Mini Book Review: Blind Side by Kandi Steiner

Blind Side (Red Zone Rivals #2)
Pub Date: 15 June 2022
Genre: Contemporary (Sports) Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)


The hottest college football safety in the nation just asked me to be his fake girlfriend.

And I just asked him to take my virginity.

Clay Johnson has the abs of Adonis and the deadly smirk of the devil, himself. There’s hardly a day he’s not headline material during football season, and never a day he isn’t a bullseye target for every girl on campus.

He used to be the easiest of all the players for me to wrangle as the Public Relations Coordinator, but after a nasty breakup with his high school sweetheart, he’s a mess.

And a complete pain in my ass.

We meet to discuss his behavior and review media relations standards. But when he witnesses how I fall to pieces in front of my guitar-toting crush, his wheels start turning. And he cooks up this absurd plan.

He helps me get noticed.
I help him make his ex jealous.
All by pretending to be in a relationship.

What he doesn’t realize is that this bookworm is a virgin, and far from versed in seducing a musician. So, to sweeten the deal, I convince him to help me — not just to get my crush’s attention, but to knock his socks off once I have it.

But the more I come unraveled at the hands of Clay Johnson, the more trouble I have discerning what’s fake and what’s undoubtedly real — particularly, the way my heart flutters every time that breathtaking man touches me.

We set the rules. We put the safeguards in place.

But they say rules are meant to be broken.
They probably should have added that hearts are, too.

Blind Side is a fake dating college sports romance with “lessons” and opposites attract. It is a complete stand-alone.

TL;DR: This had the fake-dating and popular jock/bookish virginal nerd tropes with a good bit of angst and a whole lot of funny, swoony and steamy moments in between! This was my first book by Kandi Steiner and I’m glad to say that I really enjoyed it! Blind Side was simply a good-time read and with how much I enjoyed it, I’m looking forward to checking out more by this author.

I really liked Giana and Clay together and I loved how their relationship evolved from something surface-level to something deeper and much more romantic. It’s so great when couples develop a strong friendship and the level of openness and trust that forms between these two made their romance that much stronger. There was a genuineness to their interactions that made this romance feel a lot more realistic!

Giana was an absolute sweetheart and a romance-loving bookworm. She’s shy and doesn’t see herself as anything special coming from a family of overachieving siblings but I loved how she grew confident in herself as the book progresses. She is an ‘innocent/virginal’ FMC but I don’t feel like she comes off as “not-like-other-girls” and actually, it was great to see her actually open up sexually (also thanks to romance novels)! I loved Clay and my heart went out to him in his situation. He’s a typical jock in many ways but he also has a people-pleasing side and would do anything to help the people he cares about even if it means putting himself last. It took him a while to get to a place where he’d put himself first and it did generate a fair bit of angst but it didn’t get overly dragged out and I loved the support he got from his friends and teammates to get him there. That grand gesture at the end was so swoontastic and honestly, sickeningly sweet and I loved it! 😍 Their chemistry was off-the-charts and the steamy moments were fire-hot thanks to Clay reading Giana’s romance novels and taking notes on what she likes! 😉🔥

Overall, this was a really fun sports romance though it did have a few more serious moments dealing with a toxic parental relationship and a bit of romantic angst at the end. Giana and Clay were really great characters who more than deserved their HEA and I’m already really looking forward to the next book in the series.

Have you read Blind Side or is it on your TBR?