Eyeful (Gladiators of the Gridiron) – ARC Review

by C.R. Grissom
Release Date:  March 2, 2021
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #2 of the Gladiators of the Gridiron series
Number of pages:  255
Source:  ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance/New Adult M/F
Rating: R
Read 2/24/21 to 2/26/21

College life should come with a content warning.

All Phoebe Sharpe wanted was to start over at a new college to escape the drama and humiliation of her mom’s sordid past. But her present is hardly less complicated. To avoid sleeping on the streets, Phoebe seeks sanctuary at a 24-hour gym. When she meets the smoking hot Tiago, her desire to remain anonymous disappears.

Fortis University kicker Tiago Trindade has more on his plate than the average college sophomore. He’s trying to keep his GPA high enough to maintain his football scholarship while balancing practice and a job at the local gym to help support his family. When he learns his grandmother’s been swindled out of the title on her house—which would leave them homeless—he’s determined to save them. And then he meets the girl of his dreams…who just might be involved in her mom’s con.

When Phoebe learns the truth about her mother’s role in scamming Tiago’s family, she’s torn. Should she protect her own family or save Tiago’s?

This is one of those books I just didn’t want to put down. When I read this author’s first traditionally published book (also the first book in this series), Mouthful, I knew she had talent. With Eyeful she proves she’s more than a one hit wonder. The storytelling is smooth and flows nicely. The characters are amazing. The chemistry between the main leads is palpable. Color me impressed.

From the very beginning of this story the reader knows, to a certain extent, what the conflict and climax are going to entail. The closer the book inched toward the climax, the slower I read…not wanting to see either of these characters I fell in love with get hurt. To the author’s credit, she didn’t have things play out quite as I had expected. In some ways that was a good thing, as I always enjoy not knowing the exact course characters are taking. In other ways it was heartbreaking because, well, I’m not going to tell you. No spoilers in my reviews!

Phoebe is a wonderful heroine. Not just her relationship she develops with Tiago aka TJ, but also her rapport with the senior citizens in her grandma’s community. She’s a good person that was dealt a raw hand when it came to her mother. I really ached to give her a good hug.

While Tiago has a much bigger support base than Phoebe, he has been keeping things close to the chest. This means a large part of his support system doesn’t even realize how much support he needs. He’s such a good guy. He helps pay the bills since his dad had an accident and is out of commission. On top of football, work, and school, he also tries to help his mom who is the caregiver to his dad and his grandmother who is spiraling into the abyss of Alzheimer’s. He definitely doesn’t have time for a relationship. Yet it’s so obvious from the first second they meet that Tiago and Phoebe aren’t going to be able to stay away from each other.

Just as I loved them in book one, the football players are terrific. You throw them into the mix here and there’s no way TJ and Phoebe can avoid each other. Not when Faith has taken Phoebe under her wing and pulled her into the orbit of said football players. Now that I know this is a series (that was unknown when I finished book one) I really, really, really want to beg for a book that centers around Everest. He is seriously The Best.

I am now official a fan of C.R. Grissom and wait impatiently for the next story in this series.

4 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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