Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: Social Butterfly PR, Kindle Unlimited
There was something about that first score, and not just on the football field.
I loved all of life's firsts, which was why I’d been saving mine for one girl, my older sister’s best friend — Hazel Jones.
She was tough and sarcastic with walls around her heart as tall as a football stadium, but I knew she was the one for me.
Desperate times called for desperate measures and I’d have done anything to make her mine.
Like create a fake online persona.Lie about my age.Pretend I wasn’t some naive virgin.
And catfish the hell out of the love of my life.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but it doesn’t influence my opinion of the book nor the contents of this review in any way.
I’m writing this at 1 am, absolutely in a panic because I realized two hours ago that I needed to have this review scheduled for today’s tour stop… and I hadn’t read the book! I threw myself on the bed and frantically opened the book… but luckily, this book was easy and immersive, and exactly what I needed. Moving my blog to this new URL has been a dream. but all the work behind the scenes for the past five days has been exhausting… current events not included. I’ve been in a panic-y, jittery spiral all day, just wound up and needing some soothing, and this book was perfect and drew me right in.
The First Score by Amie Knight follows Oliver Winston Knox, or “Winnie,” as Hazel refers to him, as he’s in the middle of catfishing the girl he’s been in love with since he was five. aka, his sister’s best friend, and one of his closest friends, Hazel. When she mentions an online game she plays and her information within Oliver’s earshot, he decides to give it a go, creating an avatar and fake profile to play with her and talk with her while on the game.
I made a fake name. I lied about my age. I pretended I wasn’t a naive virgin. And I catfished the hell out of the love of my life, my sister’s best friend.
The ruse doesn’t last long, but it goes far enough for both of them to feel awkward when the game is up. This is a glorious unrequited love on both ends, but mostly for Oliver, who has literally been so desperately in love with Hazel for their whole lives, to the point where he’s never been with another woman in his 21 years. Let me say… the virgin hero is a secret love of mine! It’s always such a lovely surprise. Anyway. So he’s never been with a woman but is still a bit of flirt-playboy-college-football-guy to the extent where Hazel has no idea.
Exceptional Friends-to-Lovers slow burn
Oliver’s older sister is Hazel’s best female friend, but Hazel spent a large part of her childhood at their house, so the three of them are all extremely close. I love Oliver and Hazel’s relationship. Their friendship is beautiful, Oliver supports her beautifully, and this offered such a delicious slow-burn, I have to choice but to absolutely adore. Oliver’s been her rock through most of her life, and Hazel comes with some baggage. She’s feisty, funny and a hot mess with relationships, but their friendship and caring for each other came through.
Hazel was an amazing heroine, and Ollie completely stole my heart. He was sweet, caring, understanding, loyal, patient, and funny. He knew his heart and came prepared to fight. I loved that, despite his inexperience, he was confident, flirtatious, and swoon-inducing on his own in a very genuine way when he decides to turn it on. (PS – a virgin male who researches beforehand? It was hot in Caressed by Ice, and it was hot here. Just saying.)
Her favorite thing in the world seemed to be giving me shit.
And still I sought her out like a fool.
Emphasis on Family
Perhaps my favorite part of this book was Hazel’s grandfather, an adorably naughty old man who Hazel has lived with for the second part of her childhood and to date. He was always cooking something up, but the two loved each other so much that I almost cried reading their interactions. Especially because the author noted that this was a nod to the connection she’d had with her own grandfather. ??
I can’t recommend this enough.
If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, I highly recommend you add this to your TBR. It’s a gorgeous romance, an emotional journey, and I fell in love with each of the characters in turn as it progressed. I love that we got to see scenes from their past, and honestly, Ms. Knight did an incredible job writing this one. It offers twists and turns and such a sweet connection that it perfectly lifted me up when I was down. I know I’ll be turning to this author again in the future.
Thank you Social Butterfly PR for the ARC and for the work that you do :) The First Score is available now!