Since I’ve been in a dry spell when it comes to my favorite sports NA romances lately, I ventured outside my trusted favored authors to try a new book and new-to-me author. After downloading a number of samples and trying them out, I finally decided to try Sacked by Jen Frederick.
From the beginning, I liked the premise of this book: Knox, the male lead, is the virgin. He’s been keeping himself tidy, as they used to say, because he’s waiting for the right one. We’re given a little head’s up early on about how he plans to make that determination and why it’s important to him, but it isn’t really defined for a while.
Meanwhile, our female lead, Ellie, has a secret. She’s at the college as a transfer along with her football-player brother. We find out pretty quickly that her brother has some kind of learning disability that has never been addressed, and at the insistence of her mother, Ellie’s been covering for him for a long time.
There’s the requisite dysfunctional parents–it seems it has to be one set or the other, and in this case, it’s Ellie’s. There’re the supportive friends, the courtship (Knox is intent on winning Ellie), the quirky roommate (Ellie’s) and of course the misunderstanding/secret that tears them apart.
I enjoyed the story, but after a certain point, it began to lose me, largely because I felt there wasn’t a lot of balance. Ellie’s parents, whom we saw only briefly, felt very one-dimensional. At the crisis point, there was some inconsistency, and part of the resolution was just simply ludicrous. And the ending felt . . . flat. Nothing had really been resolved in a long-term way, even if the football was going well.
The writing here was good enough that I’d probably consider reading another of the author’s books. It wasn’t a complete loss; the characterization was good for the main and even for most of the side characters. Knox’s POV was excellent. With a slightly different ending, I might’ve been swooning over this book.