FIVE-STAR

FIVE-STAR                               J. SANTIAGO

Tank Howard made headlines when he shocked the college football world by signing with Coach Franco’s non-BSC contender, Kensington State. Amber Johnson narrowly avoided making news following a harrowing accident that left her more than a little scarred. Three years later, as the profile of Kensington State begins to rise, Tank and Amber meet when she falls at his feet – literally. Although Tank needs to focus on football and Amber needs to focus on healing, neither one of them is able to fight their attraction. 

As the season heats up so does their relationship and their struggle to navigate through his fame, her infamy, and the expectations of the season. When an agent comes after Tank, everything is on the line: his relationship with Amber, his shot at the Heisman and the career of Franco. Figuring it all out may be his greatest audible yet.

MY REVIEW:
     Anthony “Tank” Howard had been working toward this day since what felt like forever.  But today would be his day to declare what college program he was going to sign with.  Of which there had been no question for a long time.  Everyone had known since he was fifteen that he wanted to sign with Georgia State to be coached with Whitey and Franco.  He never wanted it to be this way with all this fanfare.  His mother Chantel Jones who had never really had a good word to say about her sperm donor, his father, had taken his unsolicited advice on this and had him visit all his options and then have this day too.
     You see Tank always knew state was it for him.  The sperm donor who had messed it up had messed up his own chances by gambling it away got say in how he did thing, really?  So when it was Tanks big day he could grab the limelight by coming in late for the proceedings all dressed in Georgia State garb the limelight meant for his son was now on him.  He was still Tank’s thunder by giving his choice away.  Making it perfectly clear to Tank he from day one had never wanted to claim Tank he was always and still was all about himself.  He had talked his mother into the hoopla of a day with all the bells and whistles for himself.
     At that moment Tank felt an anger he had never felt before ever.  Quickly going over his options because he knew this was playing out on national television.  Once it was clear in his head he decided that he was doing the right thing.  He decided to turn this signing day on its ear.  He reached down and picked up a hat and announced, “I am going to Kensington State.  I am going to be a Bear.”
     Three years in, if you asked him, he would never really admit it but his father’s showboating had everything to do with his decision to go to Kensington.  The rest had to do with the friendship and honesty he received from his coach well back then recruiter, Mike Franco.  Even though Mike would not be at state after all he would be going to Kensington, he advised Tank in his best interest it would be for him to go the state where they had more to offer.  That meant something to him.  The other thing was when he went on the tour freshman Tilly Lace says don’t believe half the things they promise you while the woo you.  Truth that’s what he really remembered when faced with a liar and a snake known as his father.
     Three years in and Tank was really and truly getting noticed already.  He needed his posse when he went anywhere to block his fans.  Nobody dared messed with his 300-pound team member’s that is for sure.  Because although he loved all the fame and hoopla he somethings would get surrounded and who knew what could happen.  So it was the beginning of the new season and tradition had it that the team as a whole was to go out and party.  They were known in the past to get out of hand.  With the new age of multimedia that is not something their team or Tank himself could afford.  There was already talk of the Heisman in Tank’s future.  So coach called him in as team captain and the most to lose.  That he needed to keep his team members in check.  He said he had it handled.  They were going to The Bear’s Den dedicated to the team’s theme and school colors and mascot.   Fans from all over liked to come on this night to mingle with the team.
     On this night a local hometown girl, Amber Johnson, was back working at the den.  She was like one of the family as far as the owners were concerned.  Especially, to her best friend and sister of the heart Keira.  At the den she dressed and left to all her dances and proms.  You see Amber’s parents were very young when they had her both 16.  But from day the day of her birth her mom didn’t want her so she gave her to her dad and his parents.  Her dad still went to school but every free moment he spent with her.  So while her dad was away for work Keira’s family stepped in for this kind of stuff.  His dad’s big family did all the rest.  But the den was also where she stole her first drink in the back by the pool tables.  So lots of memories.
