Rival Love – Natalie Decker BLOG TOUR REVIEW STOP

1.a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

  • rival loveTitle: Rival Love
  • Author: Natalie Decker
  • Series: Rival Love #1
  • Published: August 26th 2014 by Swoon Romance
  • Format: eBook
  • Genre: YA/Romance
  • Page Count: 216
  • Source: Tour Operator
  • Rating: B+

We might be neighbours but Canadians and Americans are different. For all the commonalities between us sometimes those deviations are more marked than it might outwardly appear beyond our seeming inability not to insert “eh” multiple times into regular conversation. I found this to be of particular significance when I read Rival Love.

Skylar Fletcher is a proud Harris Academy Bulldog! She has everything she’s ever wanted: a perfect boyfriend, great friends, and her dream college waiting for her in the fall. But nothing lasts forever. Skylar’s world shatters when her mom decides it is time to move and drags Skylar, kicking and screaming, into Bobcat territory.

At Delmont High School, home of the Bobcats, Skylar has no friends and is often bullied. To make matters worse, her home life sucks thanks to all-star quarterback Caleb Morgan, nephew of her mom’s live-in boyfriend.

At first Skylar and Caleb want nothing to do with one another. But they soon discover they’re not that different after all–and each is harbouring a secret attraction to the other. But can a Bulldog and a Bobcat ever really be more than friends? And are Skylar and Caleb willing to risk everything to find out? Rival Love is a debut young adult contemporary romance from Natalie Decker.

As I read Rival Love I found myself thinking, “this is really over the top” but not necessarily in a bad way. Was this simply a cultural difference or that things have changed that much since I was in school? I am not unfamiliar with organized sports though I am somewhat ashamed to admit I didn’t know what a Big Ten school was until I read the vastly entertaining Dairy Queen series by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. In my defence I don’t follow football, I’m Canadian. The boys I grew up with played hockey, if I was going to stalk my latest crush I would go to the nearest arena.

Our university and college sports programs are nowhere  near as high profile as those across the border. However it wasn’t difficult to imagine how such rivalries could develop with so much riding on the outcome. Skylar is a state champion swimmer, part of the Harris Academy elite complete with a quarterback boyfriend. The last thing that she wants to do in her senior year is go to another school let alone their biggest rival. Caleb Morgan is also a high profile athlete at Delmont High. Orphaned he has lived with his uncle for four years and now his uncle’s girlfriend and her daughter Skylar. It is an untenable position for both of them made worse by the sizzling attraction between them.

I greatly enjoyed Rival Love, I found that I liked and sympathized with both Caleb and Skylar and could mostly ignore that voice in my head asking “why can’t they all just get along?” But I largely chalk that inner monologue up to being a parent. Be warned that the ending is a bit of an ambiguous cliffhanger that initially had me scratching my head until I realized that there will thankfully be a sequel that I will definitely want to read.


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natalie deckerNatalie Decker is the author of Rival Love. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, travelling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!


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