Genres: Adult, Romance
Publication Date: January 9, 2018 by Skyscape
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Source: Publisher via Netgalley
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken proves that everyone scores to win. But off the field, a fumble can change the entire game.
Pro footballer Miller Quinton would do anything for his best friend and teammate—including “fake dating” his friend’s sister. What no one knows is that seven months ago in Vegas, Miller and Kinsey did a whole lot more than just kiss. Miller knows that this cheerleader is off-limits to him and any guy on the team. Still, he can’t stop himself.
Kinsey’s whole world is on the verge of crumbling. Her dad has cancer. Her overprotective brother is falling apart. Dating Miller may be a fake-out, but he’s the one guy who can make her forget about everything—including all the reasons she stayed away from football players. With each heated moment, Miller feels more like a safe place…even though he’s not safe at all.
Now temptation is testing every rule in the game of love. But how long can they go on playing when winning is a harder goal than either of them imagined?
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I saw so many positive reviews about this book; how much people loved it and how it caused a book hangover. I was so excited to read it, I thought it was going to be a cute sports romance…unfortunately I didn’t like this book at all. My review is going to be a little spoiler-y so beware.
For me the book started out on a bad note. The main character Kinsey hooks up with her brother’s best friend (who she’s been super attracted to), but can’t say anything about it because her brother makes sure his whole football team knows she’s off limits.
“This guy was either psychotic or just really took his sister’s sex life way too seriously – or both.”
Not only was who Kinsey could/couldn’t date controlled by her brother Jax, but basically everything she did. View Spoiler »Her dad has cancer, and when Jax finds out he makes Kinsey go to Europe for the summer so she doesn’t have to see her dad go through chemo. BUT HE DOESN’T TELL HER THAT HE HAS CANCER (he also somehow convinces their parents not to tell her that their dad has cancer???) « Hide SpoilerAlso, the book starts with Kinsey and Miller (the guy she hooked up with) starting to fake date because Jax told them too, but there wasn’t a good reason for them to fake date!
“And even though it physically hurt to let anyone control me, it was different when it was done out of love – and not fear.”
I felt that the book was very patriarchal. Jax is the oldest child, their dad has cancer, so he’s in charge of the family now, and gets to make every decision. View Spoiler »He does’t let Kinsey see her dad go through chemo because he doesn’t want to put her through that emotionally…but she doesn’t get to make that decision for herself. « Hide Spoiler
I didn’t enjoy the writing, it felt very clunky and a lot of the transitions were awkward and confusing. Their banter wasn’t cute, I felt confused reading about them joking around with each other because most of the jokes didn’t make sense and came out of nowhere. There were also many phrases that were repeated throughout the book. I should have started counting, because by the end I was rolling my eyes every time I read them. Jax and Miller were constantly “tossing Kinsey” over their shoulder. When Miller and Kinsey would kiss, the author always used the word sucking to describe it; “his lips were sucking the life out out mine”, his lips were “sucking out [her] sadness”. That’s such a cringey way to describe kissing!!
The reason Miller and Kinsey have to fake date is because Kinsey’s abusive ex-boyfriend is now on the guy’s football team. Jax would feel better and not worry about his sister so much if he knew she was fake dating his friend (makes no sense to me either). What I want to know is why go through with such a ridiculous plan to protect her when they could have just gotten a restraining order? The stuff they described about the abusive relationship was pretty bad, so why wouldn’t they do anything that would insure that he would stay away from Kinsey?
There was a big secret that was hinted at throughout the book, and when I found out what the “secret” was I was pissed. It turns out that Kinsey has a chronic illness that wasn’t mentioned until ~80% into the book, and IT’S USED AS A PLOT TWIST!!!! WTF seriously not cool. There were little mentions throughout the book about Kinsey taking medicine or feeling dizzy, and then all of a sudden Jax is all “you’re going to break up with her because of her Lupus!” But that was the first time (and only time) it was mentioned in the book.
The romance also dragged on waaaaay too long. They were together, then the weren’t, then they were, then they weren’t, etc. Just pick if you want to be together or not and STICK WITH IT.
As you can tell, I really did not enjoy this book at all. I really wish I did because I read so many reviews from people I follow about how much they enjoyed it.