Tuesday, February 7, 2017

For Finlay by J. Nathan

* * * 1/2

Finlay Thatcher is a lost soul, guilt-ridden after the death of her twin brother. When Alabama's football coach gives her the opportunity to work for him, she knows it's her chance to move on, even if it means living her brother's dream. 

Caden Brooks is Alabama's star quarterback. He's got it all. The attention of adoring fans. A girlfriend who'd do anything to hold on to him. And a future in the pros. He's getting along just fine until Finlay steps into his life, despising him at first sight and pushing his buttons like no other. 

Unfortunately for Finlay, and her attempt to keep Caden at arm's length, there's nothing Caden loves more than a challenge. The problem with this challenge is she comes with a secret that has the power to destroy everything.

*Source: advance e-galled provided in exchange for an honest review

What is it about cocky college jocks that get us so excited? Perhaps we like when they meet their match in fiery, independent women they fall for? I think that's it for me. 

Finlay is a heartbroken freshman who's attending the school that her brother should be at. But he's not there and she is. So she resolves to live out his dream for both of them. Finlay sees it as repentance for the way their relationship went south. Caden, the star quarterback, is the focus of all her ire. He doesn't know why but he likes that she's feisty and doesn't take crap from anyone, including the guys on the football team. If anything, it's refreshing that she speaks her mind and doesn't glom on to everything he says and does the way most people do, especially girls. Especially his girlfriend. The fact that she knows and understands football only adds to her cool factor. Too bad she finds him repulsive. Or so he thinks. Finlay works hard to keep him at a distance but even she can't resist that he's fundamentally a decent guy. But she won't divulge too much about herself because that's personal and the truth is too painful. Developing a friendship with Caden feels like the ultimate betrayal to the memory of her brother. Sheesh, things are complicated.

This is my third J. Nathan novel and I pounced on the opportunity to read it. There's something different about her new adult novels that I like. In this case, I liked how she wrote Caden. Sure, he's a bit cocky and his innuendos are typical of a jock I suppose, but he's a good guy from the get go. Most importantly, is he's not a player. So when he finds himself falling for a particularly smart but stubborn water girl, he makes the necessary changes in his life to accommodate that. Don't get me wrong, he's a knucklehead, too but then so is Finlay, and their stupidity comes into play later. The in between is filled with sexual tension, humour, and bittersweet memories. 

I liked For Finlay; it's a quick, fun read that also has its emotional moments. And I will always say yes to a J. Nathan book.

~ Bel

We're celebrating the release of For Finlay with a giveway. Click here to enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of For Finlay!

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