Four hearts – just sooo good

Design Rating:

Four stars – i wish i designed it


June 15, 2022

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Blind Side

by Kandi Steiner

Reviewed June 28, 2022

“You don’t want to be someone’s muse,” Clay rasped. “You want to be someone's undoing. And let me tell you, Kitten…” His voice rumbled against my ear before he sucked the lobe between his teeth. “You’re mine.”

Design: 4.5

I have to admit that I was somewhat curious and skeptical of the cover design of this book – but it kept popping up everywhere around its release: on my socials, in author newsletters, Amazon… it was like I was meant to read it. And I specifically recognized it because of this cover – it was everywhere. The expression and body language of the cover model, depicting Clay Johnson, was so curious to me… I wasn’t sure how to feel about it. Was I intrigued? Was I off-put by it? Was I attracted to him? … I just wasn’t sure – yet – this cover stuck out from the rest – and more importantly – I actually “saw” it. So much so that I finally gave in to the incessant pop-ups into my life and searched out what it was actually about – and once I did that, well… who doesn’t love a good fake-dating college sports romance? Am I right? The point of that little walk into my brain was that although I wasn’t so sure how I felt about the cover and its design, it was enough to grab my attention and make me remember it. The font and color choices help make this very interesting – it is not often you see this style of font but I love the juxtaposition of this more modern and askew font with the lower case serif font for the author’s name. As a designer this cover made me really stop and analyze the details of it, while in so doing, respecting and appreciating it all the more. And once I began reading this, I quickly found that this was the second book in the series – I promptly found the first book then and saw the style being carried through in the design of the series. Although the first book has the two main characters on the cover, while this just depicts the male lead, I really liked the first book’s cover and appreciated the design standards all the more. It is a refreshing design!

Review: 4.8

First off, can Clay call me “Kitten” too? Or is that just reserved for Giana? Who doesn’t want the hottest guy on the football team calling them “Kitten”? Like seriously?!?

Secondly: well hello, Kandi Steiner! And boy am I happy to make your literary acquaintance! As mentioned in the design commentary above, the way that this book came across my life was by fate – or was it by force of nature? Regardless, it was like I was meant to discover Kandi Steiner and this book – it was just everywhere in my life! And well, well, well – wasn’t it just the most delicious little college sports romance that I’ve read in a long time? The answer to that is: yes, yes it was!

What boxes does this book check in the content department? I’m glad you asked. This is a college football romance, a fake boyfriend scenario between the hot (obvi) and popular jock and the quiet, nerdy girl *and shocker here* the girl is a virgin. Who hasn’t read a book in this HEA genre with a similar premise? Of course we have, and of course we love them all and want to read more of them, always wondering if the girl will get the guy and we’re always so nicely surprised while we swoon when she does, right?

Let me tell you that this is one you will definitely want to read because holy moly! I quickly discovered that Kandi Steiner checks a lot of my boxes when it comes to my requirements and biases in writing: first off, you just know when the writing is good – as soon as you start reading a book, within a page or two, you just know. I knew on paragraph one of page one with Steiner – she writes just how I love for an author to write. So needless to say, she had me hooked right away. Then she hook-line-and-sinkered me with the level of detail – the detail was just how I crave it! How is it that I was just now discovering Kandi Steiner??? Where have you been all my life Kandi?!?! She was like my wish-list-author-come-true!

As if this weren’t all enough, the story in “Blind Side” (oh right, we’re talking about a specific book, a specific story – duh!) was so engaging and dynamic! And then came the true test: how would Steiner handle the romantic and sex scenes? You see, I have found that some authors will give you great details and paint so vividly a picture with their words, but then will skimp on that same level of detail when it comes to certain scenes – oftentimes the sex and romance scenes – don’t be bashful, ladies. I’m not saying I’m seeking those out specifically, and that’s the truth because I want the whole story – I’m just saying that I prefer for the level of detail to be equal throughout. In truth, I’ve even experienced some authors who lack some of the detail I crave in the body of the story, but then go into overdrive with the sex scenes (I’m not compalining about that per se…), but this results in an inconsistency for me. I like equal detail in all facets of the book I’m reading… oh right, and back to “Blind Side” because Steiner totally shocked me when it came to the sexy and romantic scenes! Like my jaw was on the ground – because there was so much there that I was in no way prepared for. And I was unprepared for her writing in the best possible way! Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not implying that she kicked up the detail when it came to these particular scenes – the level of detail was just puuurfect throughout the entire book – I’m just saying that her imagination in crafting this story will shock and awe you – that goes for the story as a whole, and certainly also applies to the romantic scenes.

