Tag: Jen Frederick

Review: Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick

Posted May 10, 2021 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Heart and Seoul by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Rowena's 2021 Review Pile Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

From USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick comes a heart-wrenching yet hopeful romance that shows that the price of belonging is often steeper than expected.

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.

Heart and Seoul is about the emotional journey of Hara Wilson. Hara was abandoned when she was just a baby, outside of a police station in South Korea. She was adopted and raised by Pat and Ellen Wilson in Des Moines, Iowa. She grew up being the only Korean in a sea of white faces and she was uncomfortable being the only one that didn’t look like everyone else. Being teased about the way she looks, the way she smells and the Korean food her Mom tried to make for her made her want nothing to do with being Korean. So when you grow up rejecting your ethnicity, when it finally hits you in the face that no matter how far you run away from what you are, it doesn’t change a hot damn thing.

When she hears an offhand comment at her father’s funeral, Hara begins to question who she is and becomes curious about where she comes from so she books a trip to Seoul to find some answers for herself. What she finds over there is a whole lot more than she bargained for and her life is upended. The truth about her present, the truth about her past, and where she goes from here is enough to drive anyone crazy and it’s driving Hara crazy. Her entire life has been thrown for a loop and she spends the whole of this book trying to sort through how she feels about the truths uncovered and it hurt my heart more than once.

Getting to know Hara reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger. Growing up in the states, as a person of color, your culture is always weird and the food you eat, the way that your home is set up is always a discussion that made me feel uncomfortable with my white friends. So I understood Hara when she said that she rejected being Korean in Iowa. I did pretty much the same thing when I was in high school because it was easier to blend in when you liked the same things that everyone else did. I remember getting so embarrassed when my Mom and Dad would speak Samoan when they came to my school or if we were out and about. I just wanted them to blend in with everyone else around us and speak English. Like Hara, I finally wised up and decided that blending in and denying that I’m Samoan was not something I wanted to do anymore. I never hated being Samoan, I just hid it when around my non-Samoan friends. So I really connected with everything Hara went through in this story. My heart went out to her and I rooted for her to really come into her own.

The love interest in this one melted me a little and I pictured Park Seo Joon from What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim as Choi Yu Jun. I liked seeing him try to woo Hara and I really enjoyed seeing him try to get Hara to understand that no matter where she grew up or how little she knew about the Korean culture, she was still Korean. Nobody could take that away from her and their romance was just super cute and I enjoyed it.

I will say that while I did really enjoy the story and Hara’s journey, there were parts of this story that I felt weren’t needed and kind of dragged the story a bit. There was a lot going on with Hara’s trip and everything she was going through internally that a lot of the stuff that happened directly to her felt unnecessary. I was also not super thrilled with the ending. It felt too unresolved. I get that this was more of a women’s fiction story than a romance but I really just needed more of a solid resolution to everything that happened at the end. I’m wondering if there’s going to be a follow-up book to this one. I’m so on board for another one if that’s the plan.

Final Grade

Grade: 3.5 out of 5


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Throwback Thursday Review: Losing Control by Jen Frederick

Posted December 17, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Losing Control by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Losing Control by Jen Frederick
Series: Kerr Chronicles #1
Also in this series: Losing Control, Taking Control
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 16, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 280
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

I’d do anything to keep my mother alive.

Anything, including ask Ian Kerr for help. I don’t know much about him, except that he has more money than some small countries. And he’s willing to spend it on me. Just one catch: there’s a string attached, and not just the one I feel pulling me into his arms and his bed. There’s also the plan for revenge he wants my help with.

Every time he says my name, it makes my body shiver and my heart stutter. I know he’s going to wreck me, know there won’t be anything left of me but lust and sensation by the time he’s done with me, but even though I can see the heartbreak coming towards me like a train, ready to crash into me, I can’t get out of the way. I want what he makes me feel. Want what he’s offering.

This may have started out as something to save my mother, but now…now it’s about what he makes me feel. I’m in danger of losing everything that’s important. Worse? Ian's whispered words and hot caresses are making me believe that's okay.

