Monday, August 7, 2023

REVIEW: Second Down Darling by Lex Martin

Title: Second Down Darling
Author: Lex Martin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Single Dad/Forbidden Romance
Release Date: August 7, 2023


 I am such a sucker for this series. The second I download the newest book, I inhale it, which is exactly what I did with Second Down Darling. This novel featured Charlie (a friend of Maggie's in The Baby Blitz) and Jake; she's been crushing on him since high school, even though he's totally off limits (due to his one night stand with her sister, resulting in his son). Case closed, novel over. Yeah right. Never ever is that easy, and why would we want it to be? 

On the surface, anyone can see why Charlie and Jake being in a relationship would be a huge no-no. He has a son with her sister and that just seems so weird and confusing, right? Well the way that Lex Martin builds their world, you never feel that weirdness. As a matter of fact, it feels absolutely natural and right that Charlie and Jake be together, despite the initial SMH-ness of it. Charlie's been nothing but respectful of Jake and the 'relationship' he tried to forge with her sister, for the sake of his son. As a matter of fact, when she realizes that her unrelenting crush is potentially damaging for all involved, she removes herself from the situation. Fast forward two years, and Jake and Charlie end up in the same town, despite her ghosting everyone from home. As their story builds and you get to know them, you can't help but want things to work for them both. Charlie and Jake are genuinely good people trying to do the best they can with what they have. 

As with all of the Varsity Dads, it's never an easy journey to a happily ever after. There's fear, desperation, and hope all wrapped up in football and parenthood and the relationships they're all involved with/in, as they all look ahead to trying to achieve their dreams. And while each of these couples have different challenges, I love that I know they're going to get it all figured out and dreams will come true by the end of it all. Lex Martin never leaves me in that anxious angsty-ness for too long, and always gives me more than enough of an ending (and those extra epilogues are the best for really closing things out and giving each couple a sense of finality). Second Down Darling is a great escape and the perfect way to wait for regular season football to start. 


Jake’s my best friend and first love. There’s just one problem—he belongs to my sister.

I’ve been crushing on Jake for years, but never had the guts to tell him. One drunken night with my sister and two pink lines later, and he’s lost to me forever.

She doesn’t care that I met Jake Ramirez first. That he and I were best friends first. That I fell in love with him first. Because what my sister wants, my sister gets.

When she video-calls me and Jake accidentally walks by in the buff, something in me snaps.

Transferring to a different college might seem like a copout, but I have to get away from Jake and my sister before I say or do something I’ll regret. In an act of desperation, I ghost my old life.

For the next two years, everything is great—until I come face-to-face with Jake and his son, who my sister abandoned.

Jake’s the new wide receiver at my school, and he wants nothing to do with me, which is fine because I plan to keep my distance. Except we’re thrown together in the most dire circumstances that bring back all those old feelings.

They say everyone deserves a second chance, but my heart can’t handle breaking one more time.

Second Down Darling is an angsty, friends-to-lovers, forbidden romance, featuring a sexy single dad who’s a down-and-out college football player and a nerdy girl determined to overcome her wallflower ways. It has major second chance vibes and lots of steam! Second Down Darling is a dual POV standalone in the USA Today-bestselling series Varsity Dads.



Free in Kindle Unlimited


Lex Martin is the USA Today bestselling author of The Varsity Dad Dilemma, the Texas Nights series, and the Dearest series, books she hopes readers love but her parents avoid. A former high school English teacher and freelance journalist, she resides in Texas with her husband, twin daughters, and a bunny named Dandelion.



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