Talker (Boston Hawks Hockey #1) by Gina Azzi

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I’ve sworn off hockey players. Until the pregnancy test turns pink.

Noah Scotch is revered in Boston, a veritable god on the ice. I’m a nerdy, newly minted college professor who would rather color code my planner than hit the club scene. Noah shouldn’t look at me twice but when he does, I falter.

Who can blame me?

The sweet talker with the deliciously chiseled abs and sinful chocolate eyes is a force. On and off the ice. One hot and intense night with Noah has me second guessing my lack of a dating life.

Friends with benefits? He offers, I dive in headfirst. Growing up in a hockey family, I know better than to get serious with a player.

But the more time I spend getting to know Noah, the more my intention to keep things casual rings false.

Now, I’ve got a hopeful heart and a baby on the way.

I just need to tell Noah. But when I do, will I end up with everything I never knew I wanted? Or on my own?

Book: The Sweet Talker (Boston Hawks Hockey #1) by Gina Azzi
Published: January 21, 2021
Pages: 228
Genres: Romance, Athlete Hero, Famous Hero
Format: Kindle
Date Read: January 30-31st, 2023
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

I truly enjoyed this book! I love the family dynamics and how close everyone was!

I absolutely loved Noah, our hockey player with a heart of gold. I loved how well him and Indy fit together. She is absolutely perfect for him – not enamored with the glitz and glamor of being famous and she had her own life completely outside of him. They complimented each other so well. I loved how strong of a character Indy was; she had her own goals and wasn’t going to let Noah get in the way of that.

My only wish is that this book was even longer, I would have loved to have seen more moments between Noah and Indy; maybe even an epilogue showing their life a year or two into the future.

Not My Romeo (The Game Changers 1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

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We start off with a lie on Valentine’s Day.

My blind date isn’t the studious guy I expected: he’s a drop-dead gorgeous player with sinful amber eyes. Somehow we end up at his penthouse. I blame the gin and tonic.

The next day I learn he’s Jack Hawke—bad-boy professional quarterback with a murky past. The NDA he has me sign should be a warning that he isn’t a regular person. Please. I sign it Juliet Capulet, so goodbye, famous football player with abs of steel, and good luck tracking down this small-town librarian.

But Jack keeps showing up in places I least expect him. Just when I’m sure he’s gone, he waltzes into my community theater and wins the part of Romeo to my Juliet. How’s a plain, mostly innocent girl like me supposed to resist a man like him?

Is Jack my real Romeo… or will this gorgeous football player only break my heart?

Book: Not My Romeo (The Game Changers 1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Published: August 18, 2020
Pages: 346
Genres: Romance, Rom-Com, Athlete
Format: Kindle
Date Read: December 23-24, 2021
Rating: 4 Potatoes 🥔🥔🥔🥔

So this is another one of my reviews that accidentally got deleted so I apologize if its a little less wordy than usual. Thanks again Google Keep!

This book had me in stitches for the hero and heroines first meeting! I could feel the instant spark between them and love how their journey together began. It is definitely a story to tell the future grandkids!

I loved how realistic both the hero and heroine were. They were both flawed with baggage but truly good people at their core, just trying to do what makes them happy. They didn’t instantly fall in love but they had amazing chemistry and fit each other so well that I kept rooting for them to be together.

The ensemble cast was amazing – loved all the extra characters and their back stories. Well, all but one and I’m sure everyone else feels the same way!

I saw there is a second book to this series and I am definitely intrigued because this is a book I will read again in the future and always recommend if someone asks about it. Check it out, you will not be disappointed.