SETTLE THE SCORE/HUSTLE PLAY by Tara Frejas
Published on October 15, 2016
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Settle the Score
College senior Garnet Figueroa lives and breathes basketball. A reliable asset to her varsity team, she is equipped with the skills and smarts to get the De La Sierra Lady Hunters closer to this year’s championship title. But Garnet soon finds out that her good friend (and long-time crush), cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, is being cheated on by his girl, and she lets her emotions get the best of her.
Will she be able to come up with a game plan to save herself from heartbreak before the buzzer signals Game Over?
Running on pure adrenaline and working with game strategies is something a basketball player like Garnet Figueroa is trained for. On the court, she is unbeatable. Off the court… that’s a completely different story.
Because falling in love is trickier than a ball game, and Garnet finds herself fumbling over her feelings for Charles Crisostomo. The fact that her attention gets divided between him and rival school hard-court hottie Chris Barcelo doesn’t help.
Or does it?
I read Settle the Score back when it was released and I liked it. I don’t read a lot of sports romance (not sporty, haha), but Tara had always written well-crafted stories, plus it’s a friends to lovers romance so what’s not to like? When she mentioned that she’s wrote a continuation in Hustle Play, I was very excited. Bring it, Charles and Garnet!
Settle the Score had basketball player Garnet Figueroa doing her own kind of intervention for her best friend and cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, because that’s what best friends do, right? Or something. Hustle Play follows up on this, which dealt with just how Garnet and Charles will deal with this “relationship upgrade.” It shouldn’t be too hard, right, because they know each other well. But…why is it a bit complicated? And what will Garnet do with this cute new guy she’s suddenly partnered with?
I might be totally biased in some way, because I am practically a Sierran, given I also graduated in the university peg that Tara used here. 😉 But other than this particular thing, everything about Settle the Score/Hustle Play was a breeze to read. Charles and Garnet’s voices are very distinct, and I knew from the very start that they were meant to be, making it really easy to root for them to be together. Despite the length, the relationships felt solid, not just with the main character and the love interest, but even all the other supporting ones. It says a lot that I even liked Chris Barcelo, but what’s not to like about cute basketball players? Heh.
I probably still can’t understand half of the basketball talk, but even so, that didn’t lessen the enjoyment. And I think this just proves how much I like the friends to lovers trope, and that the best friend will always be my first choice. Until someone pushes me to another direction. Until the best friend does something that gets me back.
So yes, sports + friends to lovers + fun characters = winning book. Don’t miss this one from Tara! Go, Lady Hunters!
About the author:
TARA FREJAS is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not in work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.
While not exactly a huge basketball fanatic, she does love and support the national team, Gilas Pilipinas (Hi, Gabe Norwood! Hee~) and has a tendency to get rather emotional watching their games.
In a parallel universe where she doesn’t have asthma, Tara played for her high school and college basketball teams as a shooting guard. She wore jersey number 21, and ended her college career with triple-double averages. In short, beast mode ang ate niyo. Pak.
Her other print-on-demand titles include Paper Planes Back Home, The “Forget You” Brew, and Scandalized.
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