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Off the Bench

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@UofJ411: What’s happening here? #TheyDoSayOppositesAttract #WhereAreAllThePost-its On a scale of one to ten, Quinn Thompson is a fifteen. Gorgeous. Fiery. A cheerleader so far out of my league it’s embarrassing that I even fantasize about her. I need to find a way to shut down the dirty thoughts she inspires before it’s too late. If I don’t, this whole new life of mine is at @UofJ411: What’s happening here? #TheyDoSayOppositesAttract #WhereAreAllThePost-its On a scale of one to ten, Quinn Thompson is a fifteen. Gorgeous. Fiery. A cheerleader so far out of my league it’s embarrassing that I even fantasize about her. I need to find a way to shut down the dirty thoughts she inspires before it’s too late. If I don’t, this whole new life of mine is at risk. Easier said than done when temptation lives right down the hall. For such a smart guy, CK can be surprisingly clueless. Sweet. Shy. The star of all my naughty nerd fantasies, but utterly blind to my flirtations. Giving in to his plea to be his love coach may seem drastic, but I’m desperate for the chance to come off the bench. Too bad the friend zone was a hell of a lot safer for my heart.


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@UofJ411: What’s happening here? #TheyDoSayOppositesAttract #WhereAreAllThePost-its On a scale of one to ten, Quinn Thompson is a fifteen. Gorgeous. Fiery. A cheerleader so far out of my league it’s embarrassing that I even fantasize about her. I need to find a way to shut down the dirty thoughts she inspires before it’s too late. If I don’t, this whole new life of mine is at @UofJ411: What’s happening here? #TheyDoSayOppositesAttract #WhereAreAllThePost-its On a scale of one to ten, Quinn Thompson is a fifteen. Gorgeous. Fiery. A cheerleader so far out of my league it’s embarrassing that I even fantasize about her. I need to find a way to shut down the dirty thoughts she inspires before it’s too late. If I don’t, this whole new life of mine is at risk. Easier said than done when temptation lives right down the hall. For such a smart guy, CK can be surprisingly clueless. Sweet. Shy. The star of all my naughty nerd fantasies, but utterly blind to my flirtations. Giving in to his plea to be his love coach may seem drastic, but I’m desperate for the chance to come off the bench. Too bad the friend zone was a hell of a lot safer for my heart.

30 review for Off the Bench

  1. 5 out of 5

    queen_of_the_books_18

    Anyone who follows my reviews knows my love for alpha men in my romance books so I was little nervous about CK’s books because of him being the hot nerd. But once again Alley Ciz has made me question myself because hot damn CK! What the hell was that! He has just solidified his spot in my top 3 Alley Ciz book boyfriends and that was a hard thing to do! He was SO swoony but at the same time he and Quinn made me want to slap them upside the head SEVERAL times! The slow burn about killed me off! Bu Anyone who follows my reviews knows my love for alpha men in my romance books so I was little nervous about CK’s books because of him being the hot nerd. But once again Alley Ciz has made me question myself because hot damn CK! What the hell was that! He has just solidified his spot in my top 3 Alley Ciz book boyfriends and that was a hard thing to do! He was SO swoony but at the same time he and Quinn made me want to slap them upside the head SEVERAL times! The slow burn about killed me off! But, was it all worth it? Absolutely! When they finally got together I did a happy dance and had a THE biggest smile on my face. Quinn is my new girl crush. That girls personality was off the charts hilarious and I’m dying to see more of them in further U of J books. If you love forced proximity, LOL, slow burn sports romances then this is the book for you! It can be read as a stand alone but for better reading experience I would recommend starting with Looking To Score so you understand group dynamics!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura Lee

    Quinn and CK were so painfully, awkwardly adorable, my heart couldn't take it at times! I wanted to smack both of them upside the head throughout the book screaming, "He/She likes you, you idiot! Pay attention!" Off the Bench is a gender role reversal of the jock/nerd trope and I loved every second of it. Quinn is the beautiful cheerleader and CK (Christopher Kent) is your textbook sexy nerd who has no clue how sexy he really is until he's forced to face the fact that Quinn wants him. Once these Quinn and CK were so painfully, awkwardly adorable, my heart couldn't take it at times! I wanted to smack both of them upside the head throughout the book screaming, "He/She likes you, you idiot! Pay attention!" Off the Bench is a gender role reversal of the jock/nerd trope and I loved every second of it. Quinn is the beautiful cheerleader and CK (Christopher Kent) is your textbook sexy nerd who has no clue how sexy he really is until he's forced to face the fact that Quinn wants him. Once these two do get out of their heads and give in to their attraction for each other, the story takes a smokin' hot turn. Off the Bench is everything you'd expect from Alley Ciz. It's a witty, hot, and hilarious sports romance that'll have you smiling throughout.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle

    Book 4 in the U of J series and another hit. This like the others in the series can be read as a standalone but I suggest reading the whole series so you can fall in love with all the characters of this world. Loved this friends to lovers/opposites attract romance. Always my favorite tropes to read. Loved Quinn and CK. They both liked each other but they didn’t act on it because they both thought they weren’t interested in the other. Once they finally realize their feelings, their relationship w Book 4 in the U of J series and another hit. This like the others in the series can be read as a standalone but I suggest reading the whole series so you can fall in love with all the characters of this world. Loved this friends to lovers/opposites attract romance. Always my favorite tropes to read. Loved Quinn and CK. They both liked each other but they didn’t act on it because they both thought they weren’t interested in the other. Once they finally realize their feelings, their relationship was so much fun to watch. Can’t wait to read more from this author. She always leaves me wanting more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lager Lefse Book Blog

