Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Aster Valley #1

Right as Raine

Rate this book

As the first openly gay professional football player, I can’t afford to make any mistakes, on or off the field. And the absolute biggest mistake I could make right now would be to fall for Mikey Vining, my best friend, employee and, more importantly, Coach’s baby boy. I might fantasize about Mikey at night-—every night—but actually touching him would be a serious personal foul.

And falling for him? That’s completely out of bounds.


I’ve learned my lesson about falling for one of my dad’s players. They’re a bunch of spoiled jocks with more muscles than brains. I’ve spent years learning to keep my eyes, and my hands, to myself. But resisting the temptation becomes nearly impossible when Tiller Raine and I end up together in a small cabin in a remote Colorado town.

Suddenly, there’s not much to do but look at each other. And talk. And hopefully, hopefully touch.

But what happens when our stay in Aster Valley is over and it’s time to return to the real world? Will Coach blow the whistle on our relationship? Or will Tiller admit there might actually be something he loves more than football after all?

278 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 2, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Lucy Lennox

84 books3,589 followers
I write M/M romance with humor, heart, and heat. Check out my backlist here on GR for a selection of series and standalone or visit www.LucyLennox.com!

I only keep a small list of my very favorite books and series in my bookshelf here. I read A LOT and it's hard to keep the list updated!

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,415 (48%)
4 stars
1,808 (35%)
3 stars
648 (12%)
2 stars
115 (2%)
1 star
40 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 601 reviews
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,355 reviews24.7k followers
January 26, 2021

Right as Raine is book one in the brand new series, Aster Valley, by Lucy Lennox. The first thing we have to discuss is this cover! I mean, Wow! I could stare at it all day! And then I opened the cover, met Mikey and Tiller, and fell madly in love.

Tiller Raine is a wide receiver for the Texas Riggers. He is football royalty in the making. Previous Heisman Trophy winner and current highest paid wide receiver in the league. Tiller is also the only “out” player in the league. Tiller’s focus is his career, keeping his body at it’s best. And the person that helps him do that is his best friend/personal chef/personal assistant, Mikey. They’ve been together for five years. Tiller can’t imagine his life without him. Even though he can’t help but think of Mikey in some very un-boss/employee ways. Mikey is the focus of his dreams and his very frequent fantasies. But that’s all it can ever be. Because Mikey is also the coaches youngest son.

Michael Vining is the youngest of Coach Vining’s five sons. Mikey’s four older brothers are all huge, muscle bound men. Then there is Mikey who loves to cook, has dreams of owning his own restaurant, who has no interest in sports, and is gay. Except when Tiller is playing. Tiller who is his best friend, his boss, and also the man he has had a serious crush on for years. Mikey made a serious mistake once before getting involved with a football player. His dad has never let him forget it. He can’t do it again. But when Tiller is injured and they decide to get out of Texas and go to a luxurious cabin in Aster Valley, Colorado while he recuperates, all bets are off.

“I began to realize how much I was missing. Time was passing, and life was short.”

I want to mention here that I thought I’d fall more in love with Tiller, the big strong football player. But in my opinion, it was Mikey that stole the show. He was like a walking ray of sunshine. He is awkward and goofy. He is adorable when he gets tipsy, gestures wildly with his hands, and cooks like a dream. But there is also so much more to him. My heart broke for him and the things he kept hidden. I don’t want to spoil anything but sometimes I believe he wears his smile as a mask, keeping everything else hidden.

Of one thing I can guarantee, these two were absolutely adorable together. They might be different from each other in many ways but they just fit. I swooned but mostly I smiled. How could I not smile with Mikey?! But they were existing in a little bubble in their cabin in this idyllic little town. What happens when they have to return to the real world? Will they return to the way things were before? Or is there hope for them to continue what they started? Because neither of them is ready to let this go.

One book in and I’m already hooked on this series. I’m in love with this little town, Aster Valley, and I can’t wait for more. The next book will be another resident of Aster Valley, Truman’s book, in Sweet as Honey. I can’t wait!

