Played (Gridiron, #4) by Jen Frederick
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance, Sports
Format: e-ARC
Source: the publicist

She's been playing it close…

Ara Martin and college football star Ty Masters have been best friends since the first day of school when Ty literally ran her over. She fell for him immediately, but having lived under the shadow of her famous father, she knows a relationship with irresistible Ty would only end in heartbreak. For four years, she’s kept her feelings hidden. But one drunken encounter weeks before graduation is about to expose Ara’s biggest secret and destroy her most treasured relationship. 

He’s been playing for keeps…

Ty is about to be drafted into the NFL, but his personal life is a mess. He’s got an agent he doesn’t like, a brother who can’t stop offering his opinion, and a beautiful woman he craves but can’t have. He can fire his agent and ignore his brother, but he’s not sure what to do about Ara. Ty’s been able to run down every quarterback he’s faced, but his sexy, stubborn best friend keeps slipping through his fingers.

Luckily, he's not one for giving up, and once he gets his hands on her, he's never letting go.

*Note:   This book was provided to The Book Hookup by the author via the publicist but that did not in any way influence this review!

This is a sweet friends-to-more story that will capture your heart and leave you with a smile on your face.  If you’ve read the other books in this series, you’ve already met Ty.  He’s Knox’s twin brother and I was very happy when I heard he was getting his own story.  Not only did I get to know and understand him better but I also got to see Knox again which was great.  Even though they’re twins and impossible to tell apart, this story showed me that, on the inside at least, they are very different people.  Ty has a deep desire to be his own person and make his own decisions.  And, even though they’re not always the best ones, he’s willing to take the chance so that he can be seen as an individual and not as part of a pair.  The interactions between the brothers was great and I loved seeing a family that was not dysfunctional, as is so common on books right now, but who truly had each others’ backs.

But, let’s not spend any more time on that.  After all, this story is about Ty and Ara.  I loved them as friends and I loved them as a couple.  I really enjoyed seeing how much their friendship meant to each of them and how, even though they felt more for one another, they were reluctant to act on it because they knew they couldn’t live without each other’s friendship.  This story really showed the struggle they went through in making the decision to pursue more from their relationship and it was done very well.  I liked how sassy Ara was.  And, even though she had a tendency to run and hide from her feelings for Ty, she could also be strong when she needed to be.  Of course, I loved Ty as well.  He was swoony, sexy, and fun.  And, once he gave in to his feelings for Ara…well…be still my heart!  The chemistry between these two was hot, hot, hot!

These characters made some big decisions about their futures, their careers, and their friendship in this story.  The underlying subplot of being seen as your own person and making your own way in the world was very true to life and I enjoyed watching Ty and Ara make those decisions.  And, of course, I loved their romance.  Overall, this is a good addition to the Girdiron series and I’m looking forward to whatever Ms. Frederick will bring us next!

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