Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Title: After the Game
Series: The Field Party #3
Author: Abbi Glines

Two years ago, Riley Young fled from Lawton, Alabama. After accusing the oldest Lawton son, Rhett, of rape, everyone called her a liar and she had no option but to leave. Now she’s back, but she’s not at Lawton High finishing up her senior year. She’s at home raising the little girl that no one believed was Rhett’s.

Rhett is off at college living the life he was afraid he’d lose with Riley’s accusation, so Riley agrees to move back to Lawton so she and her parents could take care of her grandmother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. But the town still hasn’t forgotten their hate for her, and she hasn’t forgotten the way they turned on her when she needed them most.

When town golden boy Brady Higgens finds Riley and her daughter, Bryony, stranded on the side of the road in a storm, he pulls over and gives them a ride. Not because he cares about Riley, of course, but because of the kid.

But after the simple car ride, he begins to question everything he thought he knew. Could Brady believe Riley and risk losing everything?


3.5 Stars! I’ve been looking forward to Brady’s story since we met him. Despite being invested in these characters, I’m a little disappointed in the story.

Riley Young fled Lawton, Alabama under the heavy weight of disbelief, ridicule, and disgust. She had done the unthinkable in accusing someone as prominent and powerful as Rhett Lawton of rape. Of course, no one believed her and she was practically run out of town, with no other options. It’s been two years, but nothing has changed in the small Southern town, except Riley's need to be there to help take care of her grandmother. But she’s not alone. She has her parents and the sweet little girl no one believed was the oldest Lawton son’s. At least she doesn’t have to see her attacker since he’s off living his dream, but the town won’t let her forget or move on. When a chance encounter with the town’s beloved quarterback, Brady Higgins, makes him question everything he thought he believed, Riley has to decide if she can open her heart to someone who once hurt her so deeply. Brady is sick with himself and his actions in the past, but can he risk everything by getting closer to the beautiful woman Riley has become? Doubts threaten to sabotage their relationship before it even begins, but they may just be what the other needs to cope after secrets are revealed. Do they have a chance at a future when Brady’s plans have always been bigger than Riley’s could ever be?

I liked Brady from the beginning. Even though he was a bit standoffish, he looked out for his cousin when she arrived, and it was sweet. I liked that he was the good guy, level headed one of his group of friends. It made him an integral and central part of all their lives, binding them together. I hated that he had been so cruel to Riley when everything went down and when she first came back. It tarnished his good guy image for me. I did like how swiftly he made amends, even if it was driven by guilt. Riley was a mystery. I was anxious to see how she had moved on after what happened. She was incredibly strong. A lot of girls in the same situation would have crumbled, but she took her pain, fear, and regret and turned it into joy. It was really admirable. I liked her and Brady together, too. They seemed complete opposites and headed in entirely different directions, but their connection was above all that. The past they had between them made this romance more of a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers trope. Even though I liked Brady and Riley, I was mostly disappointed in the whole book. I’ve come to expect a bit of OTT drama in this series from Ms. Glines. What’s surprising is that I actually kind of like it. What would happen next made me keep reading. That said, the drama and conflict in this book, and how it was handled did not sit well with me. While I knew that the rape wasn’t the central focus of the story, I never expected it to be swept to the side like it was. Rape is a very serious thing, and even though Riley handled it with a maturity beyond her years, I absolutely don’t think this book did the topic justice. It was hinted at, but never really addressed directly. Yes, Riley had moved on and she was gaining friends again, but Rhett needed to be punished for the heinous crime he committed. The town itself also needed a wake-up call to what they had done. Along with that, the plot twist concerning Brady infuriated me. As I said, I ended up liking the drama, but positives are just as important in a story. Brady’s life was a positive when everyone else's was falling apart. I hated that the author took it in the direction she did and ruined that positive for me just for the sake of conflict and drama. I believe there were other ways and to go where she did, it brought the whole book down in my estimation. Overall, I wanted Brady and Riley’s story, and I’m happy I got it. It just wasn’t what I wanted. None of these books can be considered HEAs, in my opinion, but better HFNs. There was too much left in the air, and no epilogues (this is a big thing for me). We didn’t see much of any characters that will be featured in upcoming books in the series, so I’m confused as to if we will see the MC’s from the past three books in future books. I figure we may get a glimpse here or there, but nothing solid and leaves me with questions. I think I’ll try reading on just because I really like the guys of Lawton High, the women who win them, and let’s face it, the drama. I just really hope that my opinion of the series is restored with Nash’s book. ♡
by Shooting Stars Reviews 9:30 AM No comments


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