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Our Review

 “What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes our life?”

Ahhh, Kate Stewart. The author who had us in a giggling fit one minute, fanning ourselves with our Kindle reading some super-hot sex, ripped out our hearts and stomped on them with some highly emotive scenes, and drove us to frustration with some back and forth, will they won’t they, could they can’t they, heavy-duty angst. If you’ve read The Guy in the Middle you know EXACTLY what we mean if you haven’t and you love a romance that tests you, then grab this book.

“Maybe our season was summer, you know? And now it’s almost over.”

The Guy in the Middle refers to Lance Prescott, and is the final book in the Underdogs Series, a series we’ve thoroughly enjoyed – stomped heart and twisted stomach aside…or maybe, because of! We do love it when we feel a story, right? Kate Stewart could run a master class in how to end a series with a kick-arse epilogue! What a fantastic ending. Absolute perfection!

Although peppered with Kate’s trademark humour, this is no light and easy romance. Both Lance and Harper Elliot have ample issues they are dealing with emotionally. Pain, trust and insecurities plague them. Both have a heavy mountain to climb, but who said the road to true love is easy?

‘I’m a man standing in the wake of lost love, bitterness in my heart, and singed beyond anything I can control.’

Lance Prescott is struggling. Juggling college, football and time much needed time at his family ranch which is sinking in debt. This man has a lot of pent up aggression, which he releases with boxing and time in the gym. It’s his time to reflect, so when this little pocket rocket by the name of Harper Elliot dances into his life, he’s none too happy. A sparring of a different sort ensues, and the sexual chemistry and verbal banter between these two sets the scene for their relationship. During their time in the gym, they can just ‘be’ with no pretence. Just the boxer and the dancer, who, herself has a heart full of pain and humiliation from her past.

Both Lance and Harper have goals and neither includes a relationship which could be detrimental to their future career aspirations. Besides, she’s the coach’s daughter, and he’s very protective of Harper. Lance is a football player and the coach’s daughter is off limits!

There is much to take in and we’re not going to ruin any plot points in this story – you need to uncover the reasons Harper and Lance danced around each other so much we wanted to bang their heads.

In bringing us Lance and Harper’s story, Kate Stewart taught us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that beauty comes in all forms and not just what’s on the surface. The Guy in the Middle, whilst being off the charts hot and emotional, is also very poignant, delivering a message we could all take to heart. We did, however, have a slight issue with the repetitiveness of some scenes.

‘Loving Lance has always meant embracing his demons.’

It was fabulous catching up with Troy, Clarissa, Theo, Laney and little Dante, who once again had us laughing and grinning from ear to ear. We could read a whole book of Dante antics! This has been a fab series and one we’ve easily lost ourselves in. They reminded us how much we’ve enjoyed watching these men grow and find love.

‘Though our stories are vastly different, we all longed for the same thing – to belong, all the while figuring out who we were…’

Synopsis

I was born to play and bred to win.

My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.

With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.

Two birds, one ball.

Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.

For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach’s daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.

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