This review was originally posted on December 23, 2014.

I read this book for my book club meeting last month. Jen Frederick is an author that I enjoy so it wasn’t hard for me to jump right in. It didn’t take me long to read the book but when I was finished, I was a bit underwhelmed and I can’t blame that on the cliff-hanger at the end. I knew there was a second book so the cliff-hanger didn’t bother me one bit.

I just didn’t connect with Victoria, the heroine. And while I enjoyed Ian (the hero), I thought his high-handedness where Victoria was concerned was kind of offensive and reminded me of Christian Grey (even though I’ve never read those books). Yeah, we all wish that a billionaire would come into our lives, become so enchanted with us and then take us away from our poor lives. The fantasy is great but for some reason, it didn’t work for me here.

Victoria is a bike messenger trying to make ends meet. She’s taking care of her sick Mom and doing whatever needs to be done in order to make sure they have a roof over their heads, food on the table and their bills paid. Even if it means working for her douche-hole of a criminal step-brother, Malcolm. She does some shady delivery services for him, asks no questions and makes more money than she would at her normal every day bike messenger job. There are plenty of risks but to keep her Mom healthy and comfortable, Victoria will gladly take those risks.

When we first meet Victoria, I really liked her. She was a bad-ass with enough stress to drown a sumo wrestler but she kept right on going, taking care of business. So when Ian bulldozes into her life, I felt like a lot of the bad-ass I admired kind of went out the window. She turned from this determined young woman who was fighting the good fight against poverty to this new person who was trying to stay strong and independent by coming off bratty and whiny and who still rolled over whenever Ian was around. And then in the end when her life is drastically changed forever, I felt like she dropped the ball. The strong and independent girl that I liked in the beginning was completely gone. She spent so much time worried about her Mom in the book and then when everything goes to shit, she kind of just fell apart. Maybe it’s the way that I was brought up but when shit gets hard, you handle your shit. You don’t fall into a pit of depression and let other people handle shit that you should handle yourself and Victoria (I didn’t like her nickname, Tiny so I refuse to call her that) let me down. She wanted to put distance between her and Ian after all of that stuff with her Mom but who the hell was taking care of YOUR business while you were thinking of leaving him? NOT YOU.


My friend Tasha and I had completely different reactions to this book. She was hooked and though it wasn’t her favorite read, she still really enjoyed it but not me. Even Holly liked this book more than I did but sometimes it happens that way. I didn’t completely hate it. There were moments between Ian and Victoria that I thought were cute and the beginning showed such promise so that was good but those moments didn’t stand out to me in the end because I didn’t rush to start the next book and I have it to read.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Kerr Chronicles


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Weekly Wrap Up: September 25 – October 1, 2017

Posted October 1, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Here’s what you missed on Book Binge…

What We Reviewed

9/25: Holly reviewed Archangel’s Viper (Guild Hunter #10) by Nalini Singh | 4 out of 5
9/25: Tina reviewed Everything You Want Me to Be by Minda Mejia | 5 out of 5
9/26: Rowena reviewed Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay #4) by Jill Shalvis | 4 out of 5
9/27: Tracy reviewed The Scotsman who Saved Me (Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen #1) by Hannah Howell | 3 out of 5
9/27: Brie retro-reviewed When a Stranger Loves Me (Pembroke Palace #3) by Julianne MacLean | 3.5 out of 5
9/28: Tracy reviewed All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte | 4 out of 5
9/28: Holly and Rowena reviewed Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry | 3.75 & 4 out of 5
9/29: Tracy reviewed Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey | 3 out of 5

What We Posted

9/25: Cover Reveal: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen
9/26: Release Day Blitz: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
9/28: Ten Books We Want Passionflix to Turn into Movies
9/29: What Are You Reading? (397)
9/30: WTF Cover Saturday (228)
10/1: Sunday Spotlight: Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Cool as Me by Carrie Ann DiRisio

Around the Web
  • Did you guys see that Jen Frederick revealed the cover and blurb for Played? I’m freaking over the moon! Check out the post here but here’s the cover and blurb for your viewing pleasure.

