3 Stars / New Adult / Review

Review: The Varsity Dad Dilemma by Lex Martin

What’s worse than having Rider Kingston, the star quarterback, give you the big brush-off because he doesn’t want to get serious? You’d probably think living across the street from him where you get a firsthand view of his hookups, right? 

That’s what I thought. Until someone drops off a baby with a note pinned to her blanket that says one of those jocks—either Rider or one of his roommates—is the father. The problem? Baby mama doesn’t mention which of these numbskulls is the sperm donor.

I wouldn’t care about their paternity problems—not the slightest bit—except my brother lives there too. Which means that adorable squawking bundle might be my niece, and there’s no way I’m leaving her unattended with those bumbling football players.

They need my help, even if they don’t know it yet. Once we solve this dilemma and figure out who’s the daddy, I’m out.

I’ll just ignore Rider and those soul-searing looks he gives me every time I reach for the baby. He broke my heart three years ago. He won’t get a second chance

Title:The Varsity Dad Dilemma
Author:Lex Martin
Category / Genre(s):New Adult
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Sports Romance
Surprise Baby
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Charming, Texas, USA
Release Date:20th July, 2021
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A slow-going college romance

3 stars

I chose this book based on the cute premise and the fact that I’m partial to slightly angsty new adult college romance.

The book started off well – the writing was good, the characters likeable and the world building and detail was descriptive. It wasn’t until later in the book – about half way – that I felt it started to drag. Not necessarily because of the storyline, but simply because the amount of detail we got really kept the plot from progressing too rapidly.

I liked the character of Gabby even if she didn’t really fit into any of the archetypal stereotypes. Not that that’s a bad thing! But any girl who is organised, detail orientated and a little awkward – I’m game for! She had a bit of a difficult childhood but I didn’t find it too traumatising to read about.

Rider was a little bit harder for me to form an opinion on, to be honest. He was very much the leader of the football team and was bossy and arrogant to go along with it. Like Gabby, Rider had a difficult childhood and, to some extent, was still going through tough times but again, nothing overly difficult to read about. I just couldn’t understand why he had ghosted Gabby 3 years earlier. His reasonings were completely at odds with his behaviour and while that’s likely typical of college age kids, it irritated me.

“I’m probably just old and grumpy!”

There was a fair amount of heat and sex in the book but I just didn’t feel the emotional connection that I’m sure we were supposed to.

I have adored other NA stories and have marvelled how authors can make me feel for – and relate to – kids that are (good God) almost half my age. Sadly, that’s what was missing for me in this story; the characters came across as young and rather than relate to them, I was irritated by their poor decision making and annoyed by their juvenile actions. Even though it didn’t work for me, I can’t really mark the book down for this as I’m pretty sure real life college kids would irritate and annoy me, too! So thumbs up for realism!

We get a nice HEA and (yay) an epilogue but due to my general thoughts on the book, I sadly didn’t put much stock in Gabby and Rider staying together in the long term.

I think, for me, this book just didn’t have the snappy pace or relatable characters that I was expecting. I honestly also think it threw me off that the ‘who’s the daddy?’ dilemma was wrapped up very early in the story and I wasn’t sure what to expect next from the plot. It wasn’t the book for me but the majority (if not all) of the other reviewers have adored it so, if you fancy it, please don’t let me put you off. 3 stars as I’m probably just old and grumpy!

3 stars

Lex Martin is the USA Today bestselling author of the Texas Nights and Dearest series. She writes contemporary romances, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and hot happily ever afters. 

A former high school English teacher and freelance journalist who’s lived all over the country, she currently resides in her hometown of San Antonio with her husband, twin daughters, and a bunny named Dandelion.

Lex is represented by Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary & Management.

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As I walk Sienna to her car, she squeals. “Holy crap, is that Rider Kingston?”

Without my permission, my gaze slides across the street to the oversized man-child, who has the gall to be moving furniture shirtless while flexing his stupid abs. Judging by the other sweaty minions pouring out of the two story, Rider’s getting new roommates too.

My eye twitches again, and my focus snaps back to Sienna. “I thought you said you weren’t a fan of football.”

“Oh, I’m not. I can’t sit through an entire game. But I am a fan of football players.” Her gaze turns ravenous as she scans my neighbor’s front lawn. Or, likely, the glistening eight-pack Rider’s put on display. “All that testosterone. Those bulging muscles. That deep, masculine grunting. Oh yeah. Get me one of those!”

She cackles, and Rider hears it.

Of course he does.

Shockingly, he deigns to speak to me.

“Hey, Gabby,” he shouts. “How was your summer?”

I’m not sure when he decided to stop ignoring me, but that’s better than pretending we’re friends, which we’ll never be.

I close my eyes because I don’t need any reminders of his masculine beauty. And I definitely don’t need to see that sexy smirk, the one more powerful than his cannon that took the team to the playoffs last year. 

No, I’m not interested in the star quarterback. Not anymore. 

Turning on my heel, I wave my middle finger and march back to my house.

Laughter is all I hear as I slam the front door shut behind me.

Pink Heart Bullet

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