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The Underdogs #3

The Guy in the Middle

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I was born to play and bred to win.

My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.

With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.

Two birds, one ball.

Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.

For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach's daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.

362 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 29, 2020

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About the author

Kate Stewart

54 books14.7k followers
USA Today bestselling author and Texas native, Kate Stewart, lives in
North Carolina with her husband, Nick. Nestled within the Blueridge
Mountains, Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance, as
well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense. Kate’s title, Drive, was
named one of the best romances of 2017 by The New York Daily News and
Huffington Post. Drive was also a finalist in the Goodreads Choice awards
for best contemporary romance of 2017. The Ravenhood Trilogy,
consisting of Flock, Exodus, and The Finish Line, has become an
international bestseller and reader favorite. Her holiday release, The Plight
Before Christmas, ranked #6 on Amazon’s Top 100. Kate’s works have
been featured in USA TODAY, BuzzFeed, The New York Daily News,
Huffington Post and translated into a dozen languages.
Kate is a lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and
rap. She dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for
necessity, and on occasion, does very well at whiskey.

Contact Kate- Email-authorkatestewart@gmail.com

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/79348...

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/?hl=en

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5 stars
2,505 (49%)
4 stars
1,619 (31%)
3 stars
690 (13%)
2 stars
202 (3%)
1 star
57 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 840 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,915 reviews33k followers
January 11, 2023
5 stars

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What an epic way to end The Underdogs series. Every book in this series has been a five star favorite for me and this was no exception. After reading the first part of this story in the 'Team Player' anthology, I was chomping at the bit to get to this. It was everything I wanted and more. Lance and Harper stole my heart. I loved this book so much!

Harper and Lance meet in college. Lance is a football player but also loves boxing. He uses as an outlet, as he’s got a lot going on in his family life. He’s a serious guy and is a little broody and stand-offish at first. Harper is a dancer, but is waiting to follow her dreams until she gets a college education. She’s not traditionally the most beautiful girl, but I loved seeing her through Lance’s eyes. These two have a bumpy start to their relationship, but they fall in love. It's a bit forbidden due to who Harper's dad is, but they make it work. Or they try to.

What I loved most about this story was the way these two fought for one another. Their were times Lance fought for Harper, and there were times that Harper fought for Lance. They never gave up on each other, even when things seemed impossible. And oh my goodness, the way that Lance saw Harper, the way he looked at her.. my heart. I love that Kate wrote a character that wasn't conventionally beautiful. My heart was so heavy with what Harper went through but Lance saw her as the most gorgeous thing alive and isn't that the way it's supposed to be when you truly love someone?
“She’s a six at most, why are you wasting time with a six?”
“Add five to that.”
“She’s my eleven.”

Not only do we get Lance and Harper's story, we get a fair bit of Theo and Laney, as well as Troy and Clarrisa. I loved getting more from these two couples and I adored the ending of all their stories.

This story was amazing. It had the perfect amount of angst, heartache, and emotion. It's a beautiful second chance romance you don't want to miss out on. The Guy in the Middle is by far my favorite book of 2020 so far, and I'm sure it will be a contender for my best book of the year!
I cling to him knowing that from this moment forward, all my steps will always lead back to him. This isn’t commitment. This is forever.

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Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,072 reviews51.4k followers
October 9, 2020
hopefully my first and last kate stewart dnf

it is always pretty painful to admit when one of your faves' books doesn't work for you. and as i was deciding that this book's plot wasn't really working for me, the stereotypes popped up.

the jewish stereotype, the gay best friend stereotype, and the oversexualized latino stereotype. why why why. no reason for it.

i understand that indie published books don't undergo the same editing process but i really don't know how these glaring issues could wind up in a published book. i think this was a genuine attempt at diversity but it really did not work and i really think some beta readers could have offered some advice here.
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,233 followers
May 27, 2020
I tried. Truly, I did, however, the world is plenty depressing enough as it is without compounding it with a book that’s excessively angsty for no justifiable reason. Also, Stewart’s depiction of Rene’s character is....whoa. Do better. DNF @27%.
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,767 followers
March 28, 2020

#1 The Guy on the Right — 4 Stars
#2 The Guy on the Left — 4.5 Stars
#3 The Guy in the Middle — 4.5 Stars

Lance Prescott definitely takes the cake! And my heart with him.

The first book had me impressed bcs I didn’t realize this author could write a simple yet totally unique love story to be full of heart and humor. The second one I loved mostly bcs I have a soft spot for little rascals and their adorableness. But in this one, Lance Prescott owns my heart.

This book is broken down into three parts. The first one kick starts Lance/Harper’s relationship with secret rendezvous and talks of big dreams. At first, I thought they hit it off way too quickly and it almost turned me off. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop and when it did, I was left wondering where it would take me.

Turns out Part One is just the calm before the storm bcs Part Two is where the emotional ride begins. In this, we see Lance confronting Harper for the way she handles their situation in Part One. I was pretty angry with Harper myself though I understood her fear. She more than made up for it in the next part.

I have to say that Part Three is my favorite and the most heartbreaking one as we see Harper tries her damnedest to win Lance back. The last couple chapters destroyed me and left me in a hot mess. The epilogue was the most beautiful piece I’ve ever read and it was the perfect gift to wrap up the whole series.

I loved Lance and Harper’s characters. Their competitiveness and determination to fight for their dreams was admirable and their enduring love made my heart clench. I’ve been a fan of the author’s clever writing since book one and loved how she always managed to present us with the realest of characters.
Profile Image for mel ☽.
367 reviews8,590 followers
March 7, 2020
"Our stories stemmed from the same place, intertwined, and wouldn't be what they are if it weren't for each other."