Played (Gridiron #4) by Jen Frederick

She’s been playing it close…

Ara Martin and college football star Ty Masters have been best friends since the first day of school when Ty literally ran her over. She fell for him immediately, but having lived under the shadow of her famous father, she knows a relationship with irresistible Ty would only end in heartbreak. For four years, she’s kept her feelings hidden. But one drunken encounter weeks before graduation is about to expose Ara’s biggest secret and destroy her most treasured relationship.

He’s been playing for keeps…

Ty is about to be drafted into the NFL, but his personal life is a mess. He’s got an agent he doesn’t like, a brother who can’t stop offering his opinion, and a beautiful woman he craves but can’t have. He can fire his agent and ignore his brother, but he’s not sure what to do about Ara. Ty’s been able to run down every quarterback he’s faced, but his sexy, stubborn best friend keeps slipping through his fingers.

Luckily, he’s not one for giving up, and once he gets his hands on her, he’s never letting go.

Yep. Count me in. I soooo want this book. It’s Ty’s book!! Woot!

  • Lauren Layne has also made a new book series announcement that I just have to share here because y’all know how much I love Lauren Layne, right?

Lauren Layne Takes on Wall Street

Two books about sexy city boys that work on Wall Street? Yes, please.

  • Jessica Lemmon is discontinuing her subscription to the blog feature where you can sign up to receive her book news through her actual blog. If you want to stay up to date with what she’s got going on, the best way to do that is to like her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter.
Current Giveaways

Come back next week and we’ll be ready with new giveaways for the month.

Giveaway Winners

We have some winners to announce this week! Congratulations to the following…

Book Binge Turns 10: September 2017

Viki S.


Monthly Reads: August 2017


Karen Lindsay


Laura Lovejoy-Brunk

Winners: We will email you shortly with directions on how to claim your prize. You have two weeks to get back to us before we choose another winner. Check back on Sundays to see if you’re a winner in one of our giveaways.

That does it for this week’s weekly wrap up. How was your week in books? Hear any book news that you’d like to share? Get any new books you want to share? Review any books we should check out? Please share.

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Sunday Spotlight: Downed by Jen Frederick

Posted December 11, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Downed is the third book in the Gridiron series by Jen Frederick. It features the asshole best friend of the hero from Book 2, Jock Blocked who transferred to another college to be the superstar Quarterback. Ace Anderson is the guy that everyone hates but when he meets the girl that everyone loves at his new school, shit starts looking up.


Downed by Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron Series #3
Also in this Series: Sacked, Jock Blocked
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Publisher: Self Published, Jen Frederick

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

Buy the Book:



Ace comes storming into the diner at ten-thirty. It’s amazing to me that after summer camp and then four weeks of pre-season, he hasn’t learned that my father operates under the ol’ if you’re on-time, you’re late proverb, but since he’s performed admirably in other ways, I guess he’ll figure it out soon enough.

“My date’s here so you have to skedaddle now.” I wave my hand toward the poor guy who’s slumped in the booth seat across me.

“But, Bryant, why won’t you give me a chance? I’m a good guy. I don’t cheat on girls. I open their doors. I pay for their dinner. I’m a feminist! Like, I believe women have rights!” Kent beats his fist against his chest, knocking a lock of his overly long bangs into his eyes. He looks like a sad puppy, which is probably the only thing that keeps me from introducing his uber-soft cheek to the hard plane of my palm. Women have rights? Of course, they do. That’s just a given like we need water and tea needs sugar. I shake my head at him as he leans earnestly across the table. “You should give the nice guys a chance. I’ll treat you like the queen you are. These jerks that you date aren’t good enough for you.”

“That’s sweet, honey, but I’m doing fine with my dating choices.”

