4/24/2015

Blocked by Jennifer Lane Review, Top 5 and Giveaway #SportsRomance

I'm so happy to have author Jennifer Lane on My Book Snack! I've read and reviewed her Conduct romantic suspense series in the past, and I've come to enjoy her writing very much. For those that don't know, Jennifer also loves to write about sports. She's also an awesome person to chat with, and she's giving away an e-copy of her book, Blocked!

Please welcome Jennifer Lane!

Five Favorite Things About Writing Sport Romance

Hi, I’m Jennifer Lane and I write sports romance with a psychological twist. I was a two-sport athlete in college: swimming and volleyball. Not surprisingly, I’ve highlighted those sports in several New Adult sports romances: swimming military romance Streamline, swimming novella Swim Recruit, and volleyball romance Blocked.

What do I love about writing sports romance?
Here are my top five!

1) Suspense. Do you love the excitement and drama of close competitions? Sport provides a wonderful venue for building suspense. *chews fingernails* Will Leo overcome addiction and abuse to swim fast at the state finals? Will Reese get kicked off the team for badmouthing the university to a recruit? Or will Lucia’s volleyball team beat their biggest rival? Read and find out!

2) Strong Bodies. Typical heroes are muscular; typical heroines are lean. But what can their bodies DO for them? In sport, it’s great to celebrate how bodies function instead of focusing only on how they look. The heroine doesn’t have to be a thin weakling. The hero needn’t be so muscle-bound he can barely move. Athletes train their bodies endlessly, and we root for them to channel that hard work into amazing athletic feats with their strong, flexible bodies.

3) Sexy Times. Sports offer unique romance opportunities. Swimmers might share a breathless underwater kiss, or dive into illicit skinny-dipping. If athletes are feeling especially naughty, they may lick the sweat off each other’s skin. One of my favorite scenes to write in Blocked was when Dane and Lucia sneak into the gym to play volleyball together. Lucia marvels at his exquisite sets, and Dane admires her powerful spikes. Afterwards, they can’t keep their hands off each other.

4) Friendship. They say nothing bonds us like working toward a common goal, and teammates can develop deep friendships. I was lucky to have sixty teammates friends on my college swim team. It’s also true that we grow closer by uniting against a common enemy, whether that’s the opponent or the coach! One fun aspect of athlete friendship is trash talking. If a teammate gives you shit, you know he likes you.

“Friendship’s the best kind of ship.”
Quote from Streamline

5) Knowledge. Don’t know much about swimming or volleyball? How about fencing or lacrosse? Reading a sports romance opens up a new world, full of passionate people pursuing their dreams. Each sport is a unique culture with its own language. Would you know what to do if a swim coach said: “5 X 200, odds free build on 3:00, evens IM negative split each 50 on 3:30”? Probably not! But if you swim, you’d know. And depending how out of shape you are (like me), you might consider your coach to be your enemy. ;-)

What do YOU love about sports romance?

Jennifer sure did hit a lot of the points of why I love reading sport romances. I love seeing how the athletes work hard to fulfill their goals. I love the sportsmanship and friendships forged in the story. Thank you, Jennifer, for stopping by! ~G

Jennifer's sports-related Pinterest boards for her books:
Swim Recruit
Streamline
Blocked

Title: Blocked
Author: Jennifer Lane
Series: Blocked #1
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2014

Synopsis:
College freshman Lucia Ramirez has a secret crush on Dane Monroe. He’s a tall drink of water — blond, brash, and one hell of a volleyball player. ¡Híjole! Lucia hopes her volleyball scholarship to his school will make him notice her.

Too bad what’s noticeable is Dane’s obvious hatred for Lucia. Her family’s politics contradict everything he stands for. And politics are front and center in both their families. Dane’s mother is about to face Lucia’s father in the race for US President.

When Secret Service throws them together, Dane can’t deny his frustrating attraction to Lucia’s athletic curves and sweet faith in the world. Amid the intense pressure of college athletics and presidential politics, can opposites not just attract, but overcome overwhelming odds to be together? Or do their differences block their match from the start?


Source: Purchased
This is my honest review.
Rating: 3.75 Stars - Liked/Loved

Dane and Lucia won me over!

I’m going to be straight up and say that I liked Blocked. I do have a mixed bag of feelings, but overall Dane and Lucia won me over. I’m a huge fan of college sports, and this is the first time I’ve read a college sports romance featuring volleyball. In that regard, I found this read absolutely refreshing!

Blocked begins with volleyball player Lucia Ramirez ready to begin her freshman year at Highbanks University. Everything would be fine and dandy if not for volleyball star athlete Dane Monroe being there, too. Why would that even matter? Well, Lucia and Dane each have a parent running for the office of US President. Things can and do get pretty sticky right away. This strange situation they’re in, which includes the Secret Service? Well, all that makes for one very unique story.

As mentioned, I do have mixed feelings about Blocked, so I’ll begin with what didn’t work for me. This story is heavy on political issues. The election drives a majority of the tension in the plot. I usually don’t mind politics in my romances, but in this case a lot of hot-button issues were touched in some way or another. With Dane and Lucia so passionate in their beliefs, I also know that can’t be avoided.

“But no matter how bad the rest of my life became, the gym was my home. Volleyball was my clarity.”

What I did love was how Jennifer Lane developed the two main characters to win my heart! Right from the start Dane and Lucia were under so much pressure to be perfect. It’s not easy having Secret Service follow you around and also be under so much media scrutiny. Ms. Lane made both of them imperfect with each having to deal with some major issues in their lives and making some bad choices. Despite their differences, she also showed them to be understanding of one another. Through this unusual situation, they somehow connected, and that made me cheer for them even more! I also wanted to mention that Ms. Lane writes amazing volleyball scenes. I felt the competitiveness and camaraderie of the players. I felt the love of the sport being written from the heart. I take note and appreciate that when reading a sports romance.

Blocked has a very sweet and slow-building romance. There is no hot and heavy, which was fine with me in this particular case. The ending made me want a little more to at least tide me over until the next book. Yes, there is a cliffhanger. I’ve heard there will be three books in this series, and I’ll be along for the ride for book 2. Dane and Lucia are a sweet pairing, and I hope we’ll see more of them in the next books. Thanks, Jennifer Lane!

Book Links
Goodreads
Amazon

My reviews of Jennifer Lane's Conduct series
(link to Amazon)
With Good Behavior
Bad Behavior
On Best Behavior

Jennifer Lane's website:
http://www.jenniferlanebooks.com/

Jennifer has graciously donated a BLOCKED e-book to one winner!
(International OK)

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