Review Post: The Hardest Hit by A.S. Teague

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“A.S. Teague brings the feels with this one, y’all. The Hardest Hit is the kind of book that sinks its claws into your heart and doesn’t let go. Five well-earned stars from me.” –LK Farlow, Amazon bestselling author

The Hardest Hit, an all-new emotional, single dad romance from A.S. Teague is available now!

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My friends used to tell me ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.’ Clearly they lied, because there was no way the chemistry I had with Mel could ever be left behind.

However, my children, her career, and nine hundred miles between us meant that for seven years, Melanie Holstein was the one who got away.

I was Aiden Shaw, first-round draft pick turned the best quarterback the league had ever seen. I worked hard to secure my position in football history while balancing life as a single dad. Through it all, my Vegas spitfire was never far from my mind.

And considering her best friend was now with my best friend, it was pure and utter torture.

When my career took a devastating turn, Mel was the first person at my side. I was broken and defeated, but that stubborn woman was determined to piece me back together.

I liked to pretend Mel and I were destined for greatness, but Lady Luck had never been on our side. And the tragedy that followed might have been the hardest hit of all.


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“Fine. I won’t argue anymore.” Brooke finally relented to letting me loan her more money so that we didn’t have to leave so early.

But suddenly, leaving didn’t sound like such a bad idea.

My face split into a grin, and I swayed toward her, whispering, “That’s my girl. Now, don’t be obvious, but there is a fuckin hottie at the table across from us who has been eyeing you since we sat down.”

I didn’t mention that I only knew he’d been eyeing her because I’d been having some serious visual foreplay with his buddy.

Brooke looked to the craps table where five men were cheering every time their numbers hit, clapping each other on the back and whooping. Her jaw dropped and I giggled.

After a full thirty seconds of her staring open-mouthed across the smoky area, she blinked and I hissed, “Yessssss.”

“I… um… think he’s looking at you.”

“Pshhhh.” I elbowed her and glanced back over to where both men had stopped what they were doing and were watching us almost expectantly. “That’s all you, girl. The guy beside him is a different story. Mister Dreamy over there, though, only has eyes for Brooke.”

“Who’s Brooke?” she whispered.

I couldn’t stop the sharp burst of laughter that erupted from my lips, and she grabbed her wine glass and drained it in one swallow.

I grabbed my own and followed her lead. Game on!

“Shit, I think I just had an out-of-body experience,” she whispered.

I scooped up my pile of chips and dumped them into my clutch. “Hopefully, you’ll have another one later tonight. Let’s go talk to them.”

“No, no, no,” Brooke objected as I dragged her by the arm to the group of guys. “Mel, stop. We can’t just…”

I gave her a gentle shove and she teetered on her heels, careening right into the back of the guy who had been watching her. And when he turned, I knew that my work there was done.

It was time to go take care of my own business.

“See something you like?” I asked, stopping in front of my date for the evening, whether he knew it or not.

He leaned in close and whispered in my ear, “I’ve never seen anything so breathtaking in my life.”

I tipped my head back to look at him, a response frozen in my throat.

The side of his mouth hitched as he stared down at me, his thick lashes giving a spectacular show.

I braced for what he was going to say next. Sexy as he was, I still needed him to have a personality, or it would never work… not even for a one-night stand.

He wedged a hand in the pocket of his jeans and murmured, “That took you long enough. I was worried I’d lost my charm and I was going to have to summon a smoke signal in order to ask you out.”

My brows shot up and a smile curled my lips. “Walking over to meprobably would have been easier.”

“Maybe. But then I would have missed the view of those sexy legs as they carried you over here.” He leaned in close. Not touching me physically, but his proximity was a tangible caress of its own. “Trust me when I tell you, it was well worth the wait.”

My breath hitched as he leaned away, that seductive grin still firmly in place.

“I’m Aiden. And you are?”

Whoever the hell you want me to be.

“Mel. Er… Melanie. Whatever. I answer to both.”

He nodded, his gaze dropping to my mouth. “Nice to meet you, Mel.”

That was the exact moment I realized that I’d been wrong. It wasn’t Lady Luck who had been on my side. For the way my entire body was heating, this man had to have been the work of the devil himself.

And I was completely okay with that.

*****5 Fantastic Stars*****

A.S. Teague continues to be one of my favorite authors for a reason. For so many reasons. Her words have brought some of the best stories to life, and I for one am always ready for more. She consistently delivers story after story and character after character that completely steal my heart with all that they have…and that is just a fraction of what makes her books so incredible. 

The Hardest Hit was no different. 

From start to finish this story enveloped me within everything that was Aiden and Mel. It was fiery in the best way. It was bursting with the best level of connection and chemistry and spark between these two. It was a sports romance that took ahold of me with all that it had. It was full of heart and longing and hurt and emotion. It was full of everything that combined in the most thoughtful way to make one hell of a story. 

And yet this book was different. 

It was different than what I expected for Aiden and Mel. It was different in how their love story came to be. It was different in all the ways that count. 

It was different in the absolute best way. 

The Hardest Hit explores every step of the story that Aiden and Mel share. It shows you how it all began with them during a crazy night in Vegas. It shows you how things got away from them in ways they both never expected. It shows you the chances they both took and gave over the years that they’ve known each other. It shows you every single moment that pushes them back together again in the most unforgettable way.