For more about this book and so many others, come and visit me at Carol's Crazy Bookish World.

Profile Image for Snjez.
736 reviews383 followers
February 13, 2021
1.5 stars

After really enjoying Winter Waites, book 0.5 in this series, I'm sad to say that this one didn't work for me at all.

Honestly, reading my GR friends' reviews of this book had more emotional impact on me than reading it myself. The only thing I truly enjoyed was seeing Winter and Gent again.
January 25, 2021
This is going to be a great series. I can feel it! This first installment (or second if you count Gent and Winter's story) is all kinds of sweet & spicy.

The juxtaposition of super athlete with abs of steel and his personal chef/assistant who's just a touch flamboyant and more than a little bossy is absolutely delicious.

The story begins when Tiller (then a rookie on a professional American football team) and Mikey (who loves coming up with new tasty but nutritious recipes) meet. Tiller is forced to accept the help of a personal chef who'll whip his body into shape (Tiller has a problem with not eating enough and passing out on the field).

Fast forward five years, and the two men are inseparable, technically still boss/employee because Mikey runs Tiller's kitchen and his life, but also best friends. A week-long winter trip to Aster Valley at a secluded mountain cabin changes all that.

Cue incredible chemistry, lingering kisses, and some seriously sexy action.

I liked visiting with Winter and Gent again, and I love the new cast of characters who live in Aster Valley. I have two complaints though:

One: The Coach (aka, Mikey's dad) needed a major smack-down. Tiller does disobey him at the end, but neither he nor Mikey call the Coach out on his cruel, disparaging behavior. I really disliked that man.

Two: The epilogue sucked (and not in a good way). I do NOT want an epilogue from the perspective of a secondary character (Truman in this case). I'm looking forward to Truman and Sam's story, but I don't need to be spoonfed their backstory to the point that we don't even get a true HEA for the MCs of this book. I felt totally cheated. I have a feeling this is going to be par for the course in this series, and I resent it.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,115 reviews376 followers
February 15, 2021
5 Stars

With a friends-to-lovers vibe and a nerd/jock pairing, this M/M romance follows gay NFL superstar, Tiller Raine, as he slow-burn falls for his live-in personal chef, Mikey Vining, after five years of living and working together—basically becoming each other’s absolute favourite person in the world.

They’re both out and proud and they clearly get along like a house on fire, but the problem lies in the fact that Mikey is Coach’s son, and therefore off limits to Tiller. So, as the years pass by, they manage to keep things professional, both quietly pining for the other in private.

But after an injury sidelines Tiller during the peak of the latest NFL season, Mikey decides to whisk him away for some seriously needed R&R in Colorado’s beautifully scenic and secluded Aster Valley, for a Christmas getaway that will inevitably change the course of their relationship and their careers forever.

As sports themed romances go, this one takes the cake. I absolutely adored Mikey and Tiller, both as characters and as a couple, and I ate up their burgeoning romance like I was a starving woman at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Although external forces—like Mikey’s father—stood in their way, making them angst and hurt with wanting and need, their relationship from friends-to-lovers was actually the easiest transition in the world. They were simply one of those book couples that made my heart happy and I adored them for it.

On the flip-side, I loathed Mikey’s dad/Tiller’s coach, but this was clearly the desired reaction and I’d be shocked to my core if any reader came away from this book liking this guy. The man needed to be seriously put in his place, and one of my only true complaints of the whole book was that I ultimately felt like he never got the verbal smack-down he was constantly bruising for.

Also, as excited as I am for the second installment, I could have done with this epilogue focusing on Tiller and Mikey, instead of getting one in the perspective of their new friend and the next book's MC, Truman. This was an obvious tool to entice readers to stick around, which truly wasn’t necessary—because, guys, I’m in it for the long haul, I promise! I just prefer that an epilogue stay true to the book itself and stay focused on the couple at hand, please and thank you.

Despite the incongruous epilogue and the rage induced by Coach’s constant manipulations, I adored the crap out of Mikey and Tiller’s story and I can not wait to read more from this promising series.
Profile Image for Cadiva.
3,356 reviews308 followers
September 30, 2021
Ooh, this new series from Lucy is shaping up to be an absolute belter.

I loved the free short story starring folk rock musician Gentry and OT Winter, but this one was even better.

This is really sweet, has all the feels and a pair who will always put the other one's feelings at the heart of their relationship.

What I really liked about this one was the clear friendship and connection between Tiller and Mickey irrespective of their attraction to each other.

There was love and respect there before they gave up fighting their feelings and became lovers.

They also, mostly, talked through their issues and, the one time they didn't, it made complete sense why not.

It wasn't just a dramatic moment for the sake of it. I also loved being back in Aster Valley and catching up with the town's people, and I'm seriously looking forward to the next book!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
Profile Image for Debra.
2,004 reviews231 followers
February 6, 2021
I really enjoyed this book until the Epilogue.

Tiller and Mikey were a super sweet couple with major chemistry. The secondary characters helped bring the story and the town of Aster Valley to life and I was enjoying the evil Coach and couldn't wait to see him (and honestly Mikey's whole family) get what he deserved. All was going great until the Epilogue.

After the big climax of the story, silly me expected to see the HEA, see the fallout from Tiller's decision, see Mikey tell his family to fuck off and get on with his new life, and start to realize his dreams with the man he loves. Instead, what I got was basically the first chapter of the next book in the POV of one of the MC's. WTF??? I realize this is a series with connections from one story to the next and that Tiller and Mikey will be secondary characters popping up in the next story, but I was at least expecting book one to end before book two began. Absolutely lost at least half a star there.

Of course, I'll be reading the next book Sweet as Honey, as Truman and Sam were both good characters and friends to the MCs here, but I am super disappointed with the ending we got here.
Profile Image for Kaity B.
1,365 reviews13 followers
November 28, 2022
Reread/relisten November 2022

Same rating as thoughts as last time! I loved these two and how Tiller was so supportive of Mikey! These two are just so perfect together

4-4.5 stars-March 2022

Low relationship angst but the external factors aka the Coach was annoying.

But I really liked both Mikey and Tiller, they were great together and their personalities meshed perfectly!

This is a great winter book, so glad I read it on a warm spring day haha

I’ve seen mixed reviews on Truman’s book but I really like Sam when we saw snippets of him in this book.
Profile Image for Gustaf.
1,416 reviews129 followers
February 11, 2021
I loved the first half of this book and disliked the second part. So I guess the only fair rating is three stars. But it could just as well be two stars. Or maybe even one star. That last half was painful. But then again, the first part was fantastic. I have no idea how to rate this.

So let's start with the first part. We meet Mickey and Tiller in a prologue for each MC. Tiller is a ball player and Mickey is the coach's son. Since Tiller is having troubles remembering to eat properly and Mickey is an awesome chef with a degree in nutrition, Mickey somewhat unwillingly agrees to take a job as Tiller's personal chef. Both men are quite unhappy about this agreement.
Fast forward 5 years and Mickey is still working as Tiller's personal chef and PA. And they are now close friends. Both are attracted to each other but neither willing to act on it since it will lead to consequences neither man are willing to face. After an injury Mickey takes Tiller to the little mountain village called Aster Valley for some rest and relaxation. Keeping their hands off each other, well that's harder than expected. I loved Aster Valley. I loved the people there. I loved Mickey and Tiller in Aster Valley.

So I'm all there for it. Loving this read... then comes the second part. And there's drama. Upon drama. Upon drama. And some running away. And some more drama. And a totally not necessary accident. And some more drama. Thinking the at least the epilogue will be sweet I power through it only to realize that the epilogue is a preview of the upcoming book in the series...

