ARC Review: Played (Gridiron, #4) by Jen Frederick

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4 stars!

Ty Masters stayed an extra year in college to lead his team to the championships and now he is on his way to the pros. He’s been working hard to get the top draft but it has not been an easy feat. His ball playing future is at risk when a jaded ex-girlfriend starts rumors that spread like wildfire. According to his ex, he is a bad boyfriend but there is a reason he doesn’t fully commit to anyone and her name is Ara.

Ara and Ty met the first day of college and have been best friends ever since. Ara has been secretly in love with him but she won’t let the cat out of the bag because their friendship means too much to her.

Girlfriends have come and gone in Ty’s life. Football and his friends have remained the constants. I knew when I first met him during freshman orientation that I had two choices. I could date him for a short time and be forgotten. Or I could be his friend.

Then, one little drunken hook-up has the potential to change everything between Ty and Ara and not necessarily in a good way. What will happen when the truth comes out and feelings are revealed?

Played is an entertaining friends-to-lovers story with delightful characters. I adored Ty and I loved seeing him with his twin brother, Knox from Sacked. They have the twin connection that is frequently talked about and though Ty loves his relationship with Knox, he wants to be his own person too. I understood why chooses to do things on his own and not just accept what is handed to him. He is smart, sexy, and super driven to succeed, and I loved his commitment to the game.

Ty is really sweet, with a big heart and such a gentleman. I could feel how much he cared for Ara and I was giddy when he started to accept that his feelings towards her were more than platonic.

At least, I was content with being friends. Something happened Bowl night. Maybe it was just a fevered dream—one that I’m having far too often. Because Ara’s becoming the itch I can’t scratch.

I had the biggest smile on my face when Ty decided to make his move. His determination to prove how he felt was awesome especially when he was fighting an uphill battle most of the time.

Ara is adorable. I loved that she wants to make it on her own and not use her famous father as a connection. She is relatable, fun, easy going, and works hard. I wish her confidence came out sooner but I enjoyed the character growth she goes through at the end. I loved that she recognized her feelings but understood that she didn’t want to ruin the amazing think she had going on with Ty.

I’d known, from the very first time I met him, that falling in love with him would be my downfall.

Ara and Ty have an easy, comfortable relationship that is realistic and relatable. They support each other unconditionally and truly want the other to be happy. Without judgement, they accept each other completely. I understood their feelings toward each other and the fear of messing things up if they cross the line to more and things don’t work out.

There is a delicious tension that builds between them that gets your heart racing. I knew how they felt about each other and I found myself flipping pages as fast as I could to get to the part where they finally give into their desires. And when they do it is intense and passionate, and I loved it.

This is a fairly angst free story and I liked that there wasn’t a bunch of really stupid stuff between Ty and Ara; however, that being said, I thought there was a bit too much push and pull. Though the fear of making the first move is very real, I do wish didn’t take so long for them to find common ground.

Overall, Played is a fantastic addition to the Gridiron series by Jen Frederick, and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good friends-to-lovers romance.

*ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*


Gridiron series

sacked  jockblocked  downed 

Sacked (#1) – (Knox & Ellie)
Buy: Kindle Ebook | Paperback | Audio

Jockblocked (#2) – (Matt & Lucy)
Buy: Kindle Ebook | Paperback | Audio

Downed (#3) – (Ace & Bryant)
Buy: Kindle Ebook | Paperback

Played (#4) – (Ty & Ara)
Buy: Kindle Ebook | Paperback




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