Title: Long Shot
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Series info: Book 1 of Hoops series, can be read as a standalone
I came across this book through a review by Kat @ Reading After Ten. She mentioned that this would be a HARD READ, but that it’s also worth it. I was intrigued, so I added it to my TBR. Once I had enough space and time to deal with emotions, I started reading the book. And I totally agree with Kat.
This book was VERY HARD TO READ. I had to take much needed breaks because my heart couldn’t take more. It’s a very graphic book, and it’s definitely not for the light-hearted or readers who may get triggered. Please read the trigger warnings before picking up the book.
Major trigger warnings: domestic abuse, graphic violence and physical abuse, emotional abuse, gaslighting, rape, stalking, being trapped.
Minor (by amount of representation, not importance) trigger warnings: depression, post-partum depression.
The book follows Iris and August from the time they met. August is a rising football player, and Iris is currently dating August’s nemesis Caleb. They have a connection but it doesn’t matter. But the story isn’t just romance. The book follows Iris more than August, and it shows her journey without rose-tinted glasses.
Iris is a victim of domestic abuse. We see how things between her and her boyfriend escalate, and how hard that situation actually is. How not simple it is to get out of such a situation.
Long Shot is about Iris and August’s love story, but it is also about Iris’s experiences and how she fought and came out on the other side.
As I said earlier, this book was hard to read. We read through Iris as she experiences abuse by the hands of her boyfriend Caleb, and it is hard to get through.
“Struggle does not make you weak,” she whispers back. “Struggling against those who hold us is what makes us, over time, stronger than they are. Strong enough to fight back. Strong enough to win.”
I have read books where the main character has been through domestic abuse before, but I don’t think I’ve read one as the character is going through it. And, usually, romance books use such plot points to have a damsel-in-distress who is saved by the male lead and given a happily ever after. Long Shot doesn’t do that.
The domestic abuse in this book wasn’t a plot point used to add depth to Iris. It was plainly written to show that even strong women could get into bad relationships and find it hard to leave. It shows that in this chauvinistic world, a woman’s words aren’t always taken seriously.
I saw how hard Iris fought to leave her relationship, and how things escalated the more she fought. It takes a lot of courage to survive in such a relationship, let alone fight back every day.
“Take them back. Your soul is yours. Your heart is yours. Your body is yours. Yours to keep and yours to share.”
The way the author has written all of it—Iris before everything went bad, to majority of the book when Iris was under abuse, to Iris moving on. It was written brilliantly. And it was written with insight. In the author’s note, Kennedy Ryan mentions that she spoke to many women who have been through domestic abuse so that she can portray it right, and I commend that. There were many facets to the situation which I never thought of before.
Iris’s romance with August was like a beacon of light in the darkness. Not just for Iris, but for me too as a reader. I absolutely loved the romance. August and Iris’s chemistry was sizzling right from the start. From the first conversation, I was rooting for them.
“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.”
And damn, August was charismatic as heck! I’d have no stipulations to drop everything and fall in love with him. August was the perfect man. I’m glad that the author took time to build his character as well, without just concentrating on Iris.
A romance book which is SO MUCH MORE. If you want to read a well-written book that talks about domestic abuse, pick this one up. All the pain and grief the book will cause you is worth it in the end.
I rate this book..