Series: San Francisco Strikers #2
Release Date: November 15th, 2022
To me, he’s the arrogant jerk who broke my teenage heart–and my new fake fiancé.
The last time I saw Tim Cheltenham, he was an eighteen-year-old soccer hottie with an irresistible English accent, a painfully gorgeous face, and an enormous . . . ego.
Fifteen years later, with a medical degree under my belt and a new dream job with The Strikers soccer team—his team—I’m not about to let Tim’s bad attitude and grumpy scowl ruin it for me.
But when my chauvinistic boss implies that he doesn’t trust single women to stay on the job long-term, I panic and tell him I’m engaged. And to my surprise, it’s Tim who comes to my rescue, offering to play my fake fiancé if I’ll do him a favor–cover up the truth about his injury.
The lie could derail both our careers, and I’ve got no desire to spend more time than necessary in Tim’s surly presence. And falling for him again? Ha! That’s never going to happen.
So with my job on the line, I say yes. Now, the more time I spend with Tim, the more I sense a softer side beneath those chiseled muscles and broody exterior. But the more I understand him, the harder it is to pretend that we’re just for show.
And when a rival player threatens to expose our secret, I’m terrified I’ll lose everything.
They say you have to fake it to make it. But what happens when love is the goal?
“In other words, the perfect storm of attraction—a gin-soaked rag, a jerry can of lighter fluid, and a flame. Match. Strike. Boom.”
Ah, Tim Cheltenham, how are you not real? While not a big fan of football (aka soccer), I was really excited when Stacy announced this series. I love the little glimpses we got of Charlie too, because that was my first Stacy Travis book and it still holds a special place in my heart. Jordan and Tim were so great together, their relationship with each other and the way they see the other—absolutely perfect.
In He’s A Player, you’ll find:
✨ a second chance
✨ sports romance
✨ fake engagement
✨ forced proximity
✨ football player x physical therapist
✨ slow burn
✨ he falls first
✨ so much pining!
When an exchange program brings these two together as teenagers, Jordan and Tim allow themselves to feel everything for each other. Except, the other never knows. And when Jordan makes Tim an offer that catches him off guard, he makes a run for it. Tim’s actions hurt Jordan and neither of them think they’ll see each other again. Fast forward to 15 years later and Tim’s playing for the Strikers and Jordan’s just come on as their new physical therapist, putting them both in each other’s proximity for the first time since that fated night. There’s sparks, there’s utter chaos and there’s all of these unrequited feelings that neither of them are willing to talk about. But at the crux of it all, there’s a chance for more.
“You’re the one who got away. The one I always compared everyone else to. The fantasy. And when I saw you again…I was outmatched.”
Stacy has a really incredible way of crafting these well-rounded characters in 300something pages and I’m not sure how she does it. We see so much of their lives and understand so much about who these people are that makes us fall in love with them. Jordan and Tim have to jump through all of the hoops to find their footing, not just with each other, but in their own careers. I loved how Tim always seemed to be there to help Jordan when she needed it, even when she wasn’t expecting him to show up. I enjoyed watching these two navigate their history and reconnect through this something new.
The fake dating aspect was so fun. While I didn’t love their reasons for getting into this mess, I did enjoy watching them go through the motions of figuring out what works and what doesn’t. They go from being frustrated with each other to building a friendship and a working relationship that then becomes something more. The moment their relationship shifts into something more, my heart exploded. The feelings between these two and the constant pining and the unrequited love for so long all culminates into something so beautiful.
And now that I’ve seen who the next book is about, I am even more excited to keep reading this incredible series!
Thanks to Stacy Travis for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.