    Alley Ciz always brings so much life and character to her stories, it’s hard not to be invested with their lives! CK and Quinn were so a’dork’ably cute together it was easy to love them and root for them. Off the bench is about the shy nerd and the effervescent and bubbly cheerleader in an angst-filled, forced proximity, friends to lovers book. My heart hurt for CK after reading his back story. This has left him as the shy guy who is lacking in the confidence department. Quinn has enough confiden Alley Ciz always brings so much life and character to her stories, it’s hard not to be invested with their lives! CK and Quinn were so a’dork’ably cute together it was easy to love them and root for them. Off the bench is about the shy nerd and the effervescent and bubbly cheerleader in an angst-filled, forced proximity, friends to lovers book. My heart hurt for CK after reading his back story. This has left him as the shy guy who is lacking in the confidence department. Quinn has enough confidence for the two, if only they could realize the feelings they had for each other. It was such a joy to be back with the U of J crew, but I seriously still want more!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    hopelesslyinlovewith_books

    Gah! This book!!!! I loved it so much! This opposites attract forced proximity romance was everything! CK is the sexy nerd of the group and Quinn is the fun bubbly gorgeous cheerleader. This book was fun and cute and seriously sexy! The angst about killed me! I am in some serious need of an extended epilogue! Like PLEASE Alley Ciz! I need more!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    This one was just ok for me. Even though this can be read as a standalone, I think it would’ve helped if I read the first three in this series, but I just couldn’t get into it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)

    Amazon Quinn is so far out of CK's (Christopher) league that he can't even fathom being with her. How's he going to handle being one of her new roommates? How's he going to ever figure out that Quinn really isn't out of his league, is in fact, wanting to be in his league, WITH him?! Oh God but this one was adorable! I loved Quinn and CK together. He's the nerd this time, and she's the jock, a cheerleader actually, who has all the confidence and the popularity. He's been so scarred by h Amazon Quinn is so far out of CK's (Christopher) league that he can't even fathom being with her. How's he going to handle being one of her new roommates? How's he going to ever figure out that Quinn really isn't out of his league, is in fact, wanting to be in his league, WITH him?! Oh God but this one was adorable! I loved Quinn and CK together. He's the nerd this time, and she's the jock, a cheerleader actually, who has all the confidence and the popularity. He's been so scarred by his past, though, that his insecurities get the best of him and threaten to ruin all the good that has come with being with his crazy girl, Quinn, and my heart hurt for him as he was sinking into his self sabotaging, self loathing thoughts. Thank God for good friends, a revelation or two, and he was on his way to getting his girl back. I don't think I've read a cuter, sweeter, or hotter nerd/jock romance in a long time, if ever, than Quinn and CK. Can't wait for more UofJ shenanigans now. ARC provided by Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an honest review. Review Blitz: Live Through Books Blog. Blog | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Mastandrea

    OHMIGAH! I just want to shake some pom poms and wiggle my spirit fingers because this delightfully fun and steamy story was so DAMN ENTERTAINING and ENJOYABLE that I never wanted it to end! Alley delivers a wonderfully written story of stepping outside your comfort zone and realizing that though it may seem risky to your heart, it also comes with rewards you never expected. Christopher Kent (aka CK) is a super sexy hot nerd who's a bit of a clueless cutie. This blue-eyed boy with the Clark Kent - OHMIGAH! I just want to shake some pom poms and wiggle my spirit fingers because this delightfully fun and steamy story was so DAMN ENTERTAINING and ENJOYABLE that I never wanted it to end! Alley delivers a wonderfully written story of stepping outside your comfort zone and realizing that though it may seem risky to your heart, it also comes with rewards you never expected. Christopher Kent (aka CK) is a super sexy hot nerd who's a bit of a clueless cutie. This blue-eyed boy with the Clark Kent -style glasses may have the book smarts but, is completely oblivious to the affections of his roommate and friend Quinn Thompson. When he decides to put himself out there with the ladies and asks her to be his "love coach", the lines between friendship and more than just friends get blurred....but, will his insecurities keep him from finally coming off the bench and making a play for Quinn's heart... Quinn Thompson (aka Q) is everything CK is not. She's vivacious, outgoing, bubbly, and has a personality as fiery as her red hair. For the past eight months CK, has been her unrequited clueless crush. With his  charming "adorkability," wit, and unflinching loyalty to those he cares about..this Superman has got her saying “Ay dios mío" on the regular. She only wishes that he saw her beyond her superficial "fluffy" exterior and how much she wants to be more than just friends..... Talk about bringing in the major SWOON! This story had humor, heart, and a whole lot of heat packed into its pages. Quinn and CK were an explosion of opposites attract chemistry that lit up each and every page! I don't think I could have loved this couple more! Add in the antics of the rest of the U of J crew with plenty of Kaysonova cameos...what can I say.... absolutely FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!! From beginning to end, this story was filled with fun and crazy banter, humurous and heartfelt moments, and an EPIC HEA that will just melt your heart. It put the biggest smile smile on my face and I loved every single moment of it! *I was generously given an ARC copy of this book for an honest review *

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kelly (AndKellyReads)

