Not my favorite in the series, but I liked it. I’ve been LOVING the Summersweet series and this is probably my least favorite so far, but that still makes it a very solid rom com. This group of friends stole my heart in the first book, and I look forward to every visit back to Summersweet. They’re all sexy, lighthearted, (mostly) standalone reads that combine humor and heart, with characters who are so easy to like. Where this one falters for me is the beginning, because it doesn’t deliver on the promised tension. It felt like a LOT of time was spent rehashing this couple’s initial meeting… without a lot of time spent on the ACTUAL meeting. That sort of threw off the dynamic for me, so it took longer than usual to get hooked on this fake relationship romance. But once Quinn and Emily actually started spending time together, this got my attention.
The story follows Emily, a professional cheerleader whose career came to a disastrous end recently. On her final night in town, Emily runs into her longtime crush, Quinn, at a party, and things don’t go quite as planned. Emily is drunk and a little crazy, which is not the kind of first impression she wanted to make on Quinn, but he loves her authenticity. The quarterback is immediately smitten with Emily, and disappointed that they didn’t meet sooner. Five months later, and Quinn thinks that he’s put that night behind him – until details of their night together come out online. Upset that Emily turned out to be like every other woman who has used him, Quinn comes to Summersweet to see her face-to-face. But once he’s there, things get a little out of hand, and the two find themselves faking a relationship.
I really wish that this had started off differently, because I definitely wanted to know more about their night together, and a lot of the relationship relied on that connection without actually SHOWING much of it. There’s also an on-again/off-again boyfriend in the picture, which was off-putting and unnecessary. Despite that, I liked Quinn a whole lot and I loved his vulnerability. Once Quinn realizes that he let a great girl get away, he doesn’t let that happen again (even if he does it in a not-so-smart way, lol). That’s when the tension starts developing, and things improved significantly in the back half. There are some smokin’ moments and lots of chemistry, paired with an obvious connection. It’s light and low angst, while still having plenty of push/pull tension. With a stronger start, I’m sure that I would’ve loved this. It was still a lot of fun revisiting Summersweet, and I can’t wait to come back for more. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this fake relationship romance.
It all started with a dare.
Emily Flanagan has been living her dreams the last four years as a professional cheerleader for the Los Angeles Vipers, thousands of miles away from her tiny hometown of Summersweet Island, Virginia. She’s got the world at the tips of her pom-poms… until she tells her boss to shove those pom-poms where the sun doesn’t shine.
After spending her last night in California with her biggest crush, Emily flies back home to Summersweet, resigned to her boring fate of running her parents’ business, never to be heard from again. Besides, there’s no use crying over a man who lives on the other side of the country, who she’ll never see again.
“Secret love affair for the new quarterback of the Virginia Beach Sharks, or a shocking tale of infidelity, leading all the way back to a birthday party Quinn Bagley threw at his previous home in Calabasas five months ago? New photos of the mystery redhead from the party surface, leaving fans to speculate all over social media, “Who is this woman who convinced Quinn Bagley to quit the Vipers and go to one of the worst teams in the league?”
Quinn Bagley is finally playing for a team that feels like a family, after years of playing with nothing but egos. Following an announcement that shocked the world—one he’d been wrestling with for months, if not years—it felt good to have that weight lifted off his shoulders. What he’s not happy about is that the woman who rocked his world the night she literally fell into his life turned out to be like every other crazy redhead he’s ever encountered, spreading lies all over social media and wanting to use him for something. He just wants to look her in the eyes and hear her admit it was all a game.
Except Emily Flanagan isn’t the hotheaded, rude woman he thought she was, out to screw him over. She’s sweet, sexy, and fun. Even if she does try to banish him from her island. She makes him feel normal, she makes him laugh, and she makes him want more.
He’s going to win her heart, even if he has to do it in overtime.
Let the real games begin, Miss Flanagan. I dare you.
Start the series today!
This series is EXCELLENT, with some seriously funny books. Kiss My Putt made my Top 20 of 2020 list, and Swing & a Mishap was a definite contender for the list as well. They both have tons of sexual tension, humor, and great intimacy – easy 5-star ratings for me. Dashing Through the No is a fun, slightly ridiculous, holiday novella that’s perfect for fans of the series. While each book will stand on its own, they’re better together.
About the Author:
Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She writes in a wide range of genres including Romantic Comedy, Romantic Comedy/Mystery, Romantic Suspense, New Adult Drama, Contemporary Romance and Psychological Thriller. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted Best Indie Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2014.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.
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