The premise is unique--a girl who plays football and gets voted as the team captain instead of her star quarterback boyfriend? Sign me up! I'm also a sucker for a bad boy who really isn't a bad boy at heart. Add in some nuanced family dynamic and some romantic tension, and you have a story that should keep readers turning the pages.
I enjoyed Ashtyn's and Derek's characters when they were apart from each other. Each had goals and struggles that will resonate with readers. I also enjoyed the interactions between Derek and his little stepbrother Julian. Those were some of the most authentic, charming moments in the entire book, and went a long way toward helping the reader connect more with Derek.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Unfortunately, the spark that is usually present in Ms. Elkeles books just wasn't there for me on this one. The dialogue often felt forced, the romance moved so fast that I didn't have time to feel any romantic tension, and the football scene, supposedly the center of both Ashtyn's and Derek's lives, was barely addressed. Overall, the pacing felt off, and I couldn't connect with the romance or the characters the way I'd hoped to.
Fans of insta-love and redemptive bad boys will enjoy this book.