Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Title: Falling Hard
Series: The Blackhawk Boys #4
Author: Lexi Ryan
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: May 23, 2017


An NFL player with a secret past, and the one woman with the power to turn his world inside out…

Former actress Emma Rothschild is partying in Vegas in disguise. But I’m not fooled. Five years ago, I knew that body better than my own, and I haven’t forgotten a single detail—not the curve of her hip beneath my hand or the hitch in her breath when I kiss her neck.

When Emma’s unexpectedly left alone in Sin City, I agree to spend the weekend with her. As friends. Why not? If I can knock down the toughest guys in the NFL, I’m strong enough to keep my hands to myself, even if she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever met.

Emma is part of my past—years so shrouded in secrets that not even my best friends know the truth about who I am. I’m a single dad now and not interested in revisiting my old ways or trying to win back the only woman I ever let close enough to break my heart.

But this is Vegas, where all bets are off, and with Emma, nothing ever goes as planned…


“A sexy, sweet, oh-so-emotional second chance romance that will make you believe in the power of fate and forgiveness.” - USA Today Bestseller Lili Valente


FALLING HARD is a sexy and emotional novel intended for mature readers. It’s the fourth book in the world of the Blackhawk Boys, but can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?

Book 1 - SPINNING OUT (Arrow’s story)
Book 2 - RUSHING IN (Christopher’s story)
Book 3 - GOING UNDER (Sebastian’s story)
Book 4 - FALLING HARD (Keegan’s story)
Book 5 - IN TOO DEEP (Mason’s story, coming fall 2017)

Falling Hard is the 4th book in Lexi Ryan's Blackhawk Boys series but can easily be read as a standalone. I gravitated to this title for a few different reasons-second chance romance, single dad and a sports romance? Right up my alley. And I did enjoy it overall.

I immediately connected to Keegan. From the very first page I wanted to know more about him and how he wound up in the situation he was in. However, I was not as fond of him as a teenager and the flashes we saw of him there. It made me appreciate his growth but I definitely had issues with his younger character.

The same holds true of Emma. I liked Keegan's reaction to seeing her again, and hers to seeing him. I liked that it happened in Vegas-as we all know what happens in Vegas really never stays there. So it was a fun setup.

With a second chance romance the reader needs to know what happened to make the relationship not work the first time around so they can evaluate if it's believeable that the characters can work together now. In this case, I almost feel we got a bit too much of the backstory. I needed to know what happened with 18 year old Emma and Keegan but I don't know if I needed to see as much of it as I did. It pulled away from their current story. It's a delicate balance-how much time to spend reflecting on what happened in the past versus what is happening now and I think the book was a little heavy handed with the past.,

I liked most of the supporting characters. Enough that I'm going to go back and start the series from the beginning and see how the other relationships came to be. 

I did enjoy this book. I liked adult Emma and Keegan. I didn't love young Emma and Keegan so that did take a bit away from the book for me, but overall I liked the book and will read more of this series.

Emma and Keegan have a history that ended in a messy way 5 years ago when they were 18. It's been 5 years and they run into one another in Vegas, and the attraction is still there for both of them.

The story is told in a series of present and flashbacks. And, I liked Emma and Keegan in the present. They were compelling and interesting characters I could relate to. I was not as fond of 18 year old Emma and Keegan.

I had issues with the 18 year old characters for a couple of reasons. First, they seemed the same. The older, more adult, Keegan and Emma seemed exactly the same as the younger versions. They worked as 23 year olds, but not really as 18 year olds. Second, too much time was spent with them, with the rehashing of a story that ended badly. You need the backstory in a second chance romance, but you don't need the entire story.

I didn't like that so much of the story took place in the past. It made the pacing tough to follow. I finally got to know them in the present, and I was pulled into the past. And, there was too much of it. I felt like I was reading 2 different stories about a couple of characters who were the same people, but different, if that makes any sense.

I didn't hate this book, I actually did enjoy a lot of it. But I was not really able to fully relate to the characters as I didn't feel I ever got to know them in the present.

