Thursday, January 18, 2018

Love on The Highlight Reel by Christina C. Jones--#blacklove

First impressions don’t have to be everything. 

But second, third, fourth impressions create a reputation, and those are hard to break. In the public eye, where everybody is tuned in to your every move, and behind the scenes, where certain people are privy to the real you… or at least what they perceive you to be. 

Jordan Johnson is a man under pressure – from his teammates, fans, family, and the one person who wants to see him succeed as badly as he wants it for himself. He’ll do whatever he has to in order to not let anyone down… and maybe find an unanticipated connection along the way. 

Nicole Richardson is a woman with a purpose – prove herself worthy of her place in a male-dominated field. Fiercely competitive, wielder of tough love and motivation, and terrible at dealing with things outside of her control. Between making sure the players are thriving, and coping with a changing family dynamic, a relationship isn’t even on her radar. 

Denying their chemistry would be a waste of words, but giving in isn’t an option. 

A season on the line. 

Reputations at stake. 

The threat of seeing their personal lives played out on the evening highlights. 

With all of that swirling around them, Jordan and Nicole have to decide if it’s worth the effort to make the play… or take a knee. 

Love Belvin and Christina C. Jones collaborate on a series of football romance, staring two football greats who so happen to be in for the biggest play of their lives: for their hearts. Quarterback, Trent Bailey, and wide receiver, Jordan Johnson, give their all out on the green. But what happens when the two friends encounter true love? 

Take on Connecticut Kings’ finest and journey through their discovery of developing themselves as men, and exploring love. 

In my absence, I have read a handful of books--(not too many)--none too noteworthy--well aside from Bad Mommy by Taryn Fisher--which I thought was pretty well done. 

Aside from that, nothing has really been doing it for me. Not to mention the fact, that I just found reading to be more than I could sign up for--for the last couple of months (okay, more than a couple). Which is saying a lot, considering I considered myself for a while (see:forever) as a heavy reader. But, to be honest, life and all it's ugliness (and beauty) took me away from reading. It was either reading or life, and life made the choice for me. 

*Deep breath* I say all that to say I hope to spend more time reading this year--and enjoying and savoring books in the way that I used to--which leads me to Love on The Highlight Reel.

Love on the Highlight Reel is what I've been missing and didn't even know it. 

Positive, realistic black love. I know, don't make this a race thing, Jazmen. But it is a race thing--but in a good way. 

There's not a total lack of presence of black love in New Adult--not if you're really looking for it. But it's not among the popular titles that we see regularly--and that needs to change. (We'll save that argument for later. )

Love on the Highlight reel broken down to it's tiniest bits is typical New Adult. Typical New Adult second chance romance. However it's just a bit more than that at it's core. It's positive, it's real--and it's exactly what I needed and wanted from a book.

We've all read the sports trope in New Adult--once one did it well--we got a whole bunch more trying to do the same.

But what I liked its the dynamic between the two love interests. Nicole "Cole" Richardson, was the one pulling the strings, doing the work and being an all around Girl Boss bad ass. Nicole helped run her father's football team the kings. Alongside her brother but they managed different players--differently.

It was just black people doing their thing and I was all. "Yasssss!," and so here for it. 

The love interest, Jordan Johnson--was for all intents and purposes the star player. Cole, and he dated back in college--but things fell apart as they aged--and as Jordan became an NFL player--not for reasons superficial or surface--but because things just happen like that sometimes. 

But, of course neither of them could fight what was always there--love.

What works for the romance aspect of the book-- On the part of Cole, was the struggle to be a proud and competent business woman--while still pursuing a romance that she wanted to have but didn't want to be judged for. And Jordan's pursuit of her--relentless pursuit in a respectable way that both honored and treasured Nicole--without being too "Me Man. You Jane." Macho foolishness. It was that dynamic that worked against them--but also brought them closer together. And it's a treat for the reader to see how that all works out.

The football part of it wasn't too overwhelming but it actually left me with a little sports excitement--and I don't even do football.

The book is very well-rounded in the way it deals with romance, and sports. It's actually pretty fun if you allow yourself to get into it--and I did.

I know I mentioned race--but it's not all about that. I mean I'm black--so of course I enjoyed having the book be about a black couple. But, any person of any race, can and will enjoy this book--because it's just really good reading. 

This is my first book by this author--but I can promise you--it won't be my last,  because honey--this right here is good reading--and who doesn't need another couple to ship--or a book boyfriend to drool over?


  1. I think heavy readers or not, we all go through slumps and slower periods where we just don't have the time, energy or whatever to read and there is nothing at all wrong with that! So glad you enjoyed this and hopefully there will be many more wonderful reads in store for you in 2018!

  2. Book blogging can get in the way of reading ironically. I totally get it. This one sounds good and the sports would totally hook me as I do like football. Oh and you said book boyfriend... yea, I'm there. LOL Hope the new year rocks for you.

  3. It's okay to step away from blogging! Even reading! We all need our breaks, especially when life demands it. However, super glad you finally enjoyed a book after so many. That is what's important, to enjoy a read when you can finally sit down and read. And it definitely sounds like a fun book!

  4. My struggle: I need to read in order to have books to blog about. But blogging is freaking time consuming and takes up valuable reading time. It’s a vicious cycle. But at the end of the day, I’d rather read.

    While I already liked the sound of this one, you totally pulled me in with this line (I’m paraphrasing a bit): “Jordan’s relentless pursuit in a respectable way that both honored and treasured Nicole.” Daaaaamn. That’s it, I obviously need to meet Jordan. He sounds like a man I want to know. Because there’s always room for another book boyfriend. :)

    1. Blogging is so time consuming! I hope you get to read this one, and even more so--enjoy it!

  5. I just added this to my TBR! I love a good sports romance and since I haven't read any black love romances, this might be a good start. :)

    Blessie @ Mischievous Reads