Under the Lights (Boys of Fall #1)
by Shannon Stacey
They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship winning football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again…
Chase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…
Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…
Have you ever noticed that when it comes to small town romance it's usually the heroine that's down on her luck and ends up returning home from years away for one reason or another? Not that that's a bad thing. Heck, I'm a big fan of small town romance myself... But I think what really appealed to me about Under the Lights was the fact that it was the hero that'd been dealt a crappy hand in life for a change.
To say that Under the Lights sucked me in from the beginning would be a huge understatement. I mean, a bunch of former high school football players that haven't touched a football in years coming back home to help the coach and the rest of the town earn money to keep the football team afloat? What's not to love about that?! Throw in a little bit of forbidden romance and I was hooked.
Chase had been having a particularly bad day when he received a phone call from Kelly, his high school football coach's daughter, asking him to come home to help save the football team. Since his girlfriend just left him for another man and his business partner just took off with all of the cash, he didn't exactly have a reason to say no... So after being away for fourteen years, Chase heads back to Stewart Mills to help out.
Kelly had a huge crush on Chase when she was in high school but Chase barely knew she existed as anything other than coach's daughter. Of course she thought she was well over that crush until Chase shows back up in town and she realizes he's just as sexy as ever. After having been burned by her ex husband though, Kelly knows it would be wise to steer clear of Chase and all of his sexiness.
Watching the small town come together the way they did really made this book for me because quite honestly I found the romance lacking. Sure, you could feel the connection between Chase and Kelly, and the sexy times were pretty hot, but they spent so much time busy with the festivities that there wasn't a lot of couple time. I had hoped that we at least got a nice epilogue to see how they were working everything out but since that didn't happen I was left a little disappointed.
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy Under the Lights, because I really did. The side characters were great, the boys' antics when they got together after being apart for so long were definitely entertaining, and overall, I was left feeling happy when all was said and done. I guess in the end I was just hoping for a little bit more.
Overall, this was a fun and easy read and I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Under the Lights in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.