Last Friday was the release of Anna B. Doe’s newest novel, The Stand-In Boyfriend! You can read all about the book (and my thoughts) here, but first check out my review of the book right before it in the series, The Penalty Box!
Liam Ward just got the starter position on the hockey team and he’s determined to have the best year of his life. If only his teammates would stop pointing out how “grown-up” his best friend has become and putting thoughts he most definitely shouldn’t think about in his head.
Evie Clark wasn’t supposed to fall in love with her best friend, but she did. She doesn’t know when or how it happened, only that one day being close to him brought butterflies to her belly and her heart would start racing every time he was near. If only the feeling were mutual.
Just when Evie thinks there might be hope for the two of them, she sees Liam flirting with another girl. To put a stop to her feelings before it’s too late, Evie will do anything, even go out with a football quarterback.
She might have put him in the penalty box, but the moment the timer buzzes, this hockey player is determined to win the game.
The Penalty Box is a complete standalone, sweet YA sports romance novella taking place in the world of Greyford High.
Rating: 4/5 Stars
The Penalty Box can be read as a standalone, but Anna was nice enough to also provide an author copy of the book for me to read before I read The Stand-In Boyfriend, since there is a bunch of overlap with the characters! I read both books in one day — they’re both novellas, so it didn’t take too much time! I’d highly recommend reading The Penalty Box first.
There are some references to the first three books in the Greyford High series, which I recognized from reading the synopsis of the first three. Normally I don’t like to read a series out of order, (even though they can be read as standalones) because I don’t want to miss out on all of the little references and nods to the main series! (Don’t worry, I plan on reading the first three once I get another trial of Kindle Unlimited.)
I really really don’t like Noah in this book. He becomes very problematic, and knowing that he’s the main character of the next book in the series made me skeptical. Obviously I knew Liam and Evie were the main love interests, but I was still surprised at how big of a role both Noah and Jessy, Evie’s best friend, played.
The Penalty Box is a friends-to-lovers romance, even though Liam and Evie definitely have their ups and downs as friends. Their friendship disintegrates over something so small (which I’m pretty sure is a nod to the previous books in the series), especially because Liam takes awhile to come to his senses and actually communicate with Evie. (The name Evie is awesome, btw.)
Overall, I thought this was a fun read! I read it in just under two hours, and it was cool to see how Anna writes young adult stories vs. new adult — even though they’re on the same sort of topic, the characters are all different! (Some Greyford High cameos at Blairwood might be fun too!)
Thanks to Anna for providing me with a copy to review!
Reviews of Anna B. Doe’s Books:
Playlists of Anna B. Doe’s Books:
“The Penalty Box” (Greyford High #4) ♪
“The Stand-In Boyfriend” (Greyford High #5) ♪