Loved the hero, hated the heroine. That kind of sums up my feelings about this childhood friends to lovers romance, which is a great read in a lot of ways, but also a frustrating one in others. The author does a lot of things oh so right – showcasing the obvious, deep love between these two, eliminating the OW/OM drama that’s prevalent with this trope, and adding in plenty of emotion. But, man, this heroine really threatened to tank the story for me. She drained a lot of the romance out of it, and kept this feeling more like a casual hookup story than anything else.
The story follows LJ and Marisa, two college students who have been friends for what feels like forever. They’ve always been close, but neither one has opened up about the feelings they have. Marisa is convinced that LJ will forget about her once he becomes a professional football player, and LJ isn’t willing to get shot down yet again by the girl he’s loved forever. That’s left them in a strange holding pattern, which is only broken once a timer is put on their relationship. LJ is likely to be drafted soon, and Marisa is making future plans of her own.
During the first half, I liked this a whole lot. I love a good friends to lovers romance, and add in one where neither of the characters has acted like a hoe, and you’ve got my attention. The author handles that all very well (even if I could’ve done without the few dramatic teases). I loved the sweetness of the romance, the obvious love between these two, and LJ is all kinds of adorable. In the back half, things get pretty messy, and that’s where this started to lose me. I wanted a slower burn, I wanted more romance, and I wanted the time limit to be what kept them apart – not Marisa herself. Her insecurities get in the way a LOT, and that took the shine out this romance for me. Like, had they even been on a first date when the book ended? Sheesh, I don’t know. As is pretty typical of new adult romance, this is heavy on the drama, and I wanted some of the sweetness back. Still a solid book and a nice addition to the series, there’s no question about that. I received an early copy via the author and am voluntarily leaving a review of this friends to lovers romance.
“Are you sleeping with my daughter?”
Not the question I wanted to hear from my coach. The man holding my pro future in the palm of his hand.
The answer: No, sir.
The real answer: I’d sure as hell like to be.
Marisa’s been my best friend since third grade. And now she needs my help–and a place to stay. Senior year was supposed to be the year to keep some distance until the season finished and my draft prospects were safe.
But resisting her is becoming impossible. Movie Thursdays under the blankets. Study sessions on my bed. Wild party nights where I kept any guy interested at bay with a single glare.
Her dad can bench my ass for the entire season, so she’s off limits–for now.
She’s the only woman I’ve ever loved. And one heated night, I can’t stop fighting every cell in my body and can’t stop myself from sampling her sexy smile, her sweet smell, and her sultry curves.
We’re walking a tightrope with my future on the line. Let’s just make sure Coach doesn’t find out…
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#3 The Third Best Thing
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About the Author:
Maya Hughes, that’s me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I love writing stories that capture the possibilities of the paths less travelled and enjoy experiencing life through my characters’ eyes.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe, traveling with my family and Jeff Goldblum.
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