Tag Archives: College

Shut Up and Kiss Me (Lost Boys # 2)

By Jessica Lemmon

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Synopsis

Cade: I tried. I really tried. I should be out of this small town by now, finishing my law degree and partnering up with my buddies, but I couldn’t resist one last street race. Now I’m sidelined in the hospital, and while my injuries will heal, I’m not so sure my voice will return. What kind of attorney can’t talk? Yeah, exactly. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to come back from this . . . until Tasha Montgomery reawakens every competitive bone in my body.

Tasha: I nearly watched Cade Wilson die on that lonely stretch of road. He’s damn lucky just to be alive, even if he doesn’t realize it. I know he’s destined for bigger and better things, but I don’t mind helping him get there as he relearns everything he took for granted. Cade’s a good student, a real perfectionist; I can tell how much his stutter bothers him. But when he lets his kisses do the talking, everything else disappears. And one day, maybe he’ll be able to tell me that he wants me—as much as I want him.

Review

SHUT UP AND KISS ME was an easy and mostly light-hearted read that I found somewhat enjoyable, but also somewhat unmemorable.

Here you have Cade who is a college dropout, and Tasha who is finishing her final year of college.  Despite being college aged, there was none of that over-the-top drama that can appear in college romances, and I liked that.  There were times I liked the characters and times I didn’t. Cade is a very bitter young man, filled with anger at how his life has changed since his accident, as well as anger towards his mother and his ex-girlfriend.  He spends a good portion of the story treating Tasha poorly when he’s not trying to get into her pants, simply because she reminds him of his ex.  Tasha is a caring young woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, but at the same time she’s a doormat.  Cade, her father and her ex-boyfriend treat her horribly, and she just takes it.  Although to be fair, she does stand up to her ex a little bit, which was nice to see.  She’s very quick to forgive, which could be considered a good trait, but she never lets people know just how badly they hurt her because she doesn’t want to cause issues.

SHUT UP AND KISS ME is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  That being said, I felt I was on the outside looking in when it came to Cade’s accident and the issue with his mother, so I’m assuming those things were introduced in the previous book and that I’d understand them better if I had read it.  For me, this book was ok, but nothing special.  The characters didn’t grab me, the story didn’t draw me in, and all the conflict was easily forgiven and tied up with a nice little bow by the end.

Shut Up and Kiss Me (Lost Boys # 2)

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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Lost Boys Series

More Than A Memory

By Marie James

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Synopsis

“You’re gorgeous. Even better looking than the day I fell in love with you.”

The words are a constant reminder of what true love is. Olivia Dawson’s alarm goes off at the same time every day and she disappears into her room to hear Duncan’s voice, see his face, miss him even more for being untouchable. Olivia loves with her entire heart, and her love for Duncan is unmatched, but there’s something about her new roommate she just can’t seem to ignore—no matter how hard she tries. 

“I miss you so much.”
“Can’t be more than I miss you.”

The words are a constant reminder of how unavailable Olivia is, and Bryson Daniels isn’t one for competition off the baseball field, but since the moment he knocked on the door to his new apartment and his roommate “Ollie” wasn’t who he expected, he can’t help but consider bending a few of his rules—even if it means heeding to Olivia’s. 

“I love you, sweet cheeks. Chat with you later?” 

Bryson hears the conversations through the paper thin walls, but there’s a pain inside Olivia he can’t seem to walk away from. He vows to be there for her when the voice on the other side of the computer inevitably breaks her heart, but will he ever be able to compete with someone who’s more than a memory?

Review

Before I get started, I think I need to point out that MORE THAN A MEMORY is set in college, with Bryson and Olivia aged twenty and nineteen respectively.  The synopsis makes no mention of the college setting, nor does the man on the cover look like he’s twenty years old.  Don’t get me wrong, he looks hot and I would totally kick him out of bed only so that I could fuck him on the floor, but he looks too old to represent a twenty year old college student who’s not legally allowed to consume alcohol.  Moving on, like I said the story is set in college and if I knew that at the time, I may not have considered reading it.  College romances can be hard for me to connect with, especially when there’s too much drama and/or too much pushing and pulling between characters.  There was a bit of that here, but thankfully not as much as I’ve read in other college romances.

I can’t say a lot about Olivia other than she’s a recluse suffering from severe depression.  She hasn’t stepped outside her apartment in months and the only physical interaction she’s had is with her mother when she comes to visit.  Normally a character like Olivia would frustrate me to tears with her huge mood swings, but not once was I frustrated with her.  I put that down to reminding myself that she had depression, but I think it’s also because Marie James did such a good job of writing her that you can’t help but feel sad for her every time she suffers a setback.

