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Sidelined: The Contract


Worth reading 😎

There's a lot to unpack, but it's worth a read. Gives single folks a renewed appreciation for single life.

Sidelined: The Contract follows the spiraling relationship of Bryn, an events planner and finance manager, and Shane, a professional football player for the “Nighthawks” both are parents trying to find common ground in the form of a contract. Even though it is part of a trilogy and the latest installation, this book works well as a stand-alone. The biggest issue facing the two is Shane’s ex, Carice. However, as the story unfolds, there seems to be more than just Carice and her antics in the way of this relationship, but the couple chooses to remain oblivious to these deeper issues.

This book hit me in the face with messy baggage in the form of a backstory within the first few pages. From wild sexual escapades to a broken off engagement to forming an RnB group and scouting for the next girl to later ending up in jail, Shane is a bundle of red flags. I don’t want to be too harsh on him because he does see some character development, but I can never be sure of his intentions due to how quickly and miraculously he transformed into a monogamous man for Bryn. 

I resonated with Bryn’s best friend, Jenn, as she always raises valid concerns with solid advice. Honestly, Jenn sees what a mess Bryn is in trying to keep Shane with a contract. Bryn keeps asking her for advice and when she gives that to her with a side of truth, she doesn’t want to listen. She’d rather remain in a fantasy, even though she remains unfulfilled. I kept going page after page, chapter after chapter, hoping either Bryn or Shane would come to their senses. I felt a lot of second-hand embarrassment because I could not help but place myself in Bryn’s shoes and think of what I would do in that predicament she is desperately hanging onto.

Some cons of this story include an awkward timeline that gets confusing at times, there are too many characters crowded in to the point I’m like “who?” when they later reappear, and the fixation with Shane is quite heavy. However, I liked how fleshed out the main characters were, they felt real in their pain, and the trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi was a nice change of pace when they weren't talking about a certain character. 

Overall, it’s a read that can make you newly appreciate being single because love should not be that miserable. I’d be interested in checking out the previous Sidelined books. Readers who enjoy drama and throwback music references from 2010 would enjoy this last book of the trilogy. There’s a lot to unpack, but it is worth a read.

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I like to write about a wide range of topics, but I'd also like to write more about books that have impacted me. Reading is close to my heart, so it would bring me joy to guide others toward good reads and hidden gems.


About the author

Bianca Williams is the award-winning author of the sports romance series Sidelined. Book One, “The Draft”, was released in 2017 and won the USA Best Book Award and was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. The novels are inspired by Williams’ dating adventures. view profile

Published on December 04, 2020

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: African American Fiction

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