Review: Offsetting Penalties by Ally Mathews

Offsetting Penalties by Ally Mathews
Release Date:  November 6, 2017
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Pages:  202
Source: book provided by the publisher for review



Isabelle Oster has dreamed of being a prima ballerina her entire life, so when the only male dancer backs out of the fall production, she’s devastated. Without a partner, she has no hope of earning a spot with the prestigious Ballet Americana company. Until hot jock Garret practicing stretches in one of the studios gives Izzy an idea, and she whips out her phone. But does she really want this badly enough to resort to blackmail?

All-state tight end Garret Mitchell will do anything to get a college football scholarship. Even taking ballet, which surprisingly isn’t so bad, because it means he gets to be up close and personal with the gorgeous Goth girl Izzy while learning moves to increase his flexibility. But Izzy needs him to perform with her for the Ballet Americana spot, and he draws the line at getting on stage. Especially wearing tights.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a bit of blackmail, a lot of sarcasm, and an ending guaranteed to melt your heart.


Review: Offsetting Penalties is a cute read that reeled me in from the first page to the last.  The background is a high school in Texas where football reigns supreme.  It’s senior year and Garret is the captain of the football team and is hoping for scholarships so he can continue playing in college.  Otherwise he’ll be working at his father’s yard. Isabelle, or Izzy as she’s better known, is rich with a politician for a father who lives mostly alone in their huge home with two dogs and a housekeeper to keep her company.  Her mom died when she was young. Her dream is to forego college and dance in a ballet company.  Her audition is coming up but nothing is going her way or is it?

Even though Garret and Izzy have gone to school together all their lives they hang with different kids and neither knows much about the other especially since she believes he cost one of her best friends a scholarship to an art school back in middle school.  Izz hides behind a Goth persona and is called The Untouchable by others which causes her nothing but hurt.  When their paths are aligned – his coach thinks ballet will help his flexibility in football and get him one-hundred percent back from an injury that he had surgery for and she becomes his instructor – sparks do fly.  As they make deals to help each other and they get closer we learn a lot about them but also their differences along with what they have in common.

There are family and friends, football, ballet and all it entails, the studio, rehearsals. practices, the upcoming ballet production and audition, laugh out loud moments, tears, anger, hurt, sadness, embarrassment, their homes, cars, happiness, togetherness and perchance even love.  The story flows smoothly between the high school, football, ballet and both sides of the tracks without missing a beat.  There is nice closure especially with the epilogue but I would have loved it to be longer since there seems to be more story to tell.  I can only help that this is a start of a new series.

Mathews is a new to me author and I look forward to reading more of her books.

Favorite Quote:  …”Izzy, I am not going on stage in those tights.  When I lift you or leap, you can see everything. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g,  So we can either take all of the lifts and my leaps out, or I’m wearing the football pants.”