I disliked Mickey's dad with passion pretty much from the first sentence he spoke in this book and I'm sad he didn't get put down a little. He really deserved it.

At least the crazy, over the top humor was almost non existent. Small mercies.
Profile Image for Eugenia.
1,617 reviews240 followers
February 8, 2021
FEELS!! ❤️❤️❤️

Total comfort read!
This made me feel warm and happy.
The MC’s were perfect—be OK with this and you’ll be OK with the book.
The plot—some parts were tough to swallow, but if you roll with it, this book is delightful!
Virgins 🍒
Low steam
Lots of feels!👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨
Dad drama—what an asshole!

There were a couple of plot points that troubled me:
—NFL team doesn’t have nutritionists on staff? Of course, if they did, then there would be no story.
—after the injury, the PT doesn’t play into the story till later (or it does but were nit told about it). Odd for a pro NFL player.

My rec? It’s Lucy Lennox romantic fluff, you know you want it! 😂😂
Profile Image for fleurette.
1,359 reviews115 followers
May 30, 2021
I'm not a big fan of sport romances, I guess that's because I'm not a big fan of sports in general. But this story was pretty good. There is relatively little sport in here and more complex family relationships and expectations.

Basically it's a story in a well-known style What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas, except that instead of Vegas we have Colorado. This is a theme that well done works pretty well and we can see it here. The reason why the main characters are alone in a mansion in the mountains is quite reasonable.

The reasons why Mikey and Tiller shouldn't be together weren't for the most part serious in my opinion. But the author has built the tension around them very well and did a good job of showing why Mikey and Tiller think they have no chance of being together. She managed to successfully convince me of these arguments to the point that I found them believable for this story.

Mikey and Tiller make a nice couple. There is not much development of their relationship in the story, but that's because from the beginning you have no doubts that they are in love with each other. There is something very sweet about their relationship and how they get on so well. Although at some point there is a bit of a lack of communication between them. I like how much Tiller supports Mikey in making his dreams come true. These are very good characters that I found easy to like.

I hope to meet this couple in the next book in this series.
Profile Image for Vanna  on semi hiatus.
597 reviews59 followers
May 13, 2021
4 Stars! 😍💕 Another wonderful story from Lucy Lennox and this time I really liked the absence of a huge ensemble of interfering/nosy family members (which is LL's trademark in every series). Both MCs; Tiller and Mikey were incredibly likable, especially Tiller with his "gentle -giant" personality. 😍 . I'm not into sports romances, but the football aspect in the story was handled realistically, making it all the more relevant in today's world. I liked how Mikey and Tiller had an instant attraction, but they became friends first and then the deep friendship led to love ❤️. This seemed very relatable to me, although I would have liked some glimpses into their 5 year history of being besties. 😉 I hated the manipulative coach and his slime-ball of a family. I hope I never hear of Mikey's brothers again. I swear if LL writes a story with one of Mikey's brothers' as an MC, I won't read it. 😡 His entire family is irredeemable from my standpoint.
Overall, it's a lovely romance with plenty of steam & sizzle as well as emotion, connection and humor 🤩. Highly recommended!! 👍
Profile Image for haletostilinski.
1,194 reviews369 followers
February 7, 2021
4.5 stars!

What a strong start to a new series by Lucy Lennox. After the prequel we got, I was only too excited to get Mikey and Tiller's story.

And overall, it did not disappoint. I was sucked in from the beginning, these two had great chemistry, and their love was believable and interesting.

We get two prologues in this, that shows us when these two first meet. Tiller is the first out gay guy in the NFL - so kind of like a fictional version of that guy, Michael Sam, who was drafted into the NFL and who was out when he was - except Tiller has become something close to a superstar, and this really starts 5 years after they meet, with Tiller well into his NFL career and even a superbowl win under his belt.

