Review: Fraternize by Rachel van Dyken

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Skyscape (September 12, 2017)

From 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 rule-book. 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.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Let me preface this review by saying a couple of things. 

1. I love Rachel van Dyken as an author. She typically writes stories that I can't put down. 
2. I loathe "love triangles". 
3. I'm not a fan of sports, therefore I typically don't read novels that center around them.

When you look at those three things, it becomes clear that while there probably isn't anything wrong with this story, and I have a strong feeling that I will be in the minority here, this story just wasn't for me. 

Let's begin with what I perceive to be the "negatives" of this story so we can end on a positive note shall we? 

The cover. Emerson, our lovely leading lady is said to be "plus-sized" cheerleader. However, the cover model does not appear to be plus sized. The two men beside her? One is described as having "olive skin", the other as being "half Spanish and half Ethiopian". Neither of these guys look the parts in my opinion. I feel this cover would have been better of being simply a football field. Maybe showing the goalposts? Or the ball? 

But the cover isn't the author's fault. I didn't take away any stars for the cover, but I feel it needed mentioning. 

Emerson being labeled "plus size" causes some issues for me. As someone who has struggled with weight issues, and body confidence issues my entire life, it is hard to see someone who worries about weighing in at 190 pounds as being considered plus sized. It is consistently said she has "curves". That she has a butt and boobs. And so what? She is also a professional cheerleader. Which means she has muscle. And muscle weighs more than fat. 

I enjoyed the banter between the characters and the chemistry between our three leads. I wish Miller and Emerson had cleared the air long before they did instead of letting the guilt and hurt eat at them for the majority of the story, but even that in its own way worked for these characters. The obvious brotherhood between the players was well done as well. You could almost feel the bond between them in the way they teased each other and looked out for each other.

Overall, I do strongly believe that this novel will appeal to a variety of readers. This one just wasn't for me. However, I would give the rest of this series a chance, and I would read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                   Fraternize is available from

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