Today I’m writing another series review in which I tell you my feelings of the overall series and then I go into mini reviews for each of the installments explaining what worked and didn’t work for me personally. As always, my reivews are spoiler free so you can read my thoughts on each book and not be spoiled.
AS A WHOLE
This is a special series since they are all companion novels, they all take place at the same time, they all follow a different character and they are all written by a different author, so you can read them in any order you want.
They have the same setting though: we are following the three “kings of football” River (from The Revenge Pact), Crew (The Romantic Pact) and Hollis (The Relationship Pact). They were the most popular college students in campus, and I write were becuase their last football season went horribly wrong and they all pretty much sucked. In each book, we explore the reason why their game wasn’t the strongest, and also their love story of couse.
I think this is one of my favorites new-adult romance series I’ve read. It contains many romance tropes that I adore but to judge this series as a whole is quite difficult since each one has a diferent writer and you can really tell. The writing style, the depth and complexity of the characters and themes tackled in the books varies from story to story. I think River’s and Crew’s stories are definitely the strongest. However I didn’t like Holli’s stroy for reasons I’ll get to in a minute. Since you don’t need Holli’s story to read and enjoy the other two though, I would recommend giving the series a chance.
The Revenge Pact (Kings of football #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills
This was so much fun. It features the enemies-to-lovers trope, which I love, but I also think it’s hard to pull off so I don’t always like how it’s develeoped. In this case though, I thought it was great. Since River is constantly avoiding Anastasia, it makes sense for her to think that he dislikes her. The few encounters they have he’s alwasys stiff and kind of rude, so even though we know from River’s perspective that he does this because he wants to get her out of his mind, I totally see where Anastasia is coming from.
This also features the trope in which one character tutors the other; in this case Anastasia helps River in one of his classes because he is dyslexic, and also has dyscalculia and ADHD and is struggling with a particular assignment. I was really impressed with how well this was handled. There were many touches all throughout the story that showed us how River deals with this and the adjustments he has made in his life.
I thought they had amazing chemistry as a couple, the relationship once it eventually gets going is really sweet, athough a little clingy for my taste but I overall enjoyed reading about them a lot.
This also dealt with some dark subjects like cancer, homlessness, sexual assault and abuse. Definitely keep that in mind before going in.
The only reason this isn’t a full 5 star read for me is becuase I didn’t completely love how the whole situation with Anastasia’s boyfriend was handled. I don’t know how I would have done it differently, but I didn’t love it.
The Romantic Pact (Kings of football #2) by Meghan Quinn
This is a new favorite romance of all time. I’ve now read two books by Meghan Quinn and I have gieven both of them 5 stars, she is a new favorite author for sure.
This features so many incredible romance tropes that worked so well together. We have a road trip, the forced-proximity trope, the one bed trope and also childhood friends-to-lovers. Honestly, what else could you ask for?
The hero of this story, Crew, was so incredibly sweet. He was constantly showing affection and being very verbal about his feelings. He is very touchy, always hugging his friends and holding hands, when usually this is a trait more commonly seen in the heroine. Hazel, on the other hand, is super funny and witty. She is more reserved than Crew when it comes to showing her feelings, but that doens’t mean that she doesn’t express her thoughts. There is no miscommunication at all between them and that was such a breath of fresh air.
I loved the progression of their romance, I loved the setting (Germany during Christmas time) and I also really appreciated how the author handled some darker topics (content warnings: grief, loss of a loved one). I’m so impressed by this author and this story, and it has now become a new favorite.
The Relationship Pact (Kings of football #3) by Adriana Locke
The last story from this series is unfortunately a huge let down for me. I think the writing is the weakest, since it had some great ideas but the direction and the execution of them wasn’t my cup of tea.
I really loved the setup of the story: the hero Hollis is spending the holidays alone in a new town when Larissa (heroine) stumbles upon him in a bar and asks him to be his fake boyfriend before even knowing his name, because her ex is approaching and she doesn’t want him to think she’s alone for the party. They really hit it off in that first interaction and I really enjoyed their dynamic.
However, as the story went on it felt really rushed. The themes the story tackled were so brushed over that didn’t have any depth, and therefore it felt underdeveloped. I liked the idea better than the execution. Even the romance felt rush which is such a shame because it started off really strong but it quickly turned superficial. They have one deep conversation and all of a sudden they are madly in love. That was really out of character and felt unnatural.
Again, I do recommend giving it a chance, particularly the first two books in the story.
Have you guys read this? What is your favorite new adult romance? Let me know!
Until next time,