    I don't know? I kind of have mixed feelings about this one. As two individual characters, Quinn and CK were delightful people. They were sweet, they were funny, they were full of personality, and I absolutely adored them. Unfortunately, there was just something about the way they were written, and their entire plot line, that just felt immature and like one giant miscommunication, and it was endlessly frustrating (even our characters were frustrated). Look, I love the U of J books (please read t I don't know? I kind of have mixed feelings about this one. As two individual characters, Quinn and CK were delightful people. They were sweet, they were funny, they were full of personality, and I absolutely adored them. Unfortunately, there was just something about the way they were written, and their entire plot line, that just felt immature and like one giant miscommunication, and it was endlessly frustrating (even our characters were frustrated). Look, I love the U of J books (please read them in order, while this is a standalone you will be HELLA confused by all the people and social media handles if you don't and Mason and Kay's three books prior to this one give you a lot of background) but there was just something about the immaturity level in this one that just, didn't work for me. Even Quinn and CK's confusion with one another came across as confusion for me because half the time I didn't quite know why they were arguing and honestly, they didn't either. And the insecurity levels of both of them just didn't help. At all. I understand where they were both coming from, I get it I truly do, but yikes, that just piled on top of everything made this book so damn frustrating. As people though, and as far as fun and joy and found family goes, this book really nailed those aspects. Alley is great at writing characters you adore and groups of people that you want to adopt you, and being back with this group in Off the Bench really solidified that. The steamy scenes? Also A+ because Alley knows exactly what we want and delivers every time. So yeah, I had mixed feelings. I loved these characters, I loved being back at U of J, and I loved seeing these two get their HEA, but the entire plot, basically, was just so damn frustrating and confusing it was hard to really love it. [I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review]

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ann Mihailovic

    Off the Bench by Alley Ciz takes us back to U of J where we met all our favorite characters including Kaysonova. This is a roommates, friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, forced proximity novel that I found to be humorous and absolutely adorable. If you love a good slow-burn romance, then this is definitely the story for you. Off the Bench is the story of Quinn and CK. Quinn is the beautiful, popular spanish cheerleader, who is full of confidence. That confidence falters when it comes to express Off the Bench by Alley Ciz takes us back to U of J where we met all our favorite characters including Kaysonova. This is a roommates, friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, forced proximity novel that I found to be humorous and absolutely adorable. If you love a good slow-burn romance, then this is definitely the story for you. Off the Bench is the story of Quinn and CK. Quinn is the beautiful, popular spanish cheerleader, who is full of confidence. That confidence falters when it comes to expressing her feelings toward CK and she soon finds herself being his love coach, any excuse to spend more time with him. CK is the nerd who has somehow found himself living with a bunch of jocks who are all beautiful and popular. He crushes hard on Quinn but can't seem to fathom that she would return the interest as he thinks she is way out of his league. What happens when these two start spending more time together? I enjoyed this story. I still think Kay and Mason are the king and queen of U of J, and even though this story was different to their trilogy, I still enjoyed it. I loved how the U of J cast are all living together as a big happy family and their group chats and shenanigans still crack me up. The story between Quinn and CK although slow-burn, was completely magical toward the end. I can't wait to see what else Alley has in store for U Of J.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melissa, Book Boyfriend and Husband Make Three

    Off The Bench is UNEQUIVOCALLY my new favorite #UofJ Ciz shattered the ceiling on any preconceived notions I had in regards to CK and Q’s story. Quinn is a spitfire, a sassy ray of sunshine; her outgoing personality lights up a room, and her heart is the most beautiful part of her. She was much more than she appeared, and I adored every aspect of her, from the crazy to the quirky. CK was a fantastically fleshed-out character who quickly stole my heart and scorched my soul. He's shy, Off The Bench is UNEQUIVOCALLY my new favorite #UofJ Ciz shattered the ceiling on any preconceived notions I had in regards to CK and Q’s story. Quinn is a spitfire, a sassy ray of sunshine; her outgoing personality lights up a room, and her heart is the most beautiful part of her. She was much more than she appeared, and I adored every aspect of her, from the crazy to the quirky. CK was a fantastically fleshed-out character who quickly stole my heart and scorched my soul. He's shy, adorably awkward, and he's been taken in by this group of jocks; he may not appear to fit in on the outside, but I have no doubt that he was meant to become a part of their makeshift family, and they embrace him for everything he is. He was an enigma, and each page revealed a new piece of the CK puzzle, making me fall more in love. We were given glimpses of CK and Quinn's connection in previous books, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to what it inevitably became. Theirs is without a doubt the most epically painful, tension-filled slow-burn in the history of evers. There was something extraordinarily special between CK and Quinn. Ciz has created a fictional world that you can lose yourself in, with enthralling storylines and characters you wish were real. As they fall in love and their group of friends grows, so does their unconditional love and support for one another, and when you're immersed inside this world, you always feel as if you belong. Every word infused CK and Quinn's emotions into my veins, emotionally charged from start to finish, and that added an intoxicating rush as you read. Sometimes our own thoughts are the most difficult battles we can face, and I felt each and every one of them as if they were my own. Off The Bench is without question the #1 slow-burn of 2021. Ciz has officially blown my mind, I’m in awe, I devoured the words like I needed them to survive. Off The Bench is a breathtaking blend of electrifying chemistry, a shy swoony hero, a firecracker heroine, exceptionally witty banter, bursting with emotion, from laugh out loud to tears shed and everything in between, and the most epic tension filled slow-burn, EVER. Website | Amazon | Facebook | Instagram

