Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review: THE GAME PLAN by Kristen Callihan

The Game Plan
by Kristen Callihan
Book 3 in the the Game On series


s one of tA beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.

NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friend. That ends now. 

Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed. 

Dex is looking for a forever girl, but they live vastly different lives in separate cities. Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he's her forever man.

Game On

The Game Plan is one of the most romantic books I’ve read in a while.  It is filled with bold gestures, tender moments, and heartfelt confessions, including the iconic “kiss in the rain” moment.  Fi and Dex are off-the-charts endearing.  So perfectly paired that it is easy to believe in destiny. 

One of the best parts of the this story is that the author does not focus the relationship merely on how the couple "gets together".  These characters have met before and have been on the periphery of one another’s lives, but the bold and stark honesty that ultimately brings them together is refreshing.  There is no game plan, no overwrought indecision.  Sure there is some insecurity, but rather than make me impatient, it brings a welcomed additional layer.  

My favorite part of the narrative happens after they decide to attempt a long distance relationship.  They say that absence makes the heart grow stronger, but it also sends the sexual tension through the roof.  By its very nature, the distance creates a certain longing that Kristen Callihan conveys with high-wire tension.  

Ethan “Dex” Dexter’s background brings a level of maturity and purity to his interactions with Fiona.  As someone who knows his mind, his decisions feel confident and grounded. His words mean more. His desire for Fiona “all-in.” Geez, it made my heart flutter.  Dex is easily one of my favorite sports heroes for his heart both on and off the field. 

Since most stories have to introduce a conflict and for our fated pair, this one is a doozy, especially because they are at the mercy of other people’s dubious behavior and the public’s never-ending fascination with celebrity . Given how our world has evolved with the media, this reality is potentially every person’s nightmare.  Although forecasted early on, the impact is no less painful and alarming.  I could easily understand the despair. 

However, because of the way that the author introduced this pair and how she evolved this relationship, she masterfully gives us readers our Happily Ever After.  

Because her characters are fascinating with genuine depth, this kind of book where you sigh at the end and believe that love can prevail.  

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