OH MY GOD. that epilogue.
wow. just, wow. it made me so sentimental and sad at the same time because i need more from these characters. but honestly? that epilogue (especially Theo's pov) was the perfect ending for this series that i couldn't be happier.

i've been waiting for Lance's story since Theo's book mainly because he was the silent, brooding type of H and that personality trait is one of my number one weaknesses in books but Lance didn't really give that vibe here. BUT i can 100% tell y'all that this is tied with Theo's book as my #1 fave in this series mainly because of round 3 (there's 3 parts in this book).

i loved Lance for, like, 60% of the book (round 1 & 2) he was just so swoony and i just loved reading his inner monologue about how much he loves and pines for Harper. but honestly, i just wanted to smack the douchbaggery out of him in round 3. and as for Harper... weeelll. i really couldn't connect with her in round 1 & 2 and it's because i was biased as hell when it came to Lance and the fact that she just left him so suddenly? nahh. but when i found out why she left i just wanted to HUG HER. i fell in love with this girl in round 3 and she became my favorite.

why not 5 stars?
now, i really did love this but the only reason why i didn't give this 5 stars is because round 1 & 2 were so hard to get into and the only character i connected with was Lance. i didn't like the time jumps and i didn't really like the 2-year-separation and the fact that Lance slept with OW (rarely tho! at least he wasn't a ho thank god). but honestly, i didn't really care about Lance not being celibate cuz, again, i barely cared about Harper at that time and there's not much details about it.

another reason is that i just wish round 3 was longer! this part of the book was the best part because of the angsty drama and a lot of the push and pull that i was looking for in the first 60% of the book. i was also low key annoyed that i only got to see ONE grovelling scene from Lance and then BOOM. epilogue time. but yeah, i just wish we get to see more of Lance being Lance in this round because he was just too mean.

overall thoughts:
again, the angsty drama in round 3 is what made me love this because the book became a page-turner for me at that point but i also loved the sweet and genuine romance in rounds 1 & 2 because the banter there was just *chef's kiss*.

and the epilogue made me cry! like, it wasn't even sad or anything. it was just PERFECT. the Theo and Laney ending made me so happy.

anyways, please, PLEASE for the love of god let there be a book about Trevor.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
531 reviews1,354 followers
March 3, 2020
4.5 stars

“What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?”

What a book to end the series with! Lance and Harper’s story was so heartwarming, fun, angsty, emotional, and so relatable. What started as an angry meet cute turned into an undeniable attraction that evolved to a great first love story. Certain circumstances forced them to separate just to try and find their way back to each other.

I loved both Lance and Harper. They were both so real and so freakin relatable. I loved how different they seemed to be, but then it turned out that they’re kind of exactly the same. I loved how they believed in each other’s as individuals. I loved that they get the chance to discover themselves and try to understand each other more. This book was a lot of things. A rollercoaster indeed. And that epilogue was the sweetest thing ever!!

Song recommendation:
Brave by Sara Bareilles
Beautiful people by Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid
I like me better by lauv
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,360 reviews1,442 followers
March 1, 2020
5 Stars!
(ARC provided by author/ Wordsmith Publicity)

-“What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?”

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Lance Prescott attends Texas Grand University in College Station, Texas where he plays football. He’s a loner who keeps to himself and works on his goals for the future. His family and football are all that matters, and he has to put all his focus on doing what it takes to get drafted into the NFL. Then he’s thrown a curveball that turns his entire world upside down. Harper Elliot is a feisty, strong willed sophomore at TGU that challenges him at every turn. Dancing is her dream, and she’s just as disciplined and determined as he is. They clash immediately, and then things heat up between them as their chemistry sizzles.

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They both fall hard and fast, but the timing isn’t right, and life takes them in different directions on completely different paths. Circumstances and decisions leave them both with regrets, but no matter how much time passes, they can’t forget one another and what they shared. Will ambition, secrets and responsibilities keep them apart, or will they realize anything worth having is worth fighting for, and risk it all for love?

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-I’ll never get over Lance Prescott, that’s what time and distance have told me.

-With him, I feel it, the magnetic pull, the need, the want, the raw desire, the lust, the love.

-Nothing has ever felt so real to me, so right.

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The Guy In The Middle (The Underdog Series, Book Three) by Kate Stewart can be read as a standalone, and was formerly published in the Team Player 2 anthology, but is now a 107k full-length novel with an extended epilogue where we even get some more of Theo and Troy. The novella left me dying for more of this couple, and this book was just everything!!! The ending was perfection, and I adore this entire series! All three books were phenomenal five star reads!

This book starts out as a forbidden enemies to lovers college romance that evolves into an unforgettable second chance love story about first loves, heartbreak, trust, and unbreakable connections. I was addicted to these characters and couldn’t put this book down. It’s a beautiful, emotional story full of angst that will touch your heart and stay with you.

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Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
932 reviews1,094 followers
February 28, 2020

OMG I'm sooooo happy right now. I literally devoured this book since last night. :) It was so good and that epilogue was super sweet!!! I'm still smiling when I think about it. (^_^)

Ahhh I loved this series so much and I highly recommend them to you. <3

Ps. Ms.Stewart, I'm a huge fan of your works. Thank you so much for my ARC. <3
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews891 followers
February 28, 2020

AUTHOR: Kate Stewart
SERIES: The Underdogs #3
RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2019
GENRE: Sports Romance
THEMES & TROPES: Second Chance, Bullying


What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?

I reviewed the first part of THE GUY IN THE MIDDLE last October - it was released as a novella as part of the Team Player 2 anthology. I was not happy with the cliffhanger but I knew, I KNEW Kate Stewart would make this story worth the wait. It started out so epic with Lance and Harper being completely wrapped up in their love and when the cliffy came I was a little mad at Harper for the way she left things. But just as I predicted last fall it all made sense in the end. But let me start at the beginning.

This book was so chock-full of angst and emotions with a touch of humor that this author is known for. My heart soared after Harper and Lance's reunion two years after Harper went to New York - the love is still there but Lance also feels resentment and it soon becomes obvious that this isn't so easily overcome. This time though, Harper is ready to fight for Lance and she pulls out all the stops. This quiet, moody man doesn't go easy on Harper though and I have to say I admired Harper for her resilience. I would have thrown the towel at some point - I was starting to wonder how many rejections, how much hurt a human heart can take.
I want so much to believe her, to let her back in, but she’s made it hard to trust her.

But of course Kate Stewart doesn't make us suffer for nothing. As always there is a good reason for the emotional roller coaster. Harper's reasons for how she handled the events in the novella, how deeply her issues affected her become clearer this time. Learning to love herself comes at a price but this time she's willing to pay it. I loved Harper's growth, the fight she had in her, the strength to get up, straighten her crown and try again. At no time I felt that the cost for this fight was her pride even when she begged.