  12. 5 out of 5

    Read.Review.Repeat Blog

    The perfect couple!! A total opposites attract story that had my attention right from the start. I mean did you read that opening line? LOL I love this author and she has quickly become a one click author to me with her witty, sarcastic, loveable heroes and heroines. I can't wait for the next in the series! ~Jen "I love, love, love this series. Each and every character add so much to the story and honestly I couldn’t care less who are the main characters I just know I’m going to read it. CK was abs The perfect couple!! A total opposites attract story that had my attention right from the start. I mean did you read that opening line? LOL I love this author and she has quickly become a one click author to me with her witty, sarcastic, loveable heroes and heroines. I can't wait for the next in the series! ~Jen "I love, love, love this series. Each and every character add so much to the story and honestly I couldn’t care less who are the main characters I just know I’m going to read it. CK was absolutely adorable in this book. His awkwardness and shyness had me rooting for him to get his girl. All I can say is that I totally thank the big man upstairs that this book was written in dual POV because it was entertaining to read both CK & Quinn share some of the same insecurities. Of course it was Quinn in all her awesomeness who took the first step in revealing her feelings - I just about stroked out in glee when this happened. Fingers crossed that I won’t have to wait too long for the next book in this series but honestly I will read whatever Alley decides to release next. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book." ~Sharon

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margareada_7

    “I don’t know how many different languages I have to say it in, but it translates to the same thing in all of them.”- Quinn Having read the first 3 U of J books (Kaysonova forever!) I was super excited for Quinn and CK's story, even more so after finding out it was going to be a forced proximity romance. Quinn is the beautiful and fiesty cheerleader, CK the shy and slightly insecure nerd. But we all know the saying that opposites attract, and that is definitely the case here. They have both liked “I don’t know how many different languages I have to say it in, but it translates to the same thing in all of them.”- Quinn Having read the first 3 U of J books (Kaysonova forever!) I was super excited for Quinn and CK's story, even more so after finding out it was going to be a forced proximity romance. Quinn is the beautiful and fiesty cheerleader, CK the shy and slightly insecure nerd. But we all know the saying that opposites attract, and that is definitely the case here. They have both liked each other for awhile, but neither thinks the other would ever be interested, which makes for a deliciously angsty slow burn. Ugh low-key alpha CK is so so hot!! It really is the quiet ones you have to look out for. I love how Quinn's tendency to slip in Spanish when she's excited is his kryptonite (Superman reference 😝) They are just so cute together, especially the lead up to their first time. I had butterflies right alongside them! And then the skittles on top, finding out there are more Kay & Mase books to come!!! Cue excited fan girl squealing!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    S.Shade

    Every book just gets better and better! I absolutely love the dynamic between all the characters, from new characters just introduced to previous characters you already fell in love with! Quinn is super firey and I love her personality and passion. She's spunky and bubbly and just so much fun. And CK is just an adorkable nerd. He's awkward and shy but once he is set on Quinn sparks fly! Throughout the book both characters had major insecure moments and even though you knew why and where it was com Every book just gets better and better! I absolutely love the dynamic between all the characters, from new characters just introduced to previous characters you already fell in love with! Quinn is super firey and I love her personality and passion. She's spunky and bubbly and just so much fun. And CK is just an adorkable nerd. He's awkward and shy but once he is set on Quinn sparks fly! Throughout the book both characters had major insecure moments and even though you knew why and where it was coming from it was still a little hard to read and came across a little childish. But all together that did not take away from how good the book and writing was!

  15. 4 out of 5

    mimi_reads

    Ah I loved this! Quinn and CK were definitely a long awaited story for me and Alley Ciz gave me everything I wanted in this one. Getting to finally learn more of CK’s back story and then seeing him come out of his shell was so great, who would have thought there was a smoking hot alpha in there? Quinn has always been one of my favourites from this series and I enjoyed reading all about her, I’m so glad she got her happily ever after!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Summerlynn83

    What an awesome read to bring in the new year with!! This book deserves all the stars and shaking pom-poms! To put it quite simply…Quinn is definitely my type of crazy and I absolutely loved her. And CK is the swooniest book boyfriends ever with his shy demeanor and sexy glasses. The push and pull between CK and Quinn was funny and frustrating and just all.the.feels. I also loved getting more of my favorite characters. I would totally want to be included in their shenanigans.

  17. 4 out of 5

    shereads.pang

    I received an arc for a honest review. It's so hard to find books now a days where the hero is a nerd. Lol I find it really refreshing and I LOVED it. Quinn and CK were both friends, and for the summer, everyone went home except for the both of them. They're forced to be roommates but it should totally be ok because they're friends. BUT little did they know that they have feelings for each other. CK was clueless about dating so Quinn decided to be her love coach. LOL It was funny and definitely q I received an arc for a honest review. It's so hard to find books now a days where the hero is a nerd. Lol I find it really refreshing and I LOVED it. Quinn and CK were both friends, and for the summer, everyone went home except for the both of them. They're forced to be roommates but it should totally be ok because they're friends. BUT little did they know that they have feelings for each other. CK was clueless about dating so Quinn decided to be her love coach. LOL It was funny and definitely quite slow burn. AT times I wanted to shake them to open their eyes and just be honest. Besides that, I really enjoyed it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julia Wolf

    CK and Quinn were adorable. I will hear no slander. Okay, there were times I was slandering CK's name and yelling at him to see this beautiful girl who was absolutely crazy about him. But I got it, the man had things he had to deal with before he could get there. Quinn has my heart. She is just a wonderful, fun, loving character. Everyone needs a Quinn in their life. Her pining really hit me right in the gut and her pain when CK didn't see her made me want to hit him right in the gut. But when they CK and Quinn were adorable. I will hear no slander. Okay, there were times I was slandering CK's name and yelling at him to see this beautiful girl who was absolutely crazy about him. But I got it, the man had things he had to deal with before he could get there. Quinn has my heart. She is just a wonderful, fun, loving character. Everyone needs a Quinn in their life. Her pining really hit me right in the gut and her pain when CK didn't see her made me want to hit him right in the gut. But when they finally got it right? Magic. I loved them together. They made each other better, and had a really hot time doing it. If you haven't read this book yet, get your bum off the bench and grab it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn H