Mikey has been Tiller's personal cook/assistant for the past five years, and for a long time they've been able to keep away from each other, meanwhile they falling for each other more and more. When Tiller gets seriously hurt during a game that will require him to be out for at least 4 weeks, he and Mikey go to Aster Valley to just get away from everything.

And it's there, where they get to be away from everything and everyone - specifically Mikey's father, TIller's coach, who is an absolute asshole - that things move beyond their quasi-friendship/employer/employee relationship and into something more.

And yes, I did .5 stars off of this for that fade to black scene! I'm sorry but that frustrated me beyond belief.

Because like, listen...if a book is clearly not meant to be an adult romance with the sexytimes - so like, it's young adult, or if it was like...a romance story but you can just tell sexytimes isn't going to happen on page, like maybe it's a romance/action thriller or romance/mystery, what have you, and it's leaning more towards the other genre instead of the romance, I'm fine with the no on page sex thing. I get it, and I go in expecting not on page sex.

But with these adult romance books, well...we all expect the sex, right? Especially with authors like Lennox who doesn't usually skimp out on these things. And even though we didn't get any anal sex until 87% - YEP. And it wasn't even that detailed, mind you - we did get other sexytimes things, like blowjobs and so on, so it's not like this is a book shying away from showing any sexy times.

So put all those factors together, and then on top of ALL that I said above, there's all this build up and anticipation for them to have anal sex. Also especially because neither of them have had anal sex before! So their first time having that will be with each other. And even if not, it's still their first time together. So it's supposed to be special and a big thing and all that.

So all that then leads to 70% where...it fucking fades to black just as Tiller just gets inside Mikey for the first time. I WAS LIKE - WHAT?! Because come on. All that build up, all that anticipation, and....nothing? Why? It was just so out of place, out of character, for the author, and to just not get to see this monumentally important moment between the two MC's.

It just...skips to the next day and that's it. It was jarring and surprising and frustrating. So yeah, I had to give this .5 stars off for that. It just threw me, and yeah, upset me a bit.

Now, does that take away from the rest of this to round down or anything? No. The rest of this is still wonderful and I loved it and couldn't get enough of it.

But that doesn't change that for me, a small portion of this book was spent with me going "wait what the fuck? Where the sex???" lol. And just feeling majorly disappointed and frustrated. So yeah, .5 stars off it is.

But with that, it overall doesn't detract too much from the rest of the story, which was well paced, I thought, and had great chemistry between the two MC's, and an interesting story, with interesting side characters, and also an interesting epilogue to introduce us to the new couple for the next book - although it didn't bother me much, it still niggles at me that it was an epilogue more about the next couple than Mikey and Tiller. Like we get a preview to the next book after the book is over, that's usually is how it's done, we don't really need that in the epilogue of a story meant for another couple, ya know? - but anyway, Sam and Truman certainly intrigue me, nonetheless.

So overall, a good story, a good kicking off point for this new series, and I was so happy everything was able to work out for Mikey and Tiller, who deserved it. It seemed like things wouldn't work out for a bit, but of course it did :D.

So overall, two big thumbs up from me, and I highly recommend. And ya know, maybe you guys won't be as bothered by the fade to black as I was haha. Still, can't wait for the next one <3
Profile Image for Erth.
3,515 reviews
June 25, 2021
This story is so so good! I loved it all! The build up over the years is not really seen but somehow you feel it. It's like they've been in a relationship that whole time but not really knew it until the physical aspect finally comes into play! I loved them so much. Both were willing to do anything for each other, i fell whole heartedly for them because of that. There were a lot of circumstances and reasons for them not to get involved and i felt the angst of that pouring off the pages but nothing, i mean absolutely nothing could of stopped the inevitable. Goodness once the floodgates opened they couldn't keep their hands off each other! It was hot hot hot!! Phewww! But it wasn't just that you felt. Those 5 years were like they'd built the foundation and it was solid and dependable. I'm gushing i know but this book hit all the spots for me. Little angst, bit of drama, lots of heat, and bucket loads of sweet gooey love!
Profile Image for D.L. Howe.
Author 13 books375 followers
May 11, 2023

BR with my favorite Jersey girl Amy!

