Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Series: Hoops #1
Also in this series: Hoops Holiday, Long Shot (Hoops, #1), Hook Shot
Publication Date: March 22, 2018
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler » No « Hide Spoiler
Content Warning: View Spoiler » On-Page Sexual Assault/Rape, Domestic Abuse, Violence, Cheating « Hide Spoiler
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Holly's Summer Reading Challenge, New to Me Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
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A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA...
Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl? You don't. 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. Fine. Forbidden. He wants me. I want him. But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go
*Certain aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.
Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan is the first book in the Hoops series. It won a RITA in 2019. This was a very difficult book to read. I understand why it won. This is an emotionally charged novel. It left me feeling emotionally wrung out.
Trigger Warning: There was a lot of abuse on page, including repeated sexual assault.
I started this book several times, but kept setting it aside in favor of other books. Part of it is the basketball angle. I’m not a fan and books that focus on the sport don’t appeal to me. More than that, though, is I’d heard this was a dark, difficult read and I wasn’t really in the mood to take that on. I eventually pushed through, however, and I’m glad I did.
Iris and August meet one night in a bar and have an instant connection. They keep crossing paths. Every time they do, they seem to fall in deeper with each other. He’s about to head into the draft and she’s dating someone else, so the timing isn’t right. Just when Iris decides she’s ready to leave her boyfriend, things happen and she ends up stuck. Then things turn bad and he started abusing her, and she’s stuck in a different way.
Iris’ personal journey, her strength and the way she pulled herself out of a bad place, was really inspiring. There’s an Author’s Note in the back that talks about domestic abuse and the women who suffer because our system is so flawed, and I really felt that. I felt Iris’ desperation, her pain, her lack of options. It hit me in ways I didn’t expect. This is a novel I’ll think about long after it’s done.
I really and truly loved August. He was wonderful from day one. His faith in Iris, the way he championed her, was so wonderful to read about. I loved that he wanted Iris to live her dreams, to become what she wanted.
I really enjoyed the family August was born into, as well as the one he made in San Diego. I also loved Iris’ cousin. I’m looking forward to her book.
Still, for all that, Iris made a lot a questionable decision at the end, and it kind of killed things for me. Just when I thought she’d come out of her situation stronger, she did something so ridiculous I can’t even think about it without getting angry. I wanted to love this book the way everyone else seems to, but honestly, I didn’t understand a lot of the decisions Iris made, so I didn’t connect with her the way I should have.View Spoiler » I’m not talking about how she ended up in a relationship with Caleb. I’ve been there, where you’re making the best choices you can with what you’ve been giving, and end up stuck in a place you can’t get out of. But when her files were released and she had to escape, choosing to not take a bodyguard was just plain dumb. She should have known better, especially since she knew Caleb was aware of the location of the house. She should have been smarter than that.
And part of me feels like the author did it on purpose, so she could kill him. But I’d rather have seen her be smart and get her chance, than purposely put herself and, more importantly, her daughter in danger. « Hide Spoiler
Still, I can’t deny this was an emotional, gripping read. I was fully invested in Iris and August finding their happily ever after.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5