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“You’re too beautiful,” I tell her. I run my thumb along her jaw. “Too fucking beautiful.”

“I’ve missed you. You’re the best man I’ve ever met.”

My stomach clenches and I shake my head. “Don’t think that. It’s a lie. It’s what I wanted you to believe. Don’t bring that lie into tonight.”

“How was it a lie?” She grins up at me, and I know a full confession would erase all the happiness from her face.

“When we were together before, I wasn’t the man you thought I was. I wasn’t good.” It’s the closest to the truth I’ve ever given anyone about my past.

“So you don’t want me believing you’re good?”

I pull her hips tightly against me as I exhale in frustration. She still thinks this is some kind of joke. “I’m different now, but then…”

She lifts onto her toes and flicks her tongue against my ear. “Don’t be so different. I like you a little bad.”

I groan and stop dancing. I don’t know how much longer I can do this without diving over the line. “Is that permission to stop being your friend?” I’m obsessed with knowing if she tastes as sweet as I remember. And if I swipe my tongue over the sensitive spot beneath her ear, will she gasp like she always did?

She shrugs and grins, and the dance floor tilts off balance. It’s crowded, and we’re surrounded by writhing bodies, cocooned in the crowd. I turn her in my arms so her back is to my front and settle my hand against the soft skin of her midriff. She arches her back and rubs against me.

I sweep her hair to the side, and when I press my lips to the long, smooth column of her neck, she trembles against me.

“Are you okay?” I ask against her ear. “Is this okay?”

“I—I’m not sure…”

“Tell me what you want. Not five years ago. Not tomorrow. What do you want right now?”

She reaches back and threads her fingers through my hair to guide my mouth back to her neck.

I don’t hesitate. I kiss and suck on that tender skin while we move to the beat.

The rest of the room fades and one song blurs into the next. A waitress comes by selling shots, and I buy two, one for each of us, and we lock eyes as we throw them back. At some point, I’m vaguely aware of Bailey checking on me, but my focus is one hundred percent on Emma, on this night that takes me back to when I was eighteen and so fucking in love it hurt. Tonight, Emma isn’t the woman who once broke my heart. She isn’t the girl who wrote me off with a simple goodbye note and apologies I didn’t want. Tonight, she’s a dream, my fantasy in the flesh, my reward for surviving the hardest year of my whole life.

When her face begins to blur, I realize I’m way more drunk than I ever intended. I need to sober up or I’m not going to remember a minute of this night. “Want to get out of here?”

She nods, takes my hand, and leads me out of the bar and down the hall to the elevators. My watch reads a quarter past two.

“Let’s get some food,” I suggest, but at the same moment, an elevator dings and the doors slide open.

Emma grabs my hand and drags me inside. “I don’t want food,” she says, punching a button.

I spin her around and press her against the wall. “What do you want, Em?” I drop my hand to her side to skim my knuckles over her skirt, and she widens her stance to part her thighs. “Fuck,” I whisper. I shouldn’t do this. Not here, not when any moment someone could join us on the elevator, not when we’re both so damn drunk it’s a wonder we can stand upright. But shouldn’t is so much weaker than want, and I want to touch her more than I want anything right now.

I’m faintly aware of the soft beeping of the passing floors as I slide my hand up her skirt and cup her between her legs. She gasps, and I rub my fingers over the damp lace of her panties, teasing her swollen flesh.

When the elevator stops and the doors slide open, she grabs my wrist and holds me still. “Please,” she whispers in my ear. “Please. Don’t stop.” Then she tilts her hips and rocks against my hand. I couldn’t refuse her if every person in the hotel was watching us.
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Coming Soon

#5 In Too Deep - Mason’s story 


Author Bio

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of emotional romance that sizzles, Lexi enjoys reading, sunshine, a good glass of wine, and rare trips to the beach. Lexi lives in Indiana with her husband, two children, and neurotic dog. You can find her at her website: http://www.lexiryan.com/

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