Series: Gridiron #3
Genres: Sports Romance
Also in this series: Jockblocked
Also by this author: Last Hope (Hitman, #4), Jockblocked, Undeclared
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 fell in LOVE with Jockblocked so I was thrilled when Downed landed on my kindle. There was also a lot of apprehension. The hero of Downed was the villain of Jockblocked. Hate isn’t really a strong enough word for how I felt about Ace. He was arrogant, self centered, and preening. Honestly, I struggled to see how someone as wonderful as Lucy would even be friends with a guy like him. So, yeah, to find out that Downed was Ace’s story wasn’t exactly making me jump for joy.
Bryant is our heroine and she is…well she is kind of odd. Ace has transferred to a different school, but is following his same sleazy manwhore habits and sleeps with the coach’s daughter (Bryant). Except it doesn’t quite go well, and the next morning, he finds he has a girlfriend. Bryant is an odd duck. First, her dad is the coach and he is totally thrilled that Ace is dating her. She actually makes a habit of picking guys who need ‘work’, fixing them up, then setting them free to be the perfect boyfriend to someone. She calls it a ‘catch and release’ program. Admirable? Sure. Still, its a bit strange. Then you find out some of her back story and that provides context to why she does it. While I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea, I did at least come to understand and accept that she felt this was her calling. I was a bit uncomfortable that EVERYONE seemed to know what Bryant was doing except Ace. It was easy to see that this was going to blow up in her face BIG TIME.
So, you can see where this is heading right? Bad boy/manwhore meets sweet southern sorority girl who wants to fix him. Unique? Not really. What makes this book stand out is the quirkiness of Bryant. I think that Frederick did a fairly good job of redeeming Ace, given how hated he was in the previous story. He doesn’t become this perfectly polished diamond, but he does buff up a bit and that makes it more believable. His desire to help Bryant was really what made me feel that he was worthy!
Ultimately, I will admit that I enjoyed it more than anticipated. Frederick managed to take an over played trope and turn it into a good story with dynamic characters. PS-I have created a new name for this trope. From now on, I will call it the “Bad Boy Rehab” trope!
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: no
- Trope: bad boy rehab
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series (Ace, as I mentioned was the villain of book 2, so if you start with this book you won’t really hate him as much as I did when I started the book. But, you don’t need to really know anything from book 2 in order to enjoy this story.)
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler