Long Shot (Hoops, #1) By Kennedy Ryan


    Think you know what it's like being a baller's girl?
    You don't.
    My fairy tale is upside down.
    A happily never after.
    I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.
    I was a fool, and his love - fool's gold.

    Now there's a new player in the game, August West.
    One of the NBA's brightest stars.
    Fine. Forbidden.
    He wants me. I want him.
    But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won't let me go.

    *Contains domestic/sexual abuse not involving the hero. Read reviews for further guidance. Long Shot (Hoops, #1)

    5 STARS

    Such powerful and beautiful story, my heart *sigh* I'm still thinking about it!Long Shot is one of these stories you'll never forget, it's one of these stories you will read again and again and it will stay with you!I have so many feelings while I was reading it, my heart was aching for Iris and August!Long Shot was a heartbreaking,intense and sweet story.

    From the moment August met Iris it is obvious that there is attraction between them!They were so intense whenever they were together!I wanted to see them together!Iris is so brave and so strong!OMG I cried with what happened to her!August is amazing, I fall in love with him!He is kind,funny,sweet,protective!

    This is my first by Kennedy Ryan and definitely not the last book I'm reading!I love her writing it was flawless and she has a way with words that you feel like you are a part of the story!


    Romance, Contemporary, Fiction 5 Stars

    If you were mine, Iris, there would be no doubt what position you’d hold in my life. You’d be center. I’d play you at the five.”

    Holy Moly this was one powerful read! Kennedy Ryan’s writing grabbed hold of me from the beginning with a connection between Iris and August that spans years. Centered around two NBA ball players and a beautiful young women fresh out of college. Iris is driven by her own career dreams and aspirations. Iris Dupree’s life takes several dark turns during the years and her situation seems hopeless.

    It’s that one night she had with August West before graduation that leaves them both with so many what ifs even years later. As their encounters solidify a connection too strong to deny and yet Iris’ circumstances too dangerous to leave.

    In my dreams I choose him, my prince, instead of the fraud. In this parallel universe, at this second-chance juncture, I turn right instead of choosing wrong… and there only there, we are together.”

    This is a love story that defies the odds and left me hopeful and comforted that true love isn’t just a notion but a tangible reliable bond!

    Romance, Contemporary, Fiction **Long Shot generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

    5+ Take the Shot Stars

    The distinct, prominent, and important voice of author Kennedy Ryan speaks volumes in Long Shot. This book hails as an emotional experience in reading as Kennedy Ryan daringly takes a risk to stand up, tall and proud, and use her voice to enlighten, to prove love eventually conquers all, and to pay tribute to the strength and resolve all good men and women have within them. This book, gosh this book, it's not for the faint of heart. It's not all 3 pointers and dazzling smiles from hot ballers - that's there of course too, don't worry. But this one - it's dark and scary too. It's takes you to a place I hope you've never been but will understand more after reading it. It's really tough quite honestly. But it's also freeing and more than worth every single word.

    I was there when the levies broke.

    Long Shot is a romance. A really tough romance. I also classify it partly as true women's fiction because it's the tale of a strong woman who was wronged when she never saw it coming. It's a woman who trusted the wrong instincts and paid for it dearly. It's about trusting oneself, learning to let go, growing up, and surviving a storm so wicked you don't know where you made the wrong turn in the rain. It's one woman's soulful, crushing, and inspiring journey. It speaks to all women no matter their personal stories, no matter their beliefs. It's a hard truth and an eye opening novel about true love and spirit juxtaposed against true evil and hardship. It's a redemption song, a comeback game, a deep and meaningful path to righteousness.

    I think you'll be an even greater man.

    It's a reminder that there's always love, trust, and loyalty in this world full of evil. That persevering and believing in yourself will lead once again to a place full of happiness and moments to cherish rather than fear. There's a great man in this book who serves as a testament to true strength in uplifting a woman and letting her soar. There's a great man in this book who facilitates a transition from fear into something extraordinary thanks to his kindness, his patience, and his incredible heart. His strength and depth of character make this great man a man who for whom you'll forever be in love.

    But staying here...

