Much More Than a Sports Romance – A review of “Hook Shot” by Kennedy Ryan

Somehow “Hook Shot” got lost/misplaced on my ipad and I only recently rediscovered it. I am ever so glad I did! Kenan Ross and Lotus DuPree’s story is the third book in the Hoops series and it moved the bar much higher for sports romances, or just romances in general.

I love Kennedy Ryan’s writing style, plots, and characters but she outdid herself with the dialogue in this story and emotions run the gamut from one extreme to the other but it never feels contrived. Always authentic. I feel compelled to offer up a few lines that blew me away.

“New York City is a beautiful bitch dipped in glitter, giving you the finger.”

Here’s a description of Kenan pacing from frustration:

“The words charge out of him like a battle cry. He slams his eyes shut. He shoves breath through his nostrils like a bull.”

And these exchanges between Kenan and Lotus, all from the book of Solomon:

“I have found the one whom my soul loves.”

“My beloved is mine and I am his.”

“He’s a castle with secret tunnels and abandoned dungeons and heavy locked doors. And I’m his skeleton key.”

Lotus and Kenan have many obstacles to navigate in their relationship, one of which is Kenan’s ex, who also negatively affects his relationship with his daughter. As if the pre-teen drama queen stage isn’t difficult enough to live through, add in her mother who continually tries to reinsert herself into Kenan’s life. All this after he found her in bed with one of his teammates and later following their subsequent divorce. She redefines revisionist history. (And you thought that was only in politics.)

As a pro-baller, Kenan is on the road the majority of the time during the season, which now stretches to eight months of the year, so he is compelled to depend on his ex for custody of their daughter during that time. And she uses it to her advantage.

But Kenan’s ex is only one of the issues they face. Lotus has always guarded her heart. She loves sex as much as anyone, maybe more, but until Kenan, she never let a man into her heart. And when she does consider opening up, she is forced to face her past. The past she’s buried so deeply it’s under layer after layer and to get to it, Lotus must face down her demons. Can Kenan keep his libido in check and help her find her way? Does he have the patience? Does he care enough to wait?

This is a deeply moving and poignant story. I laughed, I cried, and I empathized with their struggles and rejoiced with Lotus at each incremental step she took toward healing. A powerful story. Five stars.

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