REVIEW – FRATERNIZE (Player’s Game #1) by Rachel Van Dyken


Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.



*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

Body trembling, I tried to tell my heart to stop beating so loud. But it was too excited. Racing towards him. Toward someone who I’d always seen as the wrong guy. Who quite possibly could end up being the right one. Because no matter how damaged your heart may be, it never loses its ability to choose again, to try again, to want love even after loss.



FRATERNIZE is the story of Emerson Rodner, a young woman who time and again has suffered great loss, but she’s had the tenacity to move on with her life and go after her dreams. She’s always dreamed of being a cheerleader for the NFL team the Bellevue Bucks and finally, after being rejected the past few years, she has won a spot on the cheer squad. Emerson is a woman with curves and she’s dealt with judgment and criticism almost her entire life but she refused to starve herself to get down to a size zero to fit the stereotype of the ”perfect” cheerleader’s body. But she still battles with insecurity over her appearance.

Emerson’s life hasn’t been easy the past several years. Her best friend who promised to never leave her ended up taking her virginity and then breaking her heart when he moved away during their senior year of high school. Soon after Miller moved, he broke his promise to Em and within a few short months, they lost touch completely. While reeling from a broken heart, she suffered another devastating blow when her father was diagnosed with advanced alzheimers. They were forced to sell their home when the medical bills started piling up and now live in a tiny apartment in a low-income neighborhood. Finally making it on the cheerleading team for the Bellevue Bucks has been the first positive thing to happen to her in over eight years.

On her first day of practice, she runs into one of the hottest and biggest flirts on the football team, Grant Sanchez. He’s known for being the team’s biggest manwhore but for some reason, his cocky attitude and charm seems to put a smile on Em’s face. Her life is about to get extremely complicated when the boy who shattered her heart comes back into her life. Miller has just been traded to the Bellevue Bucks and he is completely stunned when he sees Em out on the field with Sanchez. Just like Em, he hasn’t forgotten about their past and he’s been holding on to feelings of hurt and betrayal all these years later. Em and Miller have very different views as to what caused their relationship to end.

Once the truth is revealed it also becomes apparent that old feelings still exist but now things are complicated because there’s another man who sees how special Em is and he’s made it clear that he intends to win her heart. Emerson has found herself in quite the predicament because Grant has managed to charm his way into her heart but she also hasn’t been able to let Miller go. Not only is she torn between two men but she’s putting her dream of being a Bellevue Bucks cheerleader in jeopardy if she is caught breaking the ”no fraternization” rule.

This story was very slow to take off for me. It took me a while to warm up to it. While I really liked the Heroine, I had a hard time liking Grant and Miller in the beginning. It wasn’t until I was more than halfway through the book that there was any character development with one of the Heroes, but once that happened I was falling for him and knew this was the guy who had to get the girl when all was said and done.

I loved how the three were able to build a friendship between them and that it was clear who the better man was, even to the guy who gets placed in the ”friend zone”. The epilogue will prove to be promising for that guy as we get a teaser as to who his future love interest will be. It looks like Rachel Van Dyken has the makings of another hit series on her hands with ”Player’s Game”!

FRATERNIZE is currently available!

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

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