     Being that he was a single father at 16 it only made sense.  But until he was picked up as a pro football player she was around him as much as possible.  Her grandparents made sure of that.  She was at his college stadium almost every day to watch his practices and games.  Amber knows stats as well as any guy if not better than most.  In fact, when her and her father would talk is was about the breakdown of what happened on the field during the game sometimes she would catch things he or his staff would miss.
     She came home early from college due to a horrific accident that left her scared than more ways than one but she suffered physical scars also.  She was arranged through strings to have PT with the therapist for the Kensington team.  Which has been kicking her ass.  This will be her second night back at The Bear’s Den and she’s already tired.  From the accident she has a bad leg that is already lagging from PT also so she is glad she only has to work behind the bar.  She has a mean looking scar on the right side of her face on her jawline mouth to neck with marbling.  But she keeps it hidden by braiding her hair to the right and putting a hat on. 
     Now it was well past midnight and her leg was really lagging and she was heading toward the kitchen to take a much needed break.  She had to dodge the team of players and half the town to get there.  As she came upon one of the players from behind in order not to get stepped on, to let him know she was there and to balance herself she put her hand on the small of the back of a huge team player’s back.  She stood up as far as she could and said, “Excuse me,” to get by so she could go through.  Wrong move.
     The woman on the other side of the player is the jealous type.  She must not have heard what she said.  All she saw was a platinum blonde leaning into her man.  Amber was so tired she was slow to react.  So when the larger women in tights, wrenched Amber’s arm off the players back.  The jerking motion was too much for Amber’s leg.  She went down hard even though she tried to break her fall or at the least her balance.  When she hit the floor full force knocking her out.
     Tank got up from his cover of his posse wall from the overzealous crowd and went to the aid or the platinum blonde, when Cynthia, Marsh’s girlfriend took her out.  She took no shit from anyone and wouldn’t take kindly to the spindly given Stefani-look-alike touching her man.  He wondered if they wouldn’t get in trouble for the girl fight?  Tank was hoping to thwart Cynthia when the blonde went down-hard.  Marsh was pissed when he said to her, “What the fuck, Cyn?  Are you crazy?”  Showing that he had a pair for saying that though, at least the next couple of days for sure.  Tank looked at Tilly before dropping to his knees and scooping up the sprite, Amber.
     Tilly’s gold teeth, flashed as he caught Tank’s expression.  Tank lifted her and they headed to the kitchen doors behind them.  They were worried Tank sent Tilly back to the bar for a first aid kit.  As Tank was assessing her he saw her scar she had hidden behind the braid.  She was small waisted, ample chest, and very long legs.  She had such a skinny frame.  When her head fell sideways he got a better look at the scar not and it was worst that was little he saw by her mouth.  When flopped to the side he was confronted with her mean looking red scar.  It must have happened when she fell and Tank let out a curse.  Tilly said a glass must have shattered in the fall.  That’s when he noticed she was wearing a Bear’s Den shirt.  Tank told him he should get Mark because she must work there.
     Even with the scar she was “HOT.”  That was all Tank could think of.  His gaze made its way back up to her eyes.  As he was doing so he was wondering what color her eyes were.  The wonder was over.  He made eye contact as he got there with a pair of dark chocolate eyes.  Smiling because he was so glad she woke up he said, “Great you’re awake.”
     She on the other hand not so friendly says, “Did you get a good look perv?”
     Tank couldn’t help it he nodded yes!  With a huge smile.  Not making any points.
     Hostility.  “I’ll assume that’s from being knocked off your ass and hitting your head.  Do you feel okay?”
     All Amber could think was “Seriously?”  That she had the “luck of the damned.”  Without being told and just by his light green eyes she was staring at this was Tank Howard.  Although she was grateful for his help she was in the fight or flight mode at that moment.  With her past history she needed to get away from Tank Howard and fast.  The best way to do that sarcasm. 

     Sit back and enjoy this intense engulfing read.  The characters are funny, emotionally gripping even after the read is over, and the saga is one that has a very surprising ending that in most stories would have made me mad this one not at all.  Yet, it left me hopeful that maybe just maybe there may be hope for them in another book if this turns into a series.   I so want to do an interview with the author for I have so many questions I hope to get answers to.  Because this is the second day since I have finished it and well I have to say it is sticking with me.  I give this book 5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com

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