Monday, May 27, 2013

The Love Game by Emma Hart

The Love Game by Emma Hart
Release Date: March 29, 2013
Publisher: Emma Hart

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.  Her challenge? Play the player.  Until life changes the rules of the game.  Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he's everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn't she say no? She doesn't know either.  Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her - and he'd do anything to have her, hence why he's agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it's the only way he'll get what he wants. Sex.  But, as Braden discovers, there's more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined - and he can't help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes  Maddie finds Braden isn't just a walking erection - he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don't exactly hurt. That means trouble - but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren't so alike anymore.  And maybe, just maybe, they're exactly what each other needs.  -

I really expected to find this story to be cliché and overdone.  I've seen a similar premise several times before, after all.  What Emma Hart does with this story and with these characters, however, made it into something new.

I loved these characters, all of them.  Not just the two main characters, but all of the friends on both sides.  This was just a really fun crowd of guys and girls that I could easily have seen myself hanging with in college.  The characters were all so real.  I could picture bits and pieces of my own friends in all of them, and in the guys they hang with as well.  Some of my favorite parts are those where Maddie and her friends are just hanging out, talking, laughing, and just being girls.  The characterization in this story was one of the strong points that gave this story it's unique quality.

Secondly, I loved the romance in this book.  Braden and Maddie are hot, hot, hot together.  I loved Braden.  He wasn't just a playboy.  There was a lot more to him than meets the eye, and I loved how easily, smoothly, and unexpectedly he fit into the role of boyfriend.  The romance was slow-building, intense, and amazing.  And when the big moment of discovery comes, because you knew it would, the reactions were exactly what they should be.

The author did an amazing job with characterization, keeping me caring about her characters and wanting to see their happy ending.  I loved pretty much everything about this story.  It just worked perfectly.  I'll be looking for more books by this author.


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