Long Shot (Hoops #1) by Kennedy Ryan
Publication Date: March 20, 2018

TW: MAJOR TRIGGERS for abusive relationship, rape, gaslighting, violence from a partner, gun violence, past childhood abuse
CW: pregnancy

This is a backlist book & review! I wrote this review in 2020 and then never posted it…I don’t even think I shared my thoughts on this on in a mini review.

Look I had never read a Kennedy Ryan book prior to 2020. I read Kingmaker during a KU trial and fell in love with that book. Legit so good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the sequel, but Kennedy Ryan can write! See my thoughts here.

So when I found out she had a basketball series I had to read it. Of course, it was never on sale and not part of KU so I kept putting it off. Then book one ended up on KU a week before my subscription was going to end it was meant to be. Of course, I was lowkey in a book slump and not wanting to read it BUT IT WAS LONG SHOT I had to FOR THE BASKETBALL.

For those of you who do not know, I love college basketball. I’m iffy on NBA, but I adore watching basketball and it basically half of my personality. I even made a March Madness Tag lol. My love of college basketball is A LOT at times. My current NaNoWriMo project is a college basketball story.

But, what do I love just as much as basketball? Romance novels! So when I found one that combined both my loves I had to read it.

Before I get into this review, I want to note that there are serious triggers in this novel. It features a very abusive relationship that leads to rape and violence. Many of these encounters are described in detail. Please proceed with caution if you plan on reading this one. I knew this featured those themes but did not know how detailed they were described and how much time of the novel we spend with them. Proceed with caution friends.

Okay. On to the review.


  • Obviously, the basketball. I could write two pages on how much I loved seeing August before the final game of a March Madness tournament. Him and Iris meet before and THIS IS HONESTLY EVERYTHING I HAVE WANTED IN A ROMANCE NOVEL.
    • Iris is a basketball fan which gave me life!!
    • This whole scene was my favorite part of the book.
  • Kenney Ryan is such a talented writer. You just can’t help but feel what the characters are feelings.
  • Even though I hated that it happened, I loved how this novel showcases the reality that many women face of getting pregnant at an inconvenient time in their lives and how it shapes their future.
  • I also liked the discussion on why women say in abusive relationships and the ease which people judge them for their choices when they very well might not have any.


  • I wasn’t the biggest fan of the relationship between August and Iris, it was fine, but like?? They barely knew each other and were basing so much on their connection.
  • I hated that we saw so much of the abuse Iris endured, it was so hard to read and could be so triggering.
    • I thought we would time jump over it and honestly wish we had
    • It is hard to read rape scenes like that
  • I wish there was more basketball
  • So much of this novel is dramatic and a bit over the top.
  • I hate Iris’ boyfriend (legit forgot his name) and felt we got very little explanation on why he was so bad. I get that there is commentary that “nice guys” can be abusers too, but I wanted to see why Iris fell in love with him in the first place. And then see all the fallout.
  • This novel is just so heavy. I know that it is the subject matter and not the book’s fault, but dang it was not a fun time.

Overall, I would only recommend this one if you are okay with reading very abusive scenes ranging from hitting to rape. Yes, there are some cute moments with Iris and August, but I had such a hard time getting into their relationship when the abusive one was so much more present.

Do you have any basketball book recommendations for me? I’m on a quest.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo, Tree

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