    Kennedy Ryan opened my eyes with Long Shot. She took the unfathomable, the misunderstandings, the atrocious and presented it me in a way that I'll never, ever be the same. She created a shift in my own personal bubble that allowed me to see more sides of issues that are vital to understand as a woman who wants to breathe compassion most of all. With her concise and beautifully written story she's empowering women and urging us to all understand a little more, to believe in each other and uplift each other through love.

    Thank you Kennedy Ryan. Thank you for taking the shot. Thank you for your voice and your courage to tell the tough stories that touch us so very deeply. You're an inspiration.

    **BETA READ** Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

    “The heart speaks in whispers, but sometimes by the time we listen, it’s too late.”

    It’s been days since I finished reading this book and I still have NO IDEA how to put coherent words down. I’ll tell you this. I went into LONG SHOT by Kennedy Ryan completely BLIND! I didn’t read ANY of the early reviews and I barely read the synopsis, because once you see this author’s name next to the title, there really is no point. You’re gonna love it! Your mind is gonna be blown! It’s gonna be an EPIC EXPERIENCE! And it was…it totally was everything I expected it to be, but then it was SO MUCH MORE! So, if you’re reading this review, first off, thank you very much. Secondly, I’m not going to tell you anything about the plot of this book because I want…I need you to read this just like I did. I believe it only made the journey that much more NECESSARY.

    Long Shot pushed me, I’m not gonna lie. It obliterated my heart. It scratched at my soul. It boggled my mind by the fact that YES, this book is FICTION, but the circumstances and the events that go on within the story is someone else’s reality, and that my friends, is scary as hell. Kennedy Ryan will break hearts and open up minds with this unique and angst-filled love story. She will call upon the deepest part of you and will request that you be brave and open-minded. You may ask me why I think that this book is one of the BEST of the year. Well, if not for all of the reasons above, you will certainly find out for yourself within a few minutes of reading it. If you’re a hardcore fan of this author, you might have some idea what you’re in for. If you are a Kennedy Ryan virgin, just like I was, be prepared for anything and EVERYTHING. Be prepared to hurt. Be prepared to fall in love. Be prepared to just…FEEL.

    Romance, Contemporary, Fiction I don’t know why I initially gave this 3 stars when I first read it.
    I was clearly not thinking clearly.

    The first half to this story is brutal. Kennedy Ryan does not shy away from showcasing what it means to be in an abusive relationship, both physical and emotional. These things happen on page, so trigger warnings for domestic violence, rape and gaslighting.

    It was beyond uncomfortable to read. I almost had to disassociate at times, I took many breaks in between to read something lighter and step away from the story. Fortunately, I had the luxury to do that.
    But for our heroine and many women this is a reality and it was far too raw and too real.

    The second half of the story is where our heroine Iris goes on a journey of healing. But the aftermath of being in such a relationship are still very much present. It broke my heart to see how much she was broken down by this. Her soul was crushed. She never fully recovers by the end of it but she is getting there slowly. In her own time.

    It was never-ending pain with glimpses of hope and love thrown in between all of it. The chemistry Iris and August formed from the beginning was undeniable. Kennedy Ryan does this thing where the first meeting between the hero and the heroine is chemistry squared. Its explosive. It’s palpable. And you’re experiencing it right alongside these characters.

    I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. The side characters were fantastic and I hope we get more of Iris and August


    #BookTubeAthon Day 3, Book 3.
    Challenge: Read a book while wearing the same hat the whole time.

    Hat, tea and book at the ready! And buddy-reading with Sara who has me hooked on romance and NA! 😍💕 Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

    Long Shot by Author Kennedy Ryan is a sports romance, forbidden love novel. It is a standalone.

    “If you were mine, Iris, there would be no doubt what position you’d hold in my life. You’d be center. I’d play you at the five.”

    I usually try to give a brief, non-spoiler idea of what a novel holds...kind of like my own blurb for the book. I can’t do that for this novel, because it will not do it justice. Long Shot is a must-read. A gut-wrenching, soul-piercing, heart-shattering, ugly-cry masterpiece. Author Kennedy Ryan kicked butt and took names in this novel. She wrote some of the most hard-to-read and some of the most beautiful-to-see words ever written. This book was fierce.

    “Ours is a love that reimagines—that peels back the sky at high noon searching for the stars, collecting them like shells in a bucket. We bathe in stardust, drink from the Milky Way, and dance on the moon. We pierce the firmament, peer into infinity, and tread on time and space. There is no before. There is no after. Now gives birth to forever.”