Lance on the other hand, was a bit of a dick this time. Even though he's on an upward trajectory in his boxing career he is on a self destructive path in his private life and it's not pretty. Things really become unmanageable with him and he stands to lose everything...and here is where Kate's twists come in. They always land out of nowhere, slap you in the face and all you hear is the author's maniacal laugh. In hindsight, everything these two went through made perfect sense. The things they had to work through, to learn, to experience, it had to be this way otherwise it wouldn't have been the epic love story Lance and Harper were. There is some epic grovelling that completely satisfied my need for justice.
I am his. I’ll always be his. Since the day I met him, he boxed his way into my heart, my champion, my fighter, my nemesis, my undoing, my everything.

This story is a lot about self love, the love that makes you accept your deficiencies and emphasize the great things about you. It's the kind of love for yourself that actually makes people shine. And shine Lance and Harper do in the end. That epilogue was so damned wonderful I can't even put it into words.
It's rare these days that a book really grabs me so thoroughly that I can't put it down. THE GUY IN THE MIDDLE dragged me out of my book funk and had me read until late at night, full-well knowing that I'd have to show up for an exam the next day. This is why I read. This is what I missed.

Kate Stewart plays in a league of her own and she brings her A-game for this one. She squeezes the emotions (and tears) out of you. It's why she has me as a loyal reader.
Heart stuttering, I cling to him, knowing that from this moment forward, all my steps will always lead back to him. This isn’t commitment. This is forever.

Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,055 reviews12.2k followers
March 2, 2020
I’ve spent enough time denying myself. It’s time to fight for what I want.

Talk about ending the series with a bang. This book was EVERYTHING. I don't even have the words for just how much I loved it. Beautifully written, brimming with emotion, full of passion, and layered in angst, this was one of the most satisfying second chance romances I've read in a while.
Loving Lance has always meant embracing his demons. Two years ago, we were able to keep them at bay. That no longer seems to be the case.

Lance and Harper were the perfect story of opposites attracting. Lance is the quiet and intense one of the group. His quiet intensity hides plenty of turmoil and demons that no one ever gets to witness. His only goal is to get through the season and get drafted because that's his way out. He takes out his aggression on the football field, but everything that's left over he saves for the boxing ring.

Harper has a goal of her own. She promised her father that she'll finish college and that means two more years until she can go after her true dream to be a dancer. Her and Lance butt heads the seconds they meet, and the sparks fly immediately.
You really should do something about that.”
I glance back at him. “About what?”
“About that thorough fucking you need.”

Their story is not without bumps along the way. Forced to make a devastating decision for everyone's sake, Harper leaves Lance to pursue their dreams. And their reunion two years later is no less bumpy.

The one thing I loved most about this book is Harper's tenacity. The girl is a fighter just as much as Lance. She fights for him tooth and nail and I loved that about her. Even when everything is stacked against her, she doesn't back down. Even when he gives her every reason not to, she still does.

Lance was impossible not to love. The man is full of so much depth and every time you peel back one layer, you find one hundred more. His emotion and everything that he buries deep is heartbreaking to watch at times. His inner rage and turmoil just as devastating. But the love between him and Harper is simply one of a kind. It's fiery and angry and full of feeling. It's raw and real and I just couldn't get enough of it.

I loved the way they fought for each other. And I definitely love me a good grovel, and if there's one thing this badass boxer knows how to do is GROVEL. GOD was it good.

This was, hands down, my favorite book in the series. Phenomenal and every second worst the wait.
ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews10k followers
March 1, 2020
*****FIVE++++++++ STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

”What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?”

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FINALLY!! It’s been a LONG five months wait to get Lance & Harper’s COMPLETE story and it was so worth the agony! I love angsty sports romances and Kate Stewart took the angst to an almost unbearably painful level, but oh, was it the best kind of torture! Lance and Harper are two book characters you will find it hard not to love with all of your hearts. Their journey to a happily ever after is filled with incredible steam, heart, and so much emotional torment. The ”Underdogs” series is going up there as my absolute favorite by this amazingly talented author, and also as one of my top-ranked sports romance series of all time. It’s one I will be re-reading many times over!

Here are my overall ratings:

Hero: 5
Heroine: 5
Plot: 5+++++
Angst: 5+++++
Steam: 5
Chemistry Between Hero & Heroine: 5

”THE GUY IN THE MIDDLE” is available now! Add this to your TBR if you haven’t done so already!

Universal link: http://mybook.to/TheGuyInTheMiddle

Profile Image for Malene.
1,227 reviews569 followers
February 13, 2020
Lance Prescott and Harper Elliott. They are each other’s opposites and they but heads immediately leaving no doubts of their tantalizing chemistry. Harper is not a woman to hold back when she’s got something to say. She’s a fighter. Lance is the introvert that keeps to himself and takes on so much more than is necessary for a guy his age. He’s all about his family.
TGITM is the book that has a little of everything. Enemies to lovers, some great laughs and to top it all of a second chance that will blow your mind. It’s jammed with emotions. Gut wrenching, heartbreaking emotions which left a huge impression on me because I’ve come to care so much about these characters.

The story arc Lance and Harper embark upon is not easy peasy. It’s a tough and emotionally dark story because of the struggles they’re facing are real and relatable. What they go through makes them stronger. They grow and evolve. Together and separately but it takes time. That time spent is filled with them discovering a lot about each other and themselves. This isn’t just on the surface issues. No these are emotional scars which Lance and Harper deals with and they’re explored flawlessly.

The secondary characters especially Lance’s family plays an integral part of his and Harper’s journey. Harper’s amazing and hilarious friend Rene is the loyal support she needs. The other Underdogs and their women make appearances too.

TGITM is different from the previous two books and I’m glad. It’s more angsty and has depth. It’s necessary given the topics this story deals with. Kate Stewart goes for the jugular, not holding anything back but goes all in. That’s why the story and its characters resonated with me and hit me so hard.
The Guy In The Middle is the perfect addition to the series and the epilogue couldn’t be better. The Underdog series is ending on a high note.

