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5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Clutch Player by Nikki Ash

Harper
I fell in love when I was sixteen. Landon was my entire world and I thought he would be my forever. But I was young and dumb, and with one error in judgement, I destroyed any chance of a future we could’ve had together, along with our hearts.

Twelve years later and I’m going through the motions of life, but not actually living. Which is why I let my friends, Bridget and Simon, set me up on a blind date. Turns out, it’s not so blind after all. Because the man sitting in front of me is the same man who’s held onto my heart all these years.

Landon
They call me a Clutch Player because I’m good under pressure and quick on my feet. I was also quick to fall in love. The first time it was with baseball, the second was with Harper. And for a short time I had them both.

Until I lost Harper and all I had left was baseball.

For years, I focused on my career. I had accepted that baseball was my one true love.

Until I saw her again. I never imagined we’d ever get a second chance, but now that she’s sitting right across from me, I know there’s no way in hell I’m going to let her go again.

Title:Clutch Player
Author:Nikki Ash
Series:Cocky Hero Club
Pages:245
Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Sports Romance (Baseball)
Second Chance Romance
Point of View:
Location:US
HEA:✔️
Release Date:17th May, 2020
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A rollercoaster read

A total standalone, Clutch Player takes place in the Cocky Hero world that Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward created. It is related to British Bedmate and Simon and Bridget from that novel do appear in this one as supporting cast.

The first part of this book (until nearly 30%) shows us the origins story of Harper and Landon aged 16 and 17. I love a new adult story (or is it young adult?) and it was an absolute delight to see a couple get together and growing feelings for each other. Even in a second-chance love story, we rarely get to see the beginning other than in flashback – so to have a whole chunk of their beginning was really good to see. And although they are each other’s firsts, in sexual terms this was a fairly gentle section with no real explicitness.

After the 30% we move to ‘present day’ – or 12 years after the original section and Harper and Landon’s lives have gone in completely different directions. Although I was so excited to get to this section of the book, I honestly can’t say which section I preferred. Well, probably the later section only because of the sex and the HEA, obviously!

Both Harper and Landon were really interesting characters. I especially loved Harper’s change from a young girl in love, to a woman and mother, and then back to her roots and her love for Landon and more finding the person she was supposed to, and wanted to be. Landon was a cutie pie (a hot and sexy cutie pie) and he was the perfect hero for Harper. I liked the fact there was no messing about for him. He knew what he wanted and he wasn’t afraid to go after it. And he was a bit of a dirty talker, too, which always makes me weak at the knees!

“Landon was a cutie pie (a hot and sexy cutie pie) and he was the perfect hero for Harper.”

And since he had the dirty talk down, it’s just as well that he backed it up with actual actions. And boy did he do that. The sex between Harper and Landon was delightfully hot. And frequent, too. There was some talk of anal sex,  a little anal play and then a quick flashback of the actual anal sex – which was easy to skip over if, like me, that’s not your thing. If it is, then it’s all good.

A lot of things happen in this book and it’s definitely a rollercoaster. I actually think that Ms Ash might be an evil genius. Every time the story got to a place where I was hopeful that things were on the upward slide, and she threw in a curveball (no pun intended!) and got me all riled up and reeling…and then hoping for things to be better. This happened both when I expected it and at times that I didn’t.

As I said, a lot of things happen in this book – at times emotional, upsetting and difficult things – and yet this book was surprisingly low on angst and the emotion was never so deep as to cause me, as a reader, to be overcome or overwhelmed. However, despite this, I judge a book on how entertaining it is – and boy was this book ever entertaining.

The writing was great – hugely engaging – and the characters were likeable and people you could really root for. There was a great mix of chat, banter, action and drama – and just enough emotion not to bog you down. This book has a little bit of something for everyone and it’s such a fun and entertaining read that I would recommend it to anyone to while away a couple of hours. A definite 5 star read.

Nikki Ash resides in South Florida where she is an English teacher and mom by day and a writer by night. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a book in her hand. From the Boxcar Children to Wuthering Heights to the latest Single Parent Romance, she has lived and breathed every type of book.

Reading is like breathing in, writing is like breathing out.

Pam Allyn

While reading and writing are her passions, her two children are her entire world. You can probably find them at a Disney park before you would find them at home on the weekends!

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Cocky Hero Club Series (May, 2020):

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