    At one point in reading, I put my Kindle down. I was so overcome with grief and anger I couldn’t continue right then. I had to take a break and remember that it wasn’t real, that I really didn’t need to find someone and smash their head in. I knew I’d go back to it because, if I know anything about this author’s writing, Author Kennedy Ryan always offers redemption in her books. And I was licking my lips, ready to taste sweet revenge.

    “You are pure. You are enough. You are strong.”

    The stars of this show, in my opinion, were characters by the names of August, Iris, Lotus, MiMi, and Sarai. These characters had heart. Strong heart. Genuine love and passion. Loyalty. Protective instincts. Unbreakable spirits. Simplistic faith. They embodied the good in the world. Their presence made the pages vibrate with life.

    “Seeing you wear my number is like a wet dream wrapped in a hand job.”

    The love shared between August and Iris was one that could not be denied or skimmed over. It was palpable and tantalizing, pulling at me in each heated moment. Their chemistry was cosmic in nature, capturing the universe in its grasp and making the skies light up each time they crashed into each other with explosive force.

    “Strength. Dignity. Courage. All these things belong to you. Take them back. Your soul is yours. Your heart is yours. Your body is yours. Yours to keep and yours to share.”

    Long Shot drained every bit of moisture from my eyes, and just when I thought I had none left, a torrent would occur again, each drop falling from heartache and deceit, but also from healing and newness. This was a crushing and, at times, unhinged story, but it was also filled with so much hope and worth. Good winning over evil. Right stamping out wrong. A true inspiration for us all.

    “Let nothing hold you back or keep you down...Even when you think you’re defeated, dig deeper. Go harder. Press, because there is something worth it on the other side.”

    #keeper #atthefive #kismet #serendipitous #truelovewins Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2! Long Shot (stand-alone). A bad decision, years of regrets, a love that could never be, but for the dream that kept them alive!

    “If you were mine, Iris there would be no doubt what position you’d hold in my life. You’d be center. I’d play you at the five.”

    Books in Hoops series are stand-alones:
    Book 1: Long Shot
    Book 2: Block Shot
    Book 3: Hook Shot

    Long Shot (stand-alone) is the against-all-odds love story, spanning years, between NBA superstar and businessman August West and college grad and aspiring sports marketer Iris DuPree.

    Two strangers met in a bar their last year in college. They spent a night chatting basketball and feeling an undeniable connection. It was before he would be drafted to the NBA. Before he knew who she was and that she belonged to another. His life-long arch-enemy, in fact.

    And so, they walked their separate ways and took different directions in life. But over the years, in their darkest moments, they’d think back on that night, on that fork in the road; the what if’s; the could-have beens; the (im)possibilities of second chances; the odds of a Long Shot.

    “In my dreams I choose him, my prince, instead of the fraud. In this parallel universe, at this second-chance juncture, I turn right instead of choosing wrong… and there only there, we are together.”

    Eight words to describe August West: Patient, naïve, considerate, methodical, reflective, focused, noble and oh so sweet.

    Seven words to describe Iris DuPree: Naïve, lonely, meek, impressionable, stubborn, conflicted and patient.

    Long Shot, told from dual POVs. It’s a beautiful, heart-wrenching, yet hopeful and inspiring tale of about life’s tough choices and poor timing. Their impossible love preservers thanks to the steadfast and fierce resolve of August and the surviving spirit of his Iris. To read an extended epilogue, [click here]

    “She is singular, obliterating every kiss that came before her, eliminating the possibility of anyone else ever tasting this good.”

    Hero: ★★★★1/2
    Heroine: ★★★★
    Plot: ★★★★1/2
    Storytelling: ★★★★★
    Sexual tension: ★★★★★
    Sex scenes: ★★★★
    Story ending: ★★★★1/2
    OVERALL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    Angst: | HIGH FOCUS |
    Darkness: | HIGH FOCUS |
    Humor: | LOW FOCUS |
    Kink: | LOW FOCUS |
    Romance: | HIGH FOCUS |
    Sex frequency: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
    Suspense: | MEDIUM FOCUS |

    ARC provided to me by Kennedy Ryan in exchange for an honest review. Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

    Kennedy Ryan doesn’t just write stories, she provides a reading experience with a rich, beautiful narrative and has once again blown me away with the sheer power of her writing. This author is not one to shy away from exploring the full depths of her characters and the world they find themselves in, and never has this been more apparent than in, 'Long Shot.' It’s raw, thought provoking, and edgy, and feels so very real and authentic in the telling making this a heart-breaking story that thankfully healed my heart when I needed it to.

