Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Long Shot
(Hoops #1)
by Kennedy Ryan
Published August 8, 2023 by Bloom Books
First published March 20, 2018

From award-winning author Kennedy Ryan comes the soul-gripping, unforgettable first installment of the Hoops trilogy.

Iris DuPree meets August West in a sports bar during her last semester of college. It's the conversation of a lifetime and sends sparks flying in every direction. The connection is undeniable…but the timing is all wrong. August is poised for the NBA draft, and Iris belongs to another man―basketball's "golden boy" and August's long-time rival.

The two go their separate ways, but they often recall that electric night and what could have been. While August has embarked on his all-star life, studded with wealth and fame, Iris's perfect public relationship has become a nightmare behind closed doors. A tarnished dream of fool's gold.

When August re-enters her life, the world seems briefly bright again, but Iris's darkest nights are not over yet. To survive, she must build her own strength and trust that her bond with August can endure after all this time.

Even when her fraudulent prince has vowed never to let her go.

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"Hope is the gap between what if and what is, but you have to fill that gap with a lot of hard work."

5 Stars

Iris and August. Star-crossed, the one that got away, never really meant to be. That's what it feels like upon first meeting, when the two connect in a way neither has with another before, only to find there's something, or someone, in the way. Their worlds collide on the night of the Big Dance, but it's at the game that August discovers Iris chose his nemesis, Caleb, long before he'd stood a chance. They never forget the feeling, but each moves forward with the life they selected. August a star rookie for a new team and Iris, the partner to another star rookie. Unbeknownst to August, though, Iris wants to get away, because her basketball prince isn't a nice one, he's a tyrant.

August is the basketball star you dream about, with an ego and a heart. He's an alpha without the a-hole, a young man raised well with his dreams secured. Iris is a driven, stubborn women with huge sports dreams as well, but she's tied to a wealthy, controlling boy who only knows how to get his way. Long Shot is a story of basketball, dreams, and a wilting flower who finds a way to bloom in the darkness. It's about lust, love, heartache, and the way you hold onto your hopes with a long shot dream of them coming true. It's passionate and difficult, a story that will break you apart and put you back together. A story that, for some, will resonate in ways that they felt a book might never. For others, it will be an eye opener into the pain that many experience and the overwhelming joy and strength that comes from making it through. It's a lengthy book, but it needs to be to tell you the whole story, the true story for many, and to give you the ending readers, romance lovers, and people in general deserve to have.

If you didn't know I am a massive college basketball fan, now you know. Sometime in high school I just decided that was the sport and age group I was going to be a fan of and I went all in. March Madness is my time, I am Iris in front of the TV, so Long Shot, from the first time I read it to now, the second time, is relatable from a sports girl perspective. The extra time Ryan takes to get into the game, the feeling, some of the stats, is so important to paint the full picture and really, it's time well spent for readers like me.

Long Shot is the first in the Hoops series and it's an incredibly romantic, angsty read that I cannot recommend enough.

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