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Radleigh University #2

Right of First Refusal

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On the lacrosse field, Cait Johannssen gets what she wants. Off the field is another story. Because what she wants is the school's hot new basketball student-coach, Lawrence Mason, who also happens to be the guy who broke her heart in sports camp two years earlier.

But it's Cait's new roommate who's got him.

Cait and Mase agree it's best to keep their past a secret, but she doesn't expect him to completely ignore their history...or how much it'll hurt when he does. So when a friend on the basketball team asks her to pose as his girlfriend for a night, Cait can't turn down the opportunity for distraction. (Okay, and a little spite.) But what starts as an evening of fun turns into a fake relationship with more lies than the usually drama-free Cait can handle, and it's only keeping her from the one truth that's nagged at her for years: Why did Mase cut her out of his life to begin with?

And is it really too late to get him back?

340 pages, ebook

First published March 15, 2016

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About the author

Dahlia Adler

19 books2,392 followers
Dahlia Adler is an editor by day, a freelance writer by night, and a writer of Contemporary YA and NA at every spare moment in between. She's the author of the Daylight Falls duology, Just Visiting, the Radleigh University series, Cool for the Summer, Home Field Advantage and the upcoming Going Bicoastal; a contributor to anthologies All Out, The Radical Element, and It's a Whole Spiel; the editor of the anthologies His Hideous Heart, That Way Madness Lies, At Midnight, and, with Jennifer Iacopelli, Out of Our League (2024); and crafter of over five billion tweets as @MissDahlELama. She lives in New York with her family and their overstuffed bookshelves.

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5 stars
161 (19%)
4 stars
246 (30%)
3 stars
295 (36%)
2 stars
94 (11%)
1 star
22 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 150 reviews
Profile Image for Dahlia.
Author 19 books2,392 followers
March 25, 2016
I wrote this, so I'll skip the review part, but use this space to answer the two questions I keep seeing:

1. Yup, this pub date got bumped a lot! I wanted to release the best version of it I could and that turned out to be too difficult in a year I was already releasing two traditionally published YAs. It's out now, though, so...yay! Thanks for your patience <3

2. Nope, you don't have to read the first book to read this one, though it's a lot more fun to see Lizzie, Connor, and Frankie if you do. None of the other characters appear in Last Will and Testament.

Aaaand that's it! Hope you guys enjoy!
Profile Image for Lucia.
733 reviews803 followers
April 7, 2016
What a disappointment. I admit, I read this book strictly because of second-chance romance. After quite good first book Last Will and Testament (forbidden student/teacher romance) I was looking forward to reading this second standalone installment and I was very curious to see how author would deal with second-chance romance trope that I like so much. It went badly.

Instead of meaningful and thoughtful romance I got shalow and underdeveloped romance together with weak heroine (who thought that she was "broken" once she realized that the world doesn't revolve around her) fangirling about how perfect object of her obsession looks like, how sexy and attractive he is...I mean, I get it. Mase was hot. But I didn't need to be reminded all the time. There was only minimum mention of stuff that would make me like him as a person because constant mention of his hotness overshadowed everything else. Moreover, resolutions of all the problems were too quick and unsatisfactory considering what a big deal everything had seemed to be to Cait. Overall, all things combined made this story and romance look shallow in my eyes.

The only aspects of this novel that I truly liked were presence of diverse characters and positive and heartwarming portrayal of female friendship that made reading this novel bearable.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Profile Image for Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog.
337 reviews996 followers
May 24, 2016
This book did not disappoint. I read Last Will and Testament a while back, and I've been patiently following the updates of this book, so to finally read this... wow. It felt so real and relatable and beautiful, I'm actually writing this review at 4 in the morning. And yes, I just finished reading the book.

There are so many things I loved about Right of First Refusal.

The sports jargon. I'm ashamed to admit this, but I'm not the most sports-literate person. I watch the occasional basketball, soccer and football game, but most of the time, I stay away from anything active. Dahlia Adler described Lacrosse and Basketball in a way that did not make me feel as inept in sports as I actually am.

