Review: “Blind Side” by Kandi Steiner

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: June 15th, 2022

Add to Goodreads | Amazon (Available on KU)

CW: parental abandonment, mentions of drug abuse, minor blackmail

The hottest college football safety in the nation just asked me to be his fake girlfriend.

And I just asked him to take my virginity.


Clay Johnson has the abs of Adonis and the deadly smirk of the devil, himself. There’s hardly a day he’s not headline material during football season, and never a day he isn’t a bullseye target for every girl on campus.

He used to be the easiest of all the players for me to wrangle as the Public Relations Coordinator, but after a nasty breakup with his high school sweetheart, he’s a mess.

And a complete pain in my ass.

We meet to discuss his behavior and review media relations standards. But when he witnesses how I fall to pieces in front of my guitar-toting crush, his wheels start turning. And he cooks up this absurd plan.

He helps me get noticed.
I help him make his ex jealous.
All by pretending to be in a relationship.

What he doesn’t realize is that this bookworm is a virgin, and far from versed in seducing a musician. So, to sweeten the deal, I convince him to help me — not just to get my crush’s attention, but to knock his socks off once I have it.

But the more I come unraveled at the hands of Clay Johnson, the more trouble I have discerning what’s fake and what’s undoubtedly real — particularly, the way my heart flutters every time that breathtaking man touches me.

We set the rules. We put the safeguards in place.

But they say rules are meant to be broken.
They probably should have added that hearts are, too.

 

“You don’t want to be someone’s muse. You want to be someone’s undoing. And let me tell you, Kitten…You’re mine.”

I spent the last few hours staring at my notes for this review, because where does one even begin when reviewing a brilliant Kandi Steiner book? I’m still gathering my thoughts, so I’m gonna miss stuff and there’s a good chance this sounds like gibberish at the end.

When I was reading Fair Catch, I was convinced that Holden was going to be next and I was disappointed that he wasn’t. But then Kandi released the blurb and cover for this book and I was SOLD. I mean…the eyes and cheekbones on this man. Oof. Then we got so many great tropes tied together and in true Kandi style, she delivered it with a punch straight to my feels. I didn’t expect my emotions to be so intense, but here we are.

Fake dating is my kryptonite. It’s a trope that I will read anytime and have been disappointed by many a time too. And of course, when it’s put in place to get the attention of other people or to make someone aware of what they lost or whatever, it does bother me. But the way Kandi crafted Giana and Clay’s relationship really won me over. It’s Kandi, she can do no wrong, so I put my favourite trope in her hands and was treated to absolute magic. Speaking of Giana and Clay, my god! There’s something about the awkward, shy, quiet girl and the popular jock coming together and falling in love that just gets to me. I don’t know what it is, but it’s catnip and I loved every minute of this.

“If this was the only way I could ever have her… I was thankful. I’d take every stolen moment, every fake kiss, every lesson she’d let me teach her.”

Giana and Clay are so wonderful, but before I get to their romance, lemme just take a minute to talk about them. Giana is a shy, quiet, middle child who likes living a quiet and attention free life, but in college she’s decided to step outside the box a little and got herself a job as PR for the football team. And she’s really good at what she does. Giana is incredibly endearing and also very relatable—haven’t we all had a crush on the hot musician at our favourite hangout spot? Then there’s Clay. I love that while he’s everyone’s favourite football player and is a stud and women love him, he’s been incredibly loyal to his girlfriend of many years (till she broke his heart) and even after that, he didn’t go around sleeping with random women. He’s got all the makings of a hot and popular jock, but with so much more to offer. And the fact that he’s got such a big heart, loves his friends and puts everyone else first just makes you love him even more!

Their relationship? I think that requires an entire review on it’s own. They already have this working relationship/connection that’s grown into friendship and through it all, the desire and feelings start to grow. It’s such a natural progression of how their relationship evolves and I loved every minute of it. Their physical relationship is…oof, Kandi went all out. There’s lessons! Clay is teaching Giana to learn herself and him in the process and it’s beautiful. Also, praise kink! Didn’t know this was something I was into, but here we are. I really enjoyed all of the times that they ‘learned together’, because it really showed a growth for both characters. And not to be left behind, THE CONSENT IN THIS BOOK. Just *chef’s kiss* But you know what I liked more? Yes, the steam was STEAMY and beautiful. But it was how deeply these characters knew each other and were there for each other through the good and the bad. That was really special.

“You love to study so much, Kitten… study me.”

I love this group of friends so much. Riley, Zeke and Holden brought their awesome selves to this story. Riley was especially brilliant with Giana and their bond, I want more! Holden is still my favourite of these boys and the way he just kept stepping in and checking on Clay throughout the book made my heart flutter. I just wanted more Holden all the damn time! And now he’s finally getting his book and I CANNOT WAIT.

This book just…there’s romance novels, there’s lots of great humour, there’s fantastic amounts of friendship and there’s some hard parts to swallow, there’s some jealousy and ‘hurt her and I will kill you’ vibes, there’s lots of football and emotions and feelings. Blind Side is everything that you expect from Kandi Steiner, but with so much more. It’s like she’s making it her mission to go beyond and give us something so spectacular, we’re left wanting. And I am. Desperately.

Thanks to Valentine PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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