Tag Archive | Friends to Lovers

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.’

The End Zone by L.J. Shen–Review

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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.”