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About The Book

Pro-football player Cooper Lowry is off the field and into some trouble—in the form of a very alluring, very free-spirited apple orchard owner named Whitney Reed—in the first installment in Liora Blake’s all new Grand Valley series.

After eight seasons playing pro-football, Cooper Lowry knows all the right answers.

Is he stubborn, short-tempered, and impatient? Yes. Are jersey chasers more trouble than they’re worth? Absolutely. Has he ever imagined a life beyond the game? Nope.

Cooper has built an enviable career—the result of staying focused, working hard, and keeping his head on straight—even as his body takes the brunt. So when a hard hit during a Sunday home game leaves him in a dazed heap on the field, it’s nothing more than another day at the office. The only thing that’s different about this Sunday is a chance encounter with a certain fascinating, beautiful free-spirited woman. And some sternly-worded instructions from his coach to take a little time off and give his body the TLC it craves—before he does lasting damage.

Whitney Reed is a few months away from losing the organic fruit orchard she bought three years ago in the tiny town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. At the time, she was just looking for a place to get lost. Instead, she found a home, somewhere she could finally put down roots. Now foreclosure is knocking on her door—along with a grumpy, gorgeous football player who might be just what she never knew she needed.

A charming love story for romance and sports fans alike, First Step Forward is a sexy, heartwarming romp perfect for readers of Jennifer Probst, Kristan Higgins, and Julie James.

About The Author

Liora Blake is a contemporary romance author living in Colorado. She writes because it’s what she’s always wanted to do, she writes novels because she likes to tell the whole story, and she writes romance because a happily ever after is the best kind of story to tell. Visit her online at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Pocket Books (November 29, 2016)
  • Length: 368 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501155123

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Raves and Reviews

"A sexy, smart romp that will appeal to both romance and sports fans."

– RT Book Reviews, 4 stars

"First Step Forward by Liora Blake is an entertaining read, filled with charming characters and plenty of humorous moments."

– Harlequin Junkie

"I loved this story! It’s a football romance with actual football! But it’s more than that. It’s an epic opposites attract love story that had me laughing out loud the entire time. From Cooper’s filthy mouth to Whitney’s granola view of life. I loved every second!"

– Two Book Pushers

"This book is funny, sweet, smart and sexy. Being inside the heads of these two characters as they navigate the challenges in their own lives while moving toward each other is pure joy."

– Literary Gossip

"I love books that when I finish reading them leave a smile on my face or a sigh escapes me. This is exactly what happened with this novel."

– Mrs. Leif's Two Fangs About It

"First Step Forward is a funny, witty, sexy, sweet, and just a bit quirky contemporary romance. It will make you smile, it will make you ache, and it will make you swoon."

– Literati Literature Lovers

"The author set up a fantastic series with this first book. The only problem... it's going to be hard for her to go up from here. This was pretty much contemporary romance perfection in my opinion."

– Smitten With Reading

"I loved this seriously sweet, romantic, sometimes silly, sometimes hot read!"

– Cocktails and Books

"Deeply affecting and absolutely outstanding."

– Always Reviewing

"Contemporary romance at its very best, heartfelt and light, something you start and cannot put down!"

– Ramblings From a Chaotic Mind

"Blake’s debut is a heated, sexy romp that will entice readers to want more...Funny, endearing and more than a little hot,True North scores a hit."

– Library Journal, Starred Review for True North

"An incredibly beautiful story...entirely riveting, completely entertaining."

– Smitten With Reading on True North

"It blew me away."

– Southern Belle Book Blog, 5-star review for True North

"A story with heartbreakingly real characters, sexy scenes, and a romance that is so sincere and touching that I have already stalked Ms. Blake’s website to find out if there are more stories forthcoming."

– Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews, 5-star review for True North

"This book is pure escapism. I wanted to jump inside and just live in this world until I felt better about real life."

– Bookhounds on True North

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More books from this author: Liora Blake

More books in this series: The Grand Valley Series