Also by this author: The Proposition, The Pairing, Vicious Cycle, Last Mile (Vicious Cycle, #3)
Cade Hall has always been the golden boy of the gridiron. Because of his talent at football, coupled with his father’s wealth, he’s always gotten his way. But when a night of drunken debauchery lands him in hot water with the college athletic board, neither his influential father nor his charming grin can save him. He finds it a total buzz kill when he is sentenced to community service with troubled youth at an inner-city shelter. But his nightmare is only beginning when his greatest high school regret is the very one in charge of the program, and she has him by the balls in more ways than one.
For Avery Prescott, senior year was a nightmare of epic proportions, and Cade Hall played the lead villain. After she fled her small town for college in the bright lights of Atlanta, she thought she had escaped the painful memories of her past. She never could have imagined Cade would waltz through the door of the outreach program she presided over. But Avery has news for Cade--she isn’t the same shy, doormat of a girl she was in high school. Since she holds Cade's football future in her hands, she’s more than ready to make payback a real bitch.
Will the two stay in the defensive zone or discover that sometimes life's greatest lessons are learned the hard way?
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Katie Ashley’s newest release, The Hard Way, is a second chance romance with two characters I couldn’t help falling in love with and rooting for their happy ending. Cade and Avery’s story is sweet and angsty. Author Katie Ashley gives us two characters who couldn’t be more different, the wealthy, cocky jock and the shy, studious girl from the ‘wrong’ side of town. What I love about Cade is, beside the fact that he is hot, confident, athletic and sarcastic, he’s actually smart and well read. Surprising our heroine Avery and me. I like the way the author develops the relationship rather than insta-love. She uses alternating POV to tell their story with humor and realistic emotional drama.
“In every “man whore with seemingly no soul’s” world, there is one girl he regrets. One girl he thinks about from time to time. One girl he measures all the other ones against. One girl he even cries about when he’s shitfaced.”
This story sucked me in and I loved then hated Cade. I kept reading, hoping Cade would redeem himself. The author tells the story in the present and uses flashbacks to develop the plot and understanding of the relationship between Cade and Avery. The secondary storyline is of Cade’s personal journey from immature, self-absorbed high school jock to the man he is meant to be, despite the obstacles in his way.
Avery is a strong character, not a damsel in distress, thank God. She is quick-witted and has some great zingers. I liked her. A lot. Together, their differences complimented each other. Their strengths made up for each other’s weaknesses.
I really enjoyed this story. It was a quick read with a feel good message. I loved the references to Shakespeare and all the quotes subheading each past / present section of the book. Everything you want in a romance novel, sweetness, chemistry, humor, tension and angst. Score for Katie Ashley.
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