First Down (Sharks Football #1) by Leslie North
Reviewed by Cardyn Brooks
New Adult contemporary romance
As Savannah Sharks professional running back Mark Coleridge plays in his first pre-season game he recognizes the combination of luck and hard work that’s taken him from his modest trailer-park beginnings to wealth and opportunities to achieve athletic greatness. When he sees Tessa Black, his high school sweetheart, and a young child who resembles Mark, among a group of fans the circumstances of their sudden breakup years earlier and her recent outreach take on new meaning. It forces him to rethink everything he’s believed about their past relationship while elementary school teacher Tessa reminds herself of her well-intentioned motives in keeping their child a secret from him until now.
First Down is a sports romance with familiar secret baby and second chance elements fans of Sarina Bowen and Alexa Martin should enjoy. Tessa and Mark’s love story offers lighter fare in its glossy treatment of their backstory details, the team’s internal conflicts and resolutions, and harsh social media scrutiny and consequences. The young lovers’ solid friendship and sexual chemistry establish a fundamental sense of sweet affection and optimism that create a satisfying read.
Published by Relay Publishing, March 25, 2021