Replay by Amy Daws

booksofthemuggleborn_replay
Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

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• BLURB •

Not all players deserve a second chance… no matter how hot their first chance was. Football club lawyer, Santino Rossi is known in the locker room as the two-month chump. For years he’s been on a mission to find someone he can share his basil plant with and cure him of his former playboy ways.

Tilly Logan is a fiery, Scottish lass who didn’t bat an eye five years ago when a smoldering Italian pulled her into a nightclub bathroom. He was dark, dangerous, and exactly the good time Tilly was looking for—even if he worked for her over-protective brother’s team.

But a lot has changed and when Tilly returns to London five years later only to find herself trapped in an elevator with the smoldering Italian, it isn’t a happy reunion. Especially because her brother blames Santino for her high tailing it back to Scotland in the first place.

Tilly doesn’t want a replay of past mistakes and reconnecting with Santino is playing with fire. But if they keep their relationship a secret, it could be worth the burn.

•••

• MY REVIEW •

This book was a much anticipated read for me as I adore the Harris Brothers series. After having read Blindsided (Freya and Tilly’s older brother Mac’s story), I knew I couldn’t miss out on Tilly’s and Santino’s story… and what an intense story it was!

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A second chance romance storyline that was full of character development, personal growth, and a need for these characters to let go of their pasts in order to move on. Both Tilly and Santino have experienced heartbreak and certain struggles that they needed to work through, and coincidentally, having reunited after five years, they’ve become each others’ support system.

Please note, this book contains sensitive subject matter that may be triggering for some readers. It contains substance abuse, non-consensual sexual relations and certain experiences that resulted from it. There’s also detailed sexual content suitable for readers 18+ only!

Replay is not to be missed for fans of the Harris Brothers series and sports romance fans in general! Although it can definitely be read as a standalone, I still highly recommend you read the entire series as the world-building is grand and ever-expanding, and a lot of that has to do with the characters themselves. You’ll get a better understanding of everyone’s relationships with one another too.

Tilly’s story was very much in the forefront. Despite her reluctance to discuss details, you still get the gist of what went down and how she’s coping with it. Over time she starts opening up more and more, and a lot of that confidence and courage to do so was Santino’s doing. He’s a constant support for her even before any intimacy came about and I honestly think he can give the rest of the men in this series a run for their money with how charming, protective, and loving he can be! Tilly’s journey of growth and maturity is evident. You’ll see how much she’s changed as a person and the changes she’s made to her lifestyle since her troublesome years.

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Daws has included very real-life situations within this story, and although it’s a work of fiction, the events that occurred and the effects its had on the people involved mirrors reality so well. It’s not hard to get invested in Tilly and Santino’s story. Tilly went from a downward spiral to gradual buildup of positive changes. I may not relate to her situation but I can definitely imagine the pain and darkness she must’ve felt during that period in her life.       

Santino’s insecurities and shifty past on the other hand was something that lingered throughout the story but wasn’t completely revealed until towards the end. By then I had a pretty good idea at what he was hiding, so when he did finally share it with Tilly, it felt a little anti-climactic. I would’ve liked to have seen him open up a lot earlier. In my opinion, his story wasn’t as developed and because of that, I couldn’t fully connect with it as I had with Tilly’s. It felt like once his personal story was out in the open, it was wrapped up quickly despite Santino having had struggles throughout the book with opening up about his past to Tilly.

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But in saying that, despite Santino’s own issues, he was always willing to be there for Tilly. If anything, he almost pushed aside his own problems to ensure Tilly was on track with her new life and that their relationship could stand a chance. Based on his history and his closed off persona, he’s misjudged by his peers especially by Tilly’s older brother Mac, but you’ll see quite early on in this book that there’s more than meets the eye with him.

Also, if you love tall, dark, handsome Italian men, then get ready to see some good ol’ sexy Italian charm out of Santino. Ooh-wee! He can speak in Italian to me any. damn. time. he wants! 🤭😍

They are likable characters. Through their flaws and insecurities they have strength and a willingness to become better people. Their relationship was far from perfect or easy but that’s the beauty of it. It was very much a one step forward, two steps back type of relationship but you get to see them work through it and put the effort in. Tilly and Santino are so relatable (along with the rest of the characters from this series who make an appearance). They have a presence about them that’s so authentic that you almost imagine that they could be a couple of your own friends.

If you’re all caught up with the series, then you will be happy to know that past couples are secondary characters in this book and will definitely catch you up on the latest in their lives. They never fail at making situations crazy fun, hectic, and full of life! There’s also a few new secondary characters that play vital roles in both Tilly and Santino’s lives. But all in all, every single one of these people bring in a different dynamic and such contrast to the group.

It’s told from both Tilly and Santino’s points of view, and I found it to be slower-paced storytelling but as their entire story unravels, the pacing was actually well-suited. Their relationship was tentative and full of drama but it also made their journey all the more worthwhile to see through.

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A truly uplifting second-chance romance, that’ll have you either relating and/or sympathizing with what Tilly and Santino have gone and are still going through in their lives. Their turbulent rollercoaster of emotions are realistically understandable, their slow yet gradual developing relationship read genuine, and it was gripping from start to finish. Daws’ writing style has a nice flow to it. You can count on detailed world-building, mood setting atmosphere, and a storyline that is effortless to follow with protagonists that’ll have you curious right off the bat.

What I enjoyed reading the most about Tilly and Santino’s journey was that they could reminisce about certain good memories from their past together and somehow replicate those moments and feelings now but a hundred times better. I found myself either cheesy-grinning or happy sighing seeing them happy and open to seeing where their attraction will lead to. The banter here and there was also a nice little addition that had me giggling.

✔ Contemporary

✔ Second Chance

✔ Sports Romance

✔ Fiery Scottish Heroine

✔ Mysterious Italian Hero

✔ London Backdrop

Whilst their story had an open-ended happily ever after, I was chuffed to see an extended epilogue. Not only did it conclude the side story that was happening alongside Tilly and Santino’s, it also provided us readers with a more concrete direction to where their relationship was heading next.

Another incredible addition to the world of the Harris brothers! Whilst Tilly and Santino’s story was deep, heartbreaking, and traumatic, there were moments in between that were lighthearted and funny to keep it from being overly depressing and gloomy. If you love a hearty second chance romance and enjoy a bit of sports in your contemporary romance reads, then make sure to add this one to your TBR. *whispers* This book also contains some major jaw-dropping developments set in this world and a sneak peek at Daws next book that you won’t want to miss out on! 😉

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Amy Daws for the opportunity to read an advanced copy! 💜

🔔 Interested in reading Replay? Grab your copy here: Universal Link


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Read my review for Mac and Freya’s book!

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📙 Blindsided by Amy Daws

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Happy reading, guys! Catch you in my next one! Xo

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