Release Reviews: Played: Jen Frederick

by - Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Played (Gridiron #4)
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Release Date October 10, 2017

She's been playing it close...

Ara Martin and college football star Ty Masters have been best friends since the first day of school when Ty literally ran her over. She fell for him immediately, but having lived under the shadow of her famous father, she knows a relationship with irresistible Ty would only end in heartbreak. For four years, she’s kept her feelings hidden. But one drunken encounter weeks before graduation is about to expose Ara’s biggest secret and destroy her most treasured relationship. 

He’s been playing for keeps…

Ty is about to be drafted into the NFL, but his personal life is a mess. He’s got an agent he doesn’t like, a brother who can’t stop offering his opinion, and a beautiful woman he craves but can’t have. He can fire his agent and ignore his brother, but he’s not sure what to do about Ara. Ty’s been able to run down every quarterback he’s faced, but his sexy, stubborn best friend keeps slipping through his fingers.

Luckily, he's not one for giving up, and once he gets his hands on her, he's never letting go. 
I have been anxiously awaiting Ty's story since the first book Sacked about his identical twin Knox. Ty wanted to develop his own identity away from his brother so he went to a different college and he is about to enter the NFL draft a year after his twin did since he stayed at school in order to help win a championship.

His best friend since Freshman year is Ara Martin. She is  a funny, loyal, and kind woman who wants to work in the art world but does not want to ride the coat tails of her famous artist father. She is smart enough to realize early on that  Ty makes a good friend, but not a good boyfriend. Football is his passion and the upcoming combine is his priority.  He is sweet, supportive, protective, and makes time for her., but other women just cannot compete.

It has all worked well with them being best buddies for years, but there was this one night, a little alcohol, and some touching that neither is talking about...but they are thinking about. And it might just change everything. Secret crushes, jealousy, difficulty dealing with feelings, and a whole lot of insecurity and fear start to interfere with their easy going rapport. And there is sexual tension that keeps building. And eventually they are going to explore more, but that comes with even more pressure and fears.

I liked Ara in the beginning, but she really started getting on my nerves. She was an avoider, runner, and was great at self sabotage. Ty started out a bit clueless, but once I saw how he treated Ara and he made up his mind, I really liked him. But his life was spiraling. There were various external dramas going on around their future jobs, families, and exes.  But some of their decisions and actions just made me scratch my head.

It honestly felt like this one had less of a plot and emotional baggage than the previous books. It was easier and fluffier, even though it was also more frustrating. It was told in dual points of view and I loved that characters from previous books made appearances. It could have been my mood. I was just a bit disappointed since I had been looking forward to Ty. I liked it, but just not as much as the others.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Ty Masters and Ava Martin have been friends since Ava’s freshman year when she told him she wouldn’t sleep with him but would be his friend. As Ty approaches the NFL draft, he is pressured to maintain a spotless image, but his inability to hold on to a girlfriend puts a snag in his focus. Ava isn’t willing to be one in a line for him, nor is she willing to fake a relationship to help him.

I liked Ava in the beginning. She is trying to figure her future out without relying on her famous father, while also being available for Ty to process the problems with his personal life. She started out a strong, relatable character. But as the depth of her own baggage becomes clear, she also had a switch to avoid rather than face her challenges. I quickly grew frustrated by her tendency to run from her problems and ignore the obvious.

Ty has a lot going on in his life and struggles to keep his focus on his future. He was just as frustrating as Ava for a while, but once his focus switched to convincing Ava that they could be good together, he flipped a switch that made him even more likeable than he was.

My favorite part of this book was the twin games we learned about in Sacked. As Ty is Knox’s twin, it is only natural that there would be references to the switches they have pulled as they test the ability of other people to tell them apart. Both reminiscing about previous pranks and a few pulled in this book proved to be entertaining subject material.

There is a lot going on in this book as both Ty and Ava struggle to sort out the direction they will go after college. Characters from previous Gridiron books are back to support, especially Ty’s roommates and his brother Knox. Though the drama was high between Ava and Ty, this was a relatively light, easy read. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sacked (Gridiron #1)
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Our reviews

What he wants he gets...

Knox Masters is a quarterback's worst nightmare. Warrior. Champion. Knox knows what he wants--and he gets it. All American Football player? Check. NFL pros scouting him? Check. Now, he's set his sight on two things. The national title. And Ellie Campbell. Sure, she's the sister of his fellow teammate, but that's not going to stop him. Especially not when he’s convinced Ellie is the one.

...but he's never met her before.

But Ellie isn't as sure. She's trying to start a new life and she's not interested in a relationship...with anyone. Beside it's not just her cardinal rule of never dating her brother's teammates that keeps her away, but Ellie has a dark secret that would jeopardize everything Knox is pursuing.

Knox has no intention of losing. Ellie has no intention of giving in.

Jockblocked (Gridiron #2)

She’s always played it safe…

College junior Lucy Washington abides by one rule—avoid risk at all costs. She’s cautious in every aspect of her life, from her health, to her mock trial team, to the boring guys she dates. When a brash, gorgeous jock walks into the campus coffeeshop and turns his flirt on, Lucy is stunned by the force of attraction. For the first time ever, she’s willing to step out of her comfort zone, but can she really trust the guy who’s determined to sweep her off her feet?

He’s always played around…

Entering his last year of college eligibility, linebacker Matthew "Matty" Iverson has the team captaincy in his sights. And it’s his for the taking, if he can convince his quarterback Ace Anderson to give up the starting position. Luckily, Matty already has an edge—the hottie he’s lusting over just happens to be Ace’s childhood best friend. Getting Lucy on his side and in his bed? Hell yeah. Matty is more than confident he can have both, but when he falls hard for Lucy, it’s time for a new game plan: convince the woman of his dreams that she’s not sleeping with the enemy.

Downed (Gridiron #3)
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He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble. 
Jen Frederick

Bestselling author Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at

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