by Shannon Stacey
Series: Boys of Fall #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
I totally agree with you about the cover. I thought this was a new adult book when I picked it up and even when I read the summary. I liked this one. I loved how the town was there for the team and coach, but I don’t the romance in this one fell a little flat for me. I’m not really sure why because I liked the characters, but I was just a little bored. Still liked the book though, just not as much as I was hoping.
Great review Kimba!
I haven’t heard of this author, but the small town romance is appealing to me-I used to read a lot of them. I may have to check this one out-thanks 🙂
I love mixing them in since they are usually low on angst and I just love the settings
Contemporary is not really my thing, but I really want to read this book now. It sounds like it is a cute romance full of swoon. I’ll definitely be adding this to my TBR.
I think small-town romance has a different vibe then straight up contemporary.
Great review! I will put this on my to read shelf.
Enjoy Cindy. I love a good small-town romance from time to time 🙂
I read a couple of the Kowalski books & need to catch up. This new book & series is definitely on my list! Great review!
I plan to read them, but you know how it is. 🙂
A. P. Bullard
I’m not sure that I would really enjoy this story, but I absolutely loved your review of it!
Thank you 🙂
Sports romances generally make it to my TBR list. Thanks for the post!
Enjoy Angela 🙂
The cover kinda gives me the highschool young adult vibe. Nice review missy^^
Yep that is what I thought at first too
I love a sweet small town romance! It’s so wonderful when an author can paint a picture in your mind. I haven’t read anything by Shannon Stacey, but it sounds like I should! Great Review Kim 🙂
I like when they do that too Lindy, plus I enjoy getting to know the secondary characters and eventually getting their story.
This sounds really nice. Small-town romances never get old! I love that there’s baggage and leaps of faith involved 🙂 Great review, Kimba!
Yeah I love the small-town dynamics especially as a series
I liked his tactic about her being the coach’s daughter. Sounds like a sweet fun, small town romance. My favorite kind, aside from the baggage and bumps.
Yes, he kept repeating it..LOL
This is my next read. I love Shannon Stacey and I’m getting into the small town romance mood again.
I hope you like it Jennifer. I love small-town romance and try to weave them in
small town romance books are necessary for warm summer months. I’m adding this one to my TBR!
Yes..the do call to me more on warmer days
Always good when characters can work through baggage and have a sweet story to share. Hugs…
Yes, and it wasn’t drawn out 🙂
Yes, I thought that about the cover too. I’ve been meaning to try her books too so being a new series this is appeal as is the small town romance.
Yeah I have so many series on my want to read list and some have 10 or more books in them, so diving into a new series just made sense,
This one does sound sweet and captivating. Thanks for sharing….
Anytime Laurel 🙂
I liked this review. You don’t always need a lot of heat for a good love story. I’ll check this author out.
I agree. I love weaving in these small-town, feel good romances into my tbr pile
Quinn's Book Nook
I actually won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway (seriously I was so surprised because I don’t win things ever!) and I’m excited to give it a try because I’ve been loving sports romances lately. But I have also read a Stacey novel that I wasn’t madly in love with either. So I hope I like it. I glad you enjoyed it.
Congrats, I hope you like this one more Quinn
This sounds like a perfect summer read. I love small town romances and feel good story lines so this sounds perfect for me!
I enjoy mixing them in to Katherine. To me they are like visiting home, especially the series where I get to know all the characters.
This sounds like a great weekend read, bumps, drama, and all. 🙂
Perfect Sunday afternoon read Ali
I love small-town romances with good secondary characters 🙂
Me too and of course now I am curious about the secondary characters 🙂
Sounds cute 🙂
It was, thanks Linda!
Lover Of Romance
oh wonderful thoughts on this one. I love the sounds of it…and I adore sport theme romances…lately I have really gotten hooked on them, so this is one I will have to check out.
This was a sweet one
sports stories are quite fun to read. the name of the author does ring a bell but I don’t know if I have read a book by her. In any case it’s great that the new series is that good again! great review!
She writes small-town family series Melliane