Review & Excerpt: Jock Row by Sara Ney

JOCK ROW
Series: Jock Hard #1
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: May 3, 2018

Scarlett is always the sensible one: The sober driver. The planner. The one holding your hair back while you’re worshiping the porcelain gods.

Week-after-week, she visits Jock Row with her friends—the universities hottest party scene and breeding ground for student athletes. And if keeping her friends out of trouble, and guys out of their pants, was a sport, she’d be the star athlete.

Being a well known jock-blocker gets her noticed for all the wrong reasons; just like that, she’s banned from Jock Row. NO GUY WANTS A GIRL AROUND WHO KEEPS THEIR JOCK FRIENDS FROM GETTING LAID.

“Rowdy” Wade is the hot shot short-stop for the university’s baseball team—and the unlucky bastard who drew the short straw: keep little Miss Goody Two-Shoes out of the Baseball House.

But week-after-week Scarlett returns, determined to get inside.

AMAZON

Jesus Christ, she has a dimple in her damn cheek.I’m a sucker for those.

She shoots me a tentative smile, ass parked on the stoop, back propped against the wooden siding of the house.

It’s obvious that she’s blushing by the way she ducks her head, glancing down at the floor, the soft glow from the two busted lamps illuminate the crown of her head.

The porch lights are busted and rusty, needing their bulbs changed, one flickering—the other just about to burn out. It makes the entire place look like a goddamn Halloween fun-house, casting a weird glow on the girl’s smooth, pale skin.

And her pretty dimple.

Stop staring at it, dipshit.

I cast my glance at her outfit, doing my best to analyze her under the dim lights; she must have been sweaty inside the house; I got a good look at her before convincing her to follow me, but still study her as if seeing her for the first time.

Both of her boots are tucked under her legs, and she sits, cross-legged on the ground. Blows out a frustrated puff of air that translates into a billowing stream of steam.

“So.” She wraps her puffed sleeved arms around her knees, hugging them tight. Shivers. “Now what?”

Her prim ponytail is jaunty, bobbing when she tilts her head to gaze over at me.

“Now I babysit you.”

“Lovely. We can bond.”

I position my large body against the railing, giving it a gentle shake to make sure it’s sturdy before supporting all my weight on it. It’s solid and secure and is going to get real uncomfortable real fucking fast if I have to stand here all night.

The girl raises her brows at me. They appear black in this light; full and arched expertly. “Have you babysat anyone before?”

“No one I managed to keep alive,” I joke. “A few cousins my parents forced me to watch a few times; never would feed them but would occasionally throw out a dog bone so they wouldn’t get hungry.”

She smiles, dimple denting the smooth right side of her face. “Is that what you have planned for me?”

I raise my empty hands. “I’m fresh out of Scooby snacks. Guess we’ll both have to starve.”

“Sorry you have to sit out here.”

“Really?” I sound hopeful. “No one is forcing you to sit out here.”

Her light laugh is quiet. “Fine. I guess I’m not that sorry.” She bites down on her lower lip. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying your discomfort—just a little bit.”

“Gee, thanks.”

I’m an athlete—a champion. I play hard and jock harder, and these little games I’ve started with her? I’m playing to win.


I read this in one delicious sitting. Stayed up WAY past my bedtime to finish, and I don’t even care because it was SO FREAKING CUTE!! Such a fun start to what looks to be another addicting series from one of my favorite authors.

Jock Row introduces another New Adult sports series from Sara Ney, this time about baseball. We get the ball rolling *giggles* (sorry couldn’t help myself) with the story of Rowdy and Scarlett.

I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the sizzling slow burn of their romance. What starts as an unlikely friendship full of banter and laughs, soon begins to develop into something much deeper. When Rowdy is picked to kick Scarlett out of a party on Jock Row for being a bit of a cockblock to his friends, the last thing he expects is the immediate connection he forms with a girl wearing a bulky sweater and a mischievous grin. This was a deliciously character driven story and I think that’s what I enjoyed most about it. I loved the banter between these two and I’ll never think of Never Have I Ever without thinking of this couple.

Rowdy may be a jock, but he’s not an a-hole. He’s cocky, but rightfully so. He IS the captain of the baseball team and worked hard to get where he is. Scarlett was a breath of fresh air. She’s sassy and sharp witted and isn’t as boy crazy as her college friends even if Rowdy does make her keep showing up to a party she has no intention of going inside for. I seriously adored the way their connection formed. Watching their feelings develop and the chemistry between them go from sparks to incendiary proportions.

