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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

ARC Review: After the Game by Abbi Glines

I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect with After the Game when I started this book. I have read and loved books by Abbi Glines, but I have also read and really disliked books by her as well. The Field Party series is one that I have both loved and disliked, so I just wasn't sure what I would get here. While this book still doesn't compare to the first in the series for me, I did like it better than the second book. Technically After the Game can be read as a standalone story, but I really wouldn't recommend it as I think you will lose some of the experience if you just jump in here. The backstory is mostly explained, but these characters are set up from the very beginning and I think the reader gets a better idea of where they have been and where they are going if you have read the first two books in the series before starting here. 

Riley fled Lawton after accusing the town's golden boy of rape when no one believed her. But now that Rhett is off at college and her grandmother needs help, her family makes the decision to return for Riley's senior year. The town still hasn't forgotten all that she accused Rhett of though, and the reception she receives is less than friendly. But the town's current golden boy and quarterback of the football team Brady offers Riley some kindness when he finds her and her daughter in need of some help. Soon he begins to question everything he thought he knew as he gets to know Riley and her little girl. 

After the last book, Brady had a lot of redeeming to do and I really felt like he did. There were still times that I struggled with his character, but I did see growth and change and that made a difference. I also liked Riley a lot. She was strong and great with her daughter, and I loved her for it. She definitely had a good head on her shoulders, especially with everything that had happened. I felt like these two worked well together, and I liked them for one another. I wasn't entirely captivated by them the way I was with Maggie and West, but I did like them. 

I will say though that there were a few things that didn't work for me here. They might be minor spoilers, so please stop reading if that is something you would like to avoid. The first thing is the fact that Rhett got off with no consequences for what he had done. I understand forgiveness was a big deal, but I just wasn't okay with nothing happening to him. The second thing was how abrupt this one ended, and the fact that there was no epilogue to give us any kind of glance into the future. With them leaving school soon and heading off to the real world, it really felt like things between them were tentative at best and that they could be heading in different directions. I really wanted more and I felt like the reader was left hanging a bit. It wasn't a cliffhanger really, but it definitely felt unresolved. Overall, this was better than the last book but still nothing like the first. I am hoping that maybe Abbi will write more in this series and we can see how things are a bit down the line for these characters.

**ARC Provided by Publisher**

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