Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: The Love Game by Emma Hart

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The Love Game (The Game #1)
   by: Emma Hart

Publication Date: Mar. 29, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: purchased for Nook
Page Count: 320 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N| Smashwords
My Rating: 5/5 stars

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.

**The Love Game is currently $.99!**
Trying to write a coherent review over a book I absolutely loved and adored is really hard. Because I just want to fangirl and tell you how you just need to read this book. Emma is on my auto-buy list. Damn, the woman can write. My Nook showed this has having 500+ pages and I was a little daunted. (I've gotten used to books being in the 200-300 page range) NEVER FEAR! I devoured this book in the span of hours. DEVOURED. As in: could not put it down, did not want to move, eat, sleep, take care of animals- NOTHING. I was completely 100% engaged and I felt like I was in California hanging out with the characters. The pacing was perfect, I loved the storyline, the characters were fun and funny and I loved getting to know their personalities. Yes folks: Emma has created characters I care about AND a fun storyline with just enough angst. This book did not weigh me down with its seriousness and drama- to me it was the perfect blend.
Where to start? As I said, we have a great cast of characters. The story is told from Maddie and Braden's alternating POV's, which of course I loved. Maddie is sweet and does not have a reputation for being one of 'those' girls.(Which is why Braden is all for this challenge. ) She has an innocence about her, but I didn't see her as overly naïve. Maddie does carry some family baggage. Her relationship with her older brother Pearce is very strained and not a good one at all. She wants to steer clear of guys like him and she thinks Braden is just like him. Braden definitely fits the bill of the typical fraternity jerk. He acts like he's God's gift to women and is cocky and overconfident he can get Maddie to fall in love with him. He has never been in a serious relationship before and even has to Google what to do on dates. He definitely doesn't think with the proper organ. It really took me a long time to warm up to Braden. Maddie started showing her true colors a lot faster than he did and I found myself questioning his genuineness.

However, both Maddie and Braden begin to realize the other is more than they ever thought. Watching them struggle with their feelings and trying to figure out what was real and part of the game was adorable. I loved watching Braden's transformation especially. He was quite confused as to how he could be feelings these things for her when she was supposed to be nothing more than a challenge. However, she finds herself being able to open up to him and he soon finds himself wanting to be the one to comfort her and protect her from the bad things in her life. Yet, when your whole relationship is built on a lie, how do you overcome that?

We get to learn a lot about their friends in this book. Megan is Braden's best friend and she is primarily in charge of Operation Play the Player. However, I think deep down she is really just playing matchmaker for her two friends. I really liked Megan, so I'm glad she got her own book. Kay is also a friend of Maddie's and is hilarious. She is bold, blunt, and not afraid to say what's on her mind. Definitely loved her humor! Aston is another fun character. He is another playboy like Braden and is known for taking a different girl to his room every night. Ryan, their frat brother is a little more subdued as he has a serious girlfriend, Lila. I feel like all of these guys are instrumental to this story and I loved how close knit of a group they were.

Watching Maddie and Braden's relationship start out as a game and then turn into something more is a lot of fun and I loved it. What starts off as something so simple, becomes more challenging and complex than either of them could hope for. I loved that Braden was able to be the guy that Maddie needed and how she was the girl to make him realize that falling in love isn't such a bad thing after all.

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  1. Loved your review :) I have the sample for this one on my iPad but just haven't checked it out yet, but for 99c I think I'll just go buy it now lol!

    I love the idea that this book has some strong secondary characters - sometimes I find authors forget how important they are to the story. I'm so excited to read this one now!!! :D

    Amy @ The Reading Realm

    1. Yay thanks Amy! I really liked this one. And yes- secondary characters can really perk a book up and bring it to life! Especially when you have a college setting!

  2. I am loving the sound of this book!! For real! I like that the book has a great cast of characters, as you said, and that it also switches POVs! I'm really loving the alternating POVs from the female and males perspective!! I just enjoying getting in character's heads :D

    I'm so adding this one to my list! Great review!!

    Magen Corrie
    ~Corrie the Book Crazed Girl

    1. :D Alternating POV's are my absolute favorites. I think they add so much more depth to a book! And when it's just one POV, I sometimes don't see that genuine connection between MC's. I hope you like it when you read it!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading this! Glad you guys tweeted about it so I could buy. =)


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