Friday, 25 October 2019

#Review: Team Player Anthology | #SportsRomance

Blurb:
Our love of hot jocks is never-ending.
Muscular football players. Passionate tennis pros. Sexy soccer stars. All sorts of alpha hotties, on the field and off.
Have no fear! The team is back again, and this time...it's thicker. You'll get your sports romance fix with brand-new stories from eleven bestselling authors.
Need one last summer fix? Dive into this anthology.
*This anthology contains original, never-before-seen stories by the following authors: Mandi Beck, Ella Fox, Teagan Hunter, Ilsa Madden-Mills, Sara Ney, Rochelle Paige, Meghan Quinn, Charleigh Rose, Kennedy Ryan, Emma Scott, and Kate Stewart. We still aren’t responsible for melted devices.

Stories Included:
Arena Lights by Mandi Beck
End Goal by Ella Fox
A Slice of Love by Teagan Hunter
Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills
The Teaching Hours by Sara Ney
Body Heat by Rochelle Paige
The Strike Out by Meghan Quinn
Guys Like You by Charleigh Rose
Fast Break by Kennedy Ryan
Love Game by Emma Scott
Fair Catch by Kate Stewart


MY REVIEW
Before I get into the nitty-gritty of my review, I must say that I normally don't read anthologies and sports romances. However, one of my recent auto-read authors was part of this book, so I decided to venture, and I'm definitely glad I did. The talent and diverse plots and characters in this book were a delight to explore.

Read on to for my mini review of each novella in the book.


Fair Catch by Kate Stewart (The Guy in the Middle)
Despite bad first meeting, friendship and love grow between Harper and Lance. Harper has a secret ( a surprise I didn't see coming), which threatens to tear them apart. The love story is sweet, the sex hot. Both mains are solid characters and I rooted for them to have a happy ending. The keeps a relatively easy pace all throughout. Ms Stewart's writing is enjoyable. 
The story appears to be a spin-off from an ongoing series, and ends with a cliffhanger, the continuation of which is embedded in a January 2020 release. That didn't make me happy, but it is what it is.
My rating: 4 stars

Arena Lights by Mandi Beck
This story is full of humour as it tells the story of Maeve and Benny's forbidden romance. It's a sweet college/first-love romance, that reminded me of what it was like to fall in love as a new adult. My favourite character, though, was Maeve's twin sister, Millie, who I hope has a story of her own. She was a hoot!
My rating: 4.75 stars

Body Heat by Rochelle Paige
I enjoyed this story. Though a short read, it felt complete. I enjoyed the switch in the traditional roles with the heroine being the bodyguard. The hero was more than up to the task of being her perfect match. I totally guessed the baddie (very proud of myself)
Rating: 4.5 stars

Guys Like You by Charleigh Rose
This college romance tells the story of Halston and Zach who hook up at a frat party. Funny and unfortunate events happen afterwards, which draw them closer. Both Halston and Zach come with some amount of baggage, but they find comfort in each other. The sex is hot, the romance is strong and believable.
My rating: 4 stars

Fast Break by Kennedy Ryan
From a distance, Ean, a former baller turned coach, has admired Quinn, an amputee athlete for years. He's followed her impressive journey of rising above a tragedy that could have broken her. Ean is the kind of man who doesn't waste time playing games. He pursues Quinn with a determination that you can't help but admire and fall for. The story gets very emotional at some point as the two find healing in each other. A truly enjoyable read.
My rating: 5 stars

End Goal by Ella Fox
This enemies to friends/lovers story starts off ten years in the past when the hero and heroine are in high school. Something happens that makes the heroine hate and avoid the hero. Skip to the present, the heroine needs a job and the perfect one has just been offered by the hero. It was a sweet romance, and the author did a good job of making it emotional where it counts. However, I didn't like the time jumps. The first leap of ten years is fine but a second time jump robs the reader of seeing more of the hero and heroine on the page before they fall into each other's arms again. However, because they had history, it was easy to buy into their HEA.
My rating: 4.5 stars

The Teaching Hours by Sara Ney
The main thing I thought while reading this one is "different". Neither the hero nor the heroine is your usual "nice" or exemplary person. The hero is known to be a douche and the heroine is no better. The beginning was a tad slow for me, but things pick up a little after the third chapter. I didn't connect too much with the main characters, but it could be just me. That said, by the time I finished the story, I was in no doubt about them being suited to each other.
My rating: 4 stars

A Slice of Love by Teagan Hunter
Jonas returns to his hometown after an injury and reunites with Frankie four years after he broke her heart. She hates his guts and he's lived with regret all this time. Some clever matchmaking forces them to confront their feelings as well as the past. This was one of my favourites in the book. Frankie and Jonas had an oh-so-cute friendship/forbidden romance in high school and their newfound romance was really sweet.
Rating: 5 stars

Love Game by Emma Scott
Sikai, a pro tennis player, is known as much for his amazing talent and his epic meltdowns on the court. Now at risk of being kicked out of the game for good, his well-meaning agent decides to intervene by hiring an energy healer to help him deal with his personal demons. Daisy, the energy healer, has her own demons. I loved Kai and Daisy a lot. It was clear that they were good for each other. Even though Kai did an idiotic thing towards the end, it was in line with his character, which also made him real. Because in real life people don't change overnight. Being better is an everyday decision. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and wish it had been longer.
Rating: 5 stars

The Strike Out by Meghan Quinn (Holt's Story)
Harmony hates ballers. Holt is a baller. Get it? They meet when she has to serve him and his buddies at the diner where she works and she doesn't hide her feelings. Anyway, Holt is intrigued and sets out to change her mind about ballers - well, him in particular. A book hasn't made me laugh as hard as this one did. Holt is an ass, but he's so funny and Harmony digs his kind of crazy. Honestly, she stood no chance. I loved her best friend, whom I hope will get a story of her own. Great read. The story is only a beginning, but the end is very satisfying. I look forward to more of Holt and Harmony's romance.
My rating: 5 stars

Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Ava survives a sexual assault at a kegger. Though it doesn't happen on the page, Ava is returning to that school for the first time since the incident (so this might be triggering for some readers). She's paired on a school project with the most unlikely person - Knox, the captain of the football team. He is painted as a bad guy in his first scene and I kind of hoped he was the hero of the story. Turns out he was! Ava's bravery and sheer determination makes her a lovable character. Knox, captain of the football team, and head alpha male turns out to be a surprise. This was definitely my favourite story in the book and I'm glad it came last.
My rating: 5 stars






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