Jock Row by Sara Ney is the first novel in the Jock Hard series, and it’s a great kick off from the How to Date a Douchebag Book Series!
Every group of friends has that one girl that’s responsible and takes care of everyone else – in Sara Ney’s latest novel Jock Row that role belongs to Scarlett.
Her friends may be party girls that set their sights on bagging one of the star baseball players but Scarlett just wants to make sure she gets to see her friends without compromising her health.
That’s why Scarlett shows up to a house party at the baseball house dressed snugly in a heavy sweater, jacket, and scarf – hardly party attire. It’s no shocker that the guys at the party immediately peg her for being a party pooper but no one was expecting them to kick her out for “cock blocking” them.
But kicking Scarlett out of the party ends up being one of the best things in her life. Even though Rowdy Wade, captain of the baseball team, doesn’t live at the house he ends up with the duty of getting rid of Scarlett.
But he wasn’t expecting to be charmed by her witty banter, and he certainly doesn’t expect to looking forward to seeing her every Friday night going forward when she tries to party with her friends.
“I decided to be selfish with her time, to stand out here and try to make her laugh so I can make that dimple appear in her cheek. Not that my friends would have been ecstatic to see her; she would have a shit time inside since Wilson and Fitzgerald are still ten shades of pissed, the fucking tit babies. Bros before hos and all that sexist bullshit.”
Instead of hanging out at the party, Rowdy and Scarlett become acquainted with the front porch and have more fun out there than inside with all the drunken co-eds.
Rowdy and Scarlett’s story was a lot of fun to read, and I’m hardly surprised that I couldn’t put this one down until the end. Even though many of Sara Ney’s fans are sad to see the How to Date a Douchebag series end, the Jock Hard series really feels like a fresh continuation of it. It has everything readers love about the Douchebag series, just with a new batch of athletes and heroines.
The pair have amazing chemistry, it’s a little bit of a nerdy girl meets hot athlete, except Scarlett doesn’t quite meet the nerdy girl mold. She’s definitely protective of her friends, and a tiny bit conservative compared to some other girls, but she’s also really down to earth and just comfortable in her own skin. Honestly, it’s not really surprising that Rowdy is mesmerized by her – even if his friends don’t totally get it.
Rowdy starts of somewhat of a jerk, which is sure to remind fans of the Douchebag series. Though, he’s much quicker to warm up to Scarlett and break down that rough exterior than some of the characters we’ve seen in the past from Sara Ney.
And actually, I loved that about this book. It seemed really genuine that a guy would be a bit show-offy in front of his friends at the party and then turn around to be a total softy when he meets his match. For readers that may be put off by guys with bad attitudes this also means they won’t be dismayed by Rowdy’s actions.
“‘I’m not a mind reader, Scarlett – if there’s another reason you come here every Friday night, you’ll have to spell it out for me.’ We size each other up, like two gunslingers reaching for their six-shooters, neither willing to bend. I don’t know what he wants me to say, and I refuse to be the first one to admit to…whatever this is I’m feeling. It’s way too soon.”
Though Scarlett is the one that keeps going back to the party house with her friends, it’s very clear that Rowdy is the one falling head over heels. It doesn’t even cross Scarlett’s mind that he might be interested, meanwhile Rowdy purposely puts himself out there to keep seeing Scarlett.
The fact that they’re both unsure of what their friendship/flirting really means draws out the tension in the book. Neither of them plays games with the other, but they’re not willing to come outright with their feelings either.
It was actually a pleasant surprise to find out that much of what I’ll call the conflict comes from the start of the novel. I’ve come to expect a certain flow from romance novels, and there’s usually something that tears the couple apart for a while. But Sara Ney just ignored this standard and I didn’t mind it one bit.
Instead most of the novel just focused on the couple going through the steps of figuring out what they mean to one another. As well as sorting out their emotional attraction to one another and how that affects their physical attraction to one another. Plus, learning how to make time for one another with their busy schedules and making each other a priority after being single for so long.
I wouldn’t say that this is my favorite novel from Sara Ney, but it’s a really great start to a new series. There’s no doubt in my mind that the next novel will end up being even better and I can’t wait to see what it will be!