He blinks dumbly at me. “Is it because they’re needy? Well, I need you, too. I haven’t had a date in, like, six months. It’s been a long dry spell.”

With considerable effort, I manage not to roll my eyes. So much for treating me like a queen. Lord, save me from the guy who thinks he’s a hero because he opens your car door. “I’m not a sex doctor.” I wiggle my fingers at him. “Now, seriously, you have got to go.”

Ace is nearly upon us, and his nostrils are flaring like he’s some bull that’s ready to charge. As much as Kent might need a good kick in the teeth, it’s best if I handle this.

“Your name is Bryant Johnson,” Ace accuses.

My lips part in surprise at the unexpected attack. “It is, indeed.”

He starts to say something else when he notices Kent. “Who are you?” Ace barks.

Kent wilts under the glare of Ace Anderson. Six feet, five inches of athletic grace, a chin that could be carved from rock, and blazing green eyes order Kent to move.

While I’m outwardly smiling lightly, inside I’m squirming with glee. Even though Ace is struggling with his emotional response toward me, his instincts tell him that Kent’s an opponent. For a competitor like Ace, that means Kent needs to be crushed. It’s such a good sign. Because a guy who thinks girls can be used and discarded like tissues isn’t going to get territorial.

“Kent’s leaving.”

“This is the guy?” Kent unwisely hisses at me. “The new quarterback your daddy brought in because he was so much trouble at his last school? Bryant, give up on these losers and give the nice guy a chance.”

I rise, slipping my hand through Ace’s arm, mostly because I want to touch him, but also so I have a handle on him in case he tries to punch Kent’s lights out for the insult. “Kent, honey, you’re already so close to perfect that you don’t need me. Ace, this is Kent Dayton. Kent, this is Ace Anderson. We’ve just started going out.” I smile and look up adoringly at Ace’s stern façade.

“We’re not—” He breaks off and shakes his head as if there’s something caught between his ears. “Look, Bryant, we need to talk.”

His glower sends exciting shivers down my spine. “I agree. Kent was leaving, weren’t you, Kent?”

“But what about everything we discussed? What about me?” he whines.

“Go home and write out a list of everything you want in a girl, and then we’ll talk.”

“You mean you’ll consider me?”

“I’ll take a look at your list for you,” I promise noncommittally. Maybe I can hook him up with someone.
Kent’s eyes light up. “All righty, then.” He finally slides out of the booth and gives Ace’s arm a slap. Ace stares at the spot on his arm and then at Kent, who backs away, peeking around Ace’s solid frame to offer one last plug. “I promise you, if you choose me, it’ll be awesome.”

He backs away, giving us the thumbs up.

Ace scowls at Kent’s departing back before whipping around and addressing me again. “What the hell was that all about?”

“Kent was here applying for your position, but I told him it was already full,” I answer airily. I contemplate giving him a kiss but decide against it. Instead, I take my seat again and gesture for him to take his.

The moment his butt hits the vinyl, he pins me with an accusatory look. “Why didn’t you tell me your dad was Coach Johnson?”

Is that what he’s mad about? I figured it was because I didn’t wake him up last night so he could have that second chance at rocking my world. Guys are awfully sensitive when it comes to performance in the bedroom. “I thought you knew. I told you what my name was. First and last.” An awful thought occurs to me. “Were you drunk last night?” Horrified, I press my fingers against my lips. “Did I take advantage of you?”

“No. Christ.” He digs a hand through his leaf-brown hair, his biceps flexing in a lovely, mouthwatering manner. “Your last name is Johnson. Do you know how many Johnsons there are in this country? Like eighty million of them.”

I relax and allow my hand to fall back to the table. With a lot more ease, I regain my smile and say, “Eighty million is a gross exaggeration, but even if that were true, how many of them are named after the winningest SEC coach in the history of football, Bobby Bowden aside?”

“That’s why you’re named Bryant?” he asks incredulously. “After Bear Bryant.”

“None other. Who else would I be named after?” I signal for Milly, the waitress, to let her know we’re ready to order. I need to get some food into this particular bear.

