Before starting this, I should preface this by saying this is a novella. I was so excited to start reading this, that fact just kind of blew over my head. It was originally a part of The Team Player Anthology.
Now, with that out of the way, The End Zone was incredibly good. Not that I ever had any doubts, because it was Leigh Shen, but sometimes you never know. The End Zone is a sexy friend to lover’s romance with a smattering of ‘fake’ relationship thrown in. All around, WIN WIN WIN!! Leigh knows how to write about sexy, brooding male heroes and this one is no exception.
Sage and Jolie (JoJo) have known each other since they were kids (about ten years old), when Sage moved into the house next door to Jolie. Night after night, Jolie saw a boy her age frustrated, angry and sad with his surroundings. One night, she couldn’t stand to see him in pain anymore and decided to run to him. That is the beginning of their story.
“And on the eighth night, the girl gave the boy more than friendship and a hug, without even meaning to—and definitely without agreeing to. On the eighth night, the girl gave the boy her heart. He took it silently, never offering his back.”
Present day, Sage and Jolie are seniors in college. Sage is a brooding, cocky, know it all manwhore. He is the rising quarterback that is headed off to the NFL, but where does his relationship with Jolie go? Jolie is a studious, super sweet girl that has been harboring feelings for her best friend. Things change on one fateful night that involves Jolie and a bathroom and a lightbulb moment in Sage’s head.
This book, even as a novella, is everything. I loved that interaction between Sage and Jolie, from friendship at the beginning to more. I would LOVE more of these two, but given that it’s written by Leigh, I would always want more. There friends to lovers romance is written extremely well, although slightly fast paced. This is strictly due to the nature of the book, a novella. There are SO many goodies in this book, that I can’t talk about, but will say we get multiple HEA epilogues and not necessarily all concerning Sage and Jolie. Do yourself a favor and pick this hot, spicy, funny and sweet little read up. There are so many great hilarious quotes in this book it will have you chuckling! Leigh Shen does not disappoint.
“He is the kid I fell in love with at the age of ten, and the man I would give the world to at the age of twenty.”
Some more memorable quotes:
“If he were any other guy, I’d be all over him like a rash after a torrid Vegas vacation.”
“…considering how Sage’s dick has been passed around like community property. I’m surprised he’s not partly funded by the government.”