Series: Gridiron #3
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: December 1, 2016
Format: eARC, 301 pages
How I got it: From the author
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
He’s the guy no one likes…
Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.
She’s the girl everyone loves…
Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.
Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review consideration.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Truth time: I was really worried about whether or not I would like this book once I saw it was Ace’s. I mean, I trust Jen. She’s never done me wrong in the past. But Ace? Ace was an utter asshole in Jockblocked. I couldn’t believe how he treated Lucy, someone he claimed not only to be friends with, but in love with. Of course, I couldn’t NOT read the book. I had to know if Jen could find a way to redeem Ace and, hopefully, even make me fall for him. And she totally did.
While I did wind up falling for Ace, Bryant was the star of this book for me. I connected with her right off the bat. She was a little strange, sure, but she was also sweet and real. The idea of her “projects” was a bit strange, but once I understood why she was doing it, I actually liked it. Of course, I also knew that Ace wasn’t a typical project and there would be no “catch and release” here. I loved how the rest of the team was very protective of Bryant, as well. Honestly, it was just refreshing to see a team NOT treat a woman like a piece of ass, because so often that’s not the case.
And Ace? How did someone I was so against become so damn swoony? I’d say it was meeting Bryant and, while that might’ve had something to do with it, I think he was heading there on his own already. I’m not big on the manwhores, y’all know that, but I can deal with a good reformed one. And, as much as I might not like Ace’s past, I’m also glad he didn’t really apologize for it. It’s who he was. There wasn’t a super sad reason in his past that led him down that path. He just was who he was. Now he’s not that person anymore. His growth felt realistic to me and, obviously, I was really happy to watch him become a man I could like and respect.
It could probably go without saying, but I really liked Ace and Bryant together. I think they brought out the best in each other. We know that Bryant encouraged Ace to be a better man. Ace encouraged Bryant to become a better woman, too. She had the tendency to be a bit of a doormat and he pushed her on that as time went on. He showed her it was ok to say no and put herself first sometimes. These two also had oodles of chemistry and smoking hot sexy times. Bonus: Ace had a filthy mouth. Y’all know I love that in my heroes.
So, while I was skeptical at first, I really ended up loving Downed. I adored the characters and appreciated seeing old favorites again. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next in Jen’s Gridiron series. I love football. I love romance. Anytime you can combine the two in a way that gives me feels and makes me smile, well, that’s ok by me.
“I’m happy to fuck you any way you like, Bryant. You tell me if you want it harder, softer. If you want to be on your knees or bent over the side of the mattress. If you want to be outside, just in case someone wants to catch us, or you want to watch a little porn while we do it. I’m all for any of those things. There’s no judgment. All I ask is that you tell me what you need.”
I’m terribly attracted to him, but my program is a catch and release one, not a catch and keep.
“I have this theory in life. When I’m sore, I ice myself. When I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m hungry, I eat.” I lean forward so my lips are an inch away from her ear. “And I’m real hungry, Bryant.”
“I don’t think you’re broken, Ace. Just a little … dinged.”
Have you read any of Jen’s books?
Do you have a favorite?