The side characters (as much as I loved the main characters, of course). I loved Jake and his camaraderie with Cait. I loved Samara and her cups of tea, but I couldn't help but notice that somewhere in the middle of the book, she just disappeared. Or maybe that's just me.

The representation in this book. We all know most YA and NA novels are filled with heterosexual white people (not that there's anything wrong with that; but well, we have an abundant supply, do we not?), so to read a book that has a variety of characters that are not bound to their stereotypes is refreshing and oddly satisfying.

The relationships. I love the friendship between Cait, Lizzie, and Frankie. CAIT AND MASE. The companionship between Jake and Cait. The familial relationship between Cait and her sister and her dad. It wasn't always puppies and rainbows, but that's what made it real. At the end of the day, you know those people genuinely love and care for each other.

And the conflict. How it wasn't overly dramatic. It didn't have to be. It felt real, and the decisions Cait made were for herself. It wasn't to impress Mase or her dad or the team or anyone else. She did it for herself. A lot of kids don't know that sometimes it's okay to actually do something for themselves. To make a decision because it makes them happy or because it's what they really need. It's not wrong. It's not always selfish. And this book could be a way to tell them that it's not.
Profile Image for K..
3,667 reviews1,006 followers
September 11, 2017
Trigger warnings: homophobia from background characters, cheating.

3.5 stars.

Here's the thing: I loved the first book in this series so much that I immediately bought and sped through the second and third books.

Does this book REALLY deserve 3.5 stars when it's a romance book where there's no romance until the 70% mark? Probably not. Did I really like the characters and speed through it? Definitely. Did it keep me hooked for a couple of hours? YUP.

Basically, it's the story of a university lacrosse player whose life is turned upside down when the boy she lost her virginity to shows up as a new student. Who just so happens to be dating her new roommate.

I loved the diversity in the story - the love interest is African-American, the protagonist's best friends are pansexual and biracial respectively, and the love interest's brother is gay, and that's just the diversity that stood out - and I loved the fact that it's about a girl who plays a lot of sport.

There's a lot of family drama in the story, which I wasn't really expecting to be as front and centre as it was, and I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one. But on the whole, I ended up enjoying this one a lot, though I do wish the break up had happened waaaay earlier in the book than it did. So.
Profile Image for Jaime Arkin.
1,422 reviews1,326 followers
July 9, 2016
Curse you Dahlia Adler!! I obviously couldn't put this down and stayed up way too late just to finish this story and I have to get up early!! Read these books you guys... And full review to come soon!
Profile Image for HTL.
602 reviews38 followers
March 16, 2016

I really enjoyed the first book.
Looked forward to that again.

This was so... annoying. Cait CONSTANTLY like "OMG Mase! Mase! I need to stop thinking of him! Mase! Your muscles! Your beautiful dark skin! Your giant dong! Mase! No, stop thinking of him!"


And there really was no "conflict".. you know? The reason Mase ghosted on her is revealed in like two sentences. And was dumb. And her actions are dumb too. I liked all the supporting characters way better than this hot mess.
Profile Image for sil ♡ the book voyagers.
1,063 reviews2,645 followers
March 6, 2016
You can also find my review on the blog.

In Right and First Refusal, Adler has all the right elements to make a book good for me; sports, fake dating, second chance romance, diversity. I don't know how to tell you how much fun I had while reading this book. I've been waiting a long time for the books of the rest of the trio of friends this series has: Lizzie, Cait and Frankie. This is Cait's book and as always, this story starts with a bang!

"The stream of profanity that rings through my dorm room is made a thousand times funnier by the fact that it's French. Inexplicably so, since my Filipina-American former roommate is the one yelping it. It's hard to run and help her when all I wanna do is laugh, but, it is my stuff I'm pretty sure she just dropped on her foot, so."

I say this a lot of times but I really really adored Dahlia Adler's books. They are just so... REAL. And it hits you right in the chest where it hurts the most and you think Wow, she got it so right. And I thought about this book just the same. First loves, second chances, the love of a sport, college classes and projects, crazy parties with friends, fun times with your best friends, and those conversations in the dark that you just don't want to forget.