5 Ten Days Stars


Profile Image for Kate Stewart.
Author 54 books14.7k followers
Currently reading
March 17, 2020
★☆★ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐆𝐮𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐢𝐝𝐝𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐋𝐈𝐕𝐄 𝐄★☆★ ⁣

Universal link: http://mybook.to/TheGuyInTheMiddle

Get ready for... 🩰—A second chance love story between a baller/boxer and a dancer. 🥊—A little bit forbidden. 🩰—A little bit frenemies to lovers 🥊—𝐀𝐋𝐋 𝐎𝐅 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐅𝐄𝐄𝐋𝐒. 🥊🩰—And a whole lot of steam.⁣


I was born to play and bred to win.⁣

My priorities were instilled in me early on—family and football. Those ideals led me to TGU and a coach whose ironclad principles mirrored my own.⁣

With one last college season to play, my goal was singular—get drafted. By realizing my NFL dream, I could save my family, our ranch, and the only home I’d ever known.⁣

Two birds, one ball.⁣

Playing hard was my only option, but there’s always a wild card.⁣

For all of my planning and hard work, I never anticipated falling for the coach's daughter. Harper was a fair catch, but who knew loving her could be the one play to throw my career before it started or that the weight of our secret would change the game.⁣

New Adult/Romantic Dramedy⁣



This is book #3 of The Underdogs Series, but you can read as a stand-alone. *Formerly published in Team Player 2 but is now a 107k full length novel with an extended epilogue.⁣

This is book #3 of The Underdogs Series, but you can read as a stand-alone. *Formerly published in Team Player 2 but is now a 107k full length novel with an extended epilogue.

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Profile Image for lazybookconqueror.
322 reviews88 followers
March 2, 2020
“You gave me a love story, a real love story, even if it doesn’t have the ending I was hoping for.”
“It doesn’t have to end.”

4.5 Stars

The Guy in the Middle is a second-chance romance about Lance and Harper. Although this is sort of a standalone, I wholeheartedly recommend you to read the first two books in the Underdogs series prior to this. It will just make everything more colorful and the payoff so much better. Also, all these three books are nothing short of amazing, and one of the best complete romance series I've read to date.

The book opens with Lance and Harper using the same gym after hours. He's a football player, but he's at the gym letting lose of all his daily frustrations on a punching bag. Harpen is a dancer, even though she has an arrangement with her dad to finish college first before committing to a serious dance studio. Basically, they are both in a lost stage in life, where they can't yet quite see or reach their true potential.

What starts as an angry meet-cute, quickly evolves into mutual understanding and admiration. But, there's one secret that Harper kept from Lance. Her dad is his football coach, and an overprotecting one at that.

A series of missteps and some very hurtful events lead to a two-year separation between them. Harper decides its finally the time to give her dance career a chance and moves to New York City. But not before encouraging Lance to follow his true passion - Boxing, not Football.

And this is where the book got a bit tricky for me... I loved it when we catch up with them two years already passed and Lance decides to pay Harper a visit for Christmas in NYC. It was great to not have to read through their separation, but to see the scars that they were left with after. What I dind't enjoy so much was when Harper went to visit Lance at his ranch. I guess I understand the purpose this event had in their overall story, but this part went on for a bit too long and I couldn't connect with Lance's mindset.

But, I do have to say that I loved the scene when they finally come to an understanding. It was raw and beautiful. I think The Underdogs series is one of the most down-to-earth romance series I've ever read. Each character is so relatable and human. They are flawed, but really just trying to do their best, one step at a time. By the end of The Guy in the Middle, I felt like they were close friends. Their world just fits, it just makes sense, and that's all due to Kate Stewart's amazing writing skills.

And then.... man... that epilogue, it just elevated everything. I SWOONED. I can't think of a better way to end their story.


I've said it before and this just solidifies the fact that I'll read anything that Kate Stewart writes.

Thank you to the author and Wordsmith Publicity for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
826 reviews1,023 followers
February 28, 2020
5+ 'One breath, one step at a time' Stars!
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Holy hell. Kate Stewart has done it freaking again! I could not wait a second longer to read this when I got the ARC because I’ve been impatiently waiting ever since finishing the tease we had in the Team Player 2 anthology. Lance and Harper’s story already looked EPIC by then and Kate has taken it to the next level with the full length novel. Get ready for the finale of this series because you’ll connect with this story in such a way, it will completely steal your heart.

The Guy in the Middle is the third and final installment of Kate’s The Underdogs series and we are fully entering Lance and Harper’s minds in this one. Lance Prescott is a sportsman, a secretive man who enjoys his own company and focuses on her player life and his family. Enter Harper Elliott: dancer, not traditional beauty and the coach’s daughter. They have a very intense secret relationship in college but circumstances separate them for two years. They haven’t forgotten each other. They still love each other with the same passion. Will they get their expected second chance?

“What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?”

Wow. WOW. Guys, you are not ready for the conclusion of The Underdogs. Trust me, this is more than the romance we expected. I am surprised? Heck yes. And heck no. Because this is Kate Stewart we are talking about and she is one hell of a talented writer. She made me fall in love all over again with this couple and the difficulties they go through and have gone through in their lives. This is definitely the most emotional book in the series. Let me just tell you, I was an emotional wreck myself.

Harper is a truth for me. What I feel for her is the truest of truths.

Lance and Harper are so much more of what you saw in the tease of them in the anthology, their back stories and secrets will break your heart and put it back together. You’ll love them, you’ll hate them, you’ll empathize with them and you’ll connect with them in ways you did not expect. Gah, this book is just.. I don’t know how to even describe all the feelings I had while reading this story. And of course, do not doubt that Kate give these two explosive chemistry that burned the pages! Lance and Harper go through a lot together and it was heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time to read how their love story developed. And THAT EPILOGUE. Oh you are not ready. It was EVERYTHING.

I am his. I’ll always be his. Since the day I met him, he boxed his way into my heart, my champion, my fighter, my nemesis, my undoing, my everything.

Therefore, I am rating The Guy in the Middle with my special 5+ STARS rating because it is not just a sports romance, it’s so much more. It was funny, entertaining, sexy, emotional, heartbreaking and unique. It was the perfect way to end this beloved series that made us fall in love with three underdogs and the women at their sides. Outstanding characters, both men and women. Gah, I am not ready to say goodbye because I loved all of them so much. But trust me when I say, you’ll love how Kate ended it. Thank you Kate for another series that has completely stolen my heart. I recommend it to all romance readers, highly highly recommend it!

Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,548 reviews3,978 followers
May 12, 2020
4 Stars

Overall Opinion: That was a pleasant surprise!! I liked the concept that the h wasn’t perfect looking to go along with the H. I thought the author did this well and didn’t make it a sob story about her insecurities either (even though it does address them), which I feel often happens when one mc is considered significantly better looking in the couple. I appreciated that the h was going for what she wanted in life while also building up the H to go for what he wanted. The H was a broody mess, but I couldn’t help but feel for him and all he was dealing with. The side characters were great too! This was surprisingly deeper than I had expected and I shed more than a couple tears. I just felt like some of the the events didn’t quite add up and weren’t as fleshed out as they needed to be . That was the difference between me liking and loving it. It had a great epilogue too — especially for those that have read the other 2 books in the series because we get those characters too!

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Harper and Lance’s story. They meet one night at a gym and butt heads instantly. Harper is a dancer with a tragic past, and Lance is a football player for the team that her father coaches that has the weight of the world in his shoulders. They end up seeing something in one another and connecting on a level that is unexpected and they fall in love. The timing is bad and they separate but meet again when Lance can no longer deny that she still holds his heart. There are some cute scenes, some sad moments, and some sexy times...and they get a HEA ending.

Point Of View (POV): This alternated between Harper and Lance’s POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well.

Instalove:No, they don’t like each other at first.

H (Hero) rating: 4 stars. Lance. I definitely wanted to shake him a bit at one point, but I liked him overall. He was a damaged, alpha, sweetheart!

h (heroine) rating: 4 stars. Harper. I liked her. I appreciated her strength and how she always believed in herself and in Lance.

Sadness level: Moderate. I shed a quite a few tears here but never needed any tissues.

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Hot. They have some hot tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Not really

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: No

Separation: Yes, a few separations

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This had a great epilogue with closure for all three couples of the series and a HEA for this couple.

Safety: This one should be either Safe or Safe with exception for most safety gang readers depending on personal preferences.
Profile Image for Donna ~ The Romance Cover.
2,761 reviews317 followers
February 10, 2020
Just read the full-length version that releases on 29th February. Man-O-Man are you prepared for Lance and Harper? Once again, Kate Stewart knocks it out the park. #theunderdogsarecomplete #savingthebesttilllast #grandboysaregrand #bestillmybeatingheart


“You take the field. I’m going to go take the stage.”

OMG!! If you thought Theo and Laney were fantastic, you wait till you read about Lance and Harper. OMG, my heart is just mush for these two.

“I don’t need you to put a ring on it, I need you to put a condom on it.”

“...you gave me a love story, a real love story, even if it doesn’t have the ending I was hoping for.”
“It doesn’t have to end.”
Profile Image for  Nayeli ✨.
111 reviews116 followers
June 17, 2022
🌟 5 stars 🌟

"What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?"


➳ Sports romance
➳ Second-chance-romance

I want to start this review by saying: OMG, THAT EPILOGUE!! 😍😍 because yes, it was amazing and one of the best I've ever read. Kate Stewart knew exactly how to end this series and I'm glad I gave this book a try even though I wasn't sure about reading it. I'm 100% sure this is my favorite book in the series.

A year ago I read The Guy on the Left, and let me tell you something, I hated it...☠️☠️ so I didn't know if I was going to finish it or not, but after reading some good reviews about this one, my opinion changed.

The characters

Lance Prescott (H): aww, what can I say about him? He is one of the best heroes I've ever read🥰. He had so many problems that I don't know how he managed to always stay sane for his family and friends. Dealing with so much shit isn't easy and I really have a lot of respect for him🥺
The way he cared for everyone, especially Harper, was the cutest thing ever😩 it melted my heart and I really loved it!

"And she shines, God how she shines, her long angelic hair trailing behind her as if it's all part of it, highlighting her strength, her grace.
She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

Harper Elliott (h): our amazing dancer! 💃🏼🌟 I only have good things to say about her. Loved how she was such an incredible, determined, passionate, intelligent and caring woman. As I mentioned before, Harper always knew exactly what to say and how to act to keep Lance on his feet. They had a bond that no one could break.

"I’m a fan of the art of the human body and the beauty of movement; whether for sport or dance, anyone who can manipulate their physique in such a way has both my attention and admiration.
And Lance Prescott, even when throwing simple punches at a gym bag, is mesmerizing."

Things I enjoyed the most

• The relationship🥹🤌🏻 10/10
Lance and Harper had THE BEST chemistry and I loved how their story evolved and what they had to go through to finally be together. It was beautiful but heartbreaking at the same time. And no, it wasn't easy either! The last chapters had me desperate because my desire for everything to be resolved was so great that I couldn't be calm until I finished the story.
Also, the fact that they had to be separated for so long (2 years) made me sad💔 but I understand why it had to happen that way.

"God, the ways I want you."
"I'm right here."
"You're not ready for what I want to do to you."
"Make me ready."

I mean- asdfgjklhl🥵

• I loved the way Harper always cared about Lance's well-being and how she always supported him in everything😭 these two were really my favorite couple.

• I thought the way the author divided the book into different rounds was great and a pretty good way to keep the story going.

• Last but not least: the epilogue 💖✨🥺🎉🥳 it was better than I expected. Such a great way to give 'The Underdogs' series an end. I don't want to say much, but it was P E R F E C T‼️ bringing all three couples for the last chapter? YESS!! How I cried reading it and I'm not exaggerating😂🫣

#grandgirlsstaygrand #grandmanlegacy #friendsforlife #livingourrealestlives


"Then we're kissing again and it feels like flying. I know this high- it's dangerous. This high is a liar that tells you that nothing is more important than chasing for more, but the importance lies in who is behind the kiss."

"I am his. I'll always be his. Since the day I met him, he boxed his way into my heart, my champion, my fighter, my nemesis, my undoing, my everything."

btw: It's been a while since I've done a proper review👀 sorry if this isn't the best.
Profile Image for Jessica Hull.
935 reviews654 followers
February 27, 2020
Omgggggg, this was THE BEST EVERRRRRR. A TKO. Rounds and rounds of sparring, jabs, festering wounds and emotional haymakers. The Guy in the Middle follows a fighter and a dancer as they maneuver through an achingly beautiful bout of push and pull while delivering combination punches straight to the heart. This is a story rich with heartache and defeats, unexpected victories and a relentless barrage of phantom gut punches. It's a true underdog tale that dragged me through an emotional ringer leaving me KTFO by how much I LOVED IT. This was EVERYTHING, a passionate story so completely my jam. I loved it so hard.