Now Bryson on the other hand did frustrate me several times.  I did like him, and I loved that he helped bring Olivia out of hiding, but sometimes he flat out treated her terribly.  He tells himself he wants to help her and that he needs to be patient with her, but when she didn’t adjust as quickly as he’d like, or when she’d have a setback, he’d get angry and mean and would pull away from her.  His night with Simone was done deliberately in front of her to humiliate and punish her, all because he wanted her but couldn’t have her.  Quite honestly, I thought his mood swings were bigger than Olivia’s, but then I did have to remind myself that he was only twenty and clearly not equiped to handle her very well.

MORE THAN A MEMORY is told in dual POVs and is currently a stand-alone.  I say currently because the story is left open for two of Bryson’s teammates to get their own story.  I did enjoy the story and it certainly brought out some strong emotions; I was crying so much at one scene that I had to stop and take a break.  It does come with a HEA, but I was left wondering one thing: Did Bryson go pro?

More Than A Memory

My Rating:  3 Hearts

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Tyed

By L J Shen

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Synopsis

Rock bottom has built way more champions than privilege has.

Blaire, an underachieving college student with zero prospects and a ton of issues (hey, being the less-successful twin of a gorgeous supermodel would totally do that to you) needs something from Ty.

Mixed Martial artist Ty, a soon-to-be Welterweight champion of the Xtreme Warrior League and the hottest guy in the Bay Area, wants something from Blaire.

But Ty has a secret.

And Blaire can barely even handle his truths.

Life is about to throw a few knockout punches at both of them. Can they handle the pain?

Tyed is a standalone novel. 

Review

Ty is definitely one dynamic and hot champion and owns the pages who kept me reading this even when I found Blaire for the first half of the book a bit annoying and a bit blah.  She came into her own but my god her sister annoyed me no end and I felt frustrated by their relationship as she was a very self centred character.  I wanted to throttle Blaire’s parents and I just would have liked the family dynamic explored just a little more as they were thrown in at parts and glossed over in others, especially when Blaire graduates.  Blaire had such low self confidence and seeing how her parents and sister walked all over her, well no wonder.   The whole scene at Las Vegas with the wedding just felt weird one day all drama then next at the wedding chapel.

I liked the second half of this book more, it does not slow down and works you up to a ending that is simply perfect and gives you your HEA.  I loved seeing the characters find their own way back to each other and I did not pick Ty’s secret until all was revealed so that was great writing.

Cameron was a great character to introduce when Blaire needed someone and I must say that Shane also created drama and more questions and I enjoyed him.

This is my second book by this author, I have read Sparrow (two times) still one of my favourites  from this year.

Tyed

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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The Goal (Off-Campus # 4)

By Elle Kennedy

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Synopsis

She’s good at achieving her goals… 

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change. 

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated 

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

Review

Despite having read the previous books, I couldn’t remember Sabrina, but apparently she was considered by many people to be a bitch.  In this book, we learn that she’s not a bitch, but is instead a woman who’s incredibly focused and determined to succeed.  She has two goals: get into Harvard Law School and get away from her stepfather.  Because of that drive, she doesn’t have time to let people in and she really hates to see people get a free pass, which is why her feud with Dean is so strong.  Reading about her home situation was disturbing, and her interactions with her stepfather made my skin crawl.  In the end, I liked her.  I thought she was strong and capable, but I liked her best when she realised there’s more to life than just good grades and achievements.  A life isn’t a life when it’s not filled with love, laughter and friendship.

“We have a baby in this truck, Sabrina.”
“I know.”
“This is fucked up.  We shouldn’t be allowed to leave the hospital with a kid.  I’ve never even had a pet before.”

Tucker surprised me.  Why?  Because he snuck up on me and has become one of my favourite book boyfriends.  He knows he’ll never be an NHL player, and he’s more than ok with that; he’s just happy to be good enough to keep his scholarship.  He’s easygoing and carefree, but he doesn’t coast through life; he has plans for his future and is determined to see them become reality.  He was kind, endearing, soothing and beyond patient.  What I loved most about him was that he was deliciously dirty when it came to sex, but was an absolute gentleman outside of the bedroom.

“I’m bringing my friend Carin and u need to bring the hottest guy u know.”
“I am the hottest guy I know.  Will look for 2nd hottest guy on campus.”

