Tag Archive | basketball

Defying Gravity by KK Allen–Review

I used to think that reading a second chance romance book was semi-pointless. I mean, you know how it’s going to end, right? They’ll end up together and all is well. I am more than happy to acknowledge that I have been wrong over the years. It’s not about the ending, it’s all about the journey. Cliché, I know, but when I read a book as well written as Defying Gravity, I just acquiesce.

Tobias and Amelia grabbed me from the beginning with their young love and hopeful optimism. What started as a spring fling turned into more than either expected. Tobias is the silent, brooding, tormented older brother to Trinity, Amelia’s best friend. He is ‘Malibu Gold’ (from Falling from Gravity, a free prequel out now), athletic, smart, and good looking. He was NBA bound and the future was looking bright, until some unknown news had rocked him off his axis.

“We kept moving forward. Apart. And time kept ticking on, until I tossed all hope into the ocean’s depths, knowing fully well it would drown there.”

Amelia had known from early on that she wanted to be a dancer. Specifically, for the LA Lions Dance Crew. Amie, as she is known by to her LA friends, also experiences some things that knock her off her axis. As off kilter as their lives may be, they both felt at home and content in each other’s arms. The funny little thing about life is that it happens and sometimes you can’t control it. Wrong place, wrong time. Wrong time, right place. Wrong place, right time. Right place, right time. In Tobias and Amelia’s situation, it didn’t matter what they wanted, because life was leading them to where they were supposed to go. They were two beings who were circling the drain, trying desperately to defy gravity.

“This isn’t you. This isn’t us. We make our own rules, remember? We defy gravity.”

Toby and Amie have experienced a lifetime full of life in their young ages, but they also gained a lot of perceptive. I loved the grit, tenacity and determination that they both possess. It was evident that these were individual characteristics that were only strengthened when they were closer together.

“We’re in the same city again. And you know what they say about gravity and proximity.”

“The closer objects are, the stronger their gravitational pull.”

What was beautifully written (but, oh, so frustrating to the reader) was the back and forth nature of the storyline. I promise it’s a good thing, but I just wanted to scream at them to get their crap together. Remember, I said it’s about the journey with these two and it was flipping incredible. When I read the final word, I just wanted to sit, smile, and cry. Well done, Ms. Allen. Defying Gravity is my favorite of yours by far!!

On a side note, I loved all the dances that were used as inspiration. As a former dancer, it was wonderful to see these hard working dancer/choreographers getting some recognition.

(In the upper right hand corner, three lines with a play arrow will allow you to see the whole list.)

 

Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan–Review

I experienced a ‘slow start’ to this book. In retrospect, my reflection led me to the conclusion, that I should have a slow start. Hook Shot is a slow burn romance and that’s the feeling I was trying to acclimate to. I love Kennedy Ryan and am addicted to her Hoops series and the way she just drags you into her world is amazing. It truly wasn’t long before I was sucked in and sucked in deep. We’re talking, hubby don’t bother me, take care of you and the dogs yourself, because I couldn’t wait to find out more.

‘There is no one else but you, my friend, my equal.’

-Song of Solomon 5:2 

Lotus is a fascinating, mystical and intriguing character. She is Iris’ cousin from Long Shot with August. August is on the same San Diego basketball team as Kenan Ross. Lotus is a NOLA transplant working in the fashion industry with Jean Pierre Louis in New York. She is his right-hand woman. She does as he requests, but also designs clothes in her spare time.

Kenan Ross (sigh) is a gentleman among boys. He’s an introvert, still holds open doors for women, he loves Jazz and hates text message language/abbreviations. He LIVES for his daughter, Moni, and unfortunately, has an ex-wife to deal with.

Both Lotus and Kenan are instantly attracted to each other. Unfortunately, the timing is all wrong. Lotus is trying to find herself and work through some issues and Kenan’s life is just plain chaotic. They both acquiesced to each other and decide to keep things simple as friends. Kenan figures he has the summer to get to know more about the mysterious Lotus. Both parties have secrets, and both are trying to better themselves and their lives for different reasons.

‘I have found the one whom my soul loves’

I loved Kenan and his giant sweetness and protectiveness, what I didn’t expect to love is Lotus. She completely won me over through the course of the book. She may be small, but she is mighty. Despite having a horrible upbringing, she was a true star and her spirit sparkled like her ‘cotton candy clouds’. This is all in thanks to Mimi, her great-grandmother who raised her.

‘My beloved is mine and I am his, Kenan, I’m yours.’

Kennedy Ryan has made me a fan of another one of her books. Everything about it was sheer perfection. The two characters and their undeniable love for each other, Lotus’ concern and love for his daughter, the manners of Kenan, the distinct way they hold each other up and bring out the best in each other. Everything was sheer perfection.

