Note: This ARC was provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
I fell in love with Rowen Flanigan, and that makes this whole thing even worse. As much as I want to be mad at him, I'm not. I'm just hurt, and humiliated, and feel very, very used. The irony is Rowen used to tell me his teammates were just using me, yet they aren't the ones who made me feel like this.
I told myself I was just going to get a couple of chapters in so that I would have a head start of sorts, but once I started Groupie, there was no putting my e-reader down. This was so damn different from anything I've read as of late, and while this is only my second M.E. Carter read, give me a bit of leeway and allow me to say that this is my favorite one so far. You would think there was nothing new to this second novel in the Texas Mutiny series. It's a sports romance (and I've read tons of those). One of the main characters is a virgin and the other one has loads of experience (and I've come across lots of those, with the roles having been played by either a man or woman). The sexcapades of the more experienced one comes back to haunt them (as you would expect in a story like this one). See? Nothing new, right? But once you put them all together and give it the kind of treatment this particular author did and you've got yourselves one hell of an unexpectedly fantastic read that kept me up until the sun was just beginning to peek through my curtains. This is what happens when you start a good book at four in the morn.
Twenty-two-year-old Tiffany Wendel is a groupie and it's a label that she shows no shame or remorse over. From the time she was eighteen, Tiffany has been a constant in the Texas Mutiny universe and it's not a secret that she's slept with countless players, regardless of their relationship status. When she meets the team's newest rookie, twenty-three-year-old midfielder Rowen Flanigan, she's surprised when he turns down the opportunity to hook up, choosing instead to talk. She's oddly yet pleasantly taken aback by how different the gorgeous ginger is with his approach to and treatment of her. When Rowen confesses that he's a virgin who wants to wait to have actual intercourse--though he has been intimate with others in the past--with the woman that will be his wife, Tiffany knows this man is in a class of his own. Entering a relationship obviously means that Tiffany's days as a groupie are over, but that doesn't mean they won't come back to haunt her; when they do, not only is Tiffany affected, but Rowen, the Mutiny, and her job as a sports news producer. Can the groupie and the rookie live happily ever after?
This novel gave me a few things to ponder on while and after reading. Shaming someone--whether it be slut-shaming or body-shaming or some other form--is something too many people are guilty of having done at least once, and in varying degrees, but shaming is still shaming. Tiffany owns up to her casual views on sex and maybe it does take being with Rowen for her to realize that some of those hook-ups, especially with those Mutiny players who were married or in committed relationships and had families, had consequences and that there were those who were bound to get hurt. However, even when Rowen acknowledges her being a groupie, that doesn't permit anyone to humiliate her and make her feel ashamed of herself, especially in such public fora as social media, television, and newspapers. I get where Rowen and Tiffany were coming from and they both had their valid points, but neither could fully appreciate what the other was saying until things came to a head. They're strong characters, flawed together and apart, yet they're remarkably resilient and consequently inspiring. Five-plus stars for Groupie. ♥
Read my reviews for the Texas Mutiny series:
Juked (book one) - four stars - My Review
Groupie (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)
Date Read: 06 November 2016
Learn more about M.E. Carter.
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