    Cutest couple ever ❤❤❤ Omg Quinn and CK are the absolute cutest couple ❤❤ They way they both had feelings for each other but didn't believe that a relationship would ever happen was such an entertaining story. CK didn't trust the friends and situation he'd found himself in. He didn't think a cheerleader would ever want anything to do with him. Quinn decides to just spend as much time together as they can, even if it means she has to become CK's love coach. I knew I could trust Alley to give us an a Cutest couple ever ❤❤❤ Omg Quinn and CK are the absolute cutest couple ❤❤ They way they both had feelings for each other but didn't believe that a relationship would ever happen was such an entertaining story. CK didn't trust the friends and situation he'd found himself in. He didn't think a cheerleader would ever want anything to do with him. Quinn decides to just spend as much time together as they can, even if it means she has to become CK's love coach. I knew I could trust Alley to give us an amazing happy ending and she definitely did that. So happy to have another story in the amazing U of J world. The glimpes of our favourite caveman and his skittles made me need to go do a reread of Looking to Score ❤❤

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    DNF @21 I just couldn’t get with the writing style. All the characters just felt like total stereotypes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle Spaccamonti

    Alley is always a one click 5 star author for me!! I adore Quinn and CK!! I love his shyness and her nerdy self. He has a lot of insecurities but they weren’t dwelled on. Quinn was so outgoing and fun. Always good for a laugh. I love that everyone could see them together, except them. It was like two broken souls who needed each other but didn’t realize until it happened. I’m a sucker for friends to lovers. CK and Quinn are off the hook. Full of heat and laughs. Slow burn city, but so worth the Alley is always a one click 5 star author for me!! I adore Quinn and CK!! I love his shyness and her nerdy self. He has a lot of insecurities but they weren’t dwelled on. Quinn was so outgoing and fun. Always good for a laugh. I love that everyone could see them together, except them. It was like two broken souls who needed each other but didn’t realize until it happened. I’m a sucker for friends to lovers. CK and Quinn are off the hook. Full of heat and laughs. Slow burn city, but so worth the wait!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Wallis

    I have been waiting for what seems like YEARS for Q and CK to get their own book and OMG IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!!! Alley worked her magic yet again and had me in love with both of them within the first few chapters. I adore the dual POV we get in Alley’s books, and that we get real in depth with the male main character, not just the FMC! CK is such a precious cinnamon roll of a nerd boy and I would jump in front of a moving train for him. I LOVE HIM. And don’t even get me started on Quinn. Talk I have been waiting for what seems like YEARS for Q and CK to get their own book and OMG IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!!!! Alley worked her magic yet again and had me in love with both of them within the first few chapters. I adore the dual POV we get in Alley’s books, and that we get real in depth with the male main character, not just the FMC! CK is such a precious cinnamon roll of a nerd boy and I would jump in front of a moving train for him. I LOVE HIM. And don’t even get me started on Quinn. Talk about a girl crush!! Her inner monologue had me cackling at multiple different points. I loved loved loved everything about their story!! Cannot wait for everyone else to read it and fall in love with them too!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lena Dublin

    Great Addition What a great addition to the U of J series. I loved the flip on this usual jock and shy nerd girl trope. This time CK is the shy adorkable nerd and Q is the vivacious outgoing cheerleading athlete. She was the perfect match for CK. They both had insecurities they had to work through and once they did, fireworks central people. Did they drive me crazy at times? Absolutely. Did I love them more for it? Hell yeah. Give this one a read and fall in love with their story and these wonder Great Addition What a great addition to the U of J series. I loved the flip on this usual jock and shy nerd girl trope. This time CK is the shy adorkable nerd and Q is the vivacious outgoing cheerleading athlete. She was the perfect match for CK. They both had insecurities they had to work through and once they did, fireworks central people. Did they drive me crazy at times? Absolutely. Did I love them more for it? Hell yeah. Give this one a read and fall in love with their story and these wonderful characters like I did.

  24. 4 out of 5

    lowkeyreader

    Quinn and CK are just so adorable! And I can't with CK. I loved his character so much, he always felt like an outsider even though he is included in their friend group. He can't help but feel that way because of his past. So he's always cautious and more of a loner. But Quinn always made him feel seen. Quinn has always had feelings for him but it doesn't seem like he likes her like that. But once he wants her to be his love coach, there's no way she wouldn't make him fall for her. These two was Quinn and CK are just so adorable! And I can't with CK. I loved his character so much, he always felt like an outsider even though he is included in their friend group. He can't help but feel that way because of his past. So he's always cautious and more of a loner. But Quinn always made him feel seen. Quinn has always had feelings for him but it doesn't seem like he likes her like that. But once he wants her to be his love coach, there's no way she wouldn't make him fall for her. These two was just super cute to read. It was a slow burn but there's just so much sexual tension and chemistry between them. It's becoming hard for them to deny and hide their feelings. And CK definitely needs more reassurance about himself and their relationship. But it's all worth it in the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Robinson