‘It’s in Kenan’s arms, in the harbor of his love. That’s the safest place I’ve ever known.’

5 ‘Button’ Stars to PYT

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan–Review

There is absolutely no way I can describe how incredibly powerful and meaningful this book is. Is it a sports romance? Yes. Is it a forbidden love setting? Yes, but those are just categories to place this book. In honesty, it needs to be said that this is one book to NOT miss. If you don’t read any other book, this year at least pick this one. The underlying theme, content and meaning is the true star here. Kennedy Ryan took her time researching what she was about to write about and it showed.

‘If you were mine, Iris, there would be no doubt what position you’d hold in my life. You’d be center. I’d play you at the five.’

Long Shot is just plain and simple perfection. It is soul crushing, heartbreaking, and downright ugly. It has the ability to put you into an emotional upheaval, wondering if things are ever going to be ok again. There were many times where I had to take a step back and re-center myself. To get out of that fantasy world and realize I wasn’t in the book and that things were ok despite the tears that fell. PS…Don’t wear mascara while reading this, unless it’s waterproof.

August meets Iris the night before his Championship game. August is very contemplative at this point, going through standout memories in his head, as well as thinking about his future. He is on his way back to his hotel room when he hears a loud and boisterous female yelling at a Lakers game. Of course, he’s intrigued and goes to sit next to her. August and Iris end up spending all night talking until last call, but reluctantly part ways, knowing that neither will be the same and that night is a pivotal spot in their lives. Through the years, at times of emotional/physical lowness and their darkest nights, each remember this night fondly and think about that proverbial fork in the road. What would have happened had they kissed and not walked away.

‘In my dreams I choose him, my prince, instead of the fraud. In this parallel universe, at this second-chance juncture, I turn right instead of choosing wrong…and there only there, we are together.’

Over the years, August and Iris do run into each other, but Iris has extenuating circumstances that prevent them from getting together, much less being real friends.  The few run-ins don’t seem to stop August. He knows that there is something between them, but Iris is reluctant (for good reason).

‘Even when you think you’re defeated, dig deeper. Go harder. Press, because there is something worth it on the other side.’

To get through life, you need a good support system, whether that be friends or family. Iris is extremely close to her cousin, Lotus or Lo. In times of crises, sometimes all it takes is texting ‘hopscotch’ to call in reinforcements, despite the rift that had developed between the two cousins. When all else fails, they know they can count on each other.

In order to reinvent herself, heal and in need of a safe place, she heads home to the NOLA swamps. Her great-grandmother is here and takes her in. Mimi is a high priestess and has taken in Lo when she needed a place and is there for Iris now. Slowly, she helps Iris heal and restore her soul and self-esteem.

‘Strength. Dignity. Courage. All these things belong to you. Take them back. Your soul is yours. Your heart is yours. Your body is yours. Yours to keep and yours to share.’

‘” Struggle does not make you weak.” She whispers back. “Struggling against those who hold us is what makes us, over time, stronger than they are. Strong enough to fight back. Strong enough to win.”’

Kennedy Ryan has written Long Shot to be a wonderful amalgamation of two stories with strong and powerful underlying themes. Long Shot will easily be on my best of 2018 reads.

‘Please tell me you feel this, too. Tell me I’m not fooling myself that we’ll be good together.’

‘Every time he touches me, he restores my faith and reminds me what pure love feels like.’

Elite by Carrie Aarons–Review

elite ebook cover

Elite was a privilege to read. I, unfortunately, didn’t read Carrie Aarons first book in this series, Privileged. Despite that I was still able to follow along and not feel lost. This time around, the story revolves around Colton and Eloise. From the get go, they have unbelievable chemistry and brilliant banter. Let me just tell you the sexual chemistry is completely palpable through the kindle. 🔥

Eloise Mason is a privileged British transplant, who is looking for the chance to throw away some responsibilities and experience college American style. She was a delight to read and I loved the heroine. Eloise is a sassy, strong, independent and feisty heroine with a quick and witty banter. She arrives at Jade Mountain University with the only expectation of maybe learning some things in her classes, experiencing a college party or two and avoid the rich and snotty upper crust that she came from. What she didn’t expect was Colton Reiter, the basketball superstar who is the ‘King of the Court’.

Colton is a unique hero where he feels like he must portray two different personalities. He is the college and hometown superstar where he displays this cocky and deviously charming side. While his other side is very caring and loving; thinking of others before himself. As with Eloise, he wasn’t expecting this spunky, beautiful Brit who could put him in his place. There was something about this girl that he was drawn to and couldn’t get out of his mind.

