Tag Archives: New Adult sports romance

Thin Love by Eden Butler

I still, despite all the inconsistencies, go to online reviews to help choose books to read. Thin Love was strongly recommended, cheap, and had the added appeal of a lead character who was a person of colour which is always welcome. Unfortunately, much of the romance between Keira and Kona is centered around the kind of relationship chaos that passes for passion with teenagers and in badly written novels, and resulted in it being my first DNF (did not finish) novel of the year. I read most of it, but resorted to skimming once its bumptiousness became truly annoying. Eden Butler’s writing was trite and the viewpoint sophomoric.

“And I wouldn’t use a situation like this to take advantage of a girl.”
“I never said…”
“I don’t have to Keira.”
He hoped she caught his meaning.

Bully for you, Kona! I’m delighted to learn you don’t have to use force to get laid. What  would happen if you did “have to”? He is truly a treasure:

“Don’t fish, Tonya. It makes you look common.” And Kona realized that’s what he didn’t like about girls like her. They were common. They were all the same, clones of each other trying to stick out, each one mimicking the other until their faces were indistinguishable.”

I assume these are the same women Kona doesn’t have to take advantage of since he has just slept with Tonya owing to sexual frustration in his relationship with Keira. Kona is in love with someone else, sleeps with Tonya, and then belittles her for acting exactly the same way he has.

“He got Tonya with little effort. He got her because that morning while he ran before class, she followed, trailed behind him like a prowling cat. He gave the kitty her cream, and now? Well. he felt like shit about it.”

Oink.

You aren’t telling the reader who Tonya is, Eden Butler, intentionally or not, you are telling the reader who your hero is. I wish there weren’t so many romances saying that  sexually active women who aren’t the heroine are desperate, vapid whores, or that there’s nothing wrong with a man who sleeps with whomever he wants but regards those women as beneath his contempt as well as his body. She was good enough to be inside of, but not seen as a person.

The relationship between the hero and heroine in Thin Love is filled with jealousy, violent gestures, breakups and makeups until they truly splinter apart… only to find each other again years later for one last round of chaos before they make their way to happily ever after. I finished enough of Thin Love to be appalled by it and skimmed the rest to meet my review obligations, vexed that once again melodrama and havoc has been presented as a love story.

Links to my other reviews (including books worth reading) can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful or my  streamlined recommendations list.

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The cover is the best part of the book.

Sarina Bowen’s Catalogue

Recommended books are in bold.

Bowen’s books are all contemporary romances and the new adult works are so noted.

Ivy Years Series – New Adult
The Year We Fell Down (Hartley/Corey) – start with this, buy the set
The Year We Hid Away (Bridger/Scarlet)
Blonde Date novella (Andy/Katie) CLASSIC
The Understatement of the Year (Graham/Rikker) – LGBTQ
The Shameless Hour (Rafe/Bella)
The Fifteenth Minute (DJ/Lianne) – skip this one, seriously

With Elle Kennedy
HimLGBTQ, New Adult
Us LGBTQ, New Adult
Wags Series
Good Boy – not yet published, I will buy it
Stay – not yet published, I will buy it

The Brooklyn Bruisers Series
Rookie Move – review pending, pretty good, not great
Hard Hitter – not yet published, I may buy it
Pipe Dreams – not yet published, I may buy it

The True North Series
Bittersweet – good not great, down-to-earth plot
Steadfast – skipped it, didn’t like the idea of the story
Keepsake – nice, gentle, okay

The Gravity Series
Coming in from the Cold – shows potential, but not strong
Falling from the Sky
Shooting for the Stars

 

 

Rookie Mistake by Tracy Ward

I found Tracy Ward’s new adult contemporary sports romance, Rookie Mistake, in the “multicultural and interracial romance” section on Amazon. Wanting more diversity in my favoured genre, I have been making a point of seeking it out.  Please note that in this same “multicultural and interracial romance” section, Amazon also lists shape-shifter romances such as Alpha Rancher Bear: BWWM Bear Shifter Paranormal Romance which, correct me if I’m wrong, qualifies as neither multicultural nor interracial but may, depending on their retrospective corporeal forms during consummation, qualify as inter-species, so it’s an inaccurate AND offensive category. A for effort there, Amazon.

Trey Domato is finishing up his college football career and gearing up for the Draft and joining the NFL. He knows where he wants to be and is hoping to find an agent to help him get there. Sloane Ashford is the junior agent in her father’s sports management firm and she has been watching Trey’s career for years. She wants to represent him and will do almost anything, including taking a backseat to her selfish and self-interested father, to get Trey signed. Her dad might not be sure about Trey’s potential, but Sloane is.

Rookie Mistake follows Trey and Sloane as they grapple with the professional worlds they have each chosen. Imprudently, they fall in love along the way and, unrealistically, they think they can fight their attraction The novel struck a good balance between young people finding their way, while also acknowledging that to get to where they are, each of them has also had to be mature and focused. I liked Trey and Sloane, but the writing had some issues and wasn’t compelling enough to get me to continue with Ward’s Offensive Line series. There are occasional awkward word choices (“I watch her swallow. Watch her thin neck constrict under her perfect skin that leads down over her collar-bone, Over her breastplate.”) and things I wasn’t quite sure what to make of, such as this –

I met her last year at a frat party, shared a bottle of Jack with her on the roof of the place, and by morning we were buddies, of each variety. She’s chill. Laidback and always down for a good time, but she’s not easy. She’s not one of these groupies running around in the wake of the team giving it up for anyone with a jersey on their back. I’m the only guy she’s sleeping with on the team, though not the only guy at the school, but the team is what’s important. I share a lot with these guys. Probably too much. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to not dip my wick in the same well.

