Loved It!

5 out of 5 stars

I want to say this review will be hard to write because I read this book a while ago. I was going through sapphic sports romance books and realized I never reviewed this one even though I read and loved it. I probably read it a few months ago so the review may be a bit more vague than some of my other reviews.

What I do remember was that this one was absolutely adorably cute. I think that Wilsner really leaned into that young naivety a bit and it worked out. There will always be someone who hasn’t taken a deep look at themselves or isn’t paying enough attention. Sometimes that can go on for a long time, so it’s nice to read stories where they finally “blink and come out of it” so to say.

I know that one of the storylines within this was someone dealing with ADHD and I’m happy to see that added into stories more. I know that it’s hard to write about because to everyone it’s a little different, but I think that Wilsner did a great job representing it and showing how frustrating and debilitating it can be even if “solving” it seems too easy. It can take a long time to come to terms with it. Especially as an adult.

The love story itself was also super cute. I remember reading this on a few drives I took and I swore the other drivers thought I was a lunatic because I was smiling ear to ear. The chemistry was great and the overall feeling this book gave me made me feel warm and fuzzy.

Throw in the excellent narration by Dana Varden and Zim Avaltrades and you’ve got a great sapphic sports romance, covering great topics, performed wonderfully… what more can you ask for? Especially if you like women’s soccer and the USWNT.

Book Description:

A sapphic rivals to lovers rom com for fans of Ted Lasso and A League of Their Own, where two soccer teammates are at odds before falling in love as their team gears up for the World Cup.

Grace Henderson has been a star of the US Women’s National Team for ten years, even though she’s only 26. But when she’s sidelined with an injury, a bold new upstart, Phoebe Matthews, takes her spot. 22-year-old Phoebe is everything Grace isn’t—a gregarious jokester who plays with a joy that Grace lost somewhere along the way. The last thing Grace expects is to become teammates with benefits with this class clown she sees as her rival.

Phoebe Matthews is too focused on her first season as a professional soccer player to think about seducing her longtime idol. But when Grace ends up making the first move, they can’t keep their hands off of each other.

As the World Cup approaches and Grace works her way back from injury, a miscommunication leaves the women with hilariously different perspectives on their relationship. But they’re on the same page on the field, realizing they can play together instead of vying for the same position. With every tackle the tension between them grows, and both players soon have to decide what’s more important—being together or making the roster.

The perfect blend of funny and steamy, Meryl Wilsner’s Cleat Cute is about being brave enough to win on and off the field.

Cleat Cute by Meryl Wilsner
Narrator: Dana Varden, Zim Avaltrades
Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
Published by Macmillan Audio on September 19th 2023
Genres: LesFic/Sapphic Fiction, Sports Romance, YA
Format: Audiobook
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