Review: Coach by Devney Perry (Treasure State Wildcats #1)


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

"I told you to stop kissing me," I whispered. 
Ford plucked the water bottle from my grip. "And I told you no."

From the moment Devney Perry announced details regarding her then-upcoming standalone, Coach, I just knew this was going to be something different from anything she's written. The good news? I was right. The great news? This is the first in a new series titled Treasure State Wildcats. We're talking college football in a small town, and well, sports romances and small-town romances are two of my favorite tropes. But add in the whole single parent thing, and welp, color me giddy with this series starter! Oh, and it's kinda-sorta-maybe a second-chance romance, as well, but I prefer to think of it as the main characters finally getting their chance at making a go of something that already seemed to be destined to be extraordinary a decade--well, ten years and three months, to be exact, but who's counting (other than the main characters)?--ago. Basically, I got everything I could've ever wanted in this book plus more!

Coach kicks off the Treasure State Wildcats, and it finds retired NFL wide receiver Ford Ellis back in his home state of Montana with his nine-year-old daughter, Josalynn, aka Joey, in tow. Starting anew wasn't easy for a former Super Bowl champion whose career was cut short due to injury and a recent divorcé plus single father. He may not always fully understand nine-year-old girls, but football was his thing. Something else that was his thing was his love for one particular woman--and it wasn't his ex-wife. Millicent Cunningham had been his best friend, one he had more than platonic feelings for, and after one amazing kiss, he knew no one could compare to his Millie. Except life threw them a curve, leaving Ford to do what he believed was right, even if it meant turning his back on Millie. Now, all these years later, they're back in each other's lives, yet working together doesn't mean that they'll work out as a couple. After all, Ford has already shattered Millie's heart once, but it seems Ford's finally ready to make his play.

Is it too early to fangirl over this series given that only one book has been released and a second one is in the offing? When I went into Coach, I thought it was a standalone, but when I noted the number of intriguing supporting characters, I knew it would be a travesty to not have this evolve into a series. And well, it's official! But I digress! It's Millie and Ford's story that led to me wishing and hoping (and thinking and praying) for even more from this fictional college football setting. I could happily drown in the tension that was simmering between these two main characters. The lingering pain and hurt was there, but it wasn't the sort that was insurmountable. There was a lot of that push and pull that I look for in second-chance romances, and I'm glad that there wasn't this immediate return to how things were before. These two had to decide to fight for a future together, and once they did, all bets were off. I adored everything about Ford, Millie, Joey, and the rest of the peripheral characters (some of whom I'm looking forward to reading more about!), which is why giving Coach five-plus stars was a total no-brainer.

Release Date: 06 April 2023

Date Read: 29 March 2023

Learn more about Devney Perry.

Purchase Coach on Amazon.

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