Long Shot: A Hoops Novel by Kennedy Ryan
Narrated by Sean Crisden and Jo Raylan
Emotional Sports Romance. Standalone in a Related Series.
I finished reading Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan a few weeks ago but have fallen behind on reviews, and honestly, I felt like my words can not do this book justice. Normally I would have mostly forgotten a book by now and have to rely on my notes. But not Long Shot. This book stuck with me and will stick with me for a long, long time to come. Sports romances are not usually my favorite, but when I saw that Long Shot won a RITA, and I realized I had never read Kennedy Ryan, I grabbed it without even reading the blurb, thinking it would be a light sports romance.
I was so wrong. Long Shot deserved that RITA, that’s for sure! This was no light read by any stretch, it was a raw and powerful reading/listening experience that will break you. It will tear you apart. But I PROMISE, you will be healed in the end. And it’s a journey you NEED to take. There will not be any spoilers here, so I apologize if this review feels more vague than usual. You need to experience it yourself.
“The heart speaks in whispers, but sometimes by the time we listen, it’s too late.”
When Iris and August meet, something special sparks between them. That rare connection that some people are lucky to experience once in their life. Sadly, the timing was off for them, but they never stopped thinking of each other.
“A woman who can talk sports and talk trash? A fucking sparkling unicorn. She gives as good as she gets, this one.”
Iris and August are both biracial, and I loved the diversity and the connection they had – they both felt like they didn’t belong in any group. Iris being from NOLA also added an element I really enjoyed throughout the story. Katrina’s aftermath and some of the native ‘magic’ was woven through the story.
“If you were mine, Iris there would be no doubt what position you’d hold in my life. You’d be center. I’d play you at the five.”
August was amazing, possibly a little too good to be true, but that’s OK, this story needed that bright spot of GOODNESS from August. Iris started so strong, but due to the circumstances, she seemed to lose a lot of that strength. But it’s so easy to judge from the outside until you walk in someone’s shoes. Well, Long Shot allowed us to do that, and we realize that Iris’s strength grew through the story, and she found the inner strength to deal with some of the darkest, most heinous things anyone should ever experience.
“I fear that I, like them, will not live to regret it.”
This was not a fast read, despite it being hard to put down. You may need to at times. It was not an easy read. It was long, it was detailed, it was emotional and it was dark. But it was EPIC.
“Strength. Dignity. Courage. All these things belong to you. Take them back. Your soul is yours. Your heart is yours. Your body is yours. Yours to keep and yours to share.”
August and Iris fight through hell and fire to get to each other, but you never doubt them. Despite every roadblock, you know that special connection will be rekindled, and it makes what could be a depressing book, a hopeful and epic romance that spans years.
“Life isn’t a road that forks or a line of numbered sliding doors. There is no alternate universe filled with only right choices. There’s just this one-just this life, and we go where our choices take us and grow wiser from our mistakes.”
You will be shocked. You will hurt. You will pray. You will be so angry. But you will carry the hope throughout. Long Shot was paced so well, and though it was long, I didn’t feel like there was one word that was excessive. It was a beautifully told, important novel that covered so many relevant issues and it was wrapped up in a sports romance bow.
- So much more than I ever thought it was.
- Amazingly well-written and paced.
- Diverse characters.
- I experienced every emotion while reading, from mushy love, to outrage, to anger, to hope.
- I loved August so much!
- Some great side characters.
- Covered a lot of important social issues without ever feeling lessony.
- Helped the average person understand how a strong, independent woman can lose her way in such a horrible manner.
- I feel like the cover and blurb don’t really fit the epicness of the story.
I’ve only heard these narrators on 1-2 books in the past, and it was wonderful to hear voices outside the regular 5-6 narrators I hear so often. I thought Sean Crisden and Jo Raylan were perfect for this book and I clicked both narrators to look for other books by them.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 5 Stars, 4 Heat, 5 Narration