Title: Long Shot (A Standalone Basketball Romance)
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Genre: Basketball Romance
Release: March 22, 2018
“This story was brutal truth wrapped in hope, courage and unflinching love. It’s a must read. It’s a STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND READ THIS NOW kind of book. Don’t hold your breath, this story will steal it from you.” – J. Sterling, NYT Bestselling Author
A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA…
Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?
My fairy tale is upside down.
A happily never after.
I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.
I was a fool, and his love – fool’s gold.
Now there’s a new player in the game, August West.
One of the NBA’s brightest stars.
He wants me. I want him.
But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won’t let me go.
*Author’s Note: There are aspects of this story that may be sensitive for some reader
I’ve sat down to write this review several times, and simply cannot find the words to describe how much this book meant to me. I really didn’t think Kennedy Ryan could blow me away like she did with the Grip series, but here she is proving me wrong again and again. Her writing continues to get better and better. She’s improving on an art she already excelled at and the results are phenomenal.
When I started Long Shot, I didn’t have much of an idea of what it would involve. I knew it would be a hard hitting topic, and I knew Kennedy would approach it in a respectful, yet very telling way. I was correct on both accounts.
Long Shot is a difficult book to review simply because the topic of abuse is a hard subject to discuss. I loved Long Shot and the message of survival it sent to readers, but hate the fact that things like this continue to happen again and again throughout our society. So many times, matters such as those discussed in the book are swept under the rug because the abusers are “too famous,” or “too talented” to be properly disciplined. The abuse is instead laid on the victim who suffers through the humiliation and defeat over and over again.
Kennedy Ryan took these stories and these victims and gave them a voice through Iris. She gave them a way to be heard and a way to say, “look this shit is happening all the time and something must be done.” And she presented a horrible, ugly truth and wrapped it around an undeniably rich love story that made my heart soar with love and gratitude for her words.
Honestly, if you haven’t picked anything up yet by Kennedy Ryan, now is the time. Long Shot is her best work to date, and absolutely deserves every bit of praise that it achieves!
OH MY HEART! Kennedy Ryan has done it again. Ryan’s signature emotional, hard, heartbreaking books with a side of hope pulled me in with her Grip series, and they made a 100% true believer out of me with Long Shot. I was afraid that Long Shot wouldn’t live up to what Grip was, but I didn’t need to be worried. Long Shot had me battling with my emotions the ENTIRE book. I experienced the full range of emotions while reading it, and that is something very few authors can pull out of me.
August and Iris had a chance meeting that changed everything, but one big obstacle stood in the way….Iris’s serious boyfriend, Caleb. Before you freak out on me….THIS IS NOT A LOVE TRIANGLE. I hate love triangles with a burning fiery passion so that is why I am going ahead and getting that out of the way. August and Iris see each other a few times after that and each time they feel this pull that is hard to ignore. When they are apart, they think about the other and wonder what life would be like if they were with them. Unfortunately, life keeps them apart.
The first half of the book is brutal on your emotions. I was kicking and screaming and crying and just waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel that was slowly getting closer. Then the light comes and Ryan makes everything okay again. I absolutely loved this beautiful story of survival and hope. I really hope that Ryan has more in store for these two because I need it!
I thought the main characters, Iris and August, were fantastic. They were both strong and had incredible character development throughout the book. This was a story that needed telling and Iris was the perfect voice for it. She made me understand better what she was going through and the strength it took to get out of it. August was the man that every woman wants to marry and was determined to show Iris that there were men out there who were not evil. Ryan also brought in some fantastic side characters who supported the story perfectly, and I can’t wait for them to get their own story.
I highly highly recommend this book to those who love: stories that matter, sports romance, and deep characters!
Overall Rating: 5+ Stars!
“Iris?” August’s frown, the concern on his face, in his voice, remind me where I am. “Baby, you okay?”
I blink down at him dumbly, swallowing my tears, eating my memories whole and digesting a nightmare from long ago. I nod, my lips a cold, wobbly curve.
“Kiss me,” he whispers, his eyes so tender, so intent.
I remember a magical night under the stars, under a streetlight on the eve of greatness. A night filled with laughter and confidences, pregnant with promise. And I see him so clearly, my prince, asking for a kiss.
And I do.
I kiss him like the world might end tonight because I’ll never take this for granted. Not his kindness, when I’ve known cruelty all too well. Not his tenderness, when I’ve been handled roughly in the past. Not his love, when I’ve been possessed and owned and mistreated.
He thaws me with his kiss, my prince, and I melt into him. We’re chest to chest, with August’s number crushed between us. I take his cock in my hand, aligning our bodies, and two become one in a carnal slide of flesh. I anchor myself by my elbows hooked around his neck, and we kiss until I’m dizzy and our breaths tangle in a cloud of bliss. Under the jersey, his palm spans my back, digging into the naked flesh as our hips lock and roll and grind. My body clenches around him, and we pray, we curse, we moan, we mate like our bodies were made for this moment.
Ours is a love that reimagines—that peels back the sky at high noon searching for the stars, collecting them like shells in a bucket. We bathe in stardust, drink from the Milky Way, and dance on the moon. We pierce the firmament, peer into infinity, and tread on time and space. There is no before. There is no after. Now gives birth to forever. This moment may die, but this love never will. Time is not a line. It’s a circle, and we, August and Iris, we stand at the center.
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