This is one of the most engaging and sexy books that I’ve read in a long-long time – hands down. Steiner has you eating up every single one of her words, and you are so immersed in the world that she has created that you crave every word, every detail, to further bring you into the world of Clay and Giana. Steiner’s character development of these two main characters is phenomenal, but so is her development of all of the supporting characters as well as the setting for this story. I ate it all up, loving every single miniscule detail. I mentioned how I love great details, right? Well, this book gets an A+ in that department!

So as I mentioned, this was my first read of Kandi Steiner – did I say that already? Quickly into this book I got the gist that this wasn’t the first book in this series, but this can totally be read as a stand-alone. I just personally hate when I don’t start at the beginning of a series… so I ended up reading this story, Clay and Giana’s story, and then I followed it with Zeke and Riley’s story (book #1). Although I totally loved the first book, “Blind Side” is just fire! This is a college sports romance book on steroids in how sexy, charming, funny, and compelling it is. This is for sure one of my top 5 books that I’ve read this month – and that’s saying a lot!

My favorite things about this book were how it was the total package of everything that I love: amazing writing, compelling and believable story (which is sometimes hard to believe when it comes to these types of tropes), amazing character development and setting, the level of detail was something every writer should aim to achieve, I got so totally engrossed by the story that I felt transported right there in the most delicious voyeuristic way, and the level of “HOT” that this book brought forth – whooo-ey! This book is a sauna – it is so h-a-w-t! It is sensual, sweet, sexy AF, and so mesmerizing that you absolutely cannot put it down – and why would you want to?! Let me warn you now though: if this is also your first Kandi Steiner read, prepare to clear your calendar, charge the batteries on your Kindle, and warm your Amazon “boy now” button because you’ll fall down the Kandi Steiner rabbit hole reaaaaal quick! Binge-read much? Yeah, that’s what I’m currently doing. Don’t even fight it – you won’t want to – Steiner is an amazing writer with equally amazing stories and you will be so happy after reading and experiencing “Blind Side” – believe me!

Amazon excerpt:

The hottest college football safety in the nation just asked me to be his fake girlfriend.

And I just asked him to take my virginity.

Clay Johnson has the abs of Adonis and the deadly smirk of the devil, himself. There’s hardly a day he’s not headline material during football season, and never a day he isn’t a bullseye target for every girl on campus.

He used to be the easiest of all the players for me to wrangle as the Public Relations Coordinator, but after a nasty breakup with his high school sweetheart, he’s a mess.

And a complete pain in my ass.

We meet to discuss his behavior and review media relations standards. But when he witnesses how I fall to pieces in front of my guitar-toting crush, his wheels start turning. And he cooks up this absurd plan.

He helps me get noticed.

I help him make his ex jealous.

All by pretending to be in a relationship.

What he doesn’t realize is that this bookworm is a virgin, and far from versed in seducing a musician. So, to sweeten the deal, I convince him to help me — not just to get my crush’s attention, but to knock his socks off once I have it.

But the more I come unraveled at the hands of Clay Johnson, the more trouble I have discerning what’s fake and what’s undoubtedly real — particularly, the way my heart flutters every time that breathtaking man touches me.

We set the rules. We put the safeguards in place.

But they say rules are meant to be broken.

They probably should have added that hearts are, too.

Blind Side is a spicy fake dating college sports romance with “lessons” and opposites attract. It is a complete stand-alone.

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