“I don’t know. Maybe it was your family name,” he says.

My hand itches to smooth away the lines of disgruntlement on his face. I’m confident that if Ace gains a more positive outlook on life, he’ll be less of a surly bastard.

“Speaking of names,” I interrupt, “Can I call you something other than Ace? What does JR stand for?”

“It’s my dad’s name and no. Back to your dad—”

“Ace isn’t very loving. It’s so abrupt and short.” I tap a finger against my lips. “Is it Jonathan? Jack? James?” None of those fit him. Maybe he is an Ace.

The creases in his forehead deepen. “Is that why you couldn’t get off last night? Because you don’t like my name?”

Heat floods my face. Ace is so…graphic all the time. I’m going to have to drum that out of him. “That’s not appropriate brunch conversation,” I scold, but when the thunderclouds darken over our heads, I hurriedly assure him. “No, that’s not it at all.”

To my relief, Milly hops over before I’m forced to explain more. “Milly, can I have an egg white frittata with whatever fresh vegetables you have today?”

“Asparagus and tomatoes okay, sugar?”

“That’d be perfect.”

“And your man here?”

“I’m not her—” Milly and I both stare at him. “You know what, whatever.” Ace surrenders in disgust, apparently not willing to embarrass me in front of the waitress.

“He’ll have steak and eggs,” I tell her.

“How does he like that cooked?”

“He would like it medium-rare,” Ace interjects loudly. Milly winks at me and takes both the unviewed menus off the table before going back to the kitchen to put the order in. The moment she’s out of earshot, Ace leans forward. “Bryant, you seem like a nice girl. You’re gorgeous, and I definitely want to fuck again, but I don’t do relationships. We are not dating. We’ll never date because I don’t date.”

“You have a reason for that?” I ask, unperturbed by his speechifying. I expected this. He thinks that he needs to be footless and fancy-free until his penis is shriveled like a raisin.

“Yeah, because women fuck up your game. I’ve seen it time and again. Why do you think I had to leave Western State after winning a national championship?”

“Well, it looked like your coach recruited your replacement before you were ready to leave.” The coach of Ace’s old team brought in a young gun and decided to start him over Ace. It surprised everyone in the sports world, including my daddy, who thought it was supremely disrespectful and bad for recruiting.

“Wrong,” Ace snaps. “I slept with the coach’s daughter. Coach got pissed. Kicked me off the team. He wanted to turn me into a tight end or a safety or something other than the quarterback.”

Ace wants me to be offended, both at him and his coach, but everyone knows—including Ace if he really looked deep enough—that he won’t see a down in the NFL as a quarterback. Something else? Absolutely. I can see that helping Ace come to grips with this will be part of the project.

I start right away. “I could see you at safety. Like Scott Frost from Nebraska. He ran that option offense just like you, and he turned out to be a great NFL player.”

“He played five years as safety. Besides, I’m not a safety; I’m a quarterback,” he says flatly.

He needs me so much. “Okay. I don’t make those decisions. While I attend most of the games, I admit I’m merely part of the cheering section.” I suck some water up the straw and watch with amusement as Ace’s eyes fall to my pursed lips. “But in the few practices I’ve caught, it appears you have great field vision, right?”

He nods, almost absently. He’s entertaining a naughty image about my lips being wrapped around something else right now, which allows me to press forward without interruption.

“Your situational awareness is the best in the game. The defense was caught offsides more than once.” At one practice a couple of days ago, the defensive players were slow getting off the field, and Ace hiked the ball. In a real game, that would’ve been an automatic five-yard gain for the offense. Coach Troyer, the defensive coordinator, almost had his head pop off in anger at his squad while Ace smirked in the middle of the field. “Your instincts are spot-on. You sense those defenders closing in on you without even looking at them.”

“Yeah. So?”

I ignore his question. “Plus, you know all about passing routes and would be able to read the quarterback’s eyes as well as his body language to figure out where the ball is going to be even before the receiver does.”

