King of the Court By R.S. Grey

King of the Court you say? more like King of my Heart.

Ben Castillo is a Los Angeles-based NBA basketball player who travels to Pine Hill, Texas for four weeks of training before the Olympics. After filing for divorce from his wife, Ben hasn't been himself. He hasn't tried to move on or do anything with another female because of her, and his sole attention is on basketball. What he doesn’t expect is to meet a certain blonde at the gas station.

Raelynn Birdie grew up in Pine Hill but attended college elsewhere. She's back in Pine Hill, doing everything she can for her Nan after having to drop out of college. Raelynn's grandmother has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing facility, and she is struggling to pay her bills. She works at Dale's Diner in the mornings and at her cleaning job in the afternoons. Both jobs are low-paying and exhausting. Fortunately, the sheriff loans her his trailer, which he no longer uses so she could have a place to herself. However, at Dale’s Diner the NBA stars are now the talk of the town, and Raelynn can't seem to get away from it.

Raelynn and Ben met at a gas station for the first time. When a luxury car that is clearly not from Pine Hill pulls up, Raelynn is talking to someone from the town while feeding his horse an apple. Raelynn immediately begins glaring at the car, as Ben exits the vehicle and returns the stare. While they were at the gas station, Ben's friend Anthony was the only one who spoke to her and asked for directions. Raelynn meets all of the basketball lads the very next morning as they come in to eat. From then on, Ben and Raelynn are drawn to each other and see each other whenever they have the opportunity. It is not simple, but they manage to make it work. Everything suddenly changes a few days before he leaves for the Olympics.

They don't see each other again for another year. Raelynn is back in California, attending school and assisting her Professor, as well as three other people who have become her friends. Their Professor gives them basketball tickets one night, and we all know who they'll be seeing. Raelynn is refusing to attend the game until her friends persuade her. Six rows back from the court, the seats were located. During the game, however, Ben did not notice her, but someone who also has my heart did. And when the game was done, that certain someone ran after Ben to tell him that he had seen Raelynn, but Ben didn't believe him. The next day, Ben has some free time and searches for her on Google to see whether she is indeed back in California. When he realizes it's true, he pays her a visit at her college. Their bond has continued to grow since then.

This book was way too cute. It had no right to make me smile like that. I never smile that big…. It’s scary. These two are crazy in love and I would do anything for them. And by anything, I mean anything. Hence, why I changed the title to the King of my Heart in my mind.

*Thank you for the ARC in exchange for an honest review* King of the Court title: King of the Court
genre: New Adult
tropes: sport romance second chance
content warnings: loss of a loved one
rating: 4,5 ⭐

don't check spoiler tags or read other reviews if you want to get into this book and get full nothing too bad but some tropes are intentionally hidden...

* reading this book kept me up, gosh I loved that feeling who needs sleep give me all this goodness inject it...
* I was entertained honey, no I didn't expect the drama and that twist but I kind of loved it
* loved the connection between our lead, and Ben le sigh is perfection

this book had a plot twist I haven't seen since I stopped reading rock stars romances
one of the reasons being THAT!!

for all of you who need OW/OM report, I am pleased to report that separation was 1 and a half, and nor hero or heroine have slept with anyone else...

this year R.S.Grey is not joking around anymore but she is serving me some of my favorite books of hers..I mean I gave To Have and to Hate five stars too..

[image error] King of the Court The best part of this book for me was the promise of then the blossoming, flirty relationship between this world weary, damsel in distress Cinderella and her rich, famous All Star Olympic basketball player prince charming. Even though these two instantly attracted, knucklehead love birds seemed resigned to the notion they weren't ever destined to head to the play-offs of forever love and matrimony, I had high hopes for them. The comradery of the good supporting cast of sub characters helped carry the plot along, as well.  

I think I could actually sum up this story in a couple of sentences. But don't worry, I won't, least I give too much away. This is quite unusual for me since most of the time I have a hard time turning off the tap of my thoughts when musing and writing reviews. Just know despite the unwelcome by me, say what? reveal, which caused this couple's huge crisis, I felt the majority of it played out predictable and mostly uneventful. 

Btw, it seems literary lightning can strike the same place twice. My last book also had this same dreaded drama element.   With no hint or warning whatsoever in the synopsis, which is a shame since I was enjoying the Cinderella vibe.

