Review – The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan 

The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You don’t find love; it finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.

Love found me when I dove into The Hot Shot by Kristen Callihan, a deep and dreamy love story that soared straight to my soul.

Maybe it’s because I love FOOTBALL and watch it obsessively.

Maybe it’s because I love sports romances, my favorite romance genre next to rocker reads.

Maybe because friends-to-lovers romances are my weakness…my kryptonite.

Maybe it’s because I need to lose myself completely in stories, feeling every word.

Maybe it’s because I get a thrill when meeting a new or new-to-me author.

No…not maybe at all…but YES!!! YES to all of these and more! Kristen Callihan wrote SO MUCH MORE than a sports meets friends-to-lovers romance!!! The Hot Shot is a love story of FEELS and FATE, a romance of DREAMS and DESTINY. This book wholeheartedly CAPTIVATED ME, calling to my heart and soul, as The Hot Shot CONSUMED ME from beginning to end. There haven’t been many sports romances that have made me FEEL EVERY WORD like The Hot Shot did, a story that shot stars along with tears in my eyes.

The first thing I noticed about The Hot Shot was how smooth and seamless Kristen Callihan’s writing flows, as if this book were an ocean and the words were waves, separate but perfectly intact and intertwined with the story. I can’t exactly explain it but this book just FELT RIGHT. From the very start, The Hot Shot CLICKED in every way. I felt this natural ease when reading The Hot Shot with words that not only perfectly flowed but were FLAWLESS. Reading this story felt as natural as breathing, and at times I held my breath in excitement and anticipation.

Is there anything sweeter than a friends-to-lovers romance?!? A friendship that blossoms like a flower into more. The Hot Shot is sweetness meets smolder, a friends-to-lovers romance with passion in spades. This story is SWOON in spades and oh did The Hot Shot hero make me swoon like I was watching a sappy Hallmark movie during Christmastime.

Finn Mannus is an all-star NFL quarterback, a player on and off the field. Gorgeous with sun-kissed brown hair and sky-blue eyes, tall, chiseled, and cut…beautiful inside and out. The last thing he wants or needs is to entangle himself into a relationship, lose his focus from the ball.

I suspect Ms. Chess Copper is going to take me down and make me feel it.

Except Finn didn’t count on a sassy, spitfire, tattooed, pin-up looking beauty with dark hair and green eyes to throw him off his game. Chess Copper has dated a bunch of frogs and has yet to find her prince. Her prince is bearded and inked, eccentric, an artist of some sort. Her prince is not supposed to look like the pretty boy quarterback who pushes her buttons.

It’s too bad that fate has other plans…

The second I touch him, I know it’s a mistake…In that instant, I know him. I know him. I feel like I’ve known him my whole existence, like I’ve been waiting for him to return from wherever he’s been.

Friends…the friend zone is easy. Chess and Finn will be friends only…
Until lines are blurred…

“You and me. We could be real.”

With each of Finn’s heart-hitting words, my heart blossomed, blooming, bleeding for love.
Feelings develop…

“One day, Chess, you’re going to feel safe enough to let go. And I’m going to be there to catch you when you fall.”

Oh Finn…this sweet and sexy man stole my heart. Caring. Considerate. Cocky. Complex. Utterly perfect! Finn…this brave and beautiful man OWNED me. I cried happy and sappy tears as this big and strong quarterback is vulnerable inside, and that itself is powerful. Finn held my heart in his hands. My heart was all Finn’s! I LOVED this hero, this knight-in-shining armor so very much.

Those lines are crossed…

Finn presses his mouth to mine. The kiss is sweet and swift, a touch of lips to lips, a slight exchange of air. And it still manages to stop my heart and send heat flaring up my thighs.

That kiss, so sweet and delicate was EVERYTHING!!! I could not help but smile, as this kiss lifted me up to the clouds, swooning all the way.

The chemistry between Chess and Finn is a play they can’t fake. They have crossed the Friend Zone and jumped into the Point of No Return…

“Tell me again that I’m a bad bet. Because I can’t wait to prove you wrong.”

“Prove it.”

Their connection is real. Somehow whatever it is between Chess and Finn feels right…but neither do relationships…

“Everything is right when I’m with you.”

Sweet. Sexy. Soulful. I SMILED a lot. I CRIED at times. I HELD MY BREATH a few times. I FELT ALL THE EMOTIONS the whole time. The Hot Shot with its hero quarterback with a huge heart held my heart the whole time reading. I don’t think I could love Finn any more as this PERFECT Prince Charming POSSESSED ME!!!

Feel-worthy and flawless, The Hot Shot is a football love story flooded with feels, and I dare you not to feel every single word! I FELT ALL OF THE FEELS in The Hot Shot like a spiral ball straight to my heart! This story is a slow burn of the soul. I am still soaring in the clouds with stars in my eyes, floating on Cloud Nine. I still can feel one hell of a hangover heating me like the Summer sun from The Hot Shot, a sweet and swoon-filled sports romance that shot through my soul and made my heart dance!