Following my love at first sight with this book when I read that first paragraph, I fell more in love when I met Lawrence Mason. More like Mase, nicknamed by Cait. He is the boyfriend of Cait's new roommate, but what we find out is that he happens to be Cait's ex-boyfriend and their love was the kind that you feel deeply and just so perfect at the time. Mase was there for her throughout everything and then suddenly, he stopped. He stopped sending emails, calls, everything.

Mase made me smile so damn hard. It was so clear those two still had something going on and I'm surprised some people didn't catch up to this fact. They stares at each other, were awkward whenever they met accidentaly, really really want to kiss each other's faces. And that was the magical part for me: because two people who probably didn't know much about their older selves still felt the same as their younger selves. It didn't matter there were many obstacles, those two would always be there for each other.

Girl friendship is such a huge part in Adler's books as well. I'm happy she always writes friendships that are just too hard to break. Lizzie, Cait and Frankie are definitely one of my fave trios in literature. They are great together and support one another and laugh until they fall on the floor.

ps. It was great to see the last couple appear again!!!! They're as cute as ever and I die every time someone says something about them to be honest, I'm such a goner and very very weak whenever it comes to them LOL
Profile Image for Maria Angelica.
365 reviews342 followers
September 16, 2016
DNF com 65%

Não deu minha gente. Eu não curti a escrita dessa autora mesmo. As personagens principais dela são muito agressivas sem razão aparente e a progressão da estória/romance não é boa e não cria tensão suficiente para me empolgar. Ela toca em todos os pontos importantes que deveriam me fazer amar seus livros, mas não consigo. Esse até tem um dos meus clichê mais preferidos de todos os tempos!! (o retorno de um velho amor) Tem algo que não desce nos seus livros. #sadface
O pior é que a autora é um exemplo de escrever com diversidade. Temos personagens de cor e lgbtq em abundância. O interesse romântico é negro, por exemplo, algo que raramente aparece nos livros de NA (geralmente dominados pela branquelice e heterossexualidade dos personagens). Eu queria TANTO gostar dos livros dela, vocês não tem ideia. Eu sigo ela no twitter, retweeto as mensagens importantes sobre representatividade e acho a premissa dos seus livros muito interessantes, mas infelizmente a execução deles deixa a desejar na minha opinião. #reallysadface
Profile Image for Beck.
298 reviews171 followers
March 17, 2016
omg it has every romance trope i've ever loved in one book I CANT WAIT
Profile Image for Mónica BQ.
765 reviews117 followers
July 11, 2016
First, I want to make clear that I think Adler's writing is fantastic. However much I hated the book, the fact is that I stayed up until 4:30 am to finish this book and the writing was compelling (hence the 2 star rating). Whether I was liking or not the content of the story, I kept reading it because I kept being engaged with the text.

But still, the book didn't work for me. Two main things marked the fall and decline of the plot for me. First, much like with Last Will and Testament, I think this book suffers from trying to do too much. In the first few chapters we get introduced to not one, but four sources of conflict for our protagonist: the sudden appearance of an ex (with a good dose of baggage, lies and a relationship the MC doesn't feel was really over), the ex being now involved with her new roommate in a serious relationship, the fight to keep a good place on the lacrosse team and making captain, and a parent- whom she was supposedly close to- springing on her the news . These not counting the fake relationship she gets herself into. It was a lot, thrown in at once. And that left the rest of the book to basically be a repetition of the conversations/thoughts surrounding those first few chapters. Nothing much happened after that for almost the rest of the book. There was really no more plot. By the time I had reached the 70% percent mark of the book the exact same things were still happening. I'm not sure if it is a pace thing or if this style of narration just doesn't work, but seriously, I got to a point where I'd read the majority of the book and we still had an ex with history and baggage who was still involved in an ongoing relationship with her roommate and whom the MC still felt she had a right to, plus a , plus a fake relationship that was creating drama all around (and the word "drama" being thrown around so much that it actually started to lose meaning for me), plus being named captain of the team still pending... All of which, of course, led to an unsatisfactory rushed ending where everything resolved in the most silly ways after being the only things that had led the plot throughout the whole book. Exactly like in the first book of the series, I felt that there was way too much going on and the actual "romance" part of it was left behind as backstory to the backstory. There's very little on- page interaction between the MCs. Cait spent more time thinking about Mase than actually having a conversation with him.

