Review: “Personal Foul” by Brooke O’Brien

Author: Brooke O’Brien

Series: Men of Blaze, #1

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐  | Steam: 🔥🔥

Tropes: Sports Romance, Workplace Romance, Coach’s Daughter

Release Date: December 17th, 2020

Goodreads |

Synopsis: Sydney Carr knows better than to mix business with pleasure. She’s had a long, hard road to get to where she is now. She landed her dream job, and she’s not about to risk it all for the newest basketball recruit.

The stakes are high for Colson Rush. When he’s traded to the Miami Blaze, his focus is on one thing—winning. But when he helps a fiery redhead fight off a mugger, he can’t deny the sparks between them. Although she tries, neither can she.

Too bad she’s his new coach’s daughter.

Giving into the temptation is one personal foul neither of them can back down from.

Review: I love books that focus on basketball. I find that so many sports romances lean towards football or hockey, but basketball is such a great sport! And that’s what Personal Foul is about – a really famous and good basketball player, being traded to a different team and settling into life in a new city with a very hot and distracting neighbour who happens to be his colleague. And his coach’s daughter.

Personal Foul is a light, low angst, fluffy romance. I did go in thinking I’d get lots of conflict and angst, but in a way, it was a nice break from all the other angst I was indulging in. Colson Rush has been traded from Denver to Miami and on his first day in the city, he steps in to defend a woman from a thief trying to steal her bag. As far as meet-cutes go, that was pretty cute. But what Colson doesn’t know at the time is that the woman he just saved is Sydney Carr, also his new coach’s daughter.

Sydney, like Colson, is new to the Miami Blaze family. While her father might be the coach, she’s just scored herself a job with the basketball team and she knows that letting herself indulge in a little flirtation with the newest member of the team might be a bad idea. But they’re drawn to each other like moths to a flame and that keeps them constantly coming back for more. Their attraction towards each other needs no explanation, it’s pretty hot.

“You’re one personal foul I’ll never back down from.”

I can’t tell if it’s insta lust or insta love, but the chemistry is pretty great between Colson and Sydney. There’s some amount of sneaking around, because obviously sleeping with the coach’s daughter as soon as you show up is not a good way to set the tone for the rest of the season. But there’s so much more to their relationship. Having lived through a tough childhood, Colson is a little bit of a damaged hero. But not in a bad way. He’s got all this history and these things that he struggles with, it just makes him more relatable and interesting.

Where I really liked Colson, I’m not entirely sure how I felt about Sydney. There felt like a bit of a disconnect between who she was at the start of the book and who she was halfway through. While their chemistry stayed the same and hot as ever, she didn’t win me over. Even with her own struggles, I felt like there was more to Sydney than we got to see. 

Personal Foul is a fun read, there’s no doubt about the entertainment factor. If you’re looking for a light read for the weekend, then this is a good choice. It’s also introduced me to a new author, so I might just dig into Brooke O’Brien’s backlist and see what else she has to offer!

Thanks to Brooke O’Brien and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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