THE GOAL is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  This book doesn’t take place after THE SCORE, instead a good portion of it runs in conjunction with THE SCORE and certain events in that book are mentioned again here.  As with the previous books, there were laughs to be had, but I felt the humour was a little light on and more subtle.  But there were a couple of scenes that did get me laughing out loud, mainly the ones surrounding Garrett and Logan and their competition for Godfather rights.  Will we see more books in the Off-Campus series?  I’m not sure, given that the original four boys in the house have graduated and left.  But there were a few other teammates mentioned who will be moving into the house, with special attention given to Fitzy.  Maybe he’ll get his own Off-Campus book, or perhaps a spin-off.  Only time will tell.

The Goal (Off-Campus # 4)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Off-Campus Series

Wilder (The Renegades # 1)

By Rebecca Yarros

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Synopsis

He’s Paxton Wilder.

Twenty-two-year-old, tattooed, smoking-hot leader of the Renegades.

Five time X Games medalist.

The world is his playground—especially this year—and for the next nine months I’m stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program.

He’s too busy staging worldwide stunts for his documentary to get to class.

But if I can’t get him to take academics seriously, I’ll lose my scholarship…if I don’t lose my heart first.

Six unlikely friends on a nine-month cruise with the Study at Sea program will learn that chemistry is more than a subject and the best lessons aren’t taught in the classroom…but in the heart.

Review

I enjoyed WILDER and thought it was a great start to a new series from Rebecca Yarros.  In this series we have a trio of adrenaline junkies⎯Wilder (Pax), Nova (Landon) and Rebel (Penna)⎯who are the Renegades.  They’re taking a year off competing in order to finish college, but will film a documentary showcasing all their crazy stunts performed around the world while they spend the school year at sea.  Because of his busy schedule, Pax needs a tutor to help him graduate, and Leah has been chosen for him.

Leah is recovering from a traumatic event and just getting on the ship is the craziest and bravest thing she’s done in two years.  On her first day, she meets Pax and is thrown into a situation that terrifies her.  But she’s strong and brave and handles it like a champ.  She would normally never consider doing the crazy things that Pax does, but he makes her want to step out of her comfort zone and live a little.  I liked that while she thinks about her traumatic past, she doesn’t use it as a reason not to be with Pax.  Pax is cocky and arrogant, but he’s also a nice guy who would do anything for those he cares about.  He’s also haunted by a traumatic event for which he blames himself for, but it’s not his fault at all.  He’s determined to graduate college, gain access to his trust fund and finish the documentary to honour a friend.

There was one thing I didn’t like about the story, and that was how many times Pax and Leah’s “secrets” were alluded to before finally being revealed.  Leah’s traumatic event.  Pax hiding something from Leah.  Pax being the cause of Nova’s man-whore ways.  They were talked or thought about so many times that by the time the secrets were revealed, they weren’t shocking because they’d become easy to predict, and that was disappointing.  But other than that, I liked the story and it’s characters, and I am looking forward to reading Nova’s books next, which comes out in February 2017.  WILDER is told in dual POVs and is the first book in The Renegades series.  It doesn’t end with a cliffhanger and comes with a HEA for Pax and Leah, who I’m sure we’ll see again throughout the series.

Wilder (The Renegades # 1)

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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The Renegades Series

Anti Stepbrother

By Tijan

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Synopsis

He told me to ‘settle, girl.’
He asked if ‘something was wrong with me?’
He said I was an ‘easy target.’
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

Standalone.

Review

I simply could not put this down and is it wrong that I want to pick this up and read again – like all my other Tijan books on my bookshelf I will probably read once a year just to say hi to the characters again as they are in my heart and fed my soul.

Loved Summer and her humour and verbal diarrhoea, she cracked me up, one minute laughing with her and then the next minute my heart shattering at her social awkwardness.
I simply fell in love with this girl from the first chapter and I think Caden did too. This story is about the building a friendship into a relationship, of two people not seeing what all their friends could see from the beginning.

The relationship with her step brother and her family were entwined with her romance story with Caden at the right moments for me.

Avery was a friendship character that was really integral to this story for me and I found her so enjoyable. She along with Marcus were two characters I was so glad were included right up to the end of this story, I was happy to see how Marcus and Summer’s friendship progressed throughout the book.

The resolution of Summer’s family loss and her ability to move forward was placed within the story at the right moment and Caden and his family secrets provided another layer of emotions – you knew he had a story at the start and we are given full disclosure by the end.

Caden may have knocked off Carter Reed from my favourite Tijan men, or perhaps I can have two favourite Tijan men?

