REVIEW: FRATERNIZE BY RACHEL VAN DYKEN (PLAYERS GAME #1)

Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.

 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | B&N

 

PSA: Brace yourself for (probably) the most dramatic review you’ll read in 2017.

 

I loathe love triangles with every fiber of my being. If I ever read a book’s synopsis and see a love triangle in there, I will run far away from that book faster than you can say run.

I hate them because they’re; a) way too predictable, b) sometimes someone ends up dying, c) there’s this one character who is always a jerk, d) cheating takes place and e) I end up hating every single character in the story.

That said, I decided to pick up this book because the cover looked amazing and it went over my head that there are two guys in there and I totally didn’t even glance at the synopsis.

Yes, I am judge-a-book-by-its-cover criminal.

But guess what? Turns out this book is actually EFFING INCREDIBLE and if it weren’t for my judging-a-book-by-its-cover tendencies I wouldn’t be here telling the world Fraternize has officially made it to my list of “Favorite Books of 2017”.

 

Emerson is a mature twenty-four year old who does not play with people’s feelings. She’s been hurt—hurt is definitely an understatement—in the past. Eighteen-year-old Emerson went from having a best friend and a healthy father and a house to zero friends, a father with Alzheimer’s, a small apartment and a broken heart.
Six years after her heart got destroyed things finally start looking up. Emerson’s dream of becoming a professional cheerleader comes true and the cocky Grant Sanchez catches her happy-crying in the parking lot, which then leads to a very interesting conversation. Unfortunately, the happiness is short-lived because the very next day Miller Quinton (Emerson’s former best friend and the cause of her broken heart) makes an appearance. Miller is not happy to see Emery again. But why? He’s the one who broke her heart not the other way around. Or was he?

 

Every single love triangle I read makes me hate The Female Character who can’t woman up and decide who she wants to stay with. I hate that said character is a mess of epic proportions and plays with everyone’s feelings—including mine—and refuses to listen no matter how loudly I scream at the book. 

Well, lo and behold, Fraternize doesn’t have The Female Character. It has Emerson Rodner.

Emerson is someone I aspire to be. Curvy? Yes, please. God knows I need an ass like hers. Witty and funny? One can never be too witty and funny. Athletic? Heck, I wish I could walk up the stairs and not lose a lung in the process. Intelligent? Duh! And have two extremely sexy football players eating out of the palm of my hand? Sign me up!

 

I don’t even want to get started with Miller and Sanchez’s characters because I will cry and I’ll be here all day but there’s something I will say because y’all need to read it. Both of them are AMAZING. I love them both. I have never in my life felt so happy to read a love triangle story and that is because of these two men. They respect the heck out of Emerson and each other. They are MEN. I have never felt so many butterflies going around in my stomach as I did when I was reading about these guys. I pray to my lucky stars I find someone like them in real life because otherwise I’m completely ruined.

 

In other news, I’m happy to announce that Fraternize is not predictable at all. Whatever it is you’re imagining will happen? Forget it. It will not happen. From prologue to epilogue the story will keep you on the edge of your seat. And you will not be able to put it down. And you have no clue what the heck is coming your way.

Rachel’s writing is impeccable. The way she makes you feel like you’re in Emerson’s shoes is mind-blowing. She made me want to re-read this book and I hadn’t even finished it. How crazy is that?! I just want to live inside this book forever.

 

Y’all should pick this book up right about now because I have never grinned so big in my life and I want you to experience that happiness for yourself. Even if you hate love triangles like me. Even if you hate romance. Even if you hate football players. Even if you hate cheerleaders. Even if you hate this review that’s all over the place.

 


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23 Comments

  1. I don’t want to read this in case of spoilers because I am SOOOO excited to read this one! GAH, It sounds like so much fun! I’m weird in that I don’t mind love triangles if they are done correctly. It truly doesn’t bother me at all. I know others HATE them though. So happy you loved this one and hopefully I will too!

    1. I think I kept it absolutely spoiler-free because it is basically me fangirling 😂 but I totally get why you’d rather not read it.

  2. I love that the men seem to actually be likable, so often they are not. I am with Danielle though and I am in the love love love love triangles category, but I think mine comes from watching soap operas all throughout growing up. Makes me go who will they end up with? Makes me swoon and stay interested.

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