Ace gives himself a tiny shake and drags his attention away from my mouth back to the conversation. “Maybe I do have those skills, but I’m here to play quarterback.”

“’Course you are.” I’m planting seeds that won’t give fruit until after the season is over, but if you don’t sow while the field’s ripe, there won’t be a harvest. “You’re going to win a championship for all those men my daddy promised would get a ring before they graduate. I’m just saying that beyond this year, if that’s an option for you, you should look into it.”

Milly’s return prevents him from immediately disagreeing. Perfect timing that I didn’t even have to plan. I give Milly a dazzling smile. Across from me, I hear a swift inhale of breath when she sets his plate in front of him. “This looks amazing, Milly. Thank you.”

She grins back. “Anything else you two need?”

I shake my head. “No. We’re fine. Eat up, Ace.”

He’s back to frowning. “We’re getting way off track here.”

“Don’t worry, honey. I remember everything you said. You don’t do relationships, and you just want to sleep with me.” I eat a small piece of my frittata.

“Right.” He looks around and lowers his voice. “So we’re not dating, okay? I appreciate the breakfast sandwich, the almost sex last night, but I’m an asshole.”

“I know.”

“I’m—wait, you know?” He sets down his fork with a clatter.

“Yes. I’ve heard all the rumors about you sleeping around too much, you being a bad teammate. All of it.”

“And none of it matters?” he says skeptically.

“Not to me.” I take another bite. “Oh Milly, tell Helena this frittata is to die for.” I raise my voice enough so Milly can hear me across the diner.

She waves her hand in acknowledgment while Ace, already in the hole he dug for himself, tries to shovel dirt over his head. “I intentionally tried to break up my best friend’s relationship because I could see she was falling in love. I wasn’t ready to date her, but I wanted her available for when I was. I took her man out, got him drunk, took incriminating photos of him and showed them to her.”

The self-loathing in his voice almost makes me tear up. “Oh sugar, how long has it been since you talked to her?”

“Lucy? I haven’t since I left Western State.” He’s frowning again. He’s going to have a permanent problem if he keeps that up.

“That long?” I click my tongue against the roof of my mouth. No wonder he feels awful. That wound’s been festering far too long. “That’s like months. You gotta call her.”

He scowls. “She doesn’t want to hear from me.”

“Of course she does. You two were best friends?” I ask and wait for his abrupt nod of acknowledgment before repeating, “Of course she does.”

“How do you know?”

“Because friends are important in our lives. Just like you’re missing her, she’s missing you. Not all girl-boy interactions are sexual. It’s okay to miss her, but not want to sleep with her.”

He rubs a hand over his suddenly weary face. That man has so much pain inside of him, and it has nothing to do with this old girlfriend. I don’t know what the root cause of it is, but I’ll find out and then he’ll be free. I can’t wait to tell my sister about him. She’ll be so happy I’m doing this.

He sighs. “This isn’t going how I thought it would go.”

“That’s all right. No need to plan. Hey, would you cut me off a piece of your steak?”

“Why didn’t you order one?” he asks, but immediately starts sawing off a huge bite for me.

“Because red meat is so fattening, and I only need to look at something for me to gain five pounds.”
He holds a meat-laden fork out for me. “Your body is perfect.”

“Not too round?” I fish for a tiny compliment. I get a little down about my figure. It’s womanly, my momma says. I wish I was more like my sister—model thin.

“I don’t think there’s such a thing,” Ace grunts.

I tip my head toward my plate to hide my look of satisfaction. He’s absolutely delightful. Ace demolishes his steak and eggs in the next three minutes while I eat half of my frittata and drink my water. He kindly waits until I’m done before he starts in again.

“So here’s the deal, Bryant. I want to fuck you, but I can’t. I don’t do teammates’ girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, sisters, daughters, mothers. No girls even tangentially related to the football team. Not a team manager or a trainer or an intern. I’ve sworn off all of them, including, and especially, the coach’s daughter. I’m good at two things: sex and football, but I’ve still managed to screw both of them up, so I can only concentrate on the one now. You’re hot as sin, and I’m ashamed I didn’t get you off last night. I had every intention of returning today to make up for it, but now we just can’t. Got it?”