Jock Row was an adorably sweet and super cute romance full of laughs and sizzle. It had me glued to the pages from beginning to finish and totally head over heels for this couple by the end. If New Adult sports romance is your thing, this series is your new catnip!

Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte’s, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British.

She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.

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New Release & Review: The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane

THE RIVALRY
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Author: Nikki Sloane
Release Date: November 21, 2017

This tight end is at the top of his game.

He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name.

His—ahem—stats are perfect.

But I can’t fall for him.

He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem.

The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival?

This guy is their star player.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE PLAY 

I shouldn’t have gotten in his car, but his mouth had been too convincing. He was the devil. The seduction of his lips could make me do anything.

I have a confession to make. When I first first started reading this book, I thought I’d hate it. Put down that rotten tomato for a second, killer, and hear me out, mkay? What I mean is, I thought I’d find this whole rivalry thing trivial, juvenile, and kind of…well…cheesy. *cringes*
I’m sorry! I can be a judgmental a-hole. This is nothing new. *shrugs sheepishly* Admission is the first step, isn’t it? Quit judging meh!

But I digress. And I’m also happily eating my words…or is it thoughts? *scratches chin* Whatever the case may be, I have never been more happy to be wrong about judging a book by the first few chapters. Because The Rivalry was a fun and sexy ride that I enjoyed with a goofy smile on my face and a burn in my ovaries. Wait… That came out wrong. But you get my drift here, right?

This girl was electricity. It sparked across my skin, crackling and demanding more.

Two rivaling schools. Two die hard football fans. One undeniable connection.

You can pretty much say that Kayla came into the world predisposed to love football. Her father is a coach and her mom is a downright fanatic. Her being an opinionated, die hard football junky is in her blood. As the head cheerleader for Ohio State university, she literally eats, lives and breathes football. Men? Forget about it. Not many can tolerate her opinionated hassling ways. Until one sexy stranger at her friend’s wedding changes everything…

Every shudder he made and every pulse of him, I was the cause. I’d let this gridiron warrior conquer me, but I’d done it right back to him.

But what happens when Kayla finds out that the first man to put a sizzle in her ovaries also happens to be the tight end for her school’s biggest rival team?
Indeed, Scooby. Ruh roh indeed.

But no matter how much Kayla tries to fight it, the chemistry between them is simply too hot to walk away from. And when Jay sets his sights on the girl he wants, he’ll stop at nothing to have her. And no one is more determined than this tight end. Ha! See what I did there?

But I digress again.

Kayla could have easily been on the annoying side, but yet she was entirely endearing and fun. Though admittedly she did have her moments, she ultimately won me over in the end. And as for Jay? I’m pretty sure I was ready to pee proprietary circles around him. Can you even do that with a fictional character? Because I totally would! With just the right amount of secondary character personalities, fast paced plot, and sexual chemistry, this book was a total winner for me.

If you’re looking for a sizzling sports romance with plenty of witty banter, strong characters, enough sexual tension to set your kindle on fire, and even more sexy times to make sure that it turns to ash, welcome to your next read! But we warned, spontaneous lusting for football may be a side effect. Especially tight ends. *giggles*

Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn’t be any happier.

Stalk Nikki:

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New Release & Review: Game On by Victoria Denault

GAME ON
Series: Hometown Players #6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Denault
Release Date: October 9, 2017

“I don’t break hearts. I break headboards . . . “

When it comes to scoring in the pro hockey league, Alex Larue is crushing it-with the hot puck bunnies. He’s the life of the party, the guy with all the jokes . . . and the one whose Party Guy mask keeps the real him well hidden. The last thing he needs is anyone finding out about his troubled past, or the nightmares that haunt him still.

Brie Bennett is less than impressed by Alex from the moment she meets him. And even though he insists on volunteering at the charity she runs, she doesn’t trust him. He’s hiding something…but so is she. She’s not just the rich, privileged New York princess he thinks she is. The animosity between them is undeniably addictive and as their worlds keep colliding it becomes supercharged with something else – attraction.

But if they stop playing games and let each other in, they both might lose.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

…tell me you want this. Take the shot.”
He nuzzles my hand and but then turns his face and kisses my palm. When he turns back to me he looks so serious it’s startling. “I want this.”
I feel my smile from my toes to the roots of my hair. “Game on?”
He smiles back, raw but darkly playful. “Game on.”

This book was not at all what I signed up for, in the best possible of ways. See, this totally one track reader saw the quote on the blurb and thought, “eeee!!! Another manwhore! GIMME!” And then what I got was an engrossing, unforgettable, and beautiful story that was full of depth and meaning.