The Hardest Hit is their story back to one another. It is a story of second chances and third chances and even more chances. It is a story about what you’re willing to fight for when it really matters. It’s a story about just how far you’re willing to go for those that matter to you. This book is a story of heart, of emotion, of unadulterated longing and connection. It is a story of two people who share one hell of a connection, and who can’t help but be drawn to one another no matter what tries to tear them apart. 

From beginning to end, Mel and Aiden welcome you into their heads, their hearts, and their world in this story. They show you who they really are as they discover it themselves. They show you what it truly means to give it your all when it really matters. 

A.S. Teague and her phenomenal writing let you live this book and every piece of their story with them. She lets you see them and understand them on the deepest of levels. She lets you live their triumphs and feel every ounce of their hardships. She puts you on the front lines as they put themselves and their hearts on the lines. She bonds you to them and pulls your heart to theirs. Through every bit of this story, her writing envelops you within every piece of them, which will have you rooting for everything that they share.

What A.S. Teague so incredibly creates in this book for Aiden and Mel will have you believing in the power of second chances, and the life changing things that can happen with some serious fight, a hell of a lot of heart, and more determination and fire than you can shake a stick at. 

What I loved about this book was that it continued to keep me in a world of characters that I absolutely love, while also keeping me on my toes in the most unforgettable way. I went into this book thinking I knew what Aiden and Mel’s story would be like, and I came out of it surprised by everything they gave me. Those two kept me on my toes through every word in the most amazing way, and I cannot say enough how much I loved that. I loved that their story surprised me. I loved that they surprised me. I loved that their story turned my heart upside down and right again, and that through it all I was right there with those two. 

A.S. Teague does a phenomenal job in The Hardest Hit of letting you fall even more with Aiden and Mel. If you read The Hardest Route (which if you haven’t you should because that book is allll kinds of ahhhmazing!), then you will already come into this book loving Mel and Aiden. But what The Hardest Hit will give you will them is the real Mel and Aiden. It will show you exactly who they are, what they’re willing to fight for, and will let you feel every single bit of their story. 

A.S. Teague so outstandingly envelops you within their world, and you will never want to leave them. 


You will never want to leave their chemistry, their sass, and their banter. You will never want to leave their back and forth and the best test message exchanges. You will never want to leave them and those moments with them that will show you the two of them at their most vulnerable, at their most open, at their most honest. You will never want to leave the heart touching romance that is building between the two of them or the feels that they give you along the way. You will never want to leave the incredible love story that those two are brewing up together, and when you reach the end of their story you will love everything they gave you along the way. 

The Hardest Hit is a story about fight, faith, and love. It is a story about getting more chances and fighting for what truly matters. It is a story of heart and hope and the brilliant honesty that intersects both of those things. It is a story of what happens when the one you’ve always wanted, the one you’ve been fighting your whole life for, finally enters your life in a real way. It is a story of puzzle pieces coming together after so many years apart. It is a story of finding oneself in the darkest of days and what it takes to realize that the one person you always needed, the one person you always wanted, might have been there all along. 

I loved every single fantastic word of this book. 

A.S. Teague delivered an outstanding story within the pages of this book. I have wanted more of Aiden and Mel since meeting and falling head over heels for them and their electric banter in The Hardest Route, and their story did not disappoint. Not one little bit. Their story was everything and more. It was emotional, it was romantic, it was bursting with feels, and it had so much heart intertwined within every word and fiber of Mel and Aiden. Getting their story was the absolute best. Those two kept me and my heart on their toes in the best way, and I can’t say it enough.

If you met these two in The Hardest Route, if you’ve wanted their story ever since, or if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Aiden and Mel until this book, then I promise you, you will LOVE this book. You will love their story. You will love them. You will love every single thoughtful puzzle piece The Hardest Hit brings to life, and you will love getting to live this story with these characters. Their story will hit your heart, it will envelop you within everything that those two so memorably share, and it will have you rooting for them with all that you have that they will find a way to make it all work. 

The Hardest Hit is a story that will wow you while give you everything you need. 

It will make you laugh, it’ll make you swoon and melt quite a bit, it’ll probably bring a tear to your eye and it will most definitely squeeze your heart with what you get with Aiden and Mel along the way. This story will break you and put you back together again, and in the end, it will tell the story of the one second chance that truly mattered and made all the difference. 

I truly can’t recommend this book to you enough. 

It is equal parts sports romance, enemies to lovers, and contemporary romance rolled into one delightful package that will have you in love with everything you’re reading from beginning to end. A.S. Teague crafted a fantastic story that will give you it all and then some, and that is just a part of what makes it such an incredible read. I loved every single part of this story, and I cannot wait to get my hands on more words from this author and from within this world. I love these characters, I love their stories, and I cannot wait for more! 

If you love an honest to goodness good book that will deliver it all, then run yourself to this book this very second. Mel and Aiden will steal every bit of your heart, and you will love getting a front row seat to the shenanigans that ensue when those two are together. They may not make it easy for you or for each other, but they sure as hell make it all damn worth it. 

Trust me. 

About A.S. Teague

A.S. Teague enjoys the warmth of South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. The stereotypes about peach cobbler and sweet tea are not overstated. After years in the medical field, she is now enjoying every minute of being a stay-at-home mom. She loves wine, the beach, wine on the beach, and crying at Disney movies. When she doesn’t have a book in her hand, she can be found pestering her husband with pictures of animals she wants to rescue, as well as debating whether to exercise or take a nap.

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