Anti Stepbrother

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Hunter (Campus Kings)

By Celia Loren

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Synopsis

He’s the predator, I’m the prey.

Hunter Phillips
I’ve seen the look on this sweet innocent freshmen’s face before, I see it almost every night in my bedroom. But there’s something different about her, and not just her beauty or her tight little body, something incredibly intriguing…I can tell she’s going to be a challenge.

Turns out this chick is coach McKay’s daughter, and he’s a real ballbuster, hardass, bastard. He’s determined to make my life a living hell as much as he can without compromising our season.

But if I really wanted to piss him off I could f*ck his daughter.

Maybe I’ll do just that.

Britt McKay
He’s Vanover University’s panty-meltingly hot quarterback. He’s the king of the campus, a beast on and off the field.

And totally off-limits to me.

My father is Vanover football’s head coach–and Hunter is his star player. But my dad hears the locker room chatter and sees the jersey chasers lineup outside the showers begging for the chance to be taken by the #1 draft pick. And according to him, Hunter is the worst of the bunch–filthy, depraved, and rotten down to his core.

But I made a terrible mistake…I walked past the locker room and got a glimpse of more than I could handle. Hundreds of girls on campus whisper that Hunter’s packing a monster in his jock-strap…and they aren’t lying. I didn’t know men could look like him in real life.

But he saw me gawking, and now he wants to show me first-hand what it feels like to be underneath his 6’5” frame and 240lbs of pure muscle.

I told him I’m a virgin. I told him I want exclusivity. I told him I want love.

And he gave me a baby.
Hunter is a stand-alone, full-length, Contemporary New Adult Sports Romance novel. Readers beware, this book contains tons of steam and adult language, ages 18+!

Review

Having read three other books by Celia Loren, I am a happy reader, she has again delivered another great romance story that is fast paced, has some humour, friends, family and also the ultimate bad boy.

Hunter is your typical sports alpha guy who changes for the better for his girl Britt.  I must say I really enjoyed seeing his character evolve for the good with guidance from his Coach and it was interesting that they leant on each other after Britt’s choice.  At the start I did not like her dad but by the end I was all for the Coach.

I found this story was the perfect length as we jumped time at the right moments and it was great to see Hunter with his career at the end of the book.  The supporting characters were relevant to their story and not just thrown in, to me they all played a part in Hunter and Britt’s romantic journey.

When Britt loses her Virginity, to me it felt honest yet romantic but also had passion – it was perfect.

I also have to say the cover is H.O.T.

Hunter (Campus Kings)

My Rating: 4 Hearts

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Fallen Crest University (Fallen Crest #5)

By Tijan

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Synopsis

Fallen Crest is back with a vengeance!

Samantha, Mason, and Logan are all together and united with one common enemy: Park Sebastian, the king of fraternity douchebags.

With professional football scouts eyeing his every move, Mason Kade has to walk the line for the first time in his life. Any move he makes against Sebastian has to be perfect and under the radar. One mistake, and his career is over.

Sebastian has other plans. Mason’s career isn’t his target—not even close. Wanting to destroy Mason completely, Sebastian knows he must hit him where it hurts the most: Samantha, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she’s the target.

Sam is bound and determined to protect Mason herself, no matter the cost, but what if the cost is beyond her imagination? What if this time, the villain wins?

Review

I had this on my shelf for months, why did I wait you ask, well I was simply too scared to read this, I knew if Mason was worried about Park Sebastian at University then we were in for one hell of a ride.

So many times I put this book down, I would read a few chapters then get frightened for Sam, Logan and Nate, I knew I would not cope if Sam was hurt again physically as she was in book #3.

I loved how so many questions in relation Sam and her parents were answered for me, their history and how all these people knew each other and who in the hell was Park Sebastian.

Can I say that I loved Garret, he stepped up to the plate right when Sam needed him as a daughter and I loved that for her.

I had an awful feeling about one character, I kept hoping I was wrong, I was not and it was still a surprise.  The whole reveal scene and how it played out for me was one of my favourite parts of the book.

Logan again provided me with some great humorous moments, I was interested to know more about the girl that seemed to grab his attention.

This is just another fantastic story for Mason, Logan, Sam and Nate and the emotional scenes between Mason and Sam kept me riveted to my chair and turning those pages until the wee hours.

Obviously goes without saying – you need to read all four books before picking this one up.