“I was going through life seeing every single person as the same snowflake, no one had the makeup to catch my eye, or to make me stare in wonder. Until you, that is. Your uniqueness, it draws me to you.”

Colton and Eloise were exquisite together. They brought out the best in each other, despite currently not coming from the same socioeconomic backgrounds. I loved the way they kept each other on their toes with their feisty and spunky personalities. They just seemed to get each other and made them feel safe and loved.

“Colton loves me, at my truest form.”

Now, not all things are rosy on this campus. Eloise gets herself entangled with a ‘secret society’ upon arriving on campus. When she gets to her dorm room, there is an embossed envelope that had some instructions for her.

“If you’re in, you’ll never have to ask. If you ask, you’ll never be in. University Boathouse, tomorrow night, 9 p.m.”

Eloise is intrigued mostly because she is bored. She goes along with the hazing to try and figure out what this secret society is about until she begins to hear some unsettling rumors. Eloise has dealt with this snotty upper crust clique for a good chunk of her life and decides she’s going to play along to try and put them in their place. She has the upper hand, until she doesn’t!!Elite Teaser 2

I absolutely loved this book. It was well written and true to form regarding the college experience. For a good NA romance with a healthy dash of mystery, you should check this book out. Very reminiscent of, ‘The Skulls’ movie based on the Skull and Bones society at Yale.

“I was gifted with the love and support of the sassiest British girl I know, and I was learning that it was going to be enough for me.”

“Colton and I were two opposite sides of a coin that just happened to fit perfectly together. Who knew it would take a cross country trip in which I promised to have some fun and let my hair down, that I would end up coming away with the love of a lifetime.”

“I’d never really had anyone who would be…well, it’s corny, but ride or die.”

 

The Rebound by Winter Renshaw–Review: A wonderful second chance romance

Rebound[14449].pngThe Rebound is wonderful book about second chances and the importance of communication within a relationship. For me, it felt like a rather quick read and I was able to read it in one night.

It revolves around Yardley and Nevada who originally met back in high school. Yardley was the new girl, albeit slightly awkward girl from California. Nevada was the guy that all the girls swooned over. They realized early on that they had an incredibly strong connection and were happy together, even if they were just driving around.

Fast forward to when Nevada gets a full ride basketball scholarship in North Carolina while Yardley is still back home waiting to finish school. She has a best friend, Griffin, who doesn’t get along with Nevada. One night, Yardley is seen out with Griffin and the rumor mill starts. Oh yeah, did I mention this night happens to be Valentine’s Day? Yeah, chaos ensues.

Here we are ten years later, both parties back to living in their small town of Lambs Grove. One trying desperately not to think of the other and the other desperately trying not to run into the other. Hmmm, which is which? When they unfortunately do run into each other all the hurt, sadness and anger come flooding back. Outwardly, it appears that Nevada could care less, however, internally he is a mess of emotions. Yardley doesn’t quite know what to make of their first meeting. Eventually these two need to face their demons and learn that they need to communicate. I will say I wanted to slap Nevada a few times when he wouldn’t let Yardley explain what happened. Again, proving that communication is a good thing in a relationship and needs to be done!

After reading The Rebound, there is a prequel included that fills in some of the blanks within the book.  Only complaint is that I wanted more of these two. I LOVE Winter Renshaw books, but felt like this one wasn’t as in depth and therefore, it was a quick read. Despite this, I LOVED reading about Yardley and Nevada and was rooting for a HEA. The question is, did they get it? If you are a Winter fan (and even if you’ve never read one of her books), do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It was a great second chance romance book!!

the rebound teaser.jpeg

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The Rebound by Winter Renshaw: A wonderful second chance romance

Rebound[14449]

The last time I saw Nevada Kane, I was seventeen and he was loading his things into the back of his truck, about to embark on a fourteen-hour drive to the only college that offered him a full ride to play basketball.
I told him I’d wait for him. He promised to do the same.
But life happened. I broke my promise long before he ever broke his. And not because I wanted to.
We never saw each other again …
Until ten years later when Nevada unexpectedly returned to our hometown after an abrupt retirement from his professional basketball career.
Suddenly he was everywhere, always staring through me with that brooding gaze, never returning my smiles or “hellos.”
Over the years, I’d heard that he’d changed. And that despite his multi-million dollar contracts and rampant success, life hadn’t been so kind to him.
He was a widower.
And a single father.
And rumor had it, he’d spent his last ten years trying to forget me, refusing to so much as breathe my name … hating me.
But just like a rebound, he’s back.
And I have to believe everything happens for a reason.
 the rebound teaser
 (PS….look at those abs, WOW!!)