The Score (Charleston Condors Book 3) by Beth Bolden

Playboy football player Carter is trying to make changes in his life - a new agent, a new therapist, and some new rules to help him be a better person and teammate. Ian is sent in to keep an eye on Carter, but they didn't expect the intense chemistry they share, nor that there might be more to their attraction than just lust. Sometimes the timing may not be right, but the feelings are all that matter.

From the blurb for The Score:

Carter Maxwell knows he’s a screwup. Four teams in three seasons tells the story, as much as he wishes it didn’t.

But finally, he’s landed in a good place, where he likes the team and the team actually likes him. Even the Condors' current rebuilding mode suits him. There’s a new owner. New coach. New players. New rules.

But one rule hasn’t changed: don’t seduce your agent-appointed c*ckblocker.

Ian Parker agrees to live with Carter and keep him on the straight and narrow for one simple reason: Alec, the agent in charge of cleaning up Carter’s reputation, has promised him something Ian wants very, very badly.

Even more badly than Carter naked above him and below him and next to him.

A chance for Ian to become an agent.

But Ian didn’t take into account just how persuasive Carter is—or just how desperately he desires to be persuaded. Or how, while spending time with Carter, they’ll somehow stumble into a fake relationship that begins to feel all too real.

It doesn’t matter that Carter’s never fallen in love or that he’s never been in a real relationship. It doesn’t matter that Ian’s risking his future as an agent.

He’s determined to score the impossible and reform the bad boy—only after encouraging Carter to misbehave one last time. But this time, only with him.

SNik's Review:

Third in series (Charleston Condors), best if read in order. Slow burn. Dual POV. 

NFL wide receiver Carter Maxwell needs help managing his temper on the field and his escapades off of it. His new agent has assigned him several rules, a therapist, and a companion to keep him on track. 

Ian is trying to get the inside track on becoming a sports agent, and when he’s tasked to be Carter’s minder, it's a way to prove himself. The only problem is the charismatic and sexy football player takes one look at Ian and wants to break down every wall Ian has to keep their relationship professional. Not personal. 

When both men realize that it’s not just lust, Ian has to decide if it’s worth the risk to lose his possible future job, and Carter has to come to accept his own self-worth and what he can offer someone like Ian long term. 

Both Carter and Ian are likable characters, and their honest communication throughout the story as well as their off the chart chemistry was so fun to read. 

I appreciated that there was no shaking Ian’s faith in Carter, and there was no doubt from Carter that Ian was the man he wanted to be with forever.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Angel's Review:

Carter has been the residential playboy on his team for a long time. It's how he copes with his emotions, that and lashing out at whoever's near. When he decides it's time to change, he calls Alec. He never expected for Alec to send a Sober companion to trail around after him, nor was he expecting for his companion to be so determined to say no to him. 

Ian has been a sober companion for years helping celebrities through their sobriety. He wants a change, though. He wants to be a manager just like Alec. When Alec calls him and asks him to help Carter stay away from the things that get him in trouble, he's wary, but when Alec dangles a job in front of him, he quickly agrees. He didn't think it would be so difficult for him to resist Carter, but then again, he didn't know the man yet.

Ohh man, Beth does it again! Writing yet another stellar book with fantastic characters, and oh my gosh, the buildup that occurs in this book! I was simultaneously wanting them to get together sooner, while also loving that Beth made us wait. Carter's character surprised me. I knew he must've had more beneath the surface, but I was pleasantly surprised by how kind his character turned out to be. Yes, he lost his temper occasionally. But he apologizes each time, and is trying to do better, to be better. Not only that, but when Ian made it clear that he did not want to hook up with him, Carter respected that boundary. He didn't like it, but he respected it. 

I like the contrast of Ian's character alongside Carter's. Carter is more carefree and confident, bordering on egotistical. While Ian is confident in helping people through their sobriety, but insecure about himself. These two were a really great match for one another. Carter makes sure Ian knows how great he is, and Ian is there for Carter whenever he needs him. Carter doesn't always have to be what everyone wants him to be. He can just be himself with Ian.

Something I really enjoyed about The Score is how therapy was such a prominent component, and how it was not only encouraged but also respected. A lot of people turn their nose up at therapy, and I just loved that all the characters were cheering Carter on, and telling him how proud they are that he's talking to someone. We really got to see Carter's character develop and grow along the way, and we also got to see him fall in love. He learned how to change, and yes, he'll still make mistakes. But he'll get back up and learn from them. 

I can't wait to read Deacon's story, I'm so looking forward to his book!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Score is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.