Review: Forward Pass, by Desiree Holt


Part of a series? Yes, but this is a standalone in a series of standalone novels.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category/Genre: Adult contemporary “erotic” romance

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Pages: (I don’t know yet. This is an ARC)

Release Date: July 7th 2015


Get Ready to Play Rough

Shay Beckham grew up idolizing her brother’s best friend, star quarterback Joe Reilly. There was no one in their Texas town who had the moves to match Joe on or off the field. Years later, he’s still a player who has what it takes to drive any hot-blooded woman wild. But Shay isn’t a kid with a bad case of hero-worship anymore. She’s grown-up and independent, with her feet on the ground and a serious head on her shoulders. If she could just say the same for Joe.

It’s been fifteen years, but Joe Reilly hasn’t forgotten the skinny little kid who used to follow him around like a shadow. What he can’t get over is that the skinny shadow has grown into one hell of an incredible woman. One any man in his right mind would kill to get his hands on. And one who seems to be completely immune to him. He knows he and Shay could have something special together. If he could only convince her he’s about more than just the game.




I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review. 

Forward Pass is the first book in the series Game On, but it can be read as a standalone. I’m always in when I see a sports romance novel, but sometimes I happen to be disappointed. Here, I’m not disappointed, but I’m left feeling rather “meh”.

There’s everything to make this one very addictive.

Hot ex-football star? Check.

Older brother’s best friend? Check.

But then…

Then, there are all these little things that keep happening and I can’t not see them. You’re going to think it’s rather ridiculous, but unfortunately it is a bit more difficult to stay in the story when I keep thinking that this or that have been said just a couple of pages before. Or sometimes, in the exact same dialogue. I’m sorry, but it’s a turn off for me.

I understand that Joe is mesmerized by Shay and that’s wonderful and what I expect when I read a romance, but it’s not necessary to see him say that she’s beautiful three or four times in the span of very few pages. Or if the author wants a repeat, then better change slightly how it’s said.

Same with Shay. She has doubts regarding Joe and it’s perfectly understandable and it’s rather nice because it shows that she’s not completely blindsided by her feelings. But she keeps on saying the same thing regarding Joe’s past (he used to be a real player out the field too). Maybe the author could have given her characters some more subtlety. That would have been welcomed and it would have given them more sustenance and in turns it would have felt more real to me.

The plot itself works well. It’s pretty straight-forward and classic, but that’s why it works. I would have liked to see more of Joe’s work and I would have liked to see one or two subplots or even some setbacks when it comes to Joe and Shay’s relationship.

Now, this is my personal taste, but I don’t like it when characters easily go all out and say the big “L“ word soon. Here, Shay and Joe say “I love you” quite fast. Or so it feels like it. It bothers me a little because it seems like they go from lust to love rather fast even though it’s obvious some feelings have been there before. I’m just… I don’t know, somehow I can more easily see and feel the lust between them than the love.

Speaking of lust…

There are numerous sex scenes and it’s nice even though maybe not always necessary. But who’s going to complain about the sex scenes if they don’t mess with the characterization and plot? Not me. Though, I do think some scenes aren’t that hot. They’re great to read, but I miss a little something I can’t pinpoint to make me fall for Joe (and Shay).

In a few words…

This is a nice addition to the genre. This book features likable characters, a common love story and decent chemistry between the main characters. I will not remember this one as my favorite in the genre, but I had a good time reading it.

What do you think about Joe? 


3 to 3.5


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