The Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy and the Game On series by Kristen Callihan are probably the two most popular series in the college sports romance sub-genre. Jen Frederick makes no secret that their work was the inspiration for Sacked, and in many regards it’s a successful homage.
I tend to avoid love triangles; however, this one has a twist. Evan, a Navy SEAL, leaves his pregnant fiancé, Ryley, when deployed on a special mission. When he’s “killed” in the line of duty, Evan’s twin brother, Nate, is there to help Ryley pick up the pieces. Six years later, Evan returns home to find that Ryley and Nate are engaged and his son calls his brother, “Dad.” The premise sounds intriguing. The problem with this story is in its execution.
This was the ideal lazy weekend read. It grabbed me from the first chapter and I gobbled it up in one day. It’s a unique second-chance love story, one that starts on a whimsical note and ventures into the land of pulled heartstrings.
Sweet Hope is the third book in the Sweet Home series and is perhaps my favorite so far. The book deals with themes of guilt and redemption. Elpi and Ally are a true star-crossed pair. Elpi, the intimidating and tortured artist, is in desperate need of a second chance but feels unworthy of salvation. Ally, a carefree museum curator, feels inexplicably connected to Elpi’s work. I really admired her tenacity and unabashed faithfulness. My heart broke for Elpi, and the weight of his shame and his rejection of happiness were overwhelming at times.
Don’t let the fact that Sweet Fall is a sports romance set on a college campus deceive you. This isn’t a New Adult romantic comedy – at all. It deals with some heavy subject matter, but it still manages to be… well… sweet.
Overall, I really enjoyed this sweet college sports romance. I’ve got a soft spot for smart, geeky heroines, and British transplant Molly Shakespeare fits the mold perfectly. Romeo Prince is an alpha male/player wrapped in an NFL-bound star quarterback package. Romeo and Shakespeare. Get it? The two are adorable together, and their attraction is magnetic. Although Romeo frequently comes across as too needy and whiney, the characters are likable, and the story tugs at your heartstrings. I really enjoyed Molly and Rome’s friends. In particular, Texas gal Cass is a hoot!