Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Jockblocked, the second book in the Jen Frederick's Gridiron series that had me hooked with the first book, Sacked. The reason I read Sacked was because the hero, Knox was a virgin. I'll read any book that has a virgin hero, especially one who isn't ashamed of his lack of sexual experience, and he keeps his purity all for that one special woman he plans on spending the rest of his life with in the bonds of holy matrimony. Sacked was one of my favorite books of 2015, and Knox one of my favorite heroes also. Jockblocked returns to this world a few months after Sacked ends. This time the hero isn't a virgin, and more of a serial dater, but a lovable one. Yes, Matty has had his share of sexual escapades, but not along the lines of a Walking STD or the good old Duke of Slut trope. That's reserved for the secondary male cast, Matty's football brother in arms who are all about sex, sex and more sex to the point I was surprised they could still walk because of all the sex they were getting, which in some cases, 2-3 girls a day (in the case of Ace, the heroine's best friend from childhood who comes across as a spoiled brat, which will be interesting to see if he's redeemed, especially if he gets his own book).
All the talk of sex or amount of sex aside, Jockblocked hooked me almost as much as Sacked did. I really thought I wouldn't be on Team Matty because I was so smitten with Knox. But Jen proved me wrong. Matty is such a teddy bear, someone you want to snuggle with, and put in your pocket. His courtship of Lucy is very sweet and endearing. The way Matty treats and respects Lucy is what makes this book special. Matty is also a man with a great deal of integrity. He's loyal to a fault, especially when it comes to his teammates and their feelings. This is shown when his coach, a ball buster of a power trip type of man dangles a carrot in front of Matty's face. Matty has a chance at being the captain of the team, but has to convince Ace, their star player and quarterback to step aside and play a different position because of a possible incoming student who's much better. Matty hates to do this because if he doesn't, his coach can make his life miserable, and possibly blackball him from playing football.
Lucy doesn't have a high opinion of football players in general. She thinks they're all dogs, as in having sex with nameless women. She's a very dedicated student, and lives and breathes practicing mock trials. She's also diabetic, so she's careful with what she eats. Her introduction to Matty happens at a cafe. Matty seems out of place, especially with his glasses. But after they chat, he proves her initial opinion of him wrong. He has no idea she's good friends with Ace. That relationship doesn't matter to him. He wants to get to know Lucy better because she made a great impression on him. And even though Lucy doesn't have time to date or humor him, Matty doesn't care. His courtship of Lucy is now off and running.
Jockblocked is about Matty chasing Lucy, but he's careful in how he does it. He's not too aggressive or domineering. He's more of a beta than an alpha, and a smooth talker. He keeps the lines of communication open with Lucy even after she finds out about him and his plan for Ace. Lucy gives Matty his chance, and they both are rewarded in many delightful ways.
Jen can write killer, smoking, blush inducing sex scenes. There is one love scene between Matty and Lucy toward the end that had me laughing so hard. It involved Lucy's glucose levels because of her diabetes. She swallows something of Matty's that could skyrocket her glucose, or so Matty thinks, and becomes very concerned because of it. That scene was too funny for naughty words.
The sights and sounds of college life is great here, down to the locker room, and the study groups. Also the bar scene, and even something as simple as roommates hanging out together is extremely well done. The one downside was all the mention of sex, and how Matty's teammates are way too obsessed with getting it. Were these guy dropping Viagra every hour? I wish that was toned down a bit, because some of the talk about the women they've been with, especially by Ace was a big turn off, and very crude and disrespectful. But I was still so involved with the story that it didn't ruin it for me. Matty and Lucy made it well worth it.
There's not many college setting New Adult romances I can recommend, but this book, and this series is one of them.