Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review of HER BEST SHOT (Hot & Nerdy #1) by Shannyn Schroeder + Excerpt

"Come on, it's not that bad. Show me your stuff. I want to see you win so you can have your way with me." - Phin Marks

Her Best Shot
Series: Hot & Nerdy # 1
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Publisher: Lyrical Press (Kensington)
Release Date: September 29th, 2014
Source: Publisher for Review

Purchase Links: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Kobo
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With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…  

Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…

Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?

Wow... Her Best Shot was so not what I was expecting. From the synopsis, I thought it would just be story of a socially inept "nerdy" girl meeting the hot bad boy. Her Best Shot was that and a whole lot more packed into the perfect little novella. It definitely wasn't like most novellas that leave me wanting more. Nope, this one was just the right length. I did have a little trouble getting into the story, but I'm 99.9% sure that was because of the slump monster that has been looming in the background, waiting to pounce at a moment's notice. Enough about him, let's get back to the book. I adored this novella. We all went through a period of time right before college graduation where we had no freaking clue what was next. Layla and her friends are struggling through that same moment and they all hope that Spring Break will give them one last time to breathe. Layla has a little car trouble on her way to Texas and just happens to meet Phin, a pool shark extraordinaire. Their romance starts off hot and heavy before quickly turning into something deeper that leaves both of them wanting more. While Layla and Phin were pretty much polar opposites, they worked well together. He's the confident wanderer. She's the smart girl with her future mapped out. Together, they helped each other overcome obstacles that stood in their way. I loved that by the end of the novella, they broke free and created their own paths towards a future of happiness.

Her Best Shot was the second book I've read from Shannyn Schroeder. Shannyn's writing is fun and quirky. Her characters are lovably strong, but with a little flaw. I tend to fall in love with their imperfections. With Layla and Phin, I liked how different they were. Not from each other, but how different they were compared to other New Adult characters I've met so far. Thank you, Shannyn! Layla and her friends are people I wish I met in college. And I can't wait to see just how nerdy Layla's friends truly are.

Her Best Shot
© 2014 Shannyn Schroeder

She held her cue in front of her chest, the line bisecting her, making it difficult to do anything other than focus on her breasts. He reread her shirt and began to think about pie. And Layla naked.

“So what’d I do wrong?”


She moved the stick in order to walk, breaking his concentration on her chest. She neared him and asked, “Why did I miss?”

“You got cocky and it cost your concentration. The first two worked, and, although the third shot should’ve been an easy one, you lost your stance and your bridge was sloppy. You didn’t have enough control. You can’t ever spend time thinking about the last shot. Worst case, you focus on the shot at hand. Best case, you think two or three shots ahead.” 

She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes. “How am I supposed to plan ahead if I don’t know where the balls will land?”

“You predict. Look, if I try to hit the three into the corner, it’s going to push others out of the way. Where are they going to roll? That’s how I’ll set up my next shot. I can force those balls to land where I want based on how I hit them.” He took a swig of his beer. Layla didn’t respond, but she absorbed what he said. He saw the understanding in her eyes and didn’t need the verbal confirmation. 

“I want the five to move to the left, so I’m going to hit it on the right side with a little spin. I don’t want it to shoot far, just enough.” He leaned down and took the shot. The three swooshed into the corner pocket, and the five lined up exactly where he wanted.

Layla’s face suddenly brightened. “I got it!” She walked to the opposite corner and rattled off possibilities.

He nodded and then cleared the solids without looking up. Layla didn’t crowd him and she’d stopped flirting. When the eight fell into the pocket, he straightened and laid his cue on the table. Layla didn’t acknowledge him. Her gaze stayed locked on the remaining balls. Maybe she was so competitive that she was a sore loser.

“Can I clear the table?”

Her question surprised him and his face must’ve reflected that.

“I know you won, big surprise, but I think I see the shots I’d take and want to try.”

“Knock yourself out. I’m going to get another beer. You want one?”

“Sure. Thanks.”

Phin went to the bar and grabbed the beers. When he returned, she was racking the balls.

“Another game?” Layla asked.

“Sure. What are we playing for?”

“I’m a poor college student. I’m still not going to pay you twenty dollars.”

“Not confident in your ability, huh?”

“I’m confident in my ability, but you’re a shark. My money’s staying in my pocket.”

Phin moved closer and handed her a beer. “So what do you have in mind?”

She tilted her head, as appeared to be habit, and said, “A kiss. I’ve never kissed a guy with hair longer than mine.”

He reached out and ran his hand over the back of her head, where there wasn’t enough hair to grab. “Not hard to do. Besides, if you want a kiss, all you have to do is ask.”

Shannyn Schroeder is a former high school and middle school English teacher. She holds a BA in English and MAs in Special Education and Gifted Education. She currently works as an editor for an education company and juggles writing around her kids’ schedules. In her spare time, Shannyn loves to bake and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She started her first book on a dare from her husband and has never looked back. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending, and writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.

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