Tiller is a football player who doesn’t eat enough and keeps passing out. So Coach recommended a nutritionist/chef but he did not under any circumstances want his son to take the position.

Five years later and Mikey (the son) has been working for Tiller the whole time. It’s been totally platonic and Tiller wants so much more but Mikey has a history of falling into bed with his dad’s football players. So he’d rather not traverse that rocky terrain.

The thing is these two have a ton of chemistry. They spend way more time together than a normal private chef/boss than the norm so it was only a matter of time.

After Tiller is injured they head to Colorado where there are the cutest moments in the quaint town of Aster Valley and they cement their blossoming romance. Total swoon factor!!

If only their relationship was that easy. Unfortunately there’s a ton of obstacles in their way including Tiller’s career as a wide receiver and Mikey’s future as a chef doing bigger and better things. The biggest cock block is none other than Mikey’s dad/Tiller’s coach. What a freaking asshole!!

Anywho, what a sweet, adorable, of course spicy and a little angsty read.
Profile Image for yaishin.
736 reviews84 followers
February 4, 2021
I didn't totally hate it. I liked reading my first book with an already out and proud footballer. Although I was expecting more of a manwhore type from Tiller. Interesting name btw.

I didn't like Mikey much for some reason..And the anal virgin part was a bit hard to believe.

I literally don't have anything else to add.
Profile Image for Lelyana's Reviews.
3,268 reviews380 followers
January 29, 2021
“That’s not how love works,” he said. “If you love someone, you don’t set them free like a damned butterfly. You chain them to your bed and use your mouth to convince them to stay.”"

And that's what Mikey did :)
First of all, I truly happy visiting Gent and Winter again. And I was glad the story happened in Aster Valley, where everyone seems gay. Well not at first, but like Winter said, the place attracts the LGBT community for the friendly aura.
Mickey and Tiller have to face their internal problem, like a douchebag father who only care about football, and a closeted homophobic. I felt sorry for Mickey for putting up with that kind of parent.
Thanks to Tiller's accepting family, he's finally got a family who really loved him for who he is.
Five years of dreaming and wanting to be together, the NFL player and the PA/personal chef/housekeeper/bestfriend finally had a courage to be together.
This story focused on how much hurt your parents can do to you when they disagreed of your lifestyle. Especially when you are gay. And your parent is a narcissistic homophobic bullying a**hole extraordinary. There, I said it.

I really enjoyed Mickey and Tiller. And I loved Mickey's BFF, Sam. Especially when he said those words I shared earlier :)
“That’s not how love works,” he said. “If you love someone, you don’t set them free like a damned butterfly. You chain them to your bed and use your mouth to convince them to stay.”

So according to Sam, when you love someone, don't let them go. Keep them. Do whatever it takes to make them stay with you forever.

A little disappointment about the epilogue, but I think I'll let go. Cannot wait for Truman and Sam's story. April is just too long!
Profile Image for BevS.
2,724 reviews2 followers
February 21, 2021
4.25 stars from me. Loved Tiller and Mikey, absolutely hated Mikey's family especially his dad, Coach V. What does it say about you as a father that your son calls you Coach rather than Dad, and that you think it's fair and OK to more or less blackmail your son?

Agree with Dani that the epilogue sucked. I'm looking forward to Truman and Sam's story Sweet as Honey, but didn't want the end of this story to finish with Truman's POV...I thought that was rather weird 🤨 although yes, Truman absolutely needs to do something about what really happened with the hit and run 'accident'.
Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,738 reviews230 followers
April 12, 2021
This was cute and I loved the foundation their relationship was built upon. I love a solid friends to lovers story and even more so when the history is real and honest.

I hated Mikey’s Dad and feel like I would have stopped putting up with that long before all this went down and his Mom? What a waste of a person. What a absolutely deplorable individual.