Sure, I was expecting some kind of slamming of the door and storming off so reconciliation romance could commence. I'm after all an unashamedly lover of relationship angst. But that new life changing obligation, which sometimes rears it's unwelcome, ugly head in my romantic reads, never sets overly well with me. It's a turn off, turning point personal preference, folks. Here it felt swept under the rug like no big deal when it was a game changer. Holding the broom, was the very let's all just get along now, shall we? surprisingly amicable sub-character, who thankfully loved someone else and didn't try to stir up a lot of trouble, despite the unlucky luck of the draw circumstances. Heck, even that character wanted things to be different, too.

This book was appropriately sectioned off as Part I & Part II. For me, the second half was drawn out plus nothing unexpected happened. Plus smex started hijacking the story there, too. Especially from 75 percent on, I found the second half writing wasn't keeping me fully engaged.  Honestly, I lost track when I officially was fast forwarding more than reading near the end. 

Can't win 'em all, folks. That's the lesson and reminder for me here. And oh, before I go, I should mention Birdie was the heroine's last name, which also served as her nickname.  As much as I love birds, that name (especially when used as an endearment) felt weird and trying too hard to come off too cute for my tastes. Again, personal preference, folks. I am what I am.

P.S. The synopsis seems to imply this heroine is strong, sassy, and doesn't take lip from anyone. No, I didn't find that to be the case. IMO, her hard luck past and life demands had her more of a damsel in distress mode most of the time.

Romance Safety Gang:

Title: King of the Court, Author: R.S. Grey, Pages: 325, pub date: 8/12/21, stand-alone, Cinderella meets her prince vibe, graphic smex hijacked parts of second half, slow paced, unwelcome reveal/drama thrown in for me, 1.5 year separation, good supporting cast, HEA eventually. 

(I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was not rewarded or compensated for this review.) King of the Court Get it here:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

R.S Grey is an author I know I can go to when I need an easy, sweet, read and she never fails to deliver. But this book didn't hit my expectations at much and it was a little disappointing. The characters were enjoyable, and the story was nice, but the mid-point shocker, turned time jump seemed out of place and put me off the rest of the story in a way. It almost made the first half of the book pointless. Maybe if that time jump had happened earlier in the book it wouldn't have felt so out of place for me but as it was it made it hard for me to continue reading seamlessly. King of the Court *ARC provided for an honest review*

King of the Court did not disappoint AT ALL. This was such an enjoyable read and I absolutely loved the characters.

I enjoy reading sport romances so this book really caught my attention. King of the Court has a really interesting plot line that I couldn’t seem to stop reading. Both characters are strong in their own ways that when they’re together you could see just how right they are for each other and bring out the best in each other. Raelynn is a character that I easily connected with. I love everything about her and how strong she always remains, even when life comes crashing in unexpected moments. She is selfless and her personality is everything. With Ben his character honestly surprised me. The way he cared about Raelynn is one of the things I really loved. Although there was a moment that I just wanted to throw my phone…it did have me understand him more.

All in all I liked the way Raelynn and Ben’s story was written. R.S. Grey captured every single moment. From the heart wrenching ones to the happiness both characters endure with each other. All of it was interesting. All of it was worth reading!! This book is definitely one of my favorites. King of the Court

R.S. Grey ë 0 Free read

We don’t get a lot of NBA superstars coming through little ol’ Pine Hill, Texas. That’s why everyone is all in a tizzy over the fact that the USA men’s Olympic basketball team will be training here of all places before this year’s Summer Games. With little else to talk about, rumors about the players have been spreading like wildfire, and there’s one man in the middle of it all holding a match.

Ben Castillo.
NBA champion.
Olympic gold medalist.
Widely hailed ‘King of the Court’.

The morning he walks into my dingy diner, I have enough sense to keep my head down and go right on wiping tables, pouring coffee, and serving up short stacks. A man who looks like that—superstar or not—has only ever meant trouble, and more trouble is the last thing I need, what with taking care of Nan and scraping by on tips from truckers.

If anything, he seems drawn to my indifference. His steely gaze pierces me behind the counter. My knees nearly buckle under the weight of his attention. But while Mr. Pretty Boy is probably used to snagging city girls with a smile, this gal is country strong.

I won’t be some clichéd convenience for him on his way through town.

So look over your choices carefully, Benny-boy. We serve up sides of hash browns here, not heartbreak. King of the Court

4.25 stars

If you're looking for a small-town/sports romance, look no further. King of the Court was so good!

Raelynn is back in small town Texas after her Nan gets sick. She's her only family, so after taking a break from college and leaving California she's working two jobs to make ends meet. She's too busy to think about guys, but then Ben shows up.

