[ARC REVIEW] “Personal Foul” by Maggie Rawdon

What is Personal Foul by Maggie Rawdon about?

“I’m her dirty little secret, the one she loves to hate.”

She knows just what to say to cut deep, and I know how to press every single button she has.
We hate each other, until one night after I lose the biggest football game of the year.
When she offers the kind of mercy I need.
It changes everything… until the next morning.
Now I’m her dirty little secret, and she’s avoiding me like the plague.

Which makes it difficult when we get partnered on a project
and we’re stuck on a couple’s trip with our friends.

The tension between us is sky high.
So I propose a way to lower it: enemies with benefits.
One hotel room. A few days. A chance to let our little “hateship” run its course.

Except when it’s unexpectedly cut short, I’m not ready to give her up.
And I think I might be a bad habit she can’t quit, despite how smart she is.

But we have bigger problems, and both of our post-college careers are on the line.
I’m about to find out if I can win this game or fumble the two most important plays of my life.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:

I’m a big fan of the enemies to lovers trope, and don’t think I’ve read one in awhile — and I loved this one a lot. Wren and Easton more frenemies than actual enemies, and they go from hookup to sort of fake dating pretty quick. Since it’s told in dual POV, we get to see both of them battle their attraction towards each other, both physically and emotionally, from both sides, which is fun to follow along with and watch play out. Wren and Easton complement each other perfectly, and I loved getting a front row seat to their love story. 

At first, I thought it was kind of strange that her two friends/roommates, Liv and Kenz, were both partnered up with guys in the same friend group — Easton’s friend group. After doing some more digging, I realized that this is actually the third book in the series (it can be read as a standalone) which was kind of frustrating because I would’ve liked to read the first two first, and this one includes plot spoilers for the first books. I’m hoping by the time I get around to reading those, I’ll have forgotten. 

I do have to say that I hate how Easton took pictures on his phone of Wren’s boudoir photos. He tells her he does it as soon as he sees her, it’s not a secret, but it’s such a gross and creepy invasion of privacy that it made me not like him as much right off the bat. It makes slightly more sense after learning they’re more familiar with each other from the first two books in the series than I thought, but it was still weird of him to do, and I was worried the whole time that something was going to happen and those photos were going to get leaked somehow. 

Between their couples ski trip getaway and being partners in their capstone, there’s elements of forced proximity as well, which I always love reading (and there’s only one bed)! The advertising/PR/marketing aspect of their degrees was fun to read about, since I focused my college classes and extracurriculars on PR, too. They did keep mentioning an interview associated with the project though, and I don’t think they said anything about an interview when first talking about the project, so I was confused as to what that was about — but remember this is an advanced copy, so that might be changed in the final. 

Overall, this was a fun read, and I loved their friend group, too. It was (obviously) my first time reading any of Maggie’s books, but I’m looking forward to reading the first two books in this series, along with the one that comes after it! It’s no secret I love a good college sports romance, and this one checks all of those boxes. As with almost all new adult/adult books I review, this one is definitely recommended for 18+ due to some of the sexual content, but as always, don’t let me tell you what to do. Huge thanks to Maggie and her team for allowing me an early copy to review — the book is out now! 

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