Book Review

Book Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 570 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 20th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon – why she’d ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

A NEW FAVORITE.

All Rhodes Lead Here and Kulti are officially my favorite MZ books.

THIS SOCCER ROMANCE WAS EVERYTHING.

I absolutely loved Sal. The focus was clearly on her and her soccer career. I adored her as a character and the type of person she was. Sal was loyal and kind with a temper. Enter in Reiner Kulti who is silent as stone and immovable in emotions. CHEMISTRY FLIES. I love how they went from barely acquittances, to actual friends, and THEN to a romantic relationship. It all felt so natural and hot dang was fantastic. I love MZ’s ability to make me swoon over every tiny hand hold or hug. Those soft moments when you realize that stone is actually clay and is forming a new bond right in front of your eyes.

You won’t even notice that this is 600 pages. The progression is flawless and the pacing is everything I love about a stellar slow burn. My heart was an absolute puddle in the last pages with confessions and acknowledgements of feelings. A PUDDLE. Wow does Rey know how to lay out some tender words when he wants too. His support for Sal was EVERYTHING.

I really loved this story. It was heavily focused on the soccer season and yet never felt like it was overshadowing the fact that this is a romance book. Both plots wove seamlessly and I am smitten. Not to mention, smitten with the side characters too. Sal’s Dad was a GEM. And made me laugh and smile along with her other friends. I have nothing but good things to say about this book and highly recommend for anyone looking for a sports romance to turn their heart to mush.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: slut-shaming

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Book Review

Book Review: The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 300 pages
Author: Sarah Adams
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: August 17th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Is it ever too late to leave the friend-zone?

Hi, my name is Bree Camden, and I’m hopelessly in love with my best friend and star quarterback Nathan Donelson (so is half of America, judging by the tabloids and how much the guy dates). The first step is admitting, right? Except, I can never admit it to him because he clearly doesn’t see me that way, and the last thing I want is for things to get weird between us.

Nothing but good old-fashioned, no-touching-the-sexiest-man-alive, platonic friendship for us! Everything is exactly how I like it! Yes. Good. (I’m not crying, I’m just peeling an onion.)

Our friendship is going swimmingly until I accidentally spill my beans to a reporter over too much tequila, and now the world seems to think me and Nathan belong together. Oh, and did I mention we have to date publicly for three weeks until after the Super Bowl because we signed a contract with…oops, forgot I can’t tell anyone about that!

Bottom line is, now my best friend is smudging all the lines and acting very un-platonic, and I’m just trying to keep my body from bursting into flames every time he touches me.

How am I going to make it through three weeks of fake dating Nathan without anything changing between us? Especially when it almost-sort-a-kinda seems like he’s fighting for a completely different outcome?

Send help.
XO Bree

ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.

Y’all.

Sarah Adams has done it again. WHAT A GEM OF ADORABLE CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

Nathan was *everything*. I was in love with that cinnamon roll of a man and did not hate for a second that he was a NFL quarterback. All of the sweet things he did for Bree to show he cared. And WOW do I love a group of friends coming together to help and support each other. I loved all of his teammates and I found myself laughing multiple times because of all of the antics.

Bree was great too! I really liked her as the heroine and found her feisty and utterly loyal companion. Someone with so much strength and still filled with a soft heart. Watching both of these two dance around each other brought out all of the angst. Bree occasionally annoyed me because I felt like she was resisting Nathan too much, but it didn’t detract from my overall impressions.

Everything flowed beautifully. The writing, as always, amazing. The pace moved well, I’m pretty sure after the first two chapters I was already shouting KISS ALREADY. And that’s the kind of feelings I was all over for Nathan and Bree’s story.

I can’t leave this review without telling you THAT ENDING WAS PEFECT. The impeccable way that that rolled out. I sat there smiling at my book with tears in my eyes because I didn’t even know I needed that kind of movie-like closing. Every book of Adams becomes my new favorite.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: on page depictions of anxiety and panic attacks

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Book Review

Book Review: Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Sarah Henning
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Friday Night Lights meets Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything in this contemporary debut where swoonworthy romance meets underdog sports story.

