Sloane Patterson is a star striker who scored the winner for the US in the World Cup final and has crossed the line from star in her sport to recognizable celebrity. She accepts a one-season gig for the Rovers in far-off England to get away from her cheating fiancée and her awful parents. This is the first time she’s been on her own, making the whole thing even scarier.
On her first day as the Rovers’ performance and lifestyle coach, Ella Carmichael is star-struck after running into Sloane on the way into the office. Luckily, the superstar footballer is a super nice person as well as super hot and shockingly wealthy. Both of them need a friend and they spend more and more time together.
They’re both happy with the new friendship, but can they also handle a hot attraction that could break their hearts when Sloane’s contract is up?
Mildred: This is a fairly deep dive into the rarefied world of elite athletes where a lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into games that determine teams’ places on a world stage. It’s not just about the athlete training or coaching but a lot more, and at this level, a lot of money and prestige is involved. By the end of the book I felt pleasantly schooled on some aspects of that industry, and it also made me think I could watch and understand a soccer game.
Jenna: Clare Lydon did a fantastic job balancing soccer with the budding romance between Sloane and Ella. I learned a lot about the European leagues and about the lives of elite athletes in the sport. This book will appeal to both followers of the sport as well as readers who are less enthused by it because of that perfect balance.
Mildred: The romance between Sloane and Ella is sweet and cute and evolves at a nice pace. When they do finally kiss, it’s a real Oh Wow moment. This is a scene that I predict will be very often bookmarked, with the amount of emotional depth and just plain hotness beautifully expressed.
Jenna: Ella and Sloane’s attraction is apparent from the first moment they met and I love that they develop a solid friendship before jumping into bed. Their mutual respect and affection for one another are apparent and while this is a slow burn, the pacing is just right. I agree, Mildred, their first kiss is absolutely spectacular!
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Mildred: The romance is not forced or contrived, so it feels really real and believable. Then there is that amazing first kiss which is without a doubt my favorite ever kiss scene. It’s super sweet and super hot and super emotional. I can’t imagine a better kiss scene could ever be written.
Jenna: Clare Lydon is a master at creating slow burns that leads to epic first kisses and Hotshot’s first kiss is definitely epic!
Mildred: If you’re looking for a cute story with a low angst level, this is a good choice. Reading the book was like being enveloped in a warm blanket and snuggled. I found it very soothing and appreciated the calm and believable romance. Slone’s gathering of found family was especially heartwarming.
Jenna: Ella and Sloane are both strong and independent women who are both searching for their ultimate cheerleader. Ella lost her cheerleader when her mom passed away years before and while she’s adapted to living without her, the pain of the loss is always close to the surface. Sloane has never had a cheerleader as her parents do not support her profession nor her lifestyle and her ex-fiance, Jess, only cared about herself. Over time, as Ella and Sloane grow closer, they soon realize that just maybe, they’ve found their ultimate cheerleader.
Mildred: Because I’m a bit of a geek I also enjoyed that I had to google a lot, like football terms since soccer is not my game and some English food snacks. My favorite was the name of the dating app Honey Pot. I laughed out loud when I found out it’s real!
Jenna: I could definitely go for some Monster Munch right about now and I’m thrilled to learn that Honey Pot is, in fact, a real app! I love how as Sloane found herself settling into the English lifestyle that she started referencing football instead of soccer, much to Ella’s delight!
There is an infidelity central to the plot.
Mildred: Sloane the famous footballer and Ella the team’s lifestyle coach fall for each other pretty easily in this low angst, sweet and hot romance set in the world of world-class soccer. From found family to sweeping game drama and the best first kiss scene ever, this is a fun read that won’t stress a reader at all.
Jenna: Hotshot by Clare Lydon is a delightful sporty sapphic romance that will leave even the grumpiest reader smiling. Ella and Sloane are likable women who are surrounded by wonderful friends and colleagues. The world of elite athletes is engaging and doesn’t overshadow the budding romance between Ella and Sloane. If you’re looking for low angst with a side of soccer and steaminess, this book is right up your alley!
Excerpt from Hotshot by Clare Lydon
Sloane held her gaze, then walked over to the lounge area, water in hand. Then she turned to Ella. “Actually, I was hoping to get along to watch my great-grandfather’s old team this weekend for a special game they’re having. A pre-season fundraiser.” She paused. “If you’re free, would you like to come with me?” Her face spelt hesitation. “I’d rather not go alone, and it would help to have a driver as I’m still not comfortable on the wrong side of the road. I’ll pay for petrol and I can buy you coffee and cake. Or a half-time pie because I’m told that’s a thing at English stadiums.” Vulnerability streaked across Sloane’s face.
Ella wanted to reach out a hand and tell her it was all going to be okay. Instead, she said, “A chicken Balti pie?”
Sloane’s body relaxed. “If that’s a thing, then yes.”
“It’s a thing. A disgusting thing that your nutritionist would probably advise against, but it’s a thing.” Ella tilted her head. “You don’t want to go with Layla? You’re friends with her.”
Sloane put her water on the coffee table and shook her head. “She wants to spend as much time with her wife and son before the season gets underway. Whereas we’re both new here, and there’s nothing in the rulebook that says we can’t be buddies.”
Ella shook her head. “Very much not. Plus, I’m free and in need of mates. Kilminster, you said?”
Sloane’s smile lit up her face. “Thank you. The game starts at 3pm, so shall I call for you around 1.30pm?”
Something fluttered in Ella’s chest. She ignored it.
“I’ll look forward to it.”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1-912019-05-2
Publisher: Custard Books
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