    We are finally back at U of J!!!! I have been waiting not so patiently (this may just have been a me thing) for Quinn and CK's book. Once again, Alley Ciz does NOT disappoint. I will say that this book is a standalone and is about a different couple than the first three of the U of J series. I always recommend reading the first three books though. Just because they are awesome too. Also - you may just want to read them anyway once you see how amazing this friemaly is as you read about Q and her S We are finally back at U of J!!!! I have been waiting not so patiently (this may just have been a me thing) for Quinn and CK's book. Once again, Alley Ciz does NOT disappoint. I will say that this book is a standalone and is about a different couple than the first three of the U of J series. I always recommend reading the first three books though. Just because they are awesome too. Also - you may just want to read them anyway once you see how amazing this friemaly is as you read about Q and her Superman. Off the Bench picks up over the summer between Q's sophomore and Junior years. The crew has settled into their new cohabitation digs. There are way way way too many college juniors and seniors in this penthouse suite, and the fun is flying out of the dialogue before you've made it past the first chapter. This book is full of Ms. Ciz's snappy and snarky close friend group dialogue that drives the plot. The laughs, nicknames, and jokes never stop which keeps the pace of this book moving really quickly. I was at 80% before I realized it. This book files. While the first chapter is packed with the main group being up in each other's lives and knowing too much about everyone, the place soon empties out as they all go out into the world. A tear was shed as a few of the football guys were drafted and headed into the NFL. (I heart you Noah!!!) Kay and Mase are even quiet! Well, mainly because they are baby sitting Trav and JT all summer long, which is a full time job in and of itself. However - for all that Quinn is our bubbly, extraverted cheerleader who just wants her friends to smile and be happy, this quieter space gives us some time to see Quinn without her game face on. While Quinn was fully engaged in the friend group in the first part of the series, we get a deeper look into her relationship with her parents and family back home in Texas. Looking to lighten her fall semester workload isn't the main reason keeping this Texan Jersey bound. It's also not the "adorkable" nerd that she has been crushing on for the last year. Quinn has some...not secrets....but some things that even the brightest smile or the highest ponytail can fix. Sometimes it's just easier to be in the place where you can be the person you feel best being. CK is also hanging out in Jersey because, well, Kansas isn't exactly Oz for our shy geek. While in Jersey he can be and is more and more of his true self. Those formative years of bullying are sitting really deep in his mind and soul. Their claws are in deep and not even Kay's magic has released all of them. Add in the fact that said bullies can't seem to find the roads OUT of Kansas and CK is just better off in Jersey, where he can be at peace. Sort of. Quinn is sort of a force of feisty nature. I have to say, the hot nerd troupe is one of my faves. I don't care if the nerd is female or male. I love the "I'm smart, but it's just one part of my personality" vibe. As we see and have seen with CK when he relaxes he has a really sharp wit, cares deeply about his friends and is cut throat in gaming. I'm 100% on board with Quinn and her dirty professor ideas of CK. He's selling that vibe hard in this book. What I didn't expect was the extra layers that Alley wrote in for Quinn. If you've read any of Alley's other books you know she writes strong, sassy and SMART women. Doesn't matter what they do, where they come from, or what their stories are. Her ladies have brains and they show them. I expected that from Quinn. She'd need to be smart to hang with Kay and Em. It wouldn't gel otherwise. What caught me off guard was the depths of hidden vulnerabilities that Alley gifted Quinn with. Can't tell you as they are most definitely spoilers. These things as they popped up in this brilliant, confident, sassy woman's head though made me want her to be real so I could hug her so hard. Quinn's character and the things that throw her off her confidence are unexpected in a way and broke my heart a lot. This lady just needs to be seen and loved. I'm not even sure if the friend group as a whole sees all of what Quinn is keeping down. It also takes CK a LONG time to realize his feisty redheaded beauty has pockets of hurt and areas of doubt that run as deep as his. Hers are just as hurtful and harmful to her as his are to him. This was a very well written bringing the mountain to the nerd sort of plot line. For all that Superman can code at the speed of sound and have eyes like jewels with X-ray vision; he can be blind. I was amazed that I reached a point or two where I really wanted to smack CK's glasses off. Or wished G onto a train so he could sit his tall frame down on his codeblinded friend to force some hard truths into that binary brain. For all that our Supernerd is super scary smart, he doesn't let his heart see that others may be hurting or hiding things similar to his own wounds. However, when he DOES finally see it, he makes up for it in the best and most spectacular of ways. What CK's side of the story brought home to the reader is, there comes a point where someone has been told so many times that they "can't have" that it almost takes divine intervention to get them to believe that they really can. Both Quinn and CK reach these points in their story - just at different points and for different reasons. This was another thing that struck me as I finished this book. I was left holding my ereader, knowing I'd just consumed this story like an unguarded pint of Ben and Jerry's, but unlike the ice cream.... this story wasn't empty calories. Alley has a way of writing the most vulnerable parts of people in such a fun way that you don't realize until you've hit "The End" that you may have cried a little in there. (Or, well, when you wipe tears off of the ereader screen and wonder where they came from) The character development and richness of personality Alley grants her characters is a gift. As is the written sarcasm. That is one of my favorite things in Alley Ciz books. All in all, while this book brought us back to U of J it did NOT take us back to the football field. This was more of Quinn and CK learning to love each other, and both of them finally truly settling into the people they are. We do get visits to the Barracks, and there are teases of stunting. Savvy and the Royals pop through for a time. Tessa is up to good by being up to no good. (If I could add a gif here it would be of Mr. Burns tapping his fingers saying "Excellent") Overall once you get through all the squishy loving awesomeness that is Q and Superman.... you are left with a MASSIVE U of J book hangover, AND you'll be stalking all the sites looking for the next publication date and making the "gimme" fingers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Cheerleader Quinn Thompson, a rising junior at the University of Jersey, has had a crush on her new housemate, Christopher "CK" Kent, for the past eight months, but he never seems to notice her and it's driving her crazy. Now that they're alone in their shared apartment for the summer, Quinn has decided to step up her efforts to attract CK's attention. If the only way for her to do that is by volunteering to be his dating coach, then that's what she'll do. What Quinn doesn't realize is that whil Cheerleader Quinn Thompson, a rising junior at the University of Jersey, has had a crush on her new housemate, Christopher "CK" Kent, for the past eight months, but he never seems to notice her and it's driving her crazy. Now that they're alone in their shared apartment for the summer, Quinn has decided to step up her efforts to attract CK's attention. If the only way for her to do that is by volunteering to be his dating coach, then that's what she'll do. What Quinn doesn't realize is that while CK is just as attracted to her as she is to him, he's absolutely convinced that she's way out of his league. Years of bullying by athletes back in his small Kansas hometown has made it tough for hot but nerdy CK to believe that he even has friends, much less is a valued part of this particular close-knit group of football players, basketball players, and cheerleaders. There's no way he'd risk losing his place in their found family by pursuing Quinn, no matter how much he secretly wishes he could. CK and Quinn were both likeable characters, and I sympathized with CK because I was the nerdy kid in high school too (though thankfully not bullied to the extent he seems to have been). I empathized with Quinn because of the way her mother and so many others in her life focused only on her looks and failed to acknowledge the smart, capable young woman she had become. In addition, I loved the story's humorous moments, such as the random questions Quinn would ask CK to try and get him to open up to her and the messages they exchanged on Post-It notes. The interactions between Quinn, CK, and the rest of their friend group were also frequently amusing, if at times a bit immature. (I had to keep reminding myself that they were college students, and a few of their friends' siblings were actually still in high school, so the way they spoke and acted was probably appropriate for their ages.) I haven't yet read the first three books of this series and found it somewhat difficult to get into this story as a standalone. There were a lot of characters to keep track of (with multiple nicknames for each one), their relationships were already well established, and there were a lot of references that just didn't make sense without knowing the events of the first three books. As a result, the first half of the book felt like it dragged to me, largely because so much of the focus was on CK and Quinn's found family. They didn't even start "practice dating" until almost a third of the way through the book. By that time, it had been well and truly driven home to me how they felt about each other and I just wanted them to do something about it already! The second half of the book was better because they started making progress in their relationship and the story's focus was mostly on them, not so much about their interactions with the rest of the friend group. While I enjoyed and would recommend "Off the Bench," I didn't love it the way I wanted to. It was definitely the wrong place for me to start with this series. Readers who have already read the first three books of the series are likely to enjoy it more than I did. *Review copy provided by the authors via Wildfire Marketing Solutions. All opinions expressed are my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jody