    'Long Shot,' is a story set in the Basketball sports arena with a very sexy basketball playing hero who I absolutely adore. He is caring, charming and totally charismatic; a hero to fall in love with. However, for me, this is Iris' story. She is without doubt the character at the heart of the narrative and the emotional layers that are in glorious abundance in this story. Her strength, determination and survival are firmly encased in a story about love, a love that readers will long to see flourish. Kennedy Ryan navigates through a sensitive topic with eloquence and compassion ensuring that I understood the standpoint of the heroine and felt compassion for her situation. All the reasons why are convincingly depicted in the thought process and actions of both protagonists. It truly opened my own personal thought process into the judgments I may have made about someone like Iris prior to her experiences being so vividly depicted. My understanding surrounding the topic at the heart of this story was richly broadened which perfectly shows the power of reading.

    This story is one that will stay with me forever and I truly cannot wait to experience the next standalone which will happily be about one of the supporting cast members.

    Beta copy**

    ★ Teaser pictures created by me with purchased stock photos from deposit photos ★ Romance, Contemporary, Fiction 5+ stars!!!

    “Even when you think you’re defeated, dig deeper. Go harder. Press, because there is something worth it on the other side.”

    Long Shot is a book that left me speechless once I finished reading. That doesn’t happen to me very often, but the story was so profound, it took me a while to find my words. This book is unlike any story I’ve read before. It’s one of those books that will stay with me. If I had one word to describe it, I would say it’s powerful. It’s real, raw, intense, and a book that makes you feel everything.

    Have you ever met someone who spoke to your soul? The moment you met, you felt this spark, and you knew you’d never be the same? That is how August and Iris feel when they meet. Unfortunately, their timing wasn’t right. That meeting becomes one of those moments in Iris’s life. That ‘what if’ moment. If I would have done one thing differently, would everything have changed? Would my path have been different? Unfortunately, Iris will never know if that would be the case. She’s stuck on the path she’s on, but is determined to survive it.

    Iris’s story is important. I wish I could explain how much this book touched me. These characters, their stories, and my girl Iris… the way she fought, sacrificed, and found herself. She is the hero of this story, the shining star. As much as I loved August (and I really loved August) Iris stole the show for me. I loved watching her come into her own. Her story broke me at times, it felt so real, because it is real for a lot of people, but it gave me hope. I loved her relationship with her cousin, Lo. I loved the bond they shared with their MiMi. I loved the sisterhood in this story.

    August and Iris have an unexplainable bond from the moment they meet. Things are difficult for them and it seems impossible that they will find their way to each other, but it’s meant to be. The thing I loved most about August and Iris’s relationship is the fact that he let her shine. He built her up and her hopes, dreams, and wants were important to him. Iris deserved that more than anyone.
    It’s only in the contrast of night, when things are darkest, that the stars shine. Iris is my constellation. She took the darkness as her cue to shine. It only made her brighter, stronger, and tonight, her hard-won glimmer lights up the sky.

    Kennedy writes important books. The topics of her books aren’t always easy, and this book had some especially brutal scenes involving . There were parts that were hard to read, but it was a book that needs to be read. From the outside, we never truly know what battles others are fighting. It’s apparent that Kennedy really did her research when it came to this topic. It made my heart hurt at times, but I think as difficult as Iris’s story was to read, it was more empowering than anything. No matter what hardships Iris goes through, she finds a way to stand on her own two feet.