What I absolutely LOVE about this entire series is that no two books are alike. Theo and Lanie's friends to lovers romance was refreshingly funny but still heavy where it mattered most. Troy and Clarissa's second chance love story was painstakingly romantic and deliciously angsty. But with Lance and Harper's breathtakingly brutal forbidden romance, KATE STEWART CAME OUT SWINGING. This is a story of moments, decisions that changed lives in a blink. This is a story of what true love really looks like when the gloves come off and the filters are removed. I swore with each new underdog romance in this series that it was THE BEST EVER, that it was my absolute favorite yet. But I hadn't yet known. I did not know what was in store for Harper and Lance and HOLY FUCK, Kate Stewart did not come to play. 

This book GUTTED ME. It hurt so good and anyone who knows me knows that this is EXACTLY the kind of romance I'd sell my soul for. The kind of romance that feels both impossible and inevitable, the perfect brand of romance that goes down both bitter and sweet, the kind that sears deep, that you just feel every ounce of. This is the kind of romance where you know the victory will be well earned, hard fought, deliciously satisfying... but still, you're more addicted to the pain, the blows, every moment of agonizing uncertainty, every knock down drag out moment of defeat along the way. I'm an absolute addict when it comes to this level of pleasure pain, this degree of push and pull. I was here for all of it and I'll crave another taste of this sweet ache forever. 

This is an underdog romance to end them all. This is a story where the obstacles are so enormous, none of these characters ought to come out on top. And yet they do, somehow, against all odds, they do and it is BEAUTIFUL. BREATHTAKING. UNFORGETTABLY PAINFUL but so freaking PERFECT. This is what a romance should feel like. This is what the grand finale of a series should taste like. It wraps up everyone's stories in the most blissfully entertaining manner, reminding the reader of exactly where it all began, in a little blue house where three roommates each faced struggles no one knew about. This finale scored every hit intended. I'll be replaying lines and scenes in this book on a highlight reel in my mind for ages to come. By unanimous decision, this book is my new favorite Kate Stewart novel to date and one of the best books I've read, period. 
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,593 followers
February 28, 2020
4-4,5 stars

Omg this was fantastic, the beginning was so good that I was hooked!I enjoyed it a lot, it has a great romance!The Guy in the Middle was heartwarming,intense with a hot and intense romance.


Lance and Harper were hot together. They have such a great chemistry, I was swooning with these two.They were the main reason I loved this book.They were so addictive, their scenes together were super intense and sensual!

I highly recommend it to everyone!


Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
631 reviews5,838 followers
March 22, 2021
HOLY SHIIIT THAT EPILOGUE, THAT EPILOGUE GUYS!!!! Kate Stewart really did THAT !!! Best epilogue hands down, THAT'S RIGHT THERE IS HOW YOU END A SERIES! I can't stop screaming!!
"What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?"

wheeew, that were a lot of exclamation marks, sorry for that. I was a bit excited if you didn't know lol. Now that I had a little bit of time to calm down and sit my ass down to write a review, my sentiment for the epilogue still stands. But I do have a lot more words about this book than just throwing out the word "epilogue" :D

Even though this book is more a 4.5 star book and I usually always round down, no way in hell I'm going to do that here! That epilogue was so epic I just can't deal. I'm still in awed that we have come full circle.

Lance was always a huge mystery to me. He is Theo and Troy's other flat mate, but he keeps his distance. The few scenes of Lance and Harper that we got in The Guy on the Left left me interested for their story. And ohh boy, did they deliver. Lance and Harper's story is a second-chance romance and not going to lie it's not my favorite trope. I just hate the separation and distance. Sometimes it makes sense why a couple needs to break up so that some of these characters have the freedom to grow, but other time the separation doesn't make any sense and I just hate it.
While my heart was hurting that Lance and Harper spent 2 years apart, I understood why these characters did what they had to do. Especially in Harper's case. In the time apart she has grown up a lot and achieved some of her goals. Sometimes you have to make your own mistakes so that you can come back stronger and learn from them.
"Harper is a truth for me. What I feel for her is the truest of truths. It's love, the kind of changes people, pure and simple, because she changed me by just believing me, in me, to the point she possessed a part of me.

Lance, what can I say about my boy, I wanted to hug him so many times during this book. It's heavy to carry so much responsibilities on your shoulders. I could feel his anger and desperations leaking through the pages. Lance never had it easy. Not at the ranch, not at university and definitely not on the fields. Lance being a boxer was so accurate for his story, because he's a fighter in every sense.
I adore Lance and Harper together so much. The banter these two had, especially in the first part of the book, made me laugh a lot. Harper gives Lance so much shit, it was entertaining as hell. I really loved that Lance always saw Harper for who she is and never judged her for her appearance like the rest of the world. When Harper and Lance were together it was so good, that's why it was hurting even more when they were apart. 
Shoutout to Kate Stewart for writing all these amazing friendships and supporting parents! I absolutely love it.
Harper and René are friendship goals. These side characters are the reason why I want them to get their own books. René was so adorable, even tho his accent is kinda weird. Lance and his brother omg I was laughing tears at their back and forth. I love Lance's parents as well. The reason I love the Underdog series so much is, that the author doesn't try to create more unnecessary drama between friends and family  more than necessary. Instead of tearing each other down, they try to lift each other up and that's beautiful. 
"But the hardest part of a fight is staying when it's over, no matter the outcome. They sweep up of the aftermath, and then finding the will to fight again. He is my will, and I am his."

