Third and Long (Moving the Chains 3) by Kata Cuic

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Synopsis

Not everyone plays by the rules.

Eva Papageorgiou has it all: the popularity that always felt so elusive in high school, looks that men can’t ignore, and a boyfriend that other women covet. She’s gorgeous, powerful; she has the world at her fingertips.

And it’s all a lie.

The problem with living a lie is how easy it is to forget who you’re lying to. Eva’s time to withdraw into the shadows has expired, courtesy of Rob’s rising fame. Her only option is to hide in plain sight.
Amid all the chaos, Rob is her safe escape from it all. They continue to be stronger together than they ever could be on their own.
Until being together is what tears them apart.

Rob Falls has everything he’s ever wanted: his dream girl, a winning team, respect from everyone. He’s at the top of his game, with a Heisman nod on the horizon, and the potential to be a first-round draft pick.

And it’s all crumbling before his eyes.

The mounting pressure of being an athlete at the next level while doing all he can to protect Eva takes its toll. He doesn’t sleep enough, he worries constantly, and he’s torn wanting to be in two places at once.
Rob never imagined the day he’d have to choose between fame and love.

Sometimes life makes choices for us.

With the game and their hearts on the line, will Rob and Eva keep their secrets hidden? Or will they reveal everything to each other, to themselves, to the world…only to lose it all?

Kata Cuic’s tagline is Real Romance from the Trenches of Real Life. Seriously, there has never been anything more fitting. This book, these characters… they are real to me. I think about them, I cry for them, I hope for them, I want for them. When this series ends I will mourn the loss of them, I will cry because I won’t get to follow them into old age. Hell, I have tears rolling down my face right now just thinking about it. Nobody…NOBODY writes like this. I can’t think of one other author that writes real life so perfectly, so eloquently and so emotionally.

This book is both a big departure from the first two books of the series and a perfect logical inevitable progression for the characters. The first book, First and Goal, is sweet and funny and emotional. It’s first love and first mistakes at their finest. The second book, Second Down, is sadder and tougher. It’s love surviving in the face of adversity and heartbreak. And this book….this book is love struggling to survive in the face of real life. Real life were things can go from amazing to unbearable in the blink of an eye, where things aren’t fair and love isn’t easy and some days it’s all you can do to hold on. But where the good days make all the bad days worth the effort.

Rob and Evie are real people to me. They are so intricate and fleshed out and believable. In this book, more than any of the others in the series, you understand them, you feel what they feel, you know them and consequently you take the journey with them. When they got it right, my heart rejoiced with theirs, and when they made mistakes my heart broke with theirs, and when they cried, I cried horrible ugly-cry tears. I have never, in my life, read a book that made me feel so much. And the other characters in this story elicit just as much emotion from me. There are characters that I love passionately, and characters I hate viscerally. There is literally not one character in this story that I don’t have some kind of reaction to…and that to me is the mark of a great book. Nothing is a throwaway, everything, every character, every scene, every action,  builds this world and this story.

I read a ton of books, and I have for years, and in my opinion, there are only a handful of authors I’ve come across that can make a story live and breathe real life the way Kata Cuic does. I have loved other books and other couples, but with Rob and Evie I find myself constantly needing to be reminded that they are not, in fact, real people. Third and Long will stay with you long after you’ve finished it, at least that’s true for me.  This book is not light and fluffy, it’s not rainbows and unicorns, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this might be the wrong fit for you. But if read to feel real emotions, if you read because you appreciate the journey as much as the destination, if you read because sometimes you need to get lost in someone else’s life for awhile, then this book will blow you away. When the last book in the series comes out, I have a feeling it will be bitter sweet. I can not wait for the rest of Rob and Evie’s journey and I desperately anticipate their HEA. I know when they get there, no other couple will ever have deserved it more. But I also know, when I turn to the last page, I will be so grateful for the journey and so sad for the end of the ride.

About the Author

Kata lives near Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing or rewriting or editing or staring at the infuriating blinking cursor on her screen, she’s reading. A self-proclaimed binge-reader who has issues with moderation, she struggles to wear all the necessary hats of wife, mother, reader, writer, chef, maid, chauffeur, nurse on any given day. Caffeine, wine, and natural insomnia are constant bolsters in the pursuit of getting everything done.

She has a degree in Linguistics and is, in fact, fluent in several American English dialects including Pittsburghese and sarcasm. She’s eternally grateful to be a part of the last generation to go through college without social media documenting the entire ordeal.

A few of her favorite things are books (duh), chocolate, cats, and gardening. Her biggest guilty pleasure is 90s rap and R&B (which she has to listen to when the kids aren’t around).

 

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