Which leads me to the second reason for this book not working for me: the protagonists. I don't know whom I hated the most, her or him. I think one of the trademarks of being a good writer is that you get me to empathise with your characters, however flawed or antihero or villainous they are, and here I loathed Cait. The worst part being that I don't think that we were meant to feel that Cait was a bad person, I think the author really thought she had painted someone with a lot on her shoulders who maybe stumbled once or twice but that was genuinely a good person. But the truth was, Cait read as a conceited asshole. She starts the book making a lot of assumptions and very little listening. She decides what's best for others without consulting them and judges a lot (and remember we know her from the first book already) without ever taking a look in the mirror. She lies to her roommate, putting herself and a past relationship before Andi, and the we get a big part of the book of her trying to convince both herself and us about how "she's really not a bad person" for sneaking around, double timing guys (however fake the relationship with Jake was), lying more and more to everyone around her, thinking she had any right to Mase just because they shared some history even after you were told to leave him alone. There truly where some lines that read stalker loud and high. I hated how after we get this scene where all guilt is lifted from Cait by Andy making some asinine remark about their breakup. Cait gets exculpated in the last part of the book of everything and anything, and we are supposed to believe that? Fuck that. And fuck Cait, little shit that she is during the whole book. And don't even get me started on Mase. I mean, I never understood anything about him. He's a second fiddle to his own story. Now that I think about it, we never even learn what he's majoring in or what his plans are after plan A failed. He's basically emotionally cheating on his girlfriend from the moment they started dating. Not to mention the absolute crappy thing he did when he moved universities for someone else and not for her, but he took advantage of the fact that she was conveniently there. He was never truthful, never sincere. He was a lying bastard and he deserved to have a testicle crushed. And he wasn't developed at all. What we know about him is from years before and then we get told that he isn't the same person anymore. So who the fuck is he now? Aside from cheating prick, it beats me. We never get to know him.

By the end of the book, I was rooting more for the happiness of the secondary characters, Jake's particularly, than for the HEA of the MCs. I think the only really good parts of the book are the seemingly diverse cast of characters and the continuing show of the strong female friendship of Cait, Frankie and Lizzie. But realising that that only applied between the 3 of them and that Cait was more than ready to throw Andi under the bus for her own extremely selfish pursuits put a dampen on that. I could say many more things, because I even have notes on the ebook. That's how much I hate-read this book, but it would turn this review into a dissertation. So, in conclusion: bad book, bad plot, bad protagonists. Alluring writing though.
Profile Image for Ari .
926 reviews306 followers
July 14, 2016
Original review: The Daydreaming Bookworm

Cait Johannssen is not one to get caught up in drama. She’s all about getting good grades and making wins on the lacrosse field. But she gets thrown off her game when Lawrence Mason, the new basketball student coach and the only guy she’s ever loved, comes walking into her dorm room with his new girlfriend, who also happens to be Cait’s new roommate. The surprises keep on coming when her father announces his new engagement and suggests that Cait move to California with him. For a girl who is not too fond of drama, Cait sure can’t seem to avoid it.

After finishing Last Will and Testament and completely loving it, I was excited to start the second installment in the Radleigh University series. We don’t know much about Cait from the previous book, other than the fact that she is a real stickler for the rules, and I was curious to see who her love interest would be. Sadly, Right of First Refusal fell victim to ‘Second Book Syndrome’. DAMN, IT STRIKES AGAIN! My first issue was with the overall plot. It’s a second chance romance and I’m such a sucker for these types of romances, but this one BORED ME! My main problem was with the fairly predictable storyline. Boy and girl meet again, old feelings stir up, but there’s something that keeping them from being together, so they put aside their feelings of want and try to focus on doing what’s right…RINSE AND REPEAT. I was hoping for some dramatics, especially considering the amount of times the word “drama” is thrown around in this book, but I didn’t get that. I thought that there would at least be some dramatics when it came to Cait dealing with her father’s new engagement and while there was a bit of drama, there were just too many easy fixes to Cait’s problem and it wasn’t long until everything was right in her world again.