While I really loved the book overall, the 0.5 star I'm deducting is due to the fact that Lance was so stubborn to see what was right in front of him. At the beginning I understood why he was hesitant to give Harper a chance after how she left him in college, but even after Harper proved herself over and over again that she's in for the long-term, he still fell back into some of his mean behavior. Lance can be the kindest guy, but in Part 3 of the book you can also see that he can be really mean. He held into his anger for so long, it got me so frustrated cause I just wanted them back together!
And finally: the epilogue. I know I pretty much said everything for the epilogue in the beginning of my review already and nothing has changed since then. I just wanted to say again how wholesome this extended epilogue was. That's how it's done and I can’t thank Kate Stewart enough for coming full circle with Laney, Theo, Clarissa, Troy, Dante, Lance and Harper. These characters are my best friends and have my whole heart. Words can't describe how much I love these characters so much.
Profile Image for Jewel Ann.
Author 50 books8,695 followers
February 25, 2020
What a perfect ending to this phenomenal series! Kate brings all the emotions with this final book. You do not want to miss a single page of this emotionally packed story with an epilogue that will leave you smiling for days. I can't remember the last time I read a series with this much heart!
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,516 reviews817 followers
February 27, 2020
“What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life?”
It did.....IT EFFING DID!!
The MOMENT I picked up DRIVE, I KNEW my life as a reader would be changed forever!!
The MOMENT I opened SEO, I KNEW I had just scratched the surface of what Kate's talent is capable of...
The MOMENT I met her and hugged her in nyc, I KNEW we'll be connected forever...her soul to my soul!
The MOMENT Heartbreak Warfare annihilated me, I KNEW I had taken pledge of allegiance in Kate's Fanclub!
The MOMENT I met #TheoAndLaney in TGOTR, I KNEW...I had upgraded from a fan to a DEVOTEE.


I sincerely & religiously WORSHIP every word that ever has or will sprout in your brain Kate, I'm your designated stalker, whether you like it or not!😐
And she has book and book again proven her Ninja Stealth in creeping upon us with light sweethearted stories and halfway in, out come the knives and she massacres our hearts.


And This book...OMG THIS BOOK will slowly waft like A Heady perfume, envelope you, seep into your skin, linger in your heart and you'll forever smell like Lance. His frustration, his mania, his generous heart will win you over and you will cross all boundaries of Forbidden to be with him. It's no surprise that Harper falls for him, although they know how it's gonna end 😭😭😭
"Not every dream is realized.
That’s the hard truth, and the lesson I’ve come away with and survived.
Not all hard work pays off.
Not every guy gets the girl.
And sometimes even the most carefully laid plans get changed, interrupted, or abandoned because life has other ideas."


One of my favorites books of my life is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand . Much like John Galt, Lance has the weight of multiple worlds on his shoulder too. He has to bear onus for being Jack's caretaker, Jeanne's son, Trevor's idol/brother, ranch salvager, aspiring footballer, Tony's fighter and somewhere in the mix, he's the light of Harper Elliott's heart. And these heavy globes on his shoulder weigh him down till he collapses on his knees.


I want to send him a message- "Lance, you aren’t going to get everywhere at once. You need to stop living for the what ifs and start living in the what is, one breath, one step at a time.
Shrug some of the weight off!!"


The powerful message of Love Thyself clangs like church bells at the end of the sermon.
God loves those who love themselves
Kate has an uncanny sense of ripping your heart out with her words. This story is bursting with emotions, from gloomy to scintillating, kisses to Heartbreak, there's a flavor for every season, every situation. Be prepared to be utterly devastated, like on your last breath choked with tears. You'll bawl your eyes out, tear your hair in frustration and cuss her to infinity and beyond. Such is the power packed in this book. I think this is the most deep and angst- filled book of this series.
I am run out of words to praise Kate stewart. This book was a perfect ending to a phenomenal series.
NOBODY can capture the nuances of love and devotion like she can🙌

#theunderdogsofoharadrive #awardwinningmaestro #NFLdream #heavyweightchampionoftheworld #mrshouseman #plusonecomingsoon #mrsjenner #mrsprescott #grandgirlsstaygrand #grandmanlegacy #friendsforlife #livingourrealestlives

ELEVEN stars cause I HATE season of Summer!!
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Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
819 reviews842 followers
March 5, 2020
5 🏈🥊😊😫😤🥰 Stars

I LOVED IT!!! A NA novella that captures your heart and tugs on your heartstrings. Oh, and the Angst level is a 10 on the 1-10 scale!!

Lance Prescott is the silent broody football guy who has a lot on his plate. No one knows but he does what he needs to do. Harper is this sweet and sassy dancer who has to get an accounting degree before she can pursue her real dream. These two start out as oil and water. They clash in every way but with time, they create a friendship with lots of sexual tension. These college kids have similarities that draw them together. Their banter is sweet, fiery, spot on and addicting. But when their relationship becomes public, a new angst and tension emerges and Harper has a major decision to make.

I will say that the love between Lance and Harper is real and raw. But sometimes timing isn’t on your side and these two have major struggles. It’s hopeful, angsty, and romantic, yet also gut wrenching, sorrowful and sad. They push and pull and bring out the best and worst in each other. But through it all, their love is first and foremost even when they are stubborn and infuriating. Sometimes it just takes time and grit and determination when love is complicated.

I will say that I adored Lance’s family, Trevor, and René. They all added that extra special sass and sparkle to the story!! And to have Laney and Theo and Clarissa and Troy to be part of the story as well was like having an extra cherry on your already delicious and perfect sundae.

Kate Stewart blew me away with this story. I loved every minute of this stressful and beautiful and emotional story. A must read of 2020!!

*advanced copy provided by Wordsmith Publicity in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Karen.
809 reviews1,026 followers
March 5, 2020

“What if this moment, right here, is the one that changes your life?”

Damn... how I wanted to love this book so much more than I did. I honestly don't know what went wrong, but somewhere along the way, I started to hate both of these characters. I thought their stories both had merit, but the martyrdom just got to be too much for me. The writing itself was quite good. A little repetitive, but with real feeling and emotion.

These two had a relationship that started out of pent-up frustration and hero worship. (on both sides really) He was acting the dick, and she was over-compensating for her insecurities. Both very talented, and in awe of each other. Both showing off to get noticed. I usually really like these enemies-to-lovers type relationships but this one turned the corner just a tad too quickly. And on top of that, Lance was not just a tortured hero, he was more like a "burning man." God... the guy had me wanting to jump off a building on his behalf after a while. And Harper? WTF was all this about being ugly? I was starting to picture the 'Sea Hag' from Popeye after a while. (for those of you Millennials, I'll provide a visual)

I'm not much of a fan of books that wax lyrical on people's appearance. So yes, the guy is hot.. say it once, I got it, but to harp on said "hotness" or said "ugliness" and I start to itch. I just don't think these are strong character attributes to build your story around. It also takes away from the believe-ability of these two actually ending up together. Trust me, guys like Lance Prescott are not going to be attracted to a Sea Hag no matter how good a dancer she is.

