The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane | Release Day Review

Hello everyone,
If you had a chance to catch my teaser and excerpt posts about The Rivalry by Nikki Sloane, you know how freaking excited I was for this book. I don't do teaser and/or excerpt posts for just any ole book--if you see me going the extra mile and dedicating an actual blog post (as oppose to a quick tweet or FB post) for a small thing like a teaser, cover reveal, or excerpt for a book you know it's one I'm full-on dying to get my hands on. Like, I'll-give-you-my-first-born kind of need. The Rivalry is one of those books.

Today is the day, you guys. The Rivalry is out and ready for you all to get your hands on and fall in love with Jay Harris, my newest book boyfriend.

Publisher: self-pubbed
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Source of my copy: L. Woods PR/author
Series: standalone
This tight end is at the top of his game.

He’s good with his hands, even better with his sexy mouth, and the best at making me forget my own name. His—ahem—stats are perfect.

But I can’t fall for him.

He might be everything I want, all rolled into a glorious package of gridiron god, but there’s one teeny-tiny problem. The vile, loathsome team I’ve spent my entire life hating—my beloved school’s arch-rival?

This guy is their star player.

I highly enjoyed Nikki Sloane's previous novels Sordid and Torrid so of course I needed to get my hands on The Rivalry. I was seriously hyped up for this book because 1) the MCs were from rival schools (OSU vs. Michigan--greatest college football rivalry EVER) 2) my favorite trope: forbidden romance--an OSU head cheerleader falling for a Michigan star football player? You know there's gonna be some sneaking around, and 3) it's by Nikki Sloane--love her writing style and you know she can turn the steam all the way UP.

I hyped this book way up and I'm happy to say I was not disappointed.

The Rivalry opened with our heroine Kayla's mom in the stands at an OSU vs. Michigan (aka "The Game") game having contractions and about to pop out Kayla, but she's in the stands cheering for OSU and yelling insults at Michigan, which really illustrates how much Kayla's family lives and breathes football and that they take the rivalry to heart. Fast forward years later and Kayla is now in her senior year of college and she's head cheerleader for Ohio State and knows more about sports than any guy--so much more that she actually made one of her dates cry after he got into it with her about some football maneuver. So, at her friend Marcy's wedding, Marcy challenged her to not talk sports for the night and Kayla being the competitive girl that she was, agreed. Then, she met Jay Harris--tall, athletic build, sexy, the best kisser--and they hit it off. It wasn't until later that Kayla found out that she had been making out with the enemy, but the real problem was that despite knowing Jay plays for Michigan Kayla was very much attracted to him and vice versa. And the story takes off from there...

First, let me talk about Jay Harris because he is my favorite character in The Rivalry. He was just so damn swoon worthy. The rivalry didn't nearly bother him as much as Kayla did, because while he was loyal to his team, he's from Indiana and can separate himself from the craziness, which I really appreciated. Jay knows he's good looking, but he's not cocky about it. He's looking for more than sex, for someone who likes him for more than his position on the field. Jay had a good head on his shoulders, good relationship with his parents (I love it when characters have good relationship with their parents), and an all-around good guy. And all that is why Jay is my new book boyfriend and I freaking love him. 

Now, as for Kayla. No lie there were times when I wanted to give her a good shake. This girl lives and breathes OSU and takes the rivalry between the school way seriously and because of that she pushed Jay away. But, besides that Kayla is also a great character. She's a firecracker, not afraid to say it how it is, and loyal to her friends. I also really appreciated that her best friend and roommate is a guy, Chuck. No, he's not gay and they are in no way attracted to each other--they are just best friends. Yay for a straight guy and girl being strictly friends. She also has a great relationship with her parents and brother, which is a quality I love in a character. There were times when Kayla irritated me, but overall I liked her character a lot too.

I really liked that Nikki Sloane used real schools and a real life rivalry to set her story in, which made it more fun because I can look these two schools up and be able to immerse myself in all things OSU and Michigan. Y'all this rivalry is INTENSE. And I learned that "The Game" this year will be this coming Saturday, November 25th and I'm totally planning to watch it--me, who have no interest in sports at all is planning to catch a football game thanks to The Rivalry.

I absolutely LOVED The Rivalry. It was well-written, I loved Jay and even Kayla, I swooned, I sighed, and it was a great time! It was plenty steamy too, just like I knew Nikki Sloane can make it. The sexin' wasn't dark and taboo like it was in Torrid and Sordid--if you'd read those The Rivalry was vanilla compared to those two. But, Kayla and Jay were hot in their own way. Also, since there's a huge height difference between the two of them (Jay being the big and tall football player that he is and Kayla being the tiny cheerleader who goes on top of the pyramid), there were some funny moments with them trying to maneuver to make up for it. 

If you're a fan of NA or sports romance, I highly recommend you pick The Rivalry.

About the Author
Nikki Sloane landed in graphic design after her careers as a waitress, a screenwriter, and a ballroom dance instructor fell through. For eight years she worked for a design firm in that extremely tall, black, and tiered building in Chicago that went through an unfortunate name change during her time there. Now she lives in Kentucky and manages a team of graphic artists. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, is married with two sons, writes dirty books, and couldn’t be any happier.

Happy reading,

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