This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
As if things aren’t already tough enough as the only girl on a college football team, Coach had to go and assign Zeke Collins as my roommate.
A cocky kick returner and my brother’s best friend who should have been ripped of that title years ago, he’s as infuriating as he is undeniably sexy.
I hate him, and for good reason — reason I won’t ever let him forget.
He thinks because we grew up together that it’s his role to protect me, but all he does is get in my way, make me look weak, and piss me off more.
I tell him I can handle myself, and I’m hell-bent on getting that point across to him and the rest of the nation watching the only girl in collegiate football.
The pressure doesn’t get to me. The scrutiny? I’m ready for.
But sharing very thin walls with Zeke Collins? I wasn’t prepared for that.
And the more we’re forced together, the harder it is to distinguish that pencil-thin line between hating him… and wanting him.
“There’s risk in every decision we make,” Clay said. “You just have to decide which risk is worth taking.
Fair Catch was a story that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I did. Kandi Steiner is a new to me, author, although, I have had many of her books on my wishlist for quite a while. I have really neglected reading new adult romance, and this year one of my reading goals was to read more of this sub-genre the minute I saw that this book was being released this week, I was highly intrigued and I knew that it was one that I needed to have. I was so fascinated with what the author was delivering here and the setup of the romance was so enticing. I was fascinated to see the heroine be a college football player and see how that would work out. As a football fan, I am not sure how I feel about women being football players (its a super rough sport) but I do know there are female college football kickers, and I was curious to see how this was handled. Even though I rolled my eyes at certain mentionings of “patriarchy of the male sport of football” because there are obvious safety reasons and sports just aren’t mixed gendered at least most of the time, its very rare for it to happen. But I was so pleased with how this one turned out and the way that it was written.
Because I am scarred by the fire you started in me. Because you have reduced me to fucking ashes.
The story sets off with a horrific accident that turns our heroine’s twin brother handicapped, who had dreamed of playing football. Riley blamed her brother’s best friend Zeke for the accident and has hated him for the damage done to her brother and her family. But she made a vow to her brother, to take his place, be a female football player and do what it took to make the team. Well, Riley surprised even herself by making the college team and becoming the starting kicker of the team despite the reservations that many had. She is surrounded by mistrust and Riley knows that she will have to prove herself to the team that she can make it, but also will have the team’s back. What really throws her game off is having to roommate with her nemesis and her brother’s best friend, Zeke. Despite his cocky personality, she finds something deeper with Zeke she doesn’t expect. They come to an agreement, to help each other. Zeke may seem like a cocky football player, but there is so much more to him than meets the eye. He is dyslexic and knows the only thing he has going for him is the sport. He knows his classes are going to be a challenge for him, but he also has a woman he can’t get out of his mind or heart and will do whatever it takes to prove himself to her. Despite the reservations, they have about each other, passion and emotion explode between Zeke and Riley. But can they have a relationship with the world watching?
“Because I ache for you,” he breathed against my lips next. “And I’ll end anyone who touches what’s mine.”
Fair Catch was such a beautiful romance and I was cheering this couple all the way through. In the first half of the story we really see the tension that rides their relationship and many unresolved issues. You feel for both of these characters, and see them fight their hearts throughout this story. But despite the fact that Riley hates Zeke, he helps her with the team and fights for her and knows her abilities, and understands what she can bring to the team. I love that he is her strongest supporter despite how she treats him. While I understood Riley’s feelings for Zeke in the beginning, she can be prickly at times, and even though normally that would throw me off, I found myself being highly entertained by the tension that builds within the story. It’s definitely not an easy romance in this one. But I will admit that I was intrigued to see how they would balance it all out. And the way this romance evolves was just perfection, the connection between Zeke and Riley was super wonderful and just fed my romantic feels. There were so many vulnerable poignant moments that build between these two. We see such strength in both of their characters and what they rise above to live their dreams and keep their promises made to those they love. If you are a football fan, I guarantee that this book will work for you in every way.
“You can forgive. Forgive, and understand that we’re human. We’re not perfect. And one day when you make a mistake, you’ll want someone to afford you the same grace.”
Overall I found Fair Catch to be a true win of a romance, it feeds the soul with such deep layered beauty and the challenge in overcoming fears to live your dream and embrace your passions. Its a romance every reader will be able to connect with and will make you swoon! A bowl game-winner of a read!
“Somebody who betters you,” I started. “Somebody who inspires and encourages you in love and in life, who pushes you toward dreams and goals you’d otherwise ignore, who selflessly sacrifices their time to help you become a more courageous, well rounded and happy human being. That’s sacred,” I said, swallowing before I finished. “You hold on to a love like that.”
Title: Fair Catch
Author: Kandi Steiner
Genre: New Adult Sports Romance
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Length: 362 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 4
Story Itself: 4
Character Development: 4.25
Writing Style: 4
World Building 4
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4.25
Cover Art 4
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
Kandi Steiner is an Amazon Top 5 bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.
An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.”
She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.
When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, planning her next adventure, or pole dancing (yes, you read that right). She enjoys live music, traveling, playing with her fur babies and soaking up the sweetness of life.