Anyway, I had really been looking forward to Lance and Harper's story, especially after the first two books. I had high hopes. But the back and forth between these two, the indecisive bullshit, and the self-sacrificing martyrdom just left me cranky and irritable, like an annoying rash. So why, do you ask, didn't I rate this lower? I don't know. I suppose I should have. I guess in my heart, I just wanted to love this so much, that I'm forcing myself to see the good in it, in them, as a couple. For Tony and Trevor and even René and his fucked-up accent. (which btw added to my irritation) I have to add that if you were to be true to his broken Spanglish accent, it wouldn't be "Ju York" it would be "New Jork". I know, I know, it was a play on her Jewish connections... yada yada yada, but it just made my rash itch that much more.

But I guess my main reason for upping my rating was the delightful Epilogue at the end. It was the soothing balm I needed to bring me back to my happy place. The series as a whole was a good one. And I would definitely recommend it to those who like good YA romances. My review is not the norm. I know most readers loved this story. So take my review with a grain of salt.

Ok... I really did not mean for this review to come out like the rant that it did. Who knows what's up my skirt today. Maybe I'll think it over tomorrow and re-do this review. I have to say one thing, I haven't written a review this long in ages. So maybe the author accomplished her goal after all.
Enjoy the series.

Profile Image for Halle Reads.
699 reviews173 followers
March 2, 2020
5/5 Stars 🌟


What if this moment, right here, is the moment that changes your life.

This hurt my heart many, many times and frustrated me but boy did I enjoy it.

The Guy in the Middle is the 3rd and last book in the Underdogs series by Kate Stewart. This story follows Lance who we got snipets of in book 1 and 2 as well as Harper.

There story was painful, emotional, gut wrenching and so beautiful. It was about sacrificing what you want to ensure you get what you need. It was about learning to not let how others see you control your life. It was about not letting what people expect of you to drown you and it was about fighting for what you deserve.

To me this was the perfect ending for this series. It was angsty, heart breaking, real and so raw. It had lighter moments that made me smile and laugh when I wasn't crying.

With her I felt safe, accepted, more like myself. I grew into a better version of myself.
Without her, I'm a lonely planet

I LOVED broken and beautiful Lance so much even when at times I wanted to smack him across the head and my sweet Harper not going to lie it took me longer to warm up to her but when I did I fell fast. My heart broke for her and her pain so many times and I just wanted to hold on to her and tell her everything will be ok.

I'm sad to see these boys go and for this series to end but I absolutely loved the journey and getting to see them one last time in that epilogue and boy was it a good one especially the very last scene, it was quite possibly my favourite thing of the entire series. I already miss these boys and wouldn't even hesitate to read anything and everything about them if Kate decides to write more for them.

《book aesthetic made by me, I do not own the pictures, all found via pinterest》

Profile Image for Rozberry&#x1f353;.
278 reviews98 followers
May 31, 2022
1-66 - 3 stars 😐. Mostly for Lance & a little bit for Trevor.

That epilogue - like 12 stars!! All the feels! The epilogue is my favorite thing I've read this year.
...okay, so really just an extra star...technically 😉.

I'm thinking Trevor needs his own book...just sayin'.

With the title in mind, anyone else find it teeny bit funny Lance is on the left on cover? Just me? K.
Profile Image for julia.
859 reviews156 followers
November 26, 2020
4.5 Stars

Well that was AMAZING!! I shouldn't have doubted Kate Stewart because wow she really gave Lance and Harper's story the ending they deserved!

The Guy in the Middle is definitely my favorite of the 3 books and Lance & Harper's story really stole my heart! All I have to say is read this series!!

While I wasn't a huge fan of Troy's story I definitely thought that Kate Stewart brought this series to a satisfying ending!
Profile Image for Yan.
305 reviews28 followers
September 2, 2021
I hated this book at the beginning. I hated how fast the story seemed to be going. I mean, I already knew since the previous book established Lance and Harper as a couple but the pacing seemed off to me. It's not insta-love per se but there was a lot of telling and less showing. And then weeks and months and years would pass that the story appealed less and less to me.

HOWEVER, I just can't not love it. I realized now, after three books by this author, that Ms. Stewart has a gift of writing drama (sometimes seemingly OTT) and creating annoying heroines only to have them work out for the whole story. It won't dawn on you while you read as it happens because it sure as hell pissed me off but seeing the entirety of the story, everything really made sense and worked out in the end. The same thing happened to me while reading book two of this series. No matter how I hate a character or maybe something said character did, that particular element only contributed to the depth of the story.

“What if this moment, right here, is the one that changes your life?”

Lance and Harper's story is more than just a college/sports second-chance romance. I loved how it tackled fighting our own demons, the realities of chasing our dreams - including disappointment and failures, the pains of living without the comfort money brings, how our own insecurities can mess up our makeup and how they don't matter to the people who love and see the real us and lastly, the sweetness and glory success brings after overcoming - and continuously winning over - life's hurdles and challenges.

I hated how they got separated and their constant push and pull after, but it only made their journey to their own HEA all the more beautiful. It's not about how they made out to the other side stronger because there is no other side... it's about staying on the course together, facing life together guided by faith and love they share with each other and saying f*ck you to everyone else that don't matter. UGH. I loved this book. 💟

Our stories stemmed from the same place, intertwined, and wouldn’t be what they are if it weren’t for each other. And we’ll be there for each other the way we have been the last couple of years and moving forward. Through every milestone, I’m sure of it.

THE EPILOGUE THOUGH. That alone deserved 5 stars because the nostalgia it brought me was just WOW. The characters in this series, though imperfect, will remain close to my heart especially the guys - my underdogs. ❤️ The women were equally and annoyingly spectacular, too. lol And their friendship?? ✨PRECIOUS✨ I'd give anything just to see that photo they took at the end irl. 🥺

Here's to #livingourrealestlives 🍻
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