LONG SHOT, Kennedy Ryan’s standalone basketball romance, is a deeply emotional, full-length story set in the exciting world of professional basketball. It’s an unexpected journey that takes sports romance out of bounds!
Title: Long Shot (A Standalone Basketball Romance)
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Genre: Basketball Romance
Release: March 22, 2018
A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA…Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?
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.
He wants me. I want him.
But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won’t let me go.
*Author’s Note: There are aspects of this story that may be sensitive for some readers.
I’m a lover of words…of carefully crafted sentences and paragraphs…of meticulously detailed storylines that consume me, not only as a reader but also as an English teacher who appreciates a storyteller’s literary prowess. Since I joined the Indie Romance community a little over five years ago, I’ve had the privilege of reading so many amazing stories by authors who have honed their craft since they started publishing all those years ago, and while I definitely have my favorite – my tried and true writers who continually entertain and wow me with their words – I also live for the times when I find a new-to-me author whose ability to tell thought-provoking romances is above and beyond the norm because it’s almost as if the stories become their own living and breathing entities, teaching readers life lessons through multifaceted characters and dynamic story lines that feed readers’ hearts and souls.
And with all of these ideas in mind, I can wholeheartedly say that Kennedy Ryan has become one of those authors to me…in one book, she has managed to overwhelm me in all the best ways, breaking and mending my heart as well as consuming hours of my life reading and absorbing all of her life lessons and teachings of the heart.
Iris and August’s story, Long Shot, is so much more than a book; it’s a soulful experience – one that will make readers believe that a long shot is nothing more than an obstacle to overcome…a challenge that proves the measure of a man…an opportunity to show what Iris and August is made of and let me tell you, these two characters may be bent but they’re definitely not broken regardless of the painful experiences they endure and the amount of time it takes for them to get their shot at a life-changing relationship that’s been suppressed due to bad timing and a maelstrom that refused to loosen its grip on Iris regardless of how much she wanted and needed to be set free.
Before Iris and August get their shot, they need to, individually, find their way, and while August’s path was pretty much laid out for him due to his basketball skills and his ability to not be consumed by the life/world he recently entered by becoming a professional athlete, Iris’ journey is completely opposite to the one she saw herself living, which leaves her questioning who she is and what she’s made of because she found herself in a vulnerable position based on the cards she was dealt and it’s those circumstances that nearly make her give-up…make her wonder if she’ll be defeated…if it will be impossible to dig deeper and go back to the road she was on before her world upended.
HOPSCOTCH – to understand the significance of this work, you’ll need to read Iris and August’s story, but what I will tell you is that this seemingly unimportant and playful word is what saves Iris…is what allows her to fight back against the devastation that surrounds her…is what gives her back her life and allows her a second chance at some of the most pivotal aspects of her life.
‘She remembered who she was and the world changed.’
This quote signifies Iris’ journey…it epitomizes the long road she traveled to find her way back to herself and potentially back to the man who captivated her from their first interaction and what will resonate with readers is the fact that she fights back…she rewrites her story with determination and heart and as she attempts to restrain the monster who dictated too much of her life, Iris works to breathe in the truth…to cleanse her soul…to find herself worthy of love and happiness, and it just so happens that there’s someone waiting for his shot with her…waiting for her to see everything that he saw in the confident girl in the bar the first night they met.
And, what’s crystal clear EVERY time August and Iris find themselves on one another’s court, vying to be on the same team, both playing at the five, it’s just a matter of time before they’re the center of each other’s life, winning it big at life and at love.
Iris and August’s story overwhelmed my emotions and made me dig deep to understand how a strong and independent woman like Iris could lose her way so devastatingly, but because Kennedy Ryan allows readers to walk with both Iris and August as they attempt to traverse the lives that they’re living, it’s clear that Iris is a victim of circumstance and they both must figure out how to dribble out of the trap, so they can make that buzzer beater shot that wins the whole damn thing!
5+ Poison Apples
“Iris?” August’s frown, the concern on his face, in his voice, remind me where I am. “Baby, you okay?”
I blink down at him dumbly, swallowing my tears, eating my memories whole and digesting a nightmare from long ago. I nod, my lips a cold, wobbly curve.
“Kiss me,” he whispers, his eyes so tender, so intent.
I remember a magical night under the stars, under a streetlight on the eve of greatness. A night filled with laughter and confidences, pregnant with promise. And I see him so clearly, my prince, asking for a kiss.
And I do.
I kiss him like the world might end tonight because I’ll never take this for granted. Not his kindness, when I’ve known cruelty all too well. Not his tenderness, when I’ve been handled roughly in the past. Not his love, when I’ve been possessed and owned and mistreated.
He thaws me with his kiss, my prince, and I melt into him. We’re chest to chest, with August’s number crushed between us. I take his cock in my hand, aligning our bodies, and two become one in a carnal slide of flesh. I anchor myself by my elbows hooked around his neck, and we kiss until I’m dizzy and our breaths tangle in a cloud of bliss. Under the jersey, his palm spans my back, digging into the naked flesh as our hips lock and roll and grind. My body clenches around him, and we pray, we curse, we moan, we mate like our bodies were made for this moment.
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.
Kennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.
She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, USA Today and many others. The founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, she has appeared on Headline News, Montel Williams, NPR and other media outlets as a voice for families living with autism.