Reviewed by Tori
“…Sometimes taking a risk gives you big rewards.”
“And you’re that big reward?”
“You won’t know unless you give me a try.”
Warrior Linebacker Matthew “Matty” Iverson is entering his last year of college eligibility and is up for the position of team captain. That is if he can get their quarterback, Ace Anderson, to shift to the safety position. Easier said than done, especially when Ace finds out Matty has the hots for his best friend, Lucy.
Lucy Washington lives her life by one rule: play it safe. From her health to her degree, Lucy doesn’t like conflict or taking chances. When she meets an arrogant jock who won’t take no for an answer she decides to step out of her comfort zone. But can she trust a known player with her heart or will she end up just another face in a long line of conquests?
Let us all take a moment to appreciate Jen Frederick’s fabulous taste in cover model.
*clears throat* Okay then…
Jockblocked is the second book in Jen Frederick’s new adult romance contemporary Gridiron series. Revolving around a champion college football team, Frederick expands her world and character base with this sweet, steamy, humorous, mildly angsty love story about two strong protagonists whose journey to their happy for now results in a few bumps and bruises along the way. Family, friends, and school all blend together to test our lovers commitment though Frederick takes pains not to over dramatize or use cheap plotlines to ramp up the shocked value.
While I enjoyed book one-Sacked quite a bit, there was a level of incredibility to the storyline that didn’t distract but did leave me questioning some of the logistics. This installment is more settled and down to earth. Matty isn’t as high profile as Knox and Lucy isn’t as damaged as Ellie, which gives them more realism. We didn’t get to really get to know much about Matty in book one beyond the superficial. Frederick more than makes up for that with this gregarious, handsome, sexy, self-assured, generous, and fun loving man.
Matty Iverson is a senior linebacker who has a national championship under his belt. Talented both on and off the field, he has quite a reputation among the ladies. A well documented reputation. *wags eyebrows* He pretty much lives a charmed life and though his sports and academic accomplishments have come honestly, he really doesn’t have to work very hard for what he has been given in life. When he first meets Lucy, all he sees is a beautiful girl he wants to go out with. When she tells him he’s not her type, Matty is shocked and finds himself actually having to work at getting her to go out with him.
“Apparently my dick like rejection because it gets hard everytime I think about Lucy…”
Lucy is a newcomer to the series. A junior whose goals are to go to law school. Pretty, smart, and witty; she has issues from her childhood that calls for her risk-assess everything. From diet to dating, Lucy makes pro/con lists to determine what her next move should be.
”My whole life is about risk assessment. Can I eat this new food or that new food? Can I have one drink or two tonight? Did I get enough rest? Enough walking in today?”
She isn’t an instant pushover or one to go all googly-eyed just because some sexy jock wants her. She has her own life and is confident enough in herself to say and do what she wants. Lucy is also good friends with the team quarterback, Ace Anderson. They grew up together and he has been very vocal about why no one on the football team is worth dating. He also made her promise she would never date any of them. This plays an important role in Lucy’s assumptions towards Matty and her reluctance to date him.
“Ace says you’re a player and will break my heart.”
Frederick slowly builds the romance between Lucy and Matty, allowing their friendship to grow while infusing it with heavy sexual tension, witty dialogue, and personal conflict. She uses their personalities to push beyond their external facades to reveal the real people underneath.
Matty has a bit of selfishness to him that is indicative of his age and his fame. Between Lucy and his issues with the team, Matty has to learn to look beyond what he wants and look to what is best for everyone involved. Lucy on the other hand lets fear rule her life, afraid of the what ifs. She has to learn to take chances and accept that failure is a part of life, not the end of it. Their crazy chemistry soothes while keeping the reader smiling like a lunatic. In the beginning, it was all about the sex attraction but it soon becomes much more as they set out to get to know one another while stoking the sparks into something that will last.
“I’d give up everything for this, for her. Football, fame, glory, money. None of it could compare.”
As always, Frederick brings in a rambunctious cast of secondary characters with no filters to help keep the story following its predestined path and taunt us with clues to the next hero’s book. We see some new friends made and some old friends lost as Matty and Lucy grow both as individuals and as a couple. The football team goes balls to the wall as they struggle with the internal strife dividing the team while trying to help Matty get his girl. Hammer especially shines in here and I can’t wait for his book. Lucy’s friends are hilarious and are there to push her out of the nest when she needs it. Laughter remains at a premium and they certainly kept me laughing with their outrageous advice, unique observations, and crazy plans to help.
“Don’t you wish it was summer and we had a convertible?”
“And we’d wear scarves and Brad Pitt would be shirtless in the back and then we’d drive over a cliff and die?”
“I was with you until the cliff thing.”
Frederick more than delivers with Jockblocked. Readers will adore Matty and Lucy and cheer them on as they both learn some valuable life lessons in their lives and relationship. Some fans maybe a tad disappointed that the team doesn’t get as much on field action as they did in book one, but Frederick’s does a wonderful job of peering into the locker room and addressing the behind the scenes issues that can befall a championship winning team.