My second issue was with the characters. I had a difficult time connecting with our two main characters. Cait just annoyed me with her constant complaining and critiquing of the lives of those around her, which is ironic considering her current situation. I also was not a fan of Mason’s character. It’s very clear that his reason for transferring to Radleigh University was because he knew that was where Cait was, so WHY waste your time leading on another girl when you knew she wasn’t the one you wanted to be with? Could’ve save some broken hearts out there.


Also, I AM NOT BUYING THE ROMANCE! I’m guessing the romance was suppose to be a slow-burning one, but I felt like the flame wasn’t lit between these two until the very end. When the flame finally starts to catch, the story comes to an end and because of that, I couldn’t enjoy the romantic aspect of this book.

The only reason why I didn’t rate this book lower was because of the friendship. I love Cait’s friendship with Frankie and Lizzie. Scenes where these three were together were the only scenes I really enjoyed and laugh out loud because they have such a great friendship and even when they get under one another’s skin, they still stuck together.

Right of First Refusal may have been a bust, but this series still has a chance to redeem itself with it’s final installment. I AM EXTREMELY EXCITED to start Out on Good Behavior. I have very high hopes for this book because it will be my first F/F romance and I’ve been dying to read a romance with two female leads. Please don’t fail me book because I love M/M romances and I want to feel the same feels like I do when reading M/M romances. Also, Frankie is my favorite out of the three so her romance better be good!
Profile Image for Gillian.
458 reviews1,079 followers
June 18, 2016

Soooo apparently I'm reading this series backwards? That's normal. Whatever.

Fuller review tk, but here are my initial thoughts:

Omgggggg this book was baller. Quite literally, since it is a sportsbook romance, which is fun, because I am a sportsbook sort of person! I love sports, especially when other people are playing them, because I am inconceivably lazy. But I love reading about athleticky types like Cait (ADORE HER) and living vicariously through them. They make running sound so fun! (I'm way more like Lizzie and Frankie, throwing popcorn at The Voice for exercise. But whatever). Add in a SMOKING HOT stoic athleticky dude (who YAY diversity is black) (and EXTREMELY HOT) (it needs to be said twice) (maybe thrice) (Mase is fiiiiiine) and Gillian is a happy camper!

This is the kind of NA I like--where it's a little more high drama than real life because, hi, books are always more high drama than the average because that's literally what a book is, but it's not got the angst/tragicosity dialed up to eleven with like KIDNAPPINGS and TRAGEDIES and SECRETS and DOUCHEBAGS. These books are about friendship and finding yourself and, yes, hot sex, it cannot be denied. This book was less SEXY SEX SEX than Out of Good Behavior (because Cait, bless her, is no Frankie) and also way less fluffy than OoGB, which I actually enjoyed.

Which brings me to the romance. Even though it wasn't fluffy bantertimes or hate to love or nerdtastic pun-offs or opposites attract (aka all my fave contemp romance tropes), I am still HIGHLY on board. Second chance romance is an entirely hit or miss trope for me, but when it hits, BOY DOES IT HIT, and I was SO THERE for Mase and Cait. I loved the bond they had because of sports and the role it played in both their lives and really how emotionally good they were for each other. Also their sex was hot. This is important.

But honestly the true ship is Lizzie-Cait-Frankie because those girls are PERFECT AND I LOVE THEM TOGETHER AND WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WHEN I RUN OUT OF THEIR BOOKS?? Thought at least I have Connor and Lizzie ahead of me. They were A+ ADORABLE in this book and even more so in Out on Good Behavior.

