Under the Lights by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boys of Fall #1
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 26th 2015
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship winning football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again…
Chase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…
Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…
Kelly McDonnell, the Stewart Mills High School football coach’s daughter, is trying to save football. With the economic downturn and the local mill closing the budget for the school has been reduced. The board had to decide on academics of football and academics won. Now she’s trying to raise enough money for the next football season to go on and she has a great idea. Kelly, along with her two best friends have put together a two week long fundraiser and she’s asking the alumni football players who were on the Championship team to come back to play a exhibition game.
Kelly calls Chase Sanders when he’s having one of the lowest days of his life. He doesn’t want to go back to Stewart Mills but as his business partner just absconded with the company’s money and his girlfriend left him when times got rough he’s got the time on his hands to take some time off. He heads to Stewart Mills and actually has a great time seeing old friends and old faces. He especially likes looking at Kelly McDonnell. He’d like to have a little fling with her but she’s Coach’s daughter and he has issues with loyalty to the man who was more a father to him than his own.
Kelly is up for a fling as well. She’s on the local police force so she doesn’t want gossip but she realizes that she can’t live her life by what other people think. As the two weeks go on Kelly finds that she’s more invested in Chase than she planned to be but also thinks that nothing can come of it.
Chase’s realization that he’s in love with Kelly doesn’t do him any good when she appears to dismiss him just when he’s about to come clean on his feelings. The two can’t get on the same page and it might end up harming both of them in the end.
This was a good start to a new series by Stacey. I always enjoy small town stories – especially centered around football. I have no idea why as I’m not really a football fan, but hey, whatever. 🙂
In this book we had a pretty simple reunion story. No, Kelly and Chase hadn’t been together in high school but she’d always had feelings for him even though she tried to hide it by acting like she disliked him. The blend of their story and the story about the town and its struggles really did a number on my heart. I was definitely brought to tears at a couple of spots in the story and that doesn’t happen often.
I have to say that Chase was a bit of an ass at times. He was so set on leaving Stewart Mills that he really couldn’t see how much he was hurting Kelly as well as himself. I did like how he got closer with the kids of the current SMHS football team and that was pretty heartwarming.
The romance in the book was where I had a hard time. I liked Chase for the most part and Kelly too, but while they had sexy times together I didn’t get the deeper emotions from either of them. The attachment was too fast for my liking and we didn’t get enough of the couple together for me to see them falling in love. It seemed as if they were friends with benefits and them boom, in love. It happened too quickly and in this instance it didn’t really work for me.
In the end the book worked for me but didn’t bowl me over. I like Stacey’s other stories so I will check out book two.
Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5