When softball star Liv Rodinsky throws one ill-advised punch during the most important game of the year, she loses her scholarship to her fancy private school, her boyfriend, and her teammates all in one fell swoop. With no other options, Liv is forced to transfer to the nearest public school, Northland, where she’ll have to convince its coach she deserves a spot on the softball team, all while facing both her ex and the teammates of the girl she punched… Every. Single. Day.

Enter Grey, the injured star quarterback with amazing hair and a foolproof plan: if Liv joins the football team as his temporary replacement, he’ll make sure she gets a spot on the softball team in the spring. But it will take more than just a flawless spiral for Liv to find acceptance in Northland’s halls, and behind that charismatic smile, Grey may not be so perfect after all.

With lovable characters and a charming quarterback love interest, Throw Like a Girl will have readers swooning from the very first page.

SUPER CUTE SPORTS ROMANCE.

Okay, read this in a day (via audio, great narrator!!). Really enjoyed. Highly recommend.

I could probably leave it at that, but I’ll go in a little bit deeper.

I loved these characters. Everyone felt like they actually belonged in high school, but that it wasn’t rudely dramatic. Liv (and others) learned to apologize and accept mistakes and consequences. New friendships formed and the girl vs. girl hate was tamped down to appropriate levels. I just love that this team felt real, and Liv’s family felt real. Fantastic characters who really sold my love for this book.

The rooooomance was one you wanted to root for. Grey and Liv hit it off with a bit of banter and a whole lot of swoon. There was a natural flow to their story and the sweet kisses gave me all the heart eyes. I love the support Grey gave Liv and the trust they showed in each other. All around a wonderful YA love story.

You never know how a sport is going to come off in a book. For the football aspects, I thought this did a great job. I don’t remember glaring inaccuracies that took me out of the plot. And it never overshadowed either. Those final scenes with Liv on that field were those magical movie sports moments you love to see. I found myself cheering alongside everyone else.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: recount of drunk driving accident (only involving the driver, no one else harmed), sports injuries (bruises, concussions, etc.), homophobic remarks, school expulsion, parent with cancer

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Book Review

Book Review: Hitching the Pitcher (Belltown Six Pack #1) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Sports Romance
Length: 220 pages
Author: Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 5th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Running into his former college girlfriend wasn’t supposed to happen. Falling for her again wasn’t supposed to happen either.

Sawyer Bennett has a secret. A risky thing, being one of the popular Belltown Six Pack, a group of six guys from the same college baseball team, all of whom got drafted and now play in the Major Leagues. Between the media frenzy over them and his bond with the guys, his secret has to stay carefully hidden if he wants it to stay that way. He needs to focus on his pitching and let everything else fall away.

Confessing his secret to Erica Moore was definitely not supposed to happen. But the harder he falls for Erica, the more important his secret—and she—becomes.

Welcome to Belltown! Six baseball players meet in the college town of Belltown, Massachusetts, becoming best friends, their lives intertwining as they each get called up to the Major Leagues. Follow Sawyer, Cole, Axel, David, Ryker, and Levi in these six swoony sports romances.

TOO EASY.

That’s all I had to say when I was telling my Husband about my latest read. This entire book felt way too easy.

I also will state now, I frankly think that Erica Moore deserves better than Sawyer Bennet.

YUP I SAID IT.

He dumps her once, then does it AGAIN FOR THE SAME REASON, and the entire time Erica just keeps taking him back without really saying much. I’m still sitting here trying to figure out why. His reasons weren’t invalid, but I think a lot more communication would have prevented much of this book, which is much of the reason why I dropped my rating.

This book did have some cute moments. I would have loved more fluff. One kissing scene is not enough I declare! I liked the side characters (players and family) and thought they added well to the story.

My other gripe was that it had too much baseball? I know, as a sports lover, that was odd for me to pick-up on and actually be annoyed by. This is a SHORT book, I don’t need pages spent on the exact way Sawyer is pitching, or play by plays for every game he’s in. It just took up page time that I felt could have been better spent.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary sports romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger warnings: coping with the loss of a parent

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