    College life has given me some of my fondest memories, and with the release of this New Adult romance of opposites attracting, I've been given even more fond memories courtesy of CK and Quinn. As these two friends slowly become something more, readers will find themselves becoming more and more charmed by their slow burn romance while rooting them on every step of the way to see what's right in front of them. CK is the stereotypical nerd, an all-around good guy who doesn't think he's worthy of th College life has given me some of my fondest memories, and with the release of this New Adult romance of opposites attracting, I've been given even more fond memories courtesy of CK and Quinn. As these two friends slowly become something more, readers will find themselves becoming more and more charmed by their slow burn romance while rooting them on every step of the way to see what's right in front of them. CK is the stereotypical nerd, an all-around good guy who doesn't think he's worthy of the attraction of the hot cheerleader, and watching his journey to HEA hurt my heart at times. With a past full of bullying he now feels unworthy of love and friendship. Early on he doesn't fully trust his newfound group of friends, friends that we've come to call family through each book, and doesn't believe that the pretty and popular cheerleader could want him. With his self-esteem battered and bruised it's a constant push and pull between him and Quinn that left me frustrated a time or two as well as a bit misty-eyed for how little CK believed in himself. He's such a likable guy, a truly nice guy who deserves happiness after all the negativity thrown at him, so I rooted for him to get out of his head and move on from the past to see what was right in front of him. Quinn Thompson is the typical popular cheerleader, liked by many and desired by many more. She might look like she has it all, but beneath the surface is someone wanting to be wanted for what's in her heart and mind instead of what's in her sweater. Despite what he thinks, Quinn desperately desires CK and with each turn of the page she devises one idea after another to make him see how much she wants him. These two start off as friends, then becoming student/teacher, before their relationship turns even more intense. Theirs is a combustible connection from the very beginning, a connection full of sexual tension, and I loved seeing how determined Quinn was to get CK to see the truth. Quinn's a wonderful heroine, one who puts her own issues away, to build CK up. She was willing to put her heart on the line for CK time and time again to help him see his worth and their strengthening connection warmed my heart. Witty banter, steamy interludes, and heartbreaking truths fueled this friends to lovers romance from the first page to the last. CK was an endearing hero who slowly worked past his painful past courtesy of the sweet and caring cheerleader who was rooting for him to see the love she was blatantly offering to him. Their pairing made me smile, made me feel happy, and the world Ms. Ciz crafted has me wanting to come back for more!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    Quinn and CK are part of a great group of friends that treat each other as family except the attraction Quinn has for CK is more than familial. Quinn has crushed on him for months doing whatever it took so he would notice her, yet CK seems to either be oblivious to her or just not interested in her. What Quinn doesn’t know is CK harbors a crazy crush on her but his past of being bullied and belittled has left his confidence nonexistent. CK doesn’t know how to interact with someone he is attracte Quinn and CK are part of a great group of friends that treat each other as family except the attraction Quinn has for CK is more than familial. Quinn has crushed on him for months doing whatever it took so he would notice her, yet CK seems to either be oblivious to her or just not interested in her. What Quinn doesn’t know is CK harbors a crazy crush on her but his past of being bullied and belittled has left his confidence nonexistent. CK doesn’t know how to interact with someone he is attracted to and sometimes he gets so far inside his own head thinking of how he came to be part of this group. He thinks he is unworthy of their attention let alone acceptance of a friendship because he is so awkward and nerdy. My heart hurt for the pain and torment that CK has endured that has made him feel so inadequate but the way Quinn built him up was perfection. These two go back and forth fighting attraction and thinking that the other isn’t interested that way in them it could get intense and frustrating but it made their chemistry so much stronger. Can Quinn show CK how incredible he truly is and how deserving he is of everything the world has to offer or will his insecurities get the best of him and leave him lonely? When it seems the world is against them can they stand strong together or let the opinion of the outside world dictate their decisions? Both have insecurities that they at times can get the best of them yet they both bring it the best in the other. I loved this nerdy guy and popular chick trope and the way things worked out was amazing. I liked the friendship and bonds they all had and I got that seeking advice from your besties is what we all do I just don’t like when characters seek out one character to constantly run every thought, action, etc.. through that character in order to function and at times Kay was brought up way too much for me. I get she has brought them all together and I love that, yet when the others knowingly seek out her constant input for every. Single. Thing. they do, becomes frustrating because they are all adults and occasionally seeking advice isn’t a bad thing, but acting like you can’t function without that person is crazy and can take away from getting to know the others as well as we should, but I was happy it only occurred a few times so it didn’t make it unbearable. Overall this book was amazing and I can’t wait to see more. I am dying to see what will happen in Carter’s story….swoon.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jela Heneghan