The rest though, cute and a great addition to what I think will be a good new series.
Profile Image for Elsbeth.
1,181 reviews41 followers
February 5, 2021
I loved the first 50% and then it was just meh. Mikey and Tilly were great together. Mikey's family were an ass to him. I would've loved there to be more of an epilogue about Mikey and Tilly though. How they spended their lives together. Now it was more of a preperation for the sequel of Sam and Truman.
I would read it though!!

Maybe we'll get a shortie of Mikey and Tilly?
Profile Image for alyssa.
817 reviews137 followers
November 14, 2021
[3.4] let me state for the record that i did like the couple (Tiller having his priorities straight when shiz hits the fan was good stuff 😌👌). my niggles have to do with the story's construction/execution, which was off enough to have me reluctant to round up (i always feel like such a downer when i list qualms but girl's gotta jot down notes to jog her poor memory in the future somewhere lol). scroll below for the deets 👀

⚠️ take me to...spoiler town! 💃 ⚠️

- the five year time skip at the very start was so random, like the author just took an arbitrary number out of a hat and went with it 😆 skipping the first year where they basically avoided each other would've made sense, but believing they survived five years with no touchy-touchy anything when they almost immediately jump on each other the moment they're away in some remote-ish location is a bit of a stretch since we missed out on most of the relationship buildup. i adored their interactions for the most part, yet it had the potential to be even more impactful had we also been with them through their getting-to-know-each-other phase. but hey, at least we got a prologue to sorta set the stage!

- author was really hyping up their first penetrative sex scene only for it to ftb !!!! READER BLUE BALLS STRIKES AGAIN 💀

- no satisfying resolution to the whole conflict with Mikey’s parents. the whole time Mr. Coach doesn't act very much like the successful coach he's made out to be, all too eager to sacrifice the health of his players and resort to blackmailing his own son to get what he wants, and his mother's just an empty shell--no brain cells in sight 😅

- an "epilogue" acting as a segue into the next book is a BIG NOPE from me. where's my full circle HEA for this couple we spent the past few hours with?? don't deprive me of life's joys 😭

all in all, a cute, semi low angst read but if only we didn't get basic cartoon villains as antagonists and an incomplete ending to the experience 😔
Profile Image for Bookreader87(Amanda).
958 reviews31 followers
February 18, 2021
4.25 stars

First, thank you Lucy for yanking me out of my book funk. I could not read this one fast enough. Hello friends to lovers, hello sports theme! It is like you knew what I was looking for, at the moment, and wrote it for me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it 😆

Tiller is an out rookie football star in need of a nutritionist. Mikey is the coaches son who has a background in such. Coach V wants to help his star recruit but does not want his youngest son involved due to past experience with a former player. Too bad for him Tiller's agent sees things differently.

Five years later Mikey is still an employee of Tiller and Tiller is one of the greatest players in the game. The two have become good friends over the years but deeper feelings have always lingered. Number 1 problem is Coach V with his no nonsense attitude about them dating. An injury occurs that puts Tiller out the game for awhile. This leads him and Mikey on a trip to Aster Valley where for the first time they spend one on one time together and let's just say things get real deep. Feelings emerge and hopes for a future together begin to mold.

However, how they can get around Coach V and make it work is something they have to figure out together.

Overall a solid read. I really enjoyed it. Hated Mikey's family especially dear old dad. Glad Mikey had Tiller. I look forward to reading more books in this series. Bring them on...like right now!! 😂
Profile Image for BWT.
2,153 reviews218 followers
March 20, 2021
New series.

I loved Mikey and Tiller and was so happy they were able to get their heads out of their asses and see that they were the best thing for each other.

Overall I liked 'Right as Raine', but I would have preferred it without the unnecessary bit of angst towards the end that just infuriated me, but thankfully worked out pretty quickly.

