Synopsis: Logan Hunt was offered the opportunity of a lifetime that would allow him to escape the poverty he grew up in. He was given a football scholarship. There was a catch, though, and one of the many rules he had to follow was ‘no women’. It wouldn’t have been a problem if he hadn’t met the coach’s daughter Jess. Falling for her would not only get him kicked off the team, but could completely derail his future. So, for now, he had no choice but to be in the friend zone…
Cover: The design of this cover immediately grabbed my attention, as the components perfectly depict exactly what this book will be about. The athlete holding a football clearly indicate the MMC will be a footballer, the magenta and blue colour scheme implies the novel’s intended audience is female, and the title itself hints toward a friends-to-lovers plot. The only unexpected aspect was that I expected this to be a contemporary romance rather than an NA.
Writing Style: It took a while to get used to the writer’s voice as it wasn’t as smooth as the previous book I had read. In fact, particularly towards the beginning, it can be a little stilted at times. I found the author is prone to hitting you over the head with the obvious when she could have stopped a moment sooner and allowed tension to build. However, there are some great lines and moments I couldn’t help but smile at.
Point Of View: The first-person narrative flips back and forth between Logan and Jess, which may be why I struggled a bit with the writing style (I prefer third person). It is interesting to be in Logan’s head as it gave me hope there may be some males out there who are just as sweet.
Plot: The premise of the story is crafted in a way that made the situation seem entirely plausible, and I had every belief a coach really would put his players under such restrictive rules. The only part I questioned a little –despite how often we see it in movies and books—is that I’ve yet to see a male help a self-conscious girl get the guy she’s crushing on IRL.
Romance: This novel hit a few of those feel-good tropes I so enjoy, from fake dating to forbidden love plus the whole friends-to-lovers bit. The immediate attraction between Jess and Logan is impossible to miss, but it is their growing relationship that gets you in the feels. The duo is utterly adorable together and you can’t help but root for them.
Character Development: Within the story, the two main characters did not really change all that much. Logan was already well on his way to becoming a better person despite his past; if he hadn’t been, then he wouldn’t have bothered sticking around. While Jess and her father drifted apart a little, they had always been close and it did not take much to strengthen their relationship.
Quote: I knew that I wanted to live a life with honour and integrity because I never had. I wanted to be the kind of man who would be good enough to date Jess.
Verdict: Though don’t enjoy actual sport, I tend to enjoy sports books and movies. I thought this was a cute read, though not very deep despite the past trauma both MC’s endured. I found the novel to be neither good nor bad, just rather average as it wasn’t a real page-turner for me.