REVIEW: Downed by Jen Frederick

downedAuthor: Jen Frederick
Series: Gridiron #3
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Rating: 4/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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He’s the guy no one likes…

Despite winning two national championships, JR “Ace” Anderson was sent packing from his old school after losing the trust of his coach. At Southern U, he has a second chance to prove that his college legacy isn’t endless debauchery and selfishness. But his reputation precedes him, and his teammates offer a chilly welcome in the locker room. The one person who is willing to accept him is the very woman he should stay away from—his new coach’s daughter.

She’s the girl everyone loves…

Bryant Johnson’s only goal in life is to make others happy, even at her own expense. One look at her father’s new star quarterback, and she knows that Ace is her next project. With a reputation for being a “jerk whisperer”, Bryant has spent her last three years at college reforming sorry behavior and turning bad boys into the best boyfriends ever. In Ace, though, she’s met with surly resistance and a sizzling attraction she doesn’t expect. Fixing this wounded warrior will be her biggest challenge yet. Not falling for him will be even harder.

Between her big heart and his damaged one, a battle is ensuing. In this game of love, every defense will crumble.

Downed is third in the series of this football romance by Jen Frederick and it’s about the darling of the crowd, Bryant Johnson, and the guy who seemed to be hated by everyone, Ace Anderson, after being kicked out of his previous school (no thanks to his manwhoring ways that he slept with the coach’s daughter).

Honestly, the beginning of the story was confusing for me because I was weirded out by how Bryant was acting—all prim and proper… and felt fake around everyone, but once I got passed that and as the story progressed, it finally made sense. I couldn’t say I loved her instantly because the whole jerk-whisperer thing didn’t work for me. But the moment Bryant’s defences went down, I was finally fine with her. The thing about Bryant, she’s funny and charming even hopeful (Southern roots) and her attitude (jerk whisperer) towards boys was clearly because of something that happened in the past. Not directly at her but it impacted how she’s now. I admired Bryant not only because she handled herself well in a testosterone-infested environment but also because she’s freaking smart when it comes to football. I was all like—damn girl—whenever she spoke her mind about the sport. Her relationship with the boys in the team, even with her parents was truly fascinating. It was like they worship the ground she walked on. Because she’s kind (it bothered me sometimes because she couldn’t say no to things) and I loved that she saw more of Ace than what he let on. She also had a reputation to uphold because it appeared to me she’s a people pleaser and while that one didn’t sit right to me, I was fine with it. Because it balanced out how she was around Ace (in and out of the bedroom) and Ace being there for her when she wasn’t expecting him. Overall I liked the way she developed as a character. Ace Anderson, too. While he was tagged by being an a-hole the whole time and admitted being one, the silver lining was he didn’t act like it when he met Bryant. I mean, he didn’t sleep around anymore. Hanging out with Bryant was totally good for him. It may appear that Bryant did her job on him but really, it was all Ace’s doing that he finally felt he belonged in his team. He’s got good leadership skills after all. He just needed to step up his game and stand his ground to earn his team’s respect. I really liked Ace. He’s funny and focused, confident if a little d-bag but not in the way that you’d hate him.

Both characters learned something from what they’ve done and it was delightful to see both of them have come full circle after what they went through. They just clicked and thank God Ace didn’t give up on Bryant when it was too easy to do just that.

The story was fun, totally hot and very light. It’s a fast-paced sports romance that will keep you highly engaged in the characters (both primary and secondary) and the story about second chances and redemption.

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