Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Out of Bounds by Claire Hastings

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Out of Bounds; Atlanta Rising Football Club #1
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: July 12, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Enemies-to-Lovers/Age Gap/Workplace/Sports Romance

Author: Claire Hastings

Review Rating: 4.5 Gold Stars  4.5 stars



A soccer focused romance with wicked chemistry brewing between two employees working for the Atlanta Rising.

Felicity Sutherland  wants the president job that was automatically handed over to her younger brother, who didn’t even want it. Her entire life is summed up in the word, overlooked, but it doesn’t’ mean she gives up.  She continues to work hard and strive for what she wants and nothing will stand in her way.

Gunner Gracin is the new head coach of the Atlanta Rising and a total nice guy to boot. He has a lot on his plate heading a new soccer team and finding out he has a twenty-something year old daughter that he never knew he’d fathered is almost enough to overwhelm him, but Felicity offers her help in making Talia feel comfortable and it has a way of opening Gunner up and their chemistry which was already high just goes to another level.

Felicity had a ton of tenacity and fire and honestly I went back and forth on whether I liked her or not. I completely empathized with her being taken for granted in the workplace. She’s working in a male dominated field and worked hard to get where she is, but I also felt her shrew-like attitude and lack of respect for those around her wasn’t quite the way to get respect for herself. It seemed that everyone in her life kept telling her to reign it in, but she justified it in her mind feeling that all men could be total dicks and get away with it, and to some extent, anyone can have a poor attitude and still be successful, but I wouldn’t put ALL men in that category.

Felicity’s dad is a major douche. Once you meet him you begin to understand why Felicity acts the way she does, along with other factors that pile up, and it totally softened my attitude for this woman. I want her to be the best at everything she can be and of course I want Gunner to appreciate her for who she is, which of course he does. There is a lot more to Felicity than she lets people see, for instance she helps out Gunner’s daughter and befriends her before really knowing her. It had nothing to do with Gunner, it was just helping her out because it’s what you do.

Now, Gunner…here is a big, strong guy who has just found out he’s a dad and his daughter is in her twenties. He’s the head coach of a new soccer team and should he really get involved with the team president’s daughter? Probably not, but he can’t seem to help himself. Once he gets to know Felicity and really sees all sides of her personality he opens up more and lets his own walls down, which is saying a lot since he lost his first wife years ago and never thought he’d fall again.

I can’t say I understood any of the soccer terminology (it’s just not a sport I watch – sorry), but having it in there didn’t throw off my reading or take away from the enjoyment. What I did enjoy was the interaction between the team members, as they were all so unique and since this was a new team, there is lots of potential for this series to go places. Overall a 4.5 read.


Welcome to the Atlanta Rising Football Club, where the temperature isn’t the only thing turning up the heat…

Felicity Sutherland knows what people think of her. She just doesn’t care. Her attitude is her armor, and it hasn’t failed her yet. Thick skin and working hard in the male-dominated sports industry placed her dream job within reach. And as she vies to become president of the Atlanta Rising Football Club, there isn’t a competitor, or a distractingly handsome co-worker, that can get in her way.

The only games Gunnar Gracin has time for are the ones he coaches on the pitch. But life just keeps bending the ball, especially where the women in his life are concerned. The death of his wife over a decade ago was a devastating loss. Discovering an adult daughter from an encounter he doesn’t remember changed all the rules. And working for the frosty, sharp-tongued Felicity is downright infuriating.

But as Gunnar and Felicity spend more time together, the tension between them sizzles like a hot summer night. And the moment Gunnar gets a taste of Felicity’s smart mouth, he decides to throw the playbook out the window. If no one knows what they’re up to, giving in to temptation doesn’t feel so out of bounds. That is, until life gets in the way and the whistle is blown. Will it be a red card for Gunnar and Felicity’s secret romance?

Out of Bounds is a standalone enemies-to-lovers, age gap contemporary romance. Enjoy it on its own, or as part of the series, with no cheating and a guaranteed HEA!

Find more of my reviews on Amazon under Kayreader
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