Why did I wait so long to meet the master writer and word magician known as Kristen Callihan?!? I was a fool to not inhale this author’s books sooner! There is no greater BOOK BLISS for me than discovering and then LOVING a new or new-to-me author’s writing, such as Kristen Callahan’s. I am a fan girl for life! I am in UTTER LOVE with this author’s powerful writing, as Kristen Callihan made me experience every emotion through mere words!!!

Kristen Callihan rose to my all-time favorite authors with one book: The Hot Shot. One book that made me smile, swoon, smolder, and snicker. One book that hit my heart and soared through my soul. One book that was beauty in words. One book where I felt every word. One book that was MINE IN EVERY WAY as I was its.

I was WOWED and WOUNDED, my heart breaking in the best way, as The Hot Shot did one hell of a heart-stopping number on me. This tale is one tender-loving TOUCHDOWN!!! This book is PURE MELT-WORTHY MAGIC! The Hot Shot is a shot to the heart, PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!!!

“Do you understand? Your life stops, mine does too.”

★★★★★ ‘hot shot to the heart’ stars

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First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…
What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.
Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.
Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever? 


She sits quietly as I eat, and shakes her head when I offer her a sandwich section. Because I’m hungry, and because I don’t like the idea of her having to wait for me to eat, I wolf down my food. The brownie follows with a few, quick bites.

Wiping my hands on a napkin, I set the plate and empty can on a side table, and then let out a contented sigh. “Thanks. I needed that.”

Her smile is small and quick. “I should have fed you as soon as you got here.”

“I’m good now.”

Chess braces her hands on the seat and leans forward to watch her feet as we slowly rock the swing. Silence descends, thick and awkward, and for the first time in her presence, I’m at a loss for words.

I don’t know this girl. Not really, and yet I’ve inserted myself into her life with a determination I usually reserve for winning games. Except I have no endgame here. I told her I want to be friends. But how does that work for us?  

Our friends and lives couldn’t be any more different. Parties for me are self-congratulatory events, filled with people whose one focus seems to be bolstering my ego, followed by me searching for a quick hookup. And my friends are all part of football in some way. We talk football or sports. It’s a narrow focus life, but it’s my comfort zone. That chafes too, knowing I live a life that seems wild and free to outsiders but is actually small and structured on the inside.

The silence has stretched too long. I should go. But I don’t move. If I go, I know it will be the end of whatever this is. Embarrassment will have me avoiding seeking her out again. Likely, she’ll do the same. And that will be that.

The knowledge sits like a stone on my chest.

“I’m sorry about my friends,” Chess says. “They can be uncomfortably brazen.”

“So can mine.” I shrug. “Your friends are…fun.”

Her lips pull tight. “They can be. But they were definitely giving me—and by extension—you shit tonight.” She bites her bottom lip. “I don’t think they know what to make of you.”

“So I wasn’t imagining things.”

“’Fraid not.”

The novel sensation of being a fish tossed into the wrong pond grows. I’ve taken away Chess’s fun by coming here, and I’m sorry for it.

“I shouldn’t have asked you to come here,” Chess says in a low voice.

She’s only echoing my thoughts but the stone sitting on my chest pushes harder against my ribs.

Chess makes a small sound, as if she’s trying to laugh but can’t. “Parties suck when you arrive halfway through and don’t know anyone.”

“I know you,” I point out quietly.

She turns and the porch light illuminates her face. Green eyes met mine and hold, as a slow, true smile curls over her cherry lips. Something inside of me shifts and slides. I want to kiss Chester Copper. Haul her onto my lap and make out with her like we’re teenagers hiding out at our parents’ party. But that’s not what she invited me here for.

“I wanted to see you,” she confesses in that husky morning voice that goes straight to my cock. She turns away and stares out into the darkness. “It’s weird, you know? But hanging out with you was so unexpected it kind of felt like I imagined the whole thing.”

I know exactly what she means. My hand settles next to hers, close enough that our pinkies touch. That small point of contact sparks along my skin, makes me want to move closer. I hold steady because I don’t trust myself not to act. “I wanted to see you too,” I tell her. “It’s been a long fucking day.”

I hadn’t planned to admit that, but it feels good to tell her.

Chess eases back against the seat and then curls her fingers over mine with a light squeeze. The unexpected touch holds all my attention. It’s nothing more than a simple offer of comfort, and here I am twitching in my seat as if she’d cupped my dick instead. I’m in so much trouble here because this woman is getting to me in ways I don’t know how to navigate. But I don’t pull away. Not one fucking chance of that.

Chess speaks, pulling me attention back to our conversation. “So tell me about it.”

I can’t remember the last time anyone asked me to tell them about my day. Likely, no one ever has.

So I do. And with every word that leaves my mouth, a little bit more of my stress eases. No, I don’t yet truly know Chess. And yes, our lives are different. But there’s no way I’m ending this. Because when it’s just her and me, everything else falls away. I’m not going to let myself forget that again.



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Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.




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