After a successful first soccer season in L.A, Jesse Shaw heads to London with his best buddy, Hunter, but his world is turned upside down when a dangerous prank threatens his career and his blossoming relationship with Hunter’s cousin, Isabelle.
Isabelle Mills lives in Notting Hill with her parents and her twin sister, Georgia. When she finds out her cousin is coming to stay, along with his famous soccer player friend, her first instinct is to hibernate until they’ve gone. However, once she meets Jesse, everything changes. He’s everything she ever wanted, but with so many obstacles in their path, can she really risk putting her heart on the line?
I'll be honest, when Kyra told me I could have an advance copy of Blindsided to review for her blog tour, I may have made some inappropriate squealing noises. Just a few, and they were very quiet. OK, sort of quiet. For all values of quiet that equal loud.
That's a colorful way of saying I was excited for this book. I liked Game On, but the real stars of it, for me, were the secondary characters: Freya, Bryce, Miguel… and Jesse. I liked Jesse a lot. Now, to be fair, I already knew Kyra was writing his story, but I don't think that would have changed my opinion of him at all. He's the sweet side of the team, the complete contrast to Radleigh McCoy's brash cockiness. He was endearing and showed a lot of potential in the first book, so I was really looking forward to getting his story.
And I wasn't disappointed. Jesse developed into a fantastic character in this book, the kind of guy everyone should have in their lives. Sure, he has some flaws--what 18-year-old doesn't?--but, when it counts, he's the guy you want to depend on. He's smart, he's kind, and when push comes to shove, he always has your back. But he's also got his priorities in pretty good shape. He knows that he needs to take care of himself because his career depends on it. He may get exasperated by his family, but he clearly loves them too. At times he may be a little too perfect, but the end result is an all-around good guy that you're going to root for no matter what.
Both Radleigh and Leah make appearances in this book. Leah's pretty much the same from Game On, and I liked seeing her relationship with Jesse expanded upon. She's sort of a big sister/second mother to him, and it suits her. Radleigh's a little different than the last book, and I think being in a committed relationship with Leah has really changed his character for the better. It's like the nicer parts of his character were magnified, and the more offensive parts were diminished. His relationship with Jesse is a little more complicated than Leah's, and it was nice to see Jesse waver between hero-worship, slight resentment, and ultimately true friendship.
As for the new characters, I loved them all (you know, except the ones you're really not supposed to love). The main one is Isabelle, who was really a wonderful match for Jesse. She was sweet, insecure, and relatable. I think everyone has some aspect of Isabelle in them. As soon as their romantic interest is established, I was rooting for them. And even when she made decisions I didn't necessarily agree with, I still liked her, which isn't always the case with some characters.
So short summary: If you liked Game On, go read Blindsided. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I thought this book was even stronger than the first, and I can't wait to see where the series goes next. The only complaint I had was that it ended too soon.
Kyra Lennon was born on the South coast of England, and to this day, still lives by the sea. After years spent working in retail, where she met enough versatile characters to write hundreds of books, she finally took the plunge and quit her day job. Kyra's debut novel, Game On, was released in July 2012. While fiction writing has always been her passion, she also has numerous articles on a variety of topics published on prolific websites. Check out her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.