Okay, for a pre-review that was kind of a doozy BUT I HAD A LOT OF THOUGHTS. If you want excellent, friendship-py NA without the STANDARD NA GLOBFEST OF AWFULNESS (you know what I mean) plus diversity, then I urge you to check out the Radleigh University series. GOOD TIMES AHEAD. *waits for Lizzie and Frankie to make that dirty*
Profile Image for Katherine Locke.
Author 14 books505 followers
March 21, 2016
Ahhh, Dahlia Adler does it again. Disclosure: Dahlia's a good friend and I was lucky enough to work on this book in its early stages. I think what I love most about this book is that shit goes wrong, Cait makes bad decisions, and there are consequences for those decisions. Too often, even in, or especially in, New Adult, characters make crappy decisions but everything works out with a neat little bow Because Love. But that doesn't happen here.

Sure, there's a HEA. Don't worry, romance fans. The tension between Cait and Mase will have you fanning yourself on the bus and missing your stop. And the sex scenes will make you blush even if you're reading them alone in your house, under the covers.

But on top of that, Cait's learning to navigate changing roommate dynamics, complicated friendships, her team, her future, what's important to her, her relationship with her siblings, and her parents. It's messy, and it doesn't all wrap up nicely. Not everyone's friendly and going to hold hands while skipping off into the sunset together at the end. And that's okay, because that's real. Cait gets second chances, like we usually deserve, and she understands she's lucky for them, but she learns to stand up for herself and what's important to her where it's important.

Of all the New Adult books I've read, I think this one does the best job of embracing all that being a New Adult is: confusing, exciting, thrilling, exhausting, and hopeful. Extremely well done.
Profile Image for Maggie Hall.
Author 4 books955 followers
February 6, 2016
If you've ever read one of Dahlia Adler's books, you know that one of her biggest strengths is characters who feel so. real. Whether she's writing about a young Hollywood starlet or (in this case) a star college lacrosse player, you feel like these are people you might actually know. (Well, people you know who have way cooler lives than you.) (And much wittier banter.) (And like, really hot love lives.) (But you know.)

Anyway, RoFR is no exception. Cait, our heroine, felt like somebody I would have loved to be friends with in college. (Dare I say I maybe liked Cait even better than I liked Lizzie in Last Will and Testament??) She has pretty much lived her life for lacrosse for years, and it's about to pay off--she's the best on her university's team, and could make captain and go to the championships this year. And then, everything in her life explodes, and she's forced to question everything she's ever known.

This book had everything. A super-hot love interest who manages to come off as just the right amount of sexily unattainable while also being a truly nice human being. (And the sexytimes scenes in this book? HELLO. Hi, Mase. Hi.) Friendships like anyone would wish to have in college, with the roommates we met in the previous book in the Raleigh series. Family troubles that complicate Cait's life even more. (And some other relationships that are lots of fun but I don't want to mention bc spoilers!)

I adored this book.
Profile Image for Francesca.
211 reviews23 followers
March 17, 2016
I really enjoy Dahlia Adler but wasn't feeling Right of First Refusal. A lot of time was spent on Cait stewing over her problems and it grew old (and boring) after a while. It felt like Cait thought more about Mase than actually interacted with him. I was hoping for more tension and push/pull between these two and instead all I got was a ton of internal angst on Cait's part. This one wasn't for me, but I do plan on checking out the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Emily.
1,062 reviews13 followers
May 11, 2020
The drama was much more low key than the first in this series, and I think that made me like it better. (Don't worry, there's still a ton of over the top romcom tropey silliness alongside the low key!)
Profile Image for Debby.
583 reviews540 followers
April 18, 2021
3.5 stars

I adore Dahlia, so this book could have been exclusively about a Saturday morning spent doing groceries and laundry all by your lonesome, and I probably would have picked it up anyway. As it is, she asked me to read it for review and I jumped at the chance. In case you didn't know, when it comes to spicy NA, Dahlia knows what she's doing - a fact she only reinforced with Right of First Refusal.

I will say, though, off the bat that the romance was not my top favorite thing about this book. Nay, it is actually in THIRD place, because Dahlia does so many other things absolutely amazingly. My favorite thing about this book: the friendship between Cait, Lizzie, and Frankie. These girls are so hilarious and caring, and even though they don't live together anymore, their bond is undeniably strong. They come running to each other when necessary, practically read each other's minds, and are always cheering each other on. Seriously, the friendship feels I had in this book were much stronger than the romantic feels. I wish I had friends like this in college. They cracked me up endlessly.

