Series: Love, Philly, #2
Release Date: June 4th, 2021
Her mother – the dutiful daughter, the seamless distraction for her troubled brother.
That was the old Lily and there had been no sight of her in nearly a year.
Enter Knight West, home for the duration of his off-season, all too willing to make this city their court for a little one on one. There was just one catch: she had to pick up the ball and meet him at half court. It was the only way he could shred her defense, play by play. Good thing, Liliana Carter never missed a tip-off.
“Before you were the league’s first pick, you were mine.”
I think I could read anything and everything Sonia Esperanza writes and never tire of her wonderful mind. The Tipoff is the second book in the Love, Philly series and it follows childhood sweethearts getting a second chance at what makes their lives complete. And Sonia delivers it in an absolutely beautiful and unique way. I heard the term ‘soft romance’ in regards to Sonia and let me just say that it’s so fitting. I read and loved Hijacked, which featured a soft alpha male and in The Tipoff, we’re introduced to another soft alpha male and it’s so wonderful. But it’s not even about the men in her stories, it’s the brilliant, beautiful, tough, independent, smart and generous women that make up her stories.
Liliana Carter is an incredible character. From how passionate she is about her job to the mission she’s set herself on, she’s so wonderful. She’s single-minded and she’s not going to let anything get in the way of her achieving that one goal. But beyond that, she’s been through so much and she holds her head up high even when she’s not feeling her best, she doesn’t back down just because that’s what’s expected of her after many rejections. Lily is powerful and from the moment you meet her, you fall in love with her.
“Liliana Carter was the universe; she was the sole reason my axis rotated.”
And then there’s Knight West. My god. I thought Hector was swoony, but Knight takes the cake and the whole bakery too. He is so soft, guys, it’s unbelievable. He’s a professional basketball player who has the entire world in the palm of his giant hands. Knight could be a sex symbol and charmer and a player, but he’s the opposite. Yes, he’s a bit of an alpha male, but he’s the softest, kindest, most genuine alpha male I’ve ever read. Knight’s whole purpose is to love his family and to love Lily, nothing else will ever come close. Not even basketball.
While the story is about Lily and Knight’s love, it’s got an even more powerful message. After the loss of her brother to drug addiction, Lily’s goals in life have changed. She was set to marry Knight, become Lily West and start a big life with him. But now she’s changed her plans. She’s going to get drugs off the street and do whatever it takes to provide and protect those who are dealing with what her brother went through. And in order to make it happen, she needs to let go of everything else in her life – which includes Knight.
“I loved you from chapter one and I’ll be loving you long after the book ends.”
I love how even though Knight is distraught at how things ended for them, he’s not going to stop her from achieving her goal. For Knight, helping Lily get to the finish line is all that matters. It’s 100% support from the moment he comes home and he’s not going to stop till she’s able to get what she wants. His love for Lily is the only thing that’s kept him going and he’s not going to walk away without making sure she’s absolutely okay. I swear, Knight is currently one of my favourite heroes. It’s not even that he just does whatever Lily wants, he knows what she wants and he prempts it, making her both happy and frustrated in equal measure. Their love is not young, it’s deep and passionate and all consuming, and that means that eventually, everything will work out. And Knight believes that too. He pushes Lily, irritates and frustrates her, he shows up when she doesn’t want him, he’s doing things without her asking – it’s all so beautiful and so poetic. I just wanted to snuggle Knight and protect him from everything else.
The Tipoff, much like Hijacked, is 100% a soft romance. I cried a few times, I felt the emotions deep in my soul and I wanted to wrap up all these characters in a fleece blanket to keep them away from harm. If you look beyond the powerful message, the brilliant main characters and incredible supporting characters – Sonia Esperanza’s writing is what will captivate you. It’s like poetry, no lie. She weaves a story through feelings and emotions, senses and scents, and it flows so seamlessly. I am completely in awe.
Thanks to Sonia Esperanza for generously providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.