Where do I start with that paragraph? I feel like it’s going seven directions at once and several of them make me uncomfortable.

New Adult romance recommendations can be found here. Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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New Adult Romances

I’m not sure I had heard of the New Adult subsection of the romance genre this time last year, but I have embraced it wholeheartedly.

Based on what constitutes a grown up in different historical periods, this list by default includes only contemporary settings and is somewhat subjective. The novels often feature folks who are in university, have just finished university, or are athletes.

Recommended books are in bold, reviewed books are linked.

Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years Series – Recommended, except where noted.
The Year We Fell Down (Hartley/Corey) – start with this, buy the set
The Year We Hid Away (Bridger/Scarlet)
Blonde Date novella (Andy/Katie) CLASSIC
The Understatement of the Year (Graham/Rikker) – LGBTQ
The Shameless Hour (Rafe/Bella)
The Fifteenth Minute (DJ/Lianne) – skip this one, seriously

Kristen Callihan’s Game On Series:
The Hook Up (Drew/Anna)
The Friend Zone (Gray/Ivy)
The Game Plan (Ethan/Fiona) – wonderful

Christina Lauren’s Wild Seasons Series:
Sweet Filthy Boy (Ansel/Mia)
Dirty Rowdy Thing (Finn/Harlow)
Dark Wild Night (Oliver/Lola)
Wicked Sexy Liar (Luke/London) – best of the series
A Not-Joe Not-So-Short Short (Not-Joe/Perry)

Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus Series:
The Deal (Garrett/Hannah)
The Mistake (Logan/Grace)
The Score (Dean/Allie)
The Goal (Tuck/Sabrina)

Everyone else, series or no:
Banner, Darryl Dog Tags (Brandon/Jesse)
Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Him (Wes/Jamie)
Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Us (Wes/Jamie) 
Butler, Eden Thin Love (Kona/Keira) – 1st DNF of 2017
Falkner, Tammy Tall, Tatted, and Tempting (Logan/Kit)
Falkner, Tammy Smart, Sexy, and Secretive (Logan/Emily)
Grace, Aria More Than Friends (Ryan/Zach) – LGBTQ
Harber, Cristin Sweet Girl (Cash/Nicola)
Ivy, Alyssa Rose The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Reed/Juliet)
Lyons, Kathy Two Week Seduction (John/Alea)
March, Meghan Beneath This Mask (Simon/Charlie)
Milan, Courtney Trade Me (Blake/Tina)
Milan, Courtney Hold Me (Jay/Maria) LGBTQ
Roberts, Holly S. Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Killian/Rebecca)
Schurig, Rachel Ransom (Daltrey/Daisy)
Ward, Tracy Rookie Mistake  (Trey/Sloane)

LGBT romance recommendations, including New Adults, can be found here.

As always, recommendations are welcome.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 1) by Holly S. Roberts

A New Adult romance about a professional football player and a woman in her last year of university on a track scholarship, Play was an odd read. As happens sometimes with this genre, it felt like the version of romance conjured up by an awkward teen who has never been kissed other than that one time at a 13th birthday party, “but that was on a dare, so it doesn’t count.”

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I have some notes, but the first one is the showstopper:

Opening with an attempted sexual assault when a professional football player forces the heroine to her knees, “The scunt owes me a sblowjob”, she is rescued by the hero who offers to go to the police with her. The assailant’s friends dismiss the behaviour as a product of drunkenness. At the end of the book, the assailant, having apologised for his violent attack, is one of the groomsmen at the hero and heroine’s wedding.

[insert mic drop here]

Other items of note in Killian and Rebecca’s book are below. Direct quotes are in italics:

Scant minutes after a sexual assault and still shaken, Rebecca is overwhelmingly aroused in Killian’s presence and very concerned about how she looks.

There’s a lot of slutshaming both by Rebecca of her sister and by Rebecca of Rebecca. Something needs to be done about the “but those other women who are having sex and aren’t the main character are whores” situation in these books.

Killian and Rebecca find each other physically attractive.  No other reasons, rationalizations, explanations, or elucidations for their emotional connection are provided.

Every time they go somewhere, Killian fastens Rebecca’s seat belt for her.

Killian hadn’t mentioned anything about the hair on my lady bits, but I wanted to do this for him anyway. She gets her privates waxed as a gift for him to make herself more attractive. Is that really a thing?

I’m changing one rule and letting you have a hair tie while you run.” He said to the ELITE ATHLETE! Sidebar: Who says “hair tie”?

In addition to requiring she wear her hair down at all times, Killian has other rules; for example, Rebecca is also supposed to walk around naked whenever they are at home because he finds her so amazingly beautiful.

“Killian, please, I don’t feel comfortable.” Mortification caused tears in my eyes. Many times, the hero makes Rebecca feel this way and she is just supposed to accept that he knows best because he loves her so much and she comes around to agreeing with him.

Killian gets injured and pushes Rebecca away by vilely requesting a sex act.  When he comes to his senses, he stalks her – with the help of his severely disabled brother – until she gives in.

The temporary break up is so painful for Rebecca that it improves her running, so she gets the boy and wins races.

Rebecca wants to get married and have babies which is, of course, totally up to her, but she’s only 21.

The next time I read a romance in which a heroine complains about being thin, my head ass is going to explode.

Play has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

If you want to read a good New Adult romance featuring athletes, I suggest one of the following:

  1. The Off Campus Series by Elle Kennedy: The Deal and The Mistake
  2. Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
  3. The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen
  4. The Game on Series by Kristen Callihan, especially The Game Plan

More New Adult romance recommendations can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.