TYKE It’s all I ever loved, All I ever wanted. Football is it for me. The lights, the turf, the feel of the ball in my hands, There’s nothing that means more to me. But then, I meet Rilla James. It’s a game changer right from the start. Now, all I want is her, Everything about her. RILLA It’s a love-hate relationship. I love the excitement, the thrill of the game, But despise everything it … excitement, the thrill of the game,
But despise everything it stands for.
The day the game took away someone in my life,
For the better.
And I couldn’t be happier.
But then, I meet Tyke Jamison.
It’s a blitz right from the start.
Now, I’m questioning it all…
~Updated manuscript as of 12/13/18 to fit clean and wholesome, small-town American football romance with an HEA
This was such a cute insta-love story! Tyke was on top of the world and because of a poor decision he ended up losing everything. Two years later he is attempting to take back his life and get back to where he was destined to be. He runs into RJ who is aware of Tyke and his background and while she’s not a fan of him and won’t fall for any of his crap, is also drawn to him and can’t seem to say no or stay away. They start a tradition of starting almost every morning with a run together, and through those daily runs their relationship develops and flourishes. Through some difficult times, they rely on each other for support and advice, and as quickly as they recognize their feelings they secretly elope. When there is a misunderstanding and Tyke’s future is on the line yet again, instead of RJ running away, she stands and supports her man and they get through the hard times and good times together. Overall, it was a great storyline, well written, and I can’t wait to read more from Casey!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Tyke leaves, breathes, and dreams about returning to football, his first love. It’s his entire focus and nothing has been able to change that. He’s determined to get back to that place in his life, leaving behind the tragedy he was responsible for. His decision to drink and drive cost lives, that of his girlfriend and best friend. Never again would he let anything else steal his focus or hurt him like that again. At least, that’s what he thought. He just hadn’t met Rilla yet. She’s a game changer.
Rilla loves the game, when she doesn’t hate it, that is. She admits watching it is exciting, but hates what it stands for. She knows how contradictory that sounds, and admits it is that, however, she has her reasons. It’s hard to truly love something that exacted such a high price from you in the past. Having been raised by her dad, a football star, after her mom left them to pursue a different life, Rilla knows the sacrifices the sport asks of the players’ families.
When Tyke and Rilla’s paths cross at college, this being his last chance to play and her dad pushing for her to experience it all. He’s avoiding girls in that way as he knows this is it for him and she’s leery of football players due to her dad. But fate has a funny way of showing you what you need rather than what you think you do.
Both have walls up for their own reasons, but the attraction is there nonetheless. However, each must decide whether to explore it or retreat to their respective sides, shielding themselves for the possibility of hurt. When Rilla realizes Tyke isn’t the stereotypical jock, she sees him in a new light and he discovers maybe it isn’t that bad to let someone in, as long as they’re the right person.
What happens though, when Tyke discovers who Rilla’s dad is? Will he be upset she didn’t tell him? Or will he understand her need to protect herself? Can Rilla see Tyke as the man he is now and not the one he used to be? Will he ever find closure with his past? Or will it stop him from reaching for a future? Is a HEA possible?
One-click now and follow along as two people, both hurting in their own ways, discover maybe you just need the right person to heal. I like that each character has their own personal struggle to work through and the other understands why, neither downplaying what he or she experienced. It was interesting to “see” Rilla discover it isn’t the sport that made her father the dad he was to her, but rather the man himself. – By Elizabeth
Casey Peeler has proven time and time again she is the queen of the sweet southern romance genre. Lion Eyes yet again reaffirms her reign with it’s small town football games and sassy leading ladies that enamor footballs stars. In this new novel, Peeler pairs football star, Tyke with small town sassy girl Rilla. These two are evenly matched in personality. From the moment they meet, Peeler manipulates their connection into pure angsty perfection. Rilla hates everything Tyke seems to stand for and so the chase begins.
Until it doesn’t. This book quickly goes from what appears to be a cat and mouse angst driven new adult read to an insta-love story with one college frat party. While I love a good insta-love story now and again, I can’t help but admit the disappointment that flowed through me when all that build up was just left behind. Instead Peeler takes both characters on a journey of self discovery through past hurts and creates a life long bond between these characters, healing them as they fall in love.
Peeler does all this without having to create an ounce of smut, which I find refreshing. Peeler continues to deliver a well written story without bogging down her pages without graphic descriptions. Although Lion Eyes didn’t quite go in the direction I thought it began in, I can say Peeler still delivered a good story, even if it was missing that spark that would move me towards a 4 or 5 stars.