You’re this amazing, stubborn, gorgeous woman who wants more than the one thing I know I can give. And as much as I suddenly, for the first time in my life, want to try and give more, I’m also so fucking clueless as to how.”

Alex Larue is the darling of the hockey league. He’s always got a woman on his arm and a quick smile on his lips. Traded numerous times in his career, his one constant is his love for the game and the love the fans have for him. He’s talented, hard-working, and completely shut off emotionally.

I want things from you I shouldn’t want.”

When Alex first notices the gorgeous Brie, she shoots him down in a way that’s hard to forget. The sparks of attraction that ignite between them are almost as hot as their opposites attract interactions. When Alex realizes who Brie is, the animosity between them rises. After all, Brie is the complete antithesis to the life he’s lived and the demons he hides. Being the darling daughter of two wealthy parents, she hasn’t known a struggle in her life. But not is as it seems.

His fingers grip my hips so tight I’ll probably have marks, and I like that idea. That his fingers will leave their imprint on my body the way his soul seems to be leaving an imprint on my heart.

I really don’t want to give much more than that away because it makes the story that much better to discover the small details as you read. What I can tell you is this book has so much more depth than the blurb implies. Both of the main characters are incredibly multi-layered and impossible not to love. Alex and his easy smile and hidden vulnerability will pull at your heart strings. Brie with her quiet and understated strength and the way she doesn’t give up on Alex will make you smile.

Alex makes it clear to Brie that he can’t offer her what she deserves. But after seeing peeks of the man beneath the tenacious flirt, Brie knows what she wants and she knows that she can’t give up on him. There’s something about Alex that pulls her in, and impossible to forget.

You’re going to wreck me,” he whispers into the crook of my neck. “And I’m going to let you.”

With a wonderful cast of secondary characters, Game On was an unputdownable read from beginning to finish. It was full of meaning, emotion, and so much depth, it was impossible not to love. This just may be my favorite Victoria Denault book yet and I can’t recommend it enough.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

ONE MORE SHOT | MAKING A PLAY | THE FINAL PLAY | WINNING IT ALL | ON THE LINE | GAME ON

Excerpt & Geri’s Review of Maybe This Christmas by Jennifer Snow

MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS
Series: Colorado Ice #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jennifer Snow
Release Date: September 26, 2017

All wrapped up . . .

One more game. That’s all that stands between NHL star Asher Westmore and a major career milestone.

But then his brother bashes him against the hockey boards, sidelining him for months. Over Christmas holidays, no less.

If staying off the ice doesn’t drive him crazy, staying with his family will. The only bright spot amidst the mistletoe and twinkle lights: His best friend, Emma, is a physical therapist. And working out with her improves his body and his spirit.

One last time. Emma Callaway was in trouble the minute she and Asher added benefits to their friendship.

How is she supposed to resist a funny, caring guy who makes her toes curl? Her heart was safe while he lived in a different state. Now that he’s back home recuperating, though, it’s only a matter of time before she blurts out her feelings.

Emma’s only hope is that with a little holiday magic, she’ll get the best Christmas gift of all.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | IndieBound

Asher climbed out of the car. “Nah. I’ll hang out with Em tonight. I’m her last patient of the day,” he said, suddenly feeling a little better and eager to get this appointment finished so they could go back to her place for the evening. Without the meds, he was suffering a little more, and she was the only thing that eased his pain.

“All right, man. Take it easy,” Jackson said as he closed the door.

Entering the clinic, he tugged the big, heavy old door closed behind him.

“Hey, Asher,” Jane said, standing as she saw him.

“Hi, Jane. How are you?” he asked, approaching the desk and leaning over it. If he sat again, getting up would be a struggle.

“I’m great. Um, actually, I wanted to ask you…if maybe you wanted to grab a drink at the Grumpy Stump tonight?”

Caught slightly off guard, he laughed. “You don’t hang out there, do you? You’re far too pretty to be slobbered on by all the local single men.”

She blushed. “Thanks. Actually, I don’t hang out anywhere. Single-mom life doesn’t lend itself it to many dates. Not that this would be a date…”

Oh, damn. He felt like an ass saying no to the woman who was obviously putting herself out there…but he wasn’t interested in dating. In fact, since his last semi-permanent situation ended a while ago, he’d been enjoying how things were going with Emma. Right now, she was certainly the only one he wanted to be with. “I…uh…”

Emma appeared in the reception area, an unreadable expression on her face as she glanced back and forth between the two of them.

“Well, the thing is…I promised Emma I’d do that…thing with her tonight,” he said, looking at her to save him.