Dual POV, football sports romance, with some heat, humor, fun characters, and a happy ending. The epilogue is in Aster Valley resident Truman's POV and seems to be setting up a possible relationship with Mikey's best friend, and contractor, Sam Rigby in book 2. I really liked Sam so I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in his book.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Ami.
5,814 reviews499 followers
February 20, 2021
2.5 stars

MEH for me despite the cute beginning. All those sex scenes in the middle also dragged the book down. I hate the Coach.

And seriously, I am SO OVER with the "one must be in accident so the famous person can finally say I love you or fight for the relationship" trope. Lame. And lazy plot IMHO
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ⭐️AMST⭐️.
127 reviews17 followers
March 14, 2021

Not my favorite from Lennox.
I found it hard to connect to the MCs. It was readable enough for me to finish it but honestly, there’s nothing special about it imo.
What really disappointed me was the epilogue. I really hate when authors try too hard to prepare us for the next book in the series. Just made me decide I don’t want to read it.
Profile Image for Kim.
2,502 reviews150 followers
January 31, 2021
Oh my! These two just made me so happy! I loved the short intro to this series, Winter Waites, but this one has made me completely fall in love with Aster Valley.

Tiller Raine is a gay, superstar, NFL wide receiver whose entire life revolves around the game. Five years ago when he was in need of nutritional guidance, his coach's youngest son, Mikey, was coerced into the position of his chef...and he never left. In fact, Mikey has now taken on the role of Tiller's best friend, sidekick, housekeeper, personal assistant, chef, and travel companion. Mikey runs the house and Tiller listens. But it is obvious that the football player has a big soft spot for Mikey. Tiller is kind, generous, appreciative, and protective. The way he called him "My Mikey" just made my heart flutter.

Mikey Vining never fit in with his family of bruiser brothers and football coach father. He is a cute, little, nerdy, nutritionist. But he is also organized, attentive, and bossy. He has his own dreams involving his healthy recipes, but he also enjoys spending time taking care of Tiller. But he has to be on guard because he has made some poor decisions in the past with players and his Dad is always ready with a negative comment.

When Tiller and Mikey end up in Aster Valley sharing a cabin for a period of time, it is hard to deny the attraction and feelings that have been simmering under the surface for years. And as things begin to change while in their isolated bubble, it is hard to know what will happen when they have to return home and to real life in Houston.

This is an endearing, passionate, forced proximity, opposites-attract, forbidden, football romance between the most adorable characters. I swooned over the connection between Tiller and Mikey. Their vulnerability, intimacy, and the true feelings they had for one another, even when they were afraid to admit them, just shined through the pages. They treated each other with the utmost care, compassion, and respect. Tiller never thought of himself as better than Mikey due to his career, celebrity, or money. And Mikey liked to be independent and did not like to take advantage of Tiller. I absolutely adored them together.

They do have some challenges. There are plenty of external sources that could cause complications from family, perceptions, careers, life paths, and possible media coverage. There is a dichotomy between the sports-centric hustle and bustle of their lives in Houston vs. the small town of Aster Valley. The Valley is serene and full of quirky (and plenty of LGBT) characters. I liked the sense of found-family. I enjoyed more with Gentry and Winter, Pim, David, Solo, and Truman. And Mikey's friend, Sam is also a stand-out. I cannot wait for more in Sweet as Honey: An Aster Valley Novel.
Follow Me: Blog: Reviews by Tammy & Kim (Rachel and Jay) | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram
Profile Image for Jamie.
377 reviews29 followers
September 20, 2022
This book was so good! I have no idea why I haven't read much from this author before.

I loved the build up and the tension and pining in the beginning. In some books when they finally hook up, it can become a bit boring but that wasn't the case here at all. The whole book was so good and so hard to put down.

I did feel the third act conflict was a bit weak and out of character, and there were some things that could have been resolved better. Also, no actual epilogue (it was someone else's POV)

Can't wait to read more from this series and more from this author!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 601 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.