Fallen Crest University (Fallen Crest #5)

My Rating: 5 Hearts

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Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl # 2)

By Sawyer Bennett

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Synopsis

After posing as an escort for the Sugar Bowl online dating service, Sela Halstead is looking for one thing: payback. She’s closing in on the site’s heartless founder, Jonathon Townsend, and she needs Beckett North, Townsend’s business partner and her lover, by her side. She’d thought that their intimate nights together had forged an unbreakable bond, but after a shocking betrayal, Sela begins to doubt the brilliant bad boy. When push comes to shove, can she trust Beck to do the right thing?
 
Now that he understands the truth, Beck will stop at nothing to secure the reckoning Sela deserves. But between his desire for her and his disgust for JT, Beck doesn’t exactly have a lot of control over his emotional state. Left with no other choice, he must summon all his discipline to maintain JT’s trust and pretend that they’re still friends. But how far will Beck go to prove his loyalty to Sela? He nearly lost her once. To keep her, Beck might have to kill for her.
 
Note: Sugar Rush ends on a cliffhanger. Sela and Beck’s story concludes in Sugar Free!

Review

Sawyer Bennett has done it again; SUGAR RUSH had me hooked from beginning to end.  I read this in one sitting because it was just that good.

We continue on from where SUGAR DADDY ended, with Sela laying broken on the floor outside of Beck’s apartment after confessing her secret to him…and Beck calling her a liar.  Despite the rough start, Beck and Sela find themselves back on solid ground fairly quickly, and that’s all because Beck realises his mistake and makes amends immediately.  He owns up to his actions, both to Sela and to her father, and he apologises for them.  No excuses, just an apology and a promise to never do it again.  He truly is a great guy.  But when he hears the entire story from Sela, a little bit if darkness invades his heart and he becomes desperate to make JT pay for his crimes.  While both would happily kill him in a heartbeat if they could get away with it, they know they have to play this smart, and with some outside help, a plan is put into action to get JT out of the Sugar Bowl and into the hands of the police.

Usually I find the second book in a trilogy to be a bit boring and mostly filler, but that’s so not the case with SUGAR RUSH.  A few shocking and scandalous secrets are revealed in this story, and I have a feeling more are yet to come.  I was on the edge of my seat from the moment Beck and Sela came up with their plan to take JT down, praying that their plan wouldn’t backfire and blow up in their faces.  And don’t even get me started on that ending, which had my heart racing trying to figure out what the hell was going to happen.  SUGAR RUSH is told in dual POVs and is part of a trilogy, so it can’t be read as a stand-alone.  As with SUGAR DADDY, SUGAR RUSH ends with a doozy of a cliffhanger that will have you begging for the third and final book, SUGAR FREE, which comes out on October 11.  Where this story will take me next, I have no idea, but I’m sure looking forward to the ride.

Please note: This book talks about rape which may be a trigger for some readers.

Sugar Rush (Sugar Bowl # 2)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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Sugar Bowl Series

Rounding Third

By Michelle Lynn

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Synopsis

I was destined for stardom. 
From the age of seven, I was an all-star. 
Parents praised me, coaches worshipped me. 
As I got older, girls begged for me. 
I was Beltline’s baseball God, guaranteed to put this small town on the map. 

Then, after one night, that future vanished. 

The legend was laid to rest. 
I gave up my scholarship. 
I fled from Beltline. 
I left the girl behind. 

Now, I’m back.

Review

ROUNDING THIRD was the first novel I’ve read from Michelle Lynn, and I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy it.  I didn’t realise this was going to be a college/young adult romance when I read the synopsis, and for me, college romances can be really hit and miss.  I did finish the story, but I struggled to get into it for a few reasons.  I often found the behaviour of the characters to be a bit childish and petty; there was a lot of drama, a lot of pushing and pulling, catfights over boys, bitchiness between teammates, and games played by Crosby and Ella to make the other jealous.  Sometimes I couldn’t make sense of the conversations and sometimes I felt the conversations were choppy.  The details about “that night” aren’t explained until the 44% mark, but up until then it felt like it was alluded to in every second thought Crosby and Ella had, and that became annoying pretty fast.  Finally, I was quite disturbed by the scene where the baseball team uses a cutout of a naked woman, throwing balls at her breasts and vagina to settle bets.  I could be wrong, but I just can’t see a coach or team getting away with that kind of thing in this day and age.

ROUNDING THIRD is told in dual POVs and appears to be a stand-alone, although I do feel that the story was left open for some of Crosby’s teammates to get their own stories.  The story is a second-chance romance that  finished with forgiveness and a HEA for Crosby and Ella.

Rounding Third

My Rating:  2 Hearts

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