Her expression softened slightly as she slowly nodded. “Right, you did promise me you would do that…thing tonight.”

He smiled. Saved. Now he could resume getting excited about a full evening with her, naked, with no pressure of a flight out the next day or having to be anywhere at all. The idea excited him beyond the sexy thoughts coming to mind. He looked forward to just being with her, holding her, kissing her, and talking. He’d been so caught up in his own problems the last few weeks, he had no idea what was going on with her.

“Ok, yeah, no problem,” Jane said, busying herself with the papers on her desk.

He felt like a jerk. He turned to Emma for help.

“Um…maybe Asher could get you and Aiden tickets for a game in Denver,” she said.

Perfect. Right there—that’s why he loved her so much. The thought made him pause. Love? Of course, love. She was his best friend.

“Right, Ash?” she said when he’d yet to confirm her suggestion.

“Oh, yeah…no problem.”

Jane smiled. “Aiden would love that. Thank you,” she said, sitting back down at her desk as the phone rang.

Emma’s eyes held a hint of amusement as he followed her into her therapy room.

“What?” he asked.

She closed the door behind them and grinned. “You just turned down a hot date to suffer through dinner at my sister’s house tonight.”

Oh shit.

**Excerpted from MAYBE THIS CHRISTMAS by Jennifer Snow. Copyright © 2017 by Jennifer Snow. Reprinted with permission of Forever. All rights reserved.  

This was another heartwarming, holiday read from Jennifer Snow about two best friends who found love with each other. You know me, I’m a sucker for a good friends-to-lovers story, and Maybe This Christmas delivered on the romance big time.

Asher Westmore and Emma Callaway have been best friends for years. Then they became best friends with benefits, which suited both of them just fine. Asher is a hockey placer for New Jersey while Emma is pursuing a snowboarding career. Then life comes at you fast.

For Emma, that change came when she took a serious tumble during a qualifying snowboarding competition for the Olympics, ending her career. These days, she’s a physical therapist in her small town of Glenwood Falls. Her friendship with benefits with Ash is going strong but lately, she had been feeling adrift. Not really sure whether she should get back into snowboarding or pursue a doctorate in physical therapy. There’s also her relationship with Asher. Emma’s feelings for her best friend is definitely deepening and she’s not quite sure if he feels the same.

Asher is about to hit a huge milestone of his career. He could almost taste it. But a knee injury and a hard hit from his own hockey-playing brother derailed that milestone for him. Now he’s back in Glenwood Falls to recuperate with Emma’s help, of course.

She was the one person in the world he always knew he could count on and the only one he wanted to be with.

While this book can be read as a standalone, I would highly recommend that you read the previous books in the series to get a background of Emma and Asher’s relationship. I don’t think it’s necessary but I think it would enhance your reading experience.

That said, I have not read any book in the series prior to this one but I didn’t feel lost and I was able to pick up the threads of the story very easily.

I enjoyed how Asher and Emma’s relationship transitioned from friends to so much more. It helped that the author already established that these two have an intimate physical connection. At the start of the book, they’ve been FWB for a long time. Years, I think. So it wasn’t a leap in any way.

Despite being friends and then lovers, they both had to deal with a lot of issues not just between them but also with their families and careers.

For Asher it’s dealing with his feelings of resentment for his brother Ben, Emma, and the thought of having to give up hockey. who always seem to achieve every accolade that Asher wants without struggle. Emma herself is dealing with a meddling sister and a father who is losing himself daily.

And speaking meddling…Emma’s sister Jess got on my last nerve.

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I mean, come on! She was positively heinous in her treatment towards Ash, turns up her nose at her sister’s accomplishment, and she makes decisions about Emma’s lovelife and career without consulting her. Sure, I believe that she’s doing it because she loves her sister but gah! It was still annoying. I had to resist the urge to throw my Kindle against the wall whenever she was in the scene because I just can’t deal with her meddling.

Fortunately for me, Jennifer Snow was able to write a really convincing romance between Asher and Emma. Despite some hiccups along the way, they were able to deal with their issues like adults. No unnecessary flouncing, drama or whatever. And Ash proved himself to be a really sweet and caring hero worthy of Emma and that one revelation in particular (which I won’t spoil here) sealed the deal for me.

So if you’re a fan of sports romance and the friends-to-lovers trope, I would recommend this book!

 

Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and son. She writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance stories set everywhere from small towns to big cities. After stating in her high school yearbook bio that she wanted to be an author, she set off on the winding, twisting road to make her dream a reality. She is a member of RWA, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Film and Visual Arts Association in Edmonton. She has published over ten novels and novellas with many more on the way.

 

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