Review & Excerpt: Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan

THE HOT SHOT
Series: Game On #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Author: Kristen Callihan
Release Date: April 18, 2017

First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever? 

AMAZON | iBOOKS

CHESS

Grumbling, I toss on some black lounge pants and my oversized Tulane t-shirt and head to the drugstore.
My head throbs by the time I get there, and my insides are writhing. I rest my hand against my lower stomach and grab a basket before calling James to complain.
“I swear,” I tell him as I grab a bottle of painkillers. “It’s like this entire day has been cursed.”
He snickers. “Curse. Get it? Curse?”
I roll my eyes, even though he can’t see me. “Laugh it up. Meanwhile, it feels as if someone is playing Battleship in my uterus.”
“Poor Chessie bear. At least we know why you were in such a foul mood.”
A flush washes over my cheeks. “Yeah.” Lie. Lie. Lie. A tub of salted caramel gelato makes its way into the basket.
“Tell me you’re getting some gelato,” James says.
I smile. “Just grabbed it.”
“Salted caramel?”
“You know it.”
I find the feminine products aisle and search for my brand. “I’m going to go home, take a long bath with my gelato, and forget this fucking day.” Forget Finn. “And then I’m going to go on Amazon and buying a freaking year’s supply of tampons so I don’t have to make these kinds of emergency runs anymore.”
A low, deep chuckle rumbles from behind me, and all the tiny hairs lift on my arms.
“But you’ll still need your gelato,” a familiar—fuck me, seriously?—voice points out.
My insides swoop even as my cheeks burn.
“Who is that?” James asks in my ear.
I slowly turn on one heel. “The plague,” I say, glaring up at Finn Mannus’s smiling face.
“From asshat to plague.” Finn scrunches up his brow. “I’m not sure if that’s a step down or a tie.”
“Who is that?” James nearly yells now.
I don’t take my eyes off Finn. “I’ll call you back.”
James’s squawks of protest cut off as I hit the end button.
“Are you stalking me, Mannus?”
Finn a rests his hands low on his lean hips. “Having a healthy amount of conceit myself, I have to admire yours, but no, buttercup. My buddy Woodson lives a few blocks away. It’s poker night. I’m stocking up on beer.”
It’s only then I notice a twelve pack tucked under his other arm.
“And tampons?” I ask, with a pointed look around the aisle we’re standing in.
“Not tonight,” he says easily. “Though we used to keep a pack of them back in college. Light flows were perfect for stopping up bloody noses.”
A snort escapes me. “Now there’s a visual.” Somehow, I’ve taken a step closer to him. He’s freshly showered, the golden brown strands of his hair still damp at his temples. And I wonder if he’s just come from the gym or practice. “So back in college you went and bought these tampons?”
“Nah,” he says with a cheeky smile. “I’d ask one of the girls hanging around to get me some.”
“Of course you did.” My nose wrinkles with annoyance.
“Give me a little credit, Chess. I’d buy them now if I had to.”
“Hmm…” I eye him, trying not to return his smile. If only because it’s more fun when he teases. “So why are you in this aisle now, if not for potential nosebleed needs?”
“That’s easy.” He steps closer, a warm wall of muscle and clean scent. “I heard your voice.”
For a second I just blink. “You recognized my voice?”
His gaze darts over my face as if he’s trying to get a read on why I’m gaping at him. “Not to be…ah…rude, but you’re loud when you talk on the phone.”
“Yeah, but… You recognized it.” We’d only just met. It occurs to me that I’d recognized his both times he’d snuck up on me. Then again, his voice is distinctive, flowing like hot honey when he’s relaxed or hammering down like iron to rock when he’s taking command of a situation.
A soft flush of pink tints the tips of his ears. If I wasn’t staring at him, I might have missed it. He shifts his weight. “Was I not supposed to?”
“No. Yes.” I shake my head and laugh. “I don’t know.”
He grins then. “You’re cute when you’re flustered.”
“I’m not flustered.” I am.

THE SERIES

THE HOOK UP | THE FRIEND ZONE | THE GAME PLAN | THE HOT SHOT


So were going to…What? Be friends.”
He looks almost boyish then. “Yeah. We are.” His eyes spark. “Fair warning. I’ll still be picturing you naked half of the time. So get used to a bit of leering.”
I snort. “You just had to go and ruin the moment, didn’t you?”
“Probably should get used to that too.”

GAH. All of the stars! ALL OF THEM!

Do you know why I love that one quote up there? Because it’s the perfect summary of this book. It’s this incredibly endearing combination of humor, emotion, and passion. I seriously couldn’t get enough of it! Opposites attract in this sweet and sexy sports romance and I was absolute putty reading it. A happy pile of swooning goo. Can goo swoon? Hmm…no matter. What’s important is how much I seriously loved this book!

From bickering, to unlikely friendship, to roommates, to lovers, Chess and Finn stole my heart…and I never want it back

Like an inevitable collision with a charging linebacker, I suspect Ms. Chess Copper is going to take me down and make me feel it. Bitch of it is, I’m not sure if I hate the idea or kind of like it.

The last place Finn wants to be is in front of the camera. When the photographer hired by their team to shoot their annual calendar doesn’t automatically swoon at his feet like so many other women, he’s intrigued. She’s so far from his usual type, but there’s something about her sharp wit and sarcasm leaves him hooked.

Chess has just about given up on relationships, and the last person she would ever date is the playboy quarterback with the easy smile and a horde of women in his past. But then when she sees the depth hidden beneath his easy smiles, she’s intrigued, and what soon begins is the unlikeliest of friendships even when both of them yearn for something much more.

I want her with a ferocity that aches low in my gut, and I find myself reaching for her without thought, only to restrain myself at the last second. Because she is not mine.

I loved reading their budding relationship develop. There’s so much more than first meets the eye with Finn and watching his layers reveal themselves was utterly delicious. He’s so much more than Chess expected and watching that slowly crumble her walls left me a grinning fool. I adored their easy camaraderie. They were so different and yet so perfect together. I loved the slow burn; until the sexual tension was sprung so tight, I thought I might explode if they didn’t finally didn’t give in to the pull between them.

Finn was the perfect easy-going humor to off-set Chess’s prickly sarcasm. I simply couldn’t get enough of these two together. I loved their friendship but I definitely loved watching it develop into something more.

Finn, what am I going to do with you?” His smile is an easy glide, but his eyes hold mine a beat too long. “Keep me. I’m pretty sure I’m good for no one else.”

And then there was that epilogue. GOD. That epilogue deserves 5 stars for it alone.

Book four in what’s become one of my favorite sports romance series delivered on the promise with one swoony, funny, and sweet read. I adored every single page of it. If you’re a fan of this series, this book is an absolute myst read. I’m already in need of my next fix, I just don’t know who I want more, North or Jake.

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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