    August and Iris’s love story is one that defies all the odds. It’s a love that lifts you up, leaves you inspired, and makes you feel hopeful that true love exists. That good men exist. Long Shot is a gorgeous romance, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a story of one woman’s strength, perseverance, and survival. Iris is the star of this story and she shines so bright. Kennedy Ryan weaves together a story full of romance, heartache, and healing. It comes together seamlessly to make one epic story. Long Shot is an book that is going toward the top of my favorites for 2018 and that I recommend to all.
    Ours is a love that reimagines—that peels back the sky at high noon searching for the stars, collecting them like shells in a bucket. We bathe in stardust, drink from the Milky Way, and dance on the moon. We pierce the firmament, peer into infinity, and tread on time and space. There is no before. There is no after. Now gives birth to forever. This moment may die, but this love never will. Time is not a line. It’s a circle, and we, August and Iris, we stand at the center.

    Romance, Contemporary, Fiction “Please tell me you feel this, too. Tell me I’m not fooling myself that we’ll be good together.”

    Well, fuck.
    This was nothing like I expected it to be and almost everything I wished it was. I think so many people need to read this and give it a chance because Long Shot is a whole new ball game. (wink wink ;)

    There are some heavy themes that are dealt with, with such elegance and suspense that I really enjoyed this as a read and I was also really happy how the author portrayed all these thematic elements into one. Although I had a few issues with the story at the beginning and further, some of the efforts put in to showcase the trope - I really enjoyed this and I will definitely be reading more of this author later!


    I want to start by congratulating the author on doing everything right in the domestic violence front. In my last review, in fact, I stated how if an author is going to talk about subjects such as domestic violence or heavy themes like it - it is their duty as an advocate against it to leave a little note at the end of the book that could help any potential victims.

    Kennedy Ryan is officially on my list. Not only did she go the extra mile and put in that note and throughly explained why domestic abuse is wrong through her characters story's but she clearly did her research. I want to throw my metaphorical hat up in the air and rejoice because you can see that this woman is passionate not only about writing, but loving what she writes. It's not just some bullshit - it's a story within a story, where she took different testimonies and put it together to create what we now know as Long Shot.

    “Yeah, well, when you can’t have what you really want,” I say, locking our eyes together, willing her not to look away, “you settle for whatever’s available.”

    The modern application of this is deeply embedded not only with the sports system, but with our countries presidents, politicians, TV show hosts, actors etc. The branding of a trophy wife is something that needs to be stopped and needs to be seen as wrong, because when you're moving towards something as focused as equal rights or even to stop the wage gap. These kind of things cannot exist.

    In a way, I am so grateful I read Long Shot because I know that there is nothing like it.

    I'm going to be honest, when I started reading this book I thought it was going to be a 2 star read because of prevalent issues. Then when I got to the middle, I for sure thought I was going to rate this 4+ stars. Then the end I couldn't settle because my emotions were so mixed, I went and did the chaotically neutral thing and said it was a three star read.

    Her hands map the muscles in my arms and chest, her eyes closed as if she’s reading my body by Braille.

    Here's the rundown:

    It felt cliche with the trope of whatever the first guy did wrong, the second guy did right. This was at the start and when the story took a turn for itself in the midst of it's plot - I started to acknowledge certain literary techniques and choices that the author chose to work with.

    It then felt like a testosterone filled competition. The amount of times He got the girl was mentioned in different ways actually made me want to stop reading because firstly, a girl is not something you 'get'. Especially when you are campaigning a book that goes against the sexual objectification of woman. It just all felt too much of I can fuck / treat you better than him at times, but after the halftime mark ran - I got into the flow of things and it worked. Ish.

    “You think my game is that weak?” She side-eyes me, extending both brows as high as they’ll go. “We talking on the court or off?”

    But like I said, it truly did get better towards the middle and I really enjoyed how the author incorporated elements of humor, suspense, sports and romance all in one to create this phenomenal piece of writing!
    There’s a part of me, though, that will always think of her as the gorgeous girl swearing at the television in a sports dive, sipping flat beer and pulling for her Lakers. We’re different, but I wonder if the quick, deep intimacy we shared that night is still there. If it’s still the same.

    My heart bleeds for Iris.
    I don't think a female lead has ever been written as beautifully and as pathos evoking as her in this genre. She's the modern version of everything I aspire to be in life and it was a pleasure getting to know her.

    This book deals with a lot of problems and it would be unwise to just look over it and not give it a try if you wanted to in the first place. So if you're on the fence about it, just do yourself a favor and read it.

    “The heart speaks in whispers.”
    Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

    Kennedy Ryan ´ 1 CHARACTERS