Ben Castillo is a popular NBA player dubbed 'King of the Court'. He's in Texas to train for the Olympics and the training facility happens to be near where Raelynn lives. When they meet sparks fly, but them being together seems not only impractical, but impossible. Still, they both fall fast.

This was sweet and romantic and I truly enjoyed it. Raelynn was smart and hardworking, and Ben was fantastic. There was a part towards the middle that I thought would ruin the book for me but it ended up working. Overall this one was great for me! King of the Court The first part of this feel-good sports romance reminded me of the author’s first releases which were adorable, but sadly, the second part felt dragged and I skimmed it a lot.

The ex-wife coming back pregnant with the H’s baby made me feel icky for the heroine. Thankfully they didn’t dwell on it too much and I let it slide.
King of the Court 3.25 Stars

King of the Court?
More like King of Consent. <3

This was my 4th R.S. Grey book in 2021, and at this point will I ever get to meet a heroine who’s not poor and working herself to the bone to make ends meet? I swear, one of these days.

This book was a nice, sweet ride.

There wasn’t anything that upset me, but none that particularly stood out to me either. I think I prefer when this author’s heroes are grumpy assholes who appear cold and mean towards the heroine while also secretly simping for her—cause at least I’d get loads of fun and hilarious banter out of it. This one seemed dull in comparison.

I thought after the plot twist, the story would take a tumble and become telenovela-like , but it worked out better than I anticipated. In fact, I think I liked the second chance romance in Part II more than the initial fleeting romance in Part I. Plus, the epilogue was cute. Overall, this book didn’t get me all up in my feels, but I breezed through it.

And maybe you would too. :) King of the Court *nervous laugh* well... am I coming out as a R.S. Grey hater? maybe her books are no longer for me? was this boring for someone else, or is there something wrong with my reading senses? ok, enough.

2.5 | I'm gonna start with what I did like about this book; the heroine. I really appreciate that Grey is leaving behind her old practices of just giving her male characters different personalities, while the female ones are always these hysterical women who almost seem out of a madhouse. Raelynn Birdie was that girl who gave up her dreams to take care of her only living relative, even if it meant a miserable life. She was super smart and funny, but there was also a sweetness and innocence about her that made me like her. The other thing I liked was the cute epilogue, but it came too late.

Now from the blurb you can already guess what this is about; Super famous NBA star stranded in a small town for three weeks meets the poor girl and instantly the sparks fly, but he must at some point leave so oh no, what will happen to this new relationship? Up to this point everything is fine BUT the author left some tropes out of this blurb and I get it, some like surprise twists, but me not so much, I like to have everything in sight to know whether or not to pick a book. SO THIS MAY BECOME A LITTLE SPOILERY, SO PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!! what did she leave out? a soon to be ex-wife drama, a baby, the single dad trope, kinda second chance romance, and a time jump. And I like most of these tropes, but I think they were unnecessary in this story, why? because part I was enough, everything else, the filling or whatever you want to call it was a snoozefest.

Part I was about them meeting each other in this small town, living this intense connection never felt before, and trying to figure out what would happen after he left town for the Olympics. This was good, even if I couldn't feel much chemistry between them because Ben was like an ornamental in this story. Then in the middle of the book came part II and that's what I find unnecessary; This starts with them after more than 1 year apart meeting again, but considering that they didn't finish whatever they had together in bad terms I didn't see the point for this to be SO long, there's no angst or anything, just them reconnecting, meeting Ben's kid and trying to get used to the fame of dating a superstar. And then an epilogue with a bunch of kids, the end.

There were some interesting side characters like Raelynn's college friends and Eva, but DAMN! I just want a cute and fun sports romance, is it too much to ask? I accept recommendations 😭 King of the Court I had no idea this would sneak in and become a favorite of the year! THIS BOOK!?!?! I was obsessed. OBSESSED. I could not get over how hard Ben and Raelynn fell for each other or how heartbreaking and emotional their stories were. They fell in love at the wrong time for both of them and they take so long to find their way back to one another. Raelynn was such a strong heroine and I loved how she gave anything for her grandmother. She was such an intriguing character and Ben's fame as a basketball star actually meant nothing to her. I really appreciated how realistic Ben's life as a huge star was and how much they talked about security and paparazzi following him and invading his privacy and how that affected everyone in his life. What I loved the most, though, was how deep Ben loved Raelynn. The love he had was all-consuming and a soulmates kind of love and I was obsessed. This also had a trope I loved that's a spoiler, so just know it is so good. SO ANGSTY. I could not get enough of this book and own't stop thinking about it for a long time.

You have to read this!!! King of the Court