My second favorite thing about this book would be the new adult realness. Dahlia knows what she's doing when building characters and character arcs. And Cait has an amazing on that struck such an intense chord with me when she realizes that at a certain point, it's okay to be selfish. What's important is knowing who you are, what you love, and what you stand for. Compromise is okay, but if other people are only thinking of themselves, it's DAMN fine for you to put yourself first. I think this is something that a lot of us realize in this new adult age, when you're just coming out from under your parents wings, you're figuring out who you are, and you get the freedom to do what you want. And it might seem like this kind of realization would lead to a lot of drama or negativity, but it actually makes Cait's bond with her family stronger - because knowing who you are and standing up for it is something to admire. GAH I LOVE THIS THING SO MUCH.

So, then, the romance. Yeah, it's not my favorite, but that's a personal thing just because this doesn't have the right mix of tropes for me. Cait and Mase are old flames who suddenly meet again, while Mase is dating her new roommate, and... yeah, there's a spark they can't let go of. I will say that the romantic and sexy scenes are super hot. Dahlia can create spiciness that will leave you crossing and uncrossing your legs nervously while on a crowded bus. (DEBBY STOP OVERSHARING.) *cough* And they are really sweet together, and they didn't cross any of my personal lines by like cheating or whatever. But they didn't really have banter and the relationship was established prior to the book, years earlier at summer camp. I live for the build up. So not having that meant that my shippy feels weren't through the roof.

But overall I really liked it. I think the story stands up on its own even without the romance there - and how freaking rare is it to find that in a new adult book? Seriously, there's amazing friendship scenes, tough family situations that help the main character to grow, an interracial ship, sports scenes that get your blood pumping, an awesome and totally not token gay friend who has his own life and arc that gave me feels, and a great sneak peek at the next book and ship - which will be awesome and sexy and full of F/F spiciness. So yeah. I'm glad this book exists.

Summing Up:

Do you like diversity? Do you like sports romances? Do you like characters who fiercely go after what they want? Do you like romances about second chances? Do you like reading scenes so hot that spontaneous blushing may occur? I think you might need Right of First Refusal in your life. In my not at all biased opinion, Dahlia is raising the bar on the new adult genre by creating dynamic characters with real character growth arcs and full lives - even outside of their romances. Now if only this had some of my favorite tropes so my shippy feels could have gone through the roof... Here's looking at you Out on Good Behavior. My expectations are at a totally normal, rational, reasonable level.

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

NA readers who like second chance romances.

*I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of the review.
Profile Image for Angie.
2,334 reviews227 followers
March 14, 2016
Right of First Refusal finds Cait with her life together. She's the star lacrosse player, it's looking like she'll be made captain and her team may make the national championship. She also has great friends, good grades, and a relationship with her father. At least until she doesn't anymore. Her father is marrying a girl her age and her ex from sports camp just transferred to Radleigh and is dating her roommate! Not to mention she's also in a fake relationship with a gay friend. But Cait is determined to stay on track and get what she wants out of life.

One thing that I really hate about Romance novels is that too often one of the love interests (usually a woman) gives up on their dream, career, passion, or whatever to be in the relationship. Or they're at least made to feel like they have to give that up to prove that the other person is important to them. What even is that?! Well, in Right of First Refusal that is something that Cait struggles with, but the story is more focused on her rather than on her and Mase, so I didn't doubt that she'd say screw it and have it all! Why can't she?! There is nothing wrong with being driven and passionate about something and actively pursuing it while also finding love. Nothing wrong at all! I absolutely loved that speech she gives to her father's fiance about it, too. It sums it all up perfectly.

Right of First Refusal does have a great second chance romance. Cait knew Mase when they were younger, and now she wants to know him again. I am glad that this didn't go the sneaking around route. Instead, Cait does the right thing, while lusting after him. Because Mase is super hot, so obviously. There wasn't quite enough of them for my liking, but I did enjoy what we did get. But what we don't get in romance is made up for with friendship! There's so much of Lizzie and Frankie being supportive, hilarious, and inappropriate! Cait also gets to know her other knew roommate, Samara, who I'm also looking forward to getting to know better.

