Monday, January 25, 2016

REVIEW: Dolce by Rachel Blaufeld **EXCERPTS**

“Who just stole my thunder across the Hafton airwaves, you ask? Right now, right this very second, listeners, I have Hafton’s one-and-only, the main man with the ball in hand, Blane Steele is in the studio. Mark my words—he’ll not only steal the ball, but your lady’s heart too. Watch out, gentlemen, the Stealer is in the house!”
— Sonny Be Knocking Boots, Hafton Radio 96.9

Coed antics.
Angst-ridden twists in fate.

Caterina is an intern. Sonny is her shock-jock boss. And Blane is a good-hearted baller…except when he steps on the court. Between on-air dares, an evil feminist professor, a straight-shooter of a coach, and rumors from the league surrounding Steele, these three are destined to screw it all up.

Rather than a love triangle, this is a friends-to-lovers story where the disc jockey acts as the catalyst, and a basketball player finds his life transformed when center court intersects with love.

5 #StealerandDJGirl STARS

Wow! Rachel Blaufeld did it again! Totally gave me an absolutely awesome story that was so original and heartwarming, angsty in the just the right way...and let's not forget a sexy, lovable basketball player and smart, sassy and sexy heroine!
Before you think: "Oh no, not another sports romance."
It's not what you think. Sure, there's a star basketball player and heartthrob, Blane Steele, with the moniker “Stealer” as he’s known for not only stealing the ball, but the ladies’ hearts. But that’s only one part of the story. The other half of this equation is Caterina (Cate), a women studies major and DJ intern whose feisty, curvy and Blane can’t help but take notice.
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This book took me on a one-of-a-kind journey. I wouldn’t have predicted how this story was going to unfold. I know I’ve said this before, but for me, one of the things that takes a book from good to great, and what makes a tale truly outstanding, is the author’s ability to provide an unexpectedly moving and enlightening story. One that pushes against boundaries and beliefs yet still gives you all the gooey goodness of the feels, a little angst, and those sweet and sexy times.

I recently discovered Rachel Blaufeld with the first book in this series, Vérité and it gave me all of those things. And like the first book, but in a completely different way, Dolce does just that too.
I can’t recommend this series enough. If you're up for something different, at times challenging and moving, this is for you. For some, you may not be able to get past the twist in this tale but for me, while a total surprise, it made sense and gave this formidable read the powerhouse punch to make it unforgettable. I promise you that it's not what you're expecting but don't worry, you’ll get so much more!
This is the second book in the Love at Center Court series but it can be read as a stand alone. But if you haven’t read book 1, you should! I'm looking forward to more from these ballers. For me, the most important thing this book did for me was make me realize, I've got to read more from Rachel.
And to think she almost didn’t write this! Rachel, if you ever need a cheerleader, I’m your girl!
**ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.**

I started walking toward the exit when I stopped and shouted, “What’s your name, my fair maiden?”
She turned, bracing the door with her shoulder. Planting her hands on her hips, she cocked one to the side.
“Do I look like a fair maiden at the top of the tower?”
Stunned, I shook my head. I’d never been challenged like that—ever.
“It’s Caterina.” She turned on her heel and started to enter the closet.
“It’s Blane. Nice to meet you, Caterina,” I hollered over my shoulder.
“Actually, everyone calls me Catie,” she yelled back.
Without looking back, I shook my head. Semi-sweet, foul-mouthed Catie and Mr. Sonny Fucking Boots.
What an odd pair.
I didn’t have time to get involved in whatever situation they had going. I had a basketball season to get ready for, and apparently, a libido to keep in check.
“I’m not doing anything. I’m hanging with a friend.”
Almost instantly, the spark winked out in her eyes. “What?”
Most girls would have bitten their tongue off rather than respond to the friend comment, but not Cate.
She glared at me. “You’re making my head hurt. You’re nice, and we’re friends. Then you wrap your arm around me, hug me tight, chat about porn, and ask me out for a drink, which seems like more than friends. And now we’re back to being friends again.”
“It’s complicated, like you said, with Sonny and the radio station. I’ve never done this before, actually liked someone or been intrigued. Whatever this is.”
“Well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.”
“It’s fucking just my luck, you know,” I said, shaking my head sadly. “I meet someone like you when Sonny throws down the gauntlet, and I can’t mess up because I’ve got Coach breathing down my neck. Everyone’s watching me. It’s been all eyes on deck since last season, when I decided to finish school before I go pro, and do what’s right. I must be jinxed or some shit.”
“Exactly,” Cate said firmly. “I may be all ‘I am woman, hear me roar,’ but I’m not about to trash your career over a silly friendship. You do what you need to do.”
She stood on her tiptoes, grabbed my shoulders, and placed a quick kiss on my cheek. “Take care of yourself, Blane. See you around. Thanks for walking me.”

Rachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog,BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.
Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.
Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, anti-heroes, and mighty fine epilogues.

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