    Off the Bench is a cute and flirty opposites attract romance packed with fun banter. It’s the kind of book that will make you smile. The fourth book in the U of J series centers around Quinn, the supremely feisty and funny cheerleader, and CK, the shy and kind of nerdy smart guy. They’re roommates and have the same friends, but for as close in proximity as they are, they’re not exactly close friends until summer comes and the two are left without any of their other roommates around. During that Off the Bench is a cute and flirty opposites attract romance packed with fun banter. It’s the kind of book that will make you smile. The fourth book in the U of J series centers around Quinn, the supremely feisty and funny cheerleader, and CK, the shy and kind of nerdy smart guy. They’re roommates and have the same friends, but for as close in proximity as they are, they’re not exactly close friends until summer comes and the two are left without any of their other roommates around. During that time, their friendship grows, and Quinn even starts helping CK out with his dating life. Little does the other know, though, that they both have feelings for each other that go beyond simple friendship. CK looks at Quinn like she’s way too out of his league, and Quinn seems to think he’d never be interested in her either. This story leads us through their deepening friendship and into what happens when they eventually end their stalemate and become something more to each other. Both Quinn and CK are so cute and sweet together. Quinn is unabashedly fiery and outgoing, and CK is unwittingly charming and likeable. They might be complete opposites, but then again opposites attract. They’re one another’s perfect counterpart, despite not understanding that simple truth for a very long time. Their relationship is loveable and endearing, and I enjoyed seeing how their relationship grew from sort of friends to a whole other something else. While I loved seeing their relationship develop, I do wish it hadn’t taken so much back and forth and uncertainty from the characters to get to the final iteration of it. CK was adorable in his aloofness to Quinn’s true feelings, but at a certain point I found it to be a touch frustrating. I get that his past traumas clearly impacted his self-esteem when it came to Quinn, but I found myself wishing for Quinn’s sake that he would move past all that more quickly for her. She’s such a sweetheart of a character that I suppose I just wanted him to open his eyes a little sooner. Then again, it adds to the angst level of the story, which obviously is a good thing in a romance novel. Overall, I enjoyed this book’s fun and sweet but angsty storyline. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next in this series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Hawkins-Lee

    Thank you so much to The Hatters Author Services and the author for this copy in exchange for an honest review. OMG THIS BOOK.... I mean it started off slow in a way where I thought, “I don’t know about you,” but it slowly grew on me until it made me explode in happiness. These characters took me a minute to truly dig, but when I did, I fell in love with them and their funny and crazy story. Quinn Thompson sounded ABSOLUTELY crazy at first, but she slowly grew on me and I was rooting for her and Thank you so much to The Hatters Author Services and the author for this copy in exchange for an honest review. OMG THIS BOOK.... I mean it started off slow in a way where I thought, “I don’t know about you,” but it slowly grew on me until it made me explode in happiness. These characters took me a minute to truly dig, but when I did, I fell in love with them and their funny and crazy story. Quinn Thompson sounded ABSOLUTELY crazy at first, but she slowly grew on me and I was rooting for her and her dreams. However, I felt she could be a little too needy sometimes and it wasn’t really my cup of tea. I get that she was really into him, but her behavior made me cringe just a little.... Now... CK... he made me so annoyed at some points, but in the end I was also rooting for him and his relationship with Quinn. I felt that sometimes he treated Quinn in a way she didn’t deserve because of his past traumas. That really irked me especially because we knew, through her perspective, how much she really liked him. I just wanted to shake him sometimes and tell him to get over himself. However, around like 100 pages into the book, he was a good contender for book boyfriend for me. OH and their steam WAS SO HOT! OMG! I’m glad I had my drag queen fan next to me while I was reading because DAMN their under the pants tango was scorching! This book was part of the #UofJ series and was the fourth book of the series; however, it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, so I wasn’t as connected with the characters as someone who had read the entire series. Therefore, I didn’t really care about them or their weird antics so that was an annoyance for me sometimes. BUT, that is because I haven’t read any other books in series, I think if I had, I would feel differently. Overall, this friends to lovers book was a great slow burn and a great way to start off 2022!

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