Basically, Right of First Refusal made me very happy by not falling into horrible tropes and embracing some of my favorites (and doing them well). I totally love the NA genre and all of the drama that it entails, but sometimes it is really nice to read one that is free of all of the cliches. I loved watching Cait go after what she wanted without letting others make her feel in the wrong for her decisions. I do wish there had been a bit more Romance, because the scenes of Cait and Mase together are pretty explosive!

Read more of my reviews at Pinkindle Reads & Reviews.
July 14, 2022
My problem with this book is the loose idea of love we're supposed to buy into in order to digest the poor representation of an interracial relationship between a white woman and a Black man. Mace (the Black man) seems more like a caricature than an actual character with thoughts and emotions and backstory. When reflecting on their past relationship, Cait (the white woman) mainly just tells us about all the sex they had. Every once and a while a couple secrets they shared will be peppered in, but the detailed stories from the past are mainly about their hookups. When talking about being drawn to him she rarely mentions anything other than his height, muscles, and/of "velvet voice." The not subtle mentions of how his dick is more sizeable and generous than most. Or weaponizing his Blackness and the anger stereotypically tied to it in times of tension or conflict in the book. And of course his mom doesn't like her because she's white, meaning we're supposed to empathize with her being a victim of reverse racism. It's tired and feels like the author was trying to write a "diverse" story without having the perspective to do so, like it's just for funsies. There is even a moment where Cait mistakes the back of another Black man's head for Mace, that tells me just how few characters of color there are in the story. I mean it's not just racially unaware, it's also lame and lazy as fuck. Just yikes, fam.
Profile Image for Ashley - Book Labyrinth.
1,251 reviews308 followers
March 18, 2016
I really, really liked this book. Strong female characters. Strong female FRIENDSHIP. Second chance romance. In love with roommate's boyfriend (I can't help it, I love this trope). Diversity. Sports romance (mainly about the heroine's athletic career. Hell yes!). A family story. What else is awesome about this book?? I don't know ... everything??

This book was a breeze to read. It was at times sweet, funny, and/or sexy. Sometimes all three together. ;) I love books about girls figuring things out and putting themselves first. They're all too rare and this one features that concept most fabulously. If it in turn also features a complicated (and very HOT) romance, I shall not complain.

Seriously, do yourself a favour and check this one out. If you enjoy the themes of NA and like reading romance, but prefer those books to also be smart, feminist, and diverse (etc!!), then I'm sure this is a book you'll love.
Profile Image for Tahsin.
1,157 reviews87 followers
April 5, 2016
I stumbled upon this by mistake, but it actually turned out to be pretty good. I was wondering how some of the issues would be resolved, and they were honestly done quite tactfully.
Profile Image for emma.
1,010 reviews80 followers
June 4, 2017
im so !!!! right now
this was adorable and i loved all the secondary characters so much as well
Profile Image for Kenna.
340 reviews52 followers
July 27, 2018
Okay, damn. I devoured this in one sitting. I love sports romances and while this was a little light on the sports, I still really enjoyed it. The pacing and atmosphere was great. It was light, but still had a lot of heart, honesty, sass, and drama. One of my favorite parts was the wide cast of characters- so much diversity and openness. There honestly wasn't one character that I didn't like. Even the ones that frustrated me- like Abigail or Andi- were written in a way that shows that there are always more than one side to every story and that everyone has their own truths. Now I have to go back and read the first book in the series so I can get to the third one! *curses self for accidentally reading out of order* Glad my 100th read for 2018 was such a good one!
Profile Image for Ruth.
666 reviews261 followers
Shelved as 'abgebrochen'
July 10, 2019
*augenverdreh* Oberzicke trifft auf Good Guy aus ihrer Vergangenheit (der jetzt eine Freundin hat).
Abgebrochen bei 10%. Kindisch.
Profile Image for Mia.
251 reviews44 followers
March 11, 2020
4.5 stars

I'm really enjoying this series! I do wish this book had been a little longer but besides that I couldn't put it down just like the first one
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