Monday, December 7, 2015

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for Aced (Blocked #2) by Jennifer Lane

Are you ready for more Presidential shenanigans with the Ramirez siblings? This time serious and studious Alejandro has met his match! Check out the excerpt, my review, and make sure you enter the giveaway!

Title: ACED
Series: Blocked #2
Author: Jennifer Lane
Release Date: December 2, 2015
Genre: New Adult Sports Romance 
Length: 80,000 words
Cover Artist: Coreen Montagna 


Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blocked despite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. In Aced, the second book in Jennifer Lane’s Blocked series, it could be her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love.

Medical student Alejandro’s hot Latin looks get him plenty of attention, but his deep faith and admiration for his father keep him on a righteous path, with no time for something as frivolous as love. He strives to do the right thing—study diligently, take care of his siblings, represent the family well—so why does he feel so unfulfilled?

Enter Lucia’s friend and teammate Maddie Brooks, who shines at blocking the ball and acing the serve. Too bad this graduating senior isn’t so confident about her life off the court. Her longtime boyfriend has just bailed on her, and med school applications loom large. Oh, and a nerve-wracking tryout for Team USA also approaches.

Maddie meets Alejandro when he visits Lucia at school, and she’s soon drawn to his sharp mind. Alejandro is similarly intrigued by Maddie’s talent and strength. But will personal biases and family politics smother the slow burn of their attraction? Unless Maddie can learn to believe in herself, and Alejandro can become his own man, their kindling romance hardly stands a chance.

Will either of them be bold enough to try something new? Find out in this emotion-rich story that refuses to shy away from life’s hardest questions. Because love is worth the risk.

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I’d only seen Alejandro on TV, but his presence seemed magnified in real life. He was Jaylon’s height but probably weighed thirty pounds less. He moved like a panther, sleek and long in a black suit “dressed down” with no tie. His short black hair shone in the arena lights, and he appeared freshly shaven. Hot damn! He sure looked more suave than any college boy I’d encountered. Was that the typical dress for medical school at Johns Hopkins? Probably not. Something told me Alex did things his own way. 
As Alejandro approached, Lucia stood to hug him, shaking her head. “Hey, what’re you doing here? You didn’t tell me you were coming.” 
He smiled. “Could we go somewhere to talk?” 
She glanced at me. “I don’t want to leave Maddie. I dragged her here, so it’d be rude to abandon her.” 
“So this is the famous Maddie.” When Alejandro reached across to shake my hand, his dark eyes burned into me. “I’ve seen you play, but it’s good to finally meet. I’ve heard great things about you.” His handshake was firm, but his hand was soft and warm, zinging a surprising thrill right through me. I realized that for at least a few moments, I hadn’t thought about Jaylon. Alejandro let go all too quickly.  
His expression sobered as he looked back at Lucia. “I want to talk to you about something in private.” 
She folded her arms across her chest as they both sat. “I already said no, thank you. I can’t right now.” 
He frowned and squared his shoulders. Then he leaned in to Lucia’s ear and spoke to her in Spanish. She bristled next to me. 
“How dare you?” she hissed. 
I leaned back. What had just changed my sweet Rez into a pissy hellcat? 


★★★★ 1/2 stars

It's only been about a year, but I've been looking forward to Aced from the moment Blocked ended. While the two can be read as stand alone novels and out of order, I really think reading them in order will lead to a better reading experience. When it comes to whom Alejandro might have fallen for, I don't think Madison, his sister's friend and team mate crossed my mind, but those two were just perfect for one another.

Alejandro is different from his siblings. Being older and in medical school, he has a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. He's been tasked by his father, the current President of the United States, to take care of his siblings and doing so is causing friction between them and him.  What he thinks is right is not necessarily what they think is right. I liked seeing the stern and rigid Alejandro relax a little around Madison, or Maddie as she liked to be called. I really liked how Alejandro was with Maddie. He accepted her differing political ideologies and watched out for her. He just wanted to be with her and make her happy. I also liked the way he was willing to stick to his convictions. 

