Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Cleat Chasers Series
Synopsis for Challenge Accepted (from Goodreads):
Most college girls ‘swipe right’ to meet the right guy—Callie meets All-Star pitcher Zade while he’s buying tampons. College is all about learning, right?
How often do you meet your dream guy buying tampons at Target? Never, right? For Callie, a baseball-loving, closet chef, hardworking college student, it happened just once. The magic was too real, too fast, and too much so, she left the store without exchanging names. Fate worked in wonderful ways, right?
Zade Willows, the All-Star pitcher rumored to be drafted his senior year, gets what he wants. He has a fan club named after him who follow his every move but when he meets Callie, the game changes. She knows all his plays and knows how the game always ends: in heartbreak. Zade doesn’t back down and is willing to try anything. He’ll eventually get the girl, right?
Series: Cleat Chasers
Author: Jacqueline Snowe
# of Books: 2 (Full Series Reading Order)
Book Order: Connected
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Baseball
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: October 2017 – April 2019
Source & Format: YA Bound Book Tours–eARC
**This post was originally published as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series after attempting to read Book #2. It will not be further updated.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I’m a sucker for a good sports romance and this one had me as soon as I read the synopsis! This one looked like it would have great banter between the leads with some potential for some solid character development.
What I Liked:
–Immediate Chemistry Between Leads–
The tension between these two is palpable the minute they meet. They are the perfect match for each other and it was fun watching them discover that the more they interacted. As a result, we get some great back and forth banter between them.
What was also a huge plus for me was that we weren’t getting pages and pages of sexy times either. There are maybe two described sex scenes in the entire novel so I liked that it focused more on the social side of the romance.
–They Challenge Each Other–
It probably goes without saying given the title of the novel, but I liked how these two made each other stronger characters. Zade is a sweetheart underneath his playboy persona and Callie brings that out in the best way. And it works the other way as well. Zade’s patience and willingness to be his best self allows Callie to move on from her painful romantic past and see that she can’t label all athletes the same way and that Zade is worth the risk.
What I Didn’t Like:
–We Spent a Little Too Long Playing Hard to Get–
I get the resistance for the romantic relationship between these two and as much as I loved the tension it brought, I found the first half of the novel felt repetitive as we watch these two go back and forth. I’m all for some good “will they or won’t they” action but I was ready for the next step earlier than it happened. I wanted to see the challenges their relationship would have unfold.
–The Random Subplots–
I really wanted a more solid plot here for this story. As I said above, I felt like so much of this book was spent watching these two fight the inevitable but once they gave in, you just get everyday life. Which is fine but not as entertaining as I wanted it to be. Zade gets an interesting twist near the end but I wish it was introduced earlier to utilize it a little more for his character development.
Add to that some random dramatic plots with some side characters and the plot seemed a little aimless at times. I’m all for little Easter eggs for what will happen next in the series by introducing you to the potential leads and their backstories but it just felt out of place to me.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I have some ideas of who future books might follow and I’m definitely curious to see what will happen next. This group of characters is a lot of fun and I definitely want to learn more about them.
–June 11, 2019– Book #2: The Game Changer
**I DNF’d this title at the 35% mark (Start of Chapter 10)**
I really struggled to get into the story of these two. I’m not sure what it was that stopped me from investing my time in their romance because it had all the aspects I love in a NA story (like a friends to more, fake romance, etc).
For one thing, despite how great they were as friends, their sexual chemistry was lacking. Yes, this story is more of a slow burn since they have been great friends for years and don’t necessarily have those unrequited feelings lurking beneath the surface like we often do in these stories; but I was missing that tension to keep me hooked and invested in seeing the conclusion of their story. And then suddenly the jealousy comes about and I wasn’t entirely sure why.
Aaron as a character was a little all over the place. He just seemed to go from one extreme to another and I didn’t find him entirely likeable (which is weird because I’m pretty sure I liked him in the first book in the series…).
But the main reason I stopped reading was simply the pacing of the novel. There is far too much dialogue about non-essential things so it just felt like it dragged and took too long to get to the meat of the story.
My Rating: DNF
Challenge Accepted 3/5 | The Game Changer DNF
A fun and flirty new adult romance read that focuses more on character interactions than sexy times.
Read if You Like: college sport athletes, banter between leads
Avoid if You: dislike new adult romance, want more sexy times
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