Review: Jock Row by Sara Ney (Jock Hard #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

“Are you keeping me?”
“Can I?” His hands slide from my ribs to my back, caressing my spine, big and warm and secure.
Mmm. “I’ll think about it.”

Some schools have Greek Row or the street where fraternities and sororities have their chapter houses. At the University of Iowa, there's Jock Row or the street that's lined with places that house the team members of each sport. While her friends may have their hearts set on meeting a jock to hook up with one Friday night, college senior Scarlett Ripley puts a couple of players in their places. Not only does she earn the nickname of "Cock Blocker", she soon finds herself summarily escorted to the front porch of the baseball house. Because of her refusal to leave her friends behind, she tries to charm and then argue her way back in. Her designated babysitter--senior, team captain, and shortstop Sterling "Rowdy" Wade--isn't sure what to make of the feisty girl. One Friday leads to a second one until their front porch get-togethers begin to feel like the highlight of each week for both of them. Rowdy finds himself wanting to spend more and more time with Scarlett. They've become friends, but he wants much more. Rowdy's playing to win and hopes to hit the home run of a lifetime.

Jock Row is my first ever full-length Sara Ney read--I read her Jock Hard prequel novella, Switch Hitter, prior to this--and now I can't help but ask myself where she's been all my romance-reading life. This novel made me laugh at loud, snicker at the inappropriate comments the main characters made, and left me with a satisfied smile and sigh. I wouldn't call it a sports romance since there wasn't much in terms of sport--in this case, college baseball--other than some of the characters being college athletes and some discussion regarding baseball and softball. This was more of a new adult (NA) adult romance, but regardless of what sub-genre it falls under, it was one hell of a fantastic read. With loads of humor and romance and its eliciting only positive reactions out of me while I was reading it, this series starter easily makes my list of top reads for 2018. Not only did this have two main characters that I adored from start to finish, this book also had what I'd consider the most unforgettable and creative of meet-cutes I've had the joy of coming across in a really, really long time.

It would be easy to say that the humor and commentary coming from Rowdy here was immature; the thing is, the humor simply worked because it's the kind of humor I expect from college-aged guys. Yet he still managed to surprise me with the little touches that the author included to his personality, making him such a standout of a main character. Then there was the delightfully outspoken Scarlett who was every bit the twenty-one-year-old I hope many girls that age allow themselves to be. She knew what she wanted out of life, but she was also open to being adventurous and seeing where her heart took her. These two were such a delightful fictional to get to know and their romance was cute and adorable...and okay, to satisfy Rowdy, it was jocktastic. From their Friday night porch "dates" where they had played get-to-know-you games and ate snacks to their text exchanges and that vacation they had, the evolution of their relationship is the kind that romance readers live for. With a five-plus-star rating, Jock Row has set the bar astronomically high for the Jock Hard series. Game on! ♥

Date Read: 04 May 2018

Learn more about Sara Ney.

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