I liked Maddie too. She's set on making the US Olympic Volleyball Team and is practicing with her old squad even though she's no longer eligible to play on a college team anymore. She's facing pressure at home and dealing with a number of other issues, one being a horrible break up that came out of nowhere. I hated how that break up happened and I didn't feel any better when I found out why. I did admire Maddie for taking it in stride and not letting the why her long term relationship broke up keeping her down for long.It's funny how she was able to help Alejandro see things from a different perspective by just being herself. 

Alejandro and Maddie might be opposites when it comes to many things, but both share a common goal of becoming physicians. They are also both hard workers and willing to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. I could really feel the connection between the two of them. I loved how Alejandro couldn't stay away from Maddie and how caught up in each other they both got. I also liked how accepting Maddie was of Alejandro's personal beliefs. Another aspect they both had in common was the love for family. While Maddie and her brother Braxton couldn't differ more on a lot of things, they both loved and cared for each other. Same with Alejandro, Lucia, and Mateo. Often times Alejandro tread on Lucia's toes, but he still did what was in her best interest. It was great to see Dane and Lucia doing so well and happy. 

While I really enjoyed reading this book, there were a number of aspects that I felt weren't closed properly. One was the issue with Braxton and his political involvements and another was with Maddie and some turmoil with an team mate. Mateo was also not dealt with, but since he's getting his own book I assume they will be addressed then. I also felt like a number of conflicts were addressed sporadically through the book or not until the very end and with a complicated story line like Aced, it left the end feeling a little choppy. I will say this though, Jennifer Lane did an absolutely wonderful job at addressing a number of hot button political issues; she neither denigrated nor exalted either side. She also did a wonderful job at handling the mental and psychological issues as well. I already can't wait to see how Jennifer outdoes herself in Spiked!         

*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

Follow the TOUR


Reviews for Aced
“Jennifer's characters always interact with each other in a very comfortable pattern of easy and witty banter. She is exceedingly good at dialogue. Aced is a very brave book. Like Blocked, it is not simply a fluffy, sweet and cozy romance."
~Teresa from Goodreads

"Lord forgive me for I have sinned and lusted over the hottie known as ALEJANDRO. Yup, dibs he's all mine, chicas."
~Nelly from Romance Bytes

"The plot is so well paced, I was reading until the wee hours of the morning."
~Karie Deegan from My Reading Reality

"Blocked captivated my attention from start to finish and Aced does not disappoint. Hotheaded Alejandro meets his match in stubborn and confident Maddie."
~Aaliyah from Goodreads

About the Author

Get psyched for romance with psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane! By day she’s a therapist, and by night she’s a writer. She can’t decide which is more fun.

Jen adores creating sporty heroines and hot heroes in her college sport romances. Volleyball wonder Lucia Ramirez found her love match in Blocked despite the glaring political spotlight aimed on her family. In Aced, the second book in the Blocked series, it’s her brother Alejandro’s turn to get lucky in love. Aced launches in December 2015.

A swimmer and volleyball player in college, Jen writes swimming-based romances as well: Streamline, a military mystery, and the free New Adult novella Swim Recruit.

Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love. She is also the author of The Conduct Series, a romantic-suspense trilogy that includes With Good Behavior, Bad Behavior, and On Best Behavior.

Ultimately, whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and visiting her sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.



  1. Thank you for another stellar review, Chanpreet!

    "I really liked how Alejandro was with Maddie. He accepted her differing political ideologies and watched out for her. He just wanted to be with her and make her happy."

    Aw, I like your observations of Jandro here.

    Interesting comments about how things were or weren't wrapped up. Yes, I will dive into Mateo's story in book three so hopefully he'll feel more fleshed out. Regarding Nina, I have tossed around the idea about a novella for her. And one reader suggested Braxton could be her love interest! Whoa, I never thought of that before but it's intriguing to me.

    I so appreciate all the time you took to read and write an eloquent review, Chanpreet! *hugs*

    1. You're welcome Jennifer! Thank you for another stellar story! Nina and Braxton? That's an interesting couple. I think there's potential for great fireworks there, but I also can't see Braxton being with someone who would hurt his sister the way Nina did even if she's moved on.

      *Hugs to you too*



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