by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boys of Fall #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Contemporary Romance
They were the golden boys of fall: Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship winning football team. Fourteen years later, they’re back to relive their glory, save the team—and find themselves again… Chase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…
I read the first Kowalski Family novel by Shannon Stacey and quite enjoyed it. Since then I have been meaning to catch up on the series but we all know how that goes. When I saw, she had a brand new series I decided to begin there instead. Under the Lights is the first book in the Boys of Fall series centers around the “golden boys of fall” Stewart Mills High School’s legendary championship football team. While to me the cover screams young adult or new adult, this is in fact a contemporary adult romance with small-town charm and a little football.
Coffee dates with Under the Lights
- First date: The tale begins as we watch thirty-something Chase Sander’s witness the last few pieces of the life he built crumble away. His life is in fact a mess. His girlfriend left and his business partner cleaned out their business account. When the call comes in from his home town asking for help, it is the memories of all the coach did for him that has him placing his life on hold and traveling home to help. I laughed when he returned to town and immediately had an encounter with local law enforcement, talk about down on your luck. A little banter, a bit of a surprise and I am already snuggling down further into my blanket and allowing the story to unfold.
- Second date: Kelly McDonnell is the coach’s daughter and she is determined to save the football team. Not only for her father but also for the young men it so desperately helps. With the mill, closing the economy in Stewart Mills is crumbling. Stacey beautifully painted the town, and allowed us to see and feel the effects of a localized depression. She also showed us their spirit as townsfolk came together to run fundraisers from yard sales to baked goods. With the “Golden Boys of Fall” back in town, Kelly is surprised when her old crush stirs feelings. Chase is glad to see coach and the small town, but wow-wee did the coach’s daughter grow up to be mighty fine. It was fun seeing these two interact as Kelly swooned and Chase kept whispering the mantra, “Coach’s daughter. She is the coach’s daughter.” I do not recommend standing to close to these two as you may be electrocuted.
- Third date: Grr, things are a little bumpy as Kelly and Chase must deal with baggage, find their own worth and take a leap of faith. I enjoyed all of the secondary characters, and we see hints of the next romance. I loved Coach and learning what he has accomplished for the young men in this rural town. Seeing Chase and the old team work with the young was heartwarming, and watching them, play football was hilarious. We do gets some bumps and Chase most definitely needed a good smack but I ended this date with a sigh.
Final thoughts on my dates with Under the Lights: We get a little heat but for the most part this was a feel good, small-town charm romance that one comes to expect when Shannon Stacey is on the cover. I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading Defending Hearts in October of 2015.
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