Heather’s Review of “First Kiss with the Quarterback” by Maggie Dallen

By: Heather Dowell

*Originally posted on Heather’s blog.

She’s on his campus to score a science scholarship…so how did she win the quarterback’s heart?

This shy high school senior never imagined her first kiss would come from a college quarterback. But then again, she never thought she’d get kissed at all. Not anytime in this decade, at least.

Speaking to guys is definitely not Charlotte’s forte. She’s more of a data and numbers kind of girl. But when her friends convince her that this weekend-long science competition is the best way to get her lab partner’s attention, she’s ready to step outside her comfort zone and show her old friend that she’s more than just a big brain. 

Her first attempt at a flirtation? Not a success. But help comes along in the form of West, the college quarterback, a guy three seconds away from failing out…unless he can get a science geek to help him out. It’s quid pro quo for the science nerd and the athlete. Until feelings get involved. 

Now no one is certain who likes who or what’s real and what’s fake…least of all Charlotte. Isn’t there some sort of experiment that could help her sort out the truth from the lies?

According to West, there is.

The details of this lab experiment? Well, it involves a first kiss…


Every book in this series has been a hit. I really liked Charlotte. She reads like an aspie, and it was so refreshing. She’s not given a label and there’s nothing that says she is on the autism spectrum, but if diagnosing fictional characters is a thing, total aspie. I can relate to her wanting direct answers and conversations rather than skirting around topics. Similar to myself, she will often start to answer a question trying to be vague and waiting for the other person to ask for more information before giving it up.

West could not have been a better match for her. He had his own issues where he felt kind of dumb because he didn’t always do well in school, but she made him feel smart and like he was capable of doing anything so long as people approached teaching him in the right way.

I loved getting to see a girl as smart as Charlotte appreciate a football player who many didn’t have high expectations for. She recognizes that though she probably is the smartest person in the room that doesn’t make other people less important than herself, and she uses her intelligence as a way to boost other people’s confidence rather than making them feel inferior.

She starts off this book crushing over a guy named Robert. They are lab partners and have won a few competitions to get them into a bigger science competition in order to win scholarship money. They spend the weekend on a college campus doing a presentation and competing against several others. After getting in trouble with his RA, West agrees to take over as a chaperone for the event to be able to keep his dorm room. But skirting around that issue isn’t his only problem. He is failing his science class, and if his grades slip, he will lose his football scholarship. He’s not first string, which I thought was pretty cool to see because usually characters are presented under the best possible circumstances. Yet, we can totally see that he is confident and on his way to becoming first string quarterback once the current quarterback leaves. Therefore, West is adored by others, especially girls. His ex Stella was a science geek. And I liked getting that bit of information because I knew that there was a possibility that he could fall for Charlotte since he’s already been in a relationship with someone who is more scholarly than himself.

I like how patients and gentle West was with Charlotte even when her logic got in the way of his happiness and her own. He knew he needed to convince her of things, but he did so in a way that was not aggressive. He introduces her to movies for the first time and lets her see that there is no formula for who can like who. There’s no choice in the matte. Just because two people don’t seem like they would work doesn’t mean that they’re not actually perfect for each other. She says she’s not good with expressing or showing her emotions, and he finds a way to help her with that. I love how he accepts all of her quirks and not only accepts them but actually appreciates them as something unique about her.

I also like that Charlotte shows him that he has things to be grateful for, like his growing family, and he shouldn’t take that for granted. She is an only child, and her best friend is a pet turtle. Despite being socially inept, she is able to go after the things she wants and try new things when surrounded by the right people. And West is her person.

You’ll adore this book if you give it a try.

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