First and Tension by Tara Sivec _ Book Review

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It all started with a dare.

Emily Flanagan has been living her dreams the last four years as a professional cheerleader for the Los Angeles Vipers, thousands of miles away from her tiny hometown of Summersweet Island, Virginia. She’s got the world at the tips of her pom-poms… until she tells her boss to shove those pom-poms where the sun doesn’t shine.

After spending her last night in California with her biggest crush, Emily flies back home to Summersweet, resigned to her boring fate of running her parents’ business, never to be heard from again. Besides, there’s no use crying over a man who lives on the other side of the country, who she’ll never see again.

“Secret love affair for the new quarterback of the Virginia Beach Sharks, or a shocking tale of infidelity, leading all the way back to a birthday party Quinn Bagley threw at his previous home in Calabasas five months ago? New photos of the mystery redhead from the party surface, leaving fans to speculate all over social media, “Who is this woman who convinced Quinn Bagley to quit the Vipers and go to one of the worst teams in the league?”

Quinn Bagley is finally playing for a team that feels like a family, after years of playing with nothing but egos. Following an announcement that shocked the world—one he’d been wrestling with for months, if not years—it felt good to have that weight lifted off his shoulders. What he’s not happy about is that the woman who rocked his world the night she literally fell into his life turned out to be like every other crazy redhead he’s ever encountered, spreading lies all over social media and wanting to use him for something. He just wants to look her in the eyes and hear her admit it was all a game.

Except Emily Flanagan isn’t the hotheaded, rude woman he thought she was, out to screw him over. She’s sweet, sexy, and fun. Even if she does try to banish him from her island. She makes him feel normal, she makes him laugh, and she makes him want more.

He’s going to win her heart, even if he has to do it in overtime.

Let the real games begin, Miss Flanagan. I dare you. 

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

First and Tension by Tara Sivec is the fourth book in the Summersweet Island series. Emily Flanagan is returning to Summersweet Island with her tail between her legs after being fired from her dream job as a cheerleader for the Vipers. She finds a bit of trouble, namely Quinn Bagley, the night before she leaves. Managing her family’s business and wallowing with her girl gang is about all the excitement she gets until rumors start about her and Quinn’s night together. Quinn finds her on the island and the best way to get both their reputations back on track is to pretend to be together. But pretending gets to start feeling all too real and Emily and Quinn are left questioning what they truly mean to each other and how they fit into each other’s drastically different lives. 

Emily Flanagan is amazing. She is a daredevil with a sharp tongue and she knows how to use it. She puts the leader in cheerleader by trying to fight for rights of the female athletes even when it gets her fired. She knows immediately that Quinn is dangerous to her because she feels a sense of safety even when they are pretending to be together. When she finally allows herself to believe that Quinn could be the one the steamy scenes burn up the pages with the sweetness and humor layered in. 

“I want to watch her roll her eyes and snatch my cell phone out of my hand to change the song during one of our runs when she hates the choice I made. I just want her in my life, and I want it to mean something, and I want it all to be real.” 

Quinn Bagley is the ideal balance of alpha quarterback with his take charge yet respectful attitude in the bedroom and a cinnamon roll who just wants to follow Emily around and do her bidding as long as he gets to be around her. He struggles with his strong feelings for Emily and how to get her to trust him. His actions speak loud with his gifts and notes sharing his dreams and secrets. He manages to break down the walls of his strong partner by regularly expressing how she is wonderful just how she is inside and out. 

Sorry. It’s the power of the jersey, beautiful.” Quinn states, my insides getting all warm and gooey whenever he calls me that. “Seeing you wear my name on your back just does something to me.”

I’ve been waiting for this book after the introduction of Emily in the other books and her secret crush on the quarterback of the team she cheers for. This book didn’t disappoint with Sivec’s brand of humor shining through. With the perfect balance of smoking hot intimate scenes and laughter, cheering for Quinn and Emily was just so fun that I couldn’t put the book down. Watching Summersweet Island guys take Quinn in as one of their own made me so happy because they are just so ridiculous (glittering and crafting forever!) and I adore them. 

4.5 stars for the humor and heat that seals the deal for the cheerleader and her quarterback.

—Written by Katie—-

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