I pick up my purse and slide out of the booth. He watches warily as I saunter over to his side and lean down to give him a kiss.

“No other girls. That’s my only rule.” I press my mouth against his lips, slackened in surprise. He hesitates for about a second before wrapping one of those big hands around my hip and pulling me forward. Given the setting and the time of day, the kiss goes on a smidge too long, but he looks adorably dazed and befuddled when I draw back.

Shoot. I just want to lick him all over. With a smile, I whisper, “Call your friend.”


Gridiron Series

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About the Author


Jen Frederick is a lover of romances and happy endings.

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Review: Downed by Jen Frederick

Posted December 1, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Downed by Jen FrederickReviewer: Rowena
Downed by Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #3
Also in this series: Jock Blocked
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

Downed is the third book in Jen Frederick’s Gridiron series and it follows, Ace Anderson’s book. If you read the last book in this series, Jock Blocked then odds are, you weren’t a fan of Ace’s. With good reason, of course. Ace was an asshole. He did his best friend dirty and with friends like him, who needs enemies, am I right? 🙂

It’s a new year and for Ace Anderson, a new school as well. Ace transferred from Western to Southern and his new coach is hoping that he can lead the team to a championship and that’s what Ace plans to do. Ace has been at Southern for a few weeks now and hasn’t made any friends. He’s got two roommates that don’t include him in their plans, he hasn’t developed any relationships with any of his other teammates and he knows it’s because he’s an asshole. At a party, a girl named Bryant approaches him and before he knows what is what, she’s claimed his as her boyfriend and he just kind of falls in with her. It’s funny because she’s the girl that everyone loves and he’s the guy that nobody likes. Perfect pairing, right? 🙂 Things really take off after Bryant claims Ace and I’m happy to say that this book hit me in all the right places because I loved the heck out of this book.

So Ace’s main focus is playing football. He knows that he probably won’t be playing professional football so he’s focusing on making the most of his time playing football now. He’s not connecting with his receivers and any of his other teammates on and off the field and while they’re pulling wins out of their hats, the team chemistry still needs a lot of work.

Bryant is the coach’s daughter and when Ace finds out about that (all after the fact), he’s not interested in starting up a relationship with her. He’s been there, done that and he’s got a whole lot of regrets where that is concerned. He’s done with all of the drama from Western. He wants to start fresh here and while he never planned on going the girlfriend route (he likes sex, of course), the more time that he spends with Bryant, the more he likes her.

I really like Jen Frederick’s writing style. She writes realistic college romances that just hits me with all of the feels. I love her dialogue. It’s not cheesy. It’s not over the top. It’s just right for the characters and their age groups. I’m always drawn to her characters and it wasn’t any different in this one. Ace and Bryant were great characters that really leaped off the pages. Their personalities shined bright and I really fell in with everything going on. From Ace’s Dad’s shenanigans to Bryant’s issues with the her sister and all of that, I was right there with them through it all.

I really enjoyed getting to know Bryant. I thought she was a compelling character. I really connected with the way that loved to help others. She was genuinely caring and I adored the way that she grew to love Ace, in all of his asshole-ish ways. I really loved how loyal she was to Ace as well. Her attitude toward everyone from Western had me grinning because first and foremost, she was Ace’s girl.

Another thing that I really loved about this book was how Ace was redeemed without changing his personality completely. He was still the same asshole, just better. He was Ace 2.0 and by the end of the book, I had forgiven him for everything from before and still thought he was low key a jerk but I loved that he was Bryant’s asshole. They were cute and I’m curious to see who gets their story told next. This was a great addition to the Gridiron series. I loved the characters, the new ones, the old ones and I’m excited for more. Kudos to Jen Frederick for writing another winner for me. 🙂

Grade: 4.75 out of 5


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