Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Review - - Rough Ride

Rough Ride
by Breezie Bennett
South Florida Riders - Book 5
Publisher: Palm Island Publishing
Release Date: May 29, 2020
Reviewed by PJ

Andre Smoke is the newest arrival to the Riders, an incredibly private defensive player who is feared and revered in the NFL. His trade to South Florida is a little unexpected in the league, but Smoke has his personal reasons for heading to the tropics to play football. Well, one reason. Her name is Kendall Collins and her big brother, Smoke's lifelong best friend, needs someone he can trust to keep an eye on her...without her knowing it, of course.
Loyal and protective, Smoke agrees...but one look at Kendall and things get a little complicated. The sassy designer is definitely not the awkward fourteen-year-old in braces that he remembers, and the attraction between them burns as hot as his name. Smoke hires Kendall to renovate his historic Miami home...but the plan to keep an eye on her soon turns into a desire to keep his whole body on her. Before long, Smoke is falling hard for his best friend's sister who is determined to fix more than his house...she's getting awfully close to his damaged heart and he just might have to give it to her.

PJ's Thoughts:
I'm having so much fun getting to know the members of Breezie Bennett's South Florida Riders professional football team and the women who turn their lives upside down...and capture their hearts in the process. Rough Ride brings readers one of my favorite romance tropes - brother's best friend - and, once again, engaged my interest from page one, holding it until the end. I tended to steer clear of first-person narratives until I began reading Bennett's books but I can't imagine her stories being told in any other way. She has a gift for creating fully developed characters that are young, fresh, and full of life. Using first-person in alternating points of view allows readers to dig deep into the emotions and motivations of the main characters, understanding them more completely as they proceed through their journey, individually and as a couple.

In Rough Ride, Bennett pairs my love of football with my love of home renovation (somebody else's, not mine) in a sweet and steamy story with heart-tugging depth of emotion that brought all the feels and left me sighing with delight. I really enjoyed Smoke and Kendall. He's such a good guy, she's very likeable, and the chemistry between them sizzles. But, while their physical attraction is off the charts (and don't get me wrong, I loved that part), it's their shared history and the sweetness of the emotional bond between them that captured my heart. These two belong together and I was cheering them on the entire way. 

Enhancing Smoke and Kendall's journey is a vibrant secondary cast of characters who are much more than wallpaper. From Riders players, to Kendall's partners, to players' wives, to a sweet older couple who get the surprise of their lives, they all leap from the pages and enrich the overall journey. And there's one more character who has very limited time on the page but a pivotal impact on the story and, wow, does she showcase Bennett's ability to write a spot-on "Real Housewives" type of character. I think my blood pressure jumped 20 points just from that one scene!

For those of you who enjoy snappy dialogue, heart-tugging emotion, humor, sizzle, sports-themed romance, and home renovation shows, you'll find all that and more in Breezie Bennett's Rough Ride


  1. Thanks so much for a fun review. I am a football fan - actually a sports fan. Book sounds like a good play.

    I hope everyone is safe and sound and taking care.

  2. Great cover. I love sports stories, especially football and hockey. New to me author and series. Gonna have to check out this book.

  3. I love sports romance and snappy dialogue. Going to check out her books.

  4. She is new to me. I love reading sports theme books, especially football and hockey.

  5. Thank you for the review. I do not read much sports romance, but have enjoyed the few I have. House renovation is a favorite topic and one we are living in.
    Stay safe and healthy.

  6. Hmm... this is a new-to-me author, PJ! Thanks for the rec!