Review: Love and Other Games

love and other gamesReviewed by Shelly

It’s that time of year when we have a plethora of seasonal stories, in this case – winter. What’s different about this anthology is that it’s based around the Winter Olympics. As these stories happen during the same sequence of day, they’re concomitant and happen over a very short time frame – things, including sex, happen really quickly. So get your cup of hot chocolate and sit by a roaring fire and settle in for a good time. I’m going to review each story as they appear in the ARC that I received – the sequence does differ from what’s on GoodReads.

Author: Melinda Dozier
Title: Trouble with Gold

U.S. Snowboarder Ty Madsen’s hard work has paid off. He’s made it to where the best of the best compete for gold – the Winter Olympics in Zurich. Nadia Hoffman has put in her hard work too, she’s in her home country and is competing for something different from gold; she’s aiming for her dream job on the Olympic Committee. Once Ty gets a hold of Nadia his priorities shift can they hold on long past the Olympics are over?

Ty is the troublemaker in his group, as a matter of fact his nickname is Trouble. At 25, he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he knows what he wants out of the Olympics. I liked Ty fine, but I didn’t get a good sense of his motivation, he seemed to be a go with the moment guy. Nadia is a good girl without too much fun in her life; and whose father has been prepping her for the Olympic Committee for a long time.

The dynamics between this green eyed couple were okay – just way too rushed and without depth. It’s a fun little read that read more like a HFN than an HEA.

Rating: C

Author: Kara Leigh Miller
Title: Ice Gold

U.S. Hockey player Colton Campbell lives for the advantages of being one of the best – the women, the fame and yes, going for gold at the Olympics. American Brenna Jessup is the staff photographer for Frankly Photos and contrary to her wishes she’s been selected to be the team photographer for the Hockey Team.

This is a fun romp about bad boy Colton who gets all the girls but can’t seem to get this particular girl. This one started out with promise, but the sex within the first 36 hours of meeting ruined the idea that I could take this seriously. There’s a scene with nekkid pictures and Instagram that I couldn’t believe a professional would do but I guess that makes for a better read. The end was way fast especially with the ‘I love you’. With that being said, the dialogue was funny, angsty, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Rating: C

Author: Aria Kane
Title: The Girl behind the Gold

Lia Milonas is a Greek aerial skier. She’s at the Olympics to win gold and to save her family’s failing farm. Lia standoff attitude has not endeared to either the public or to sponsors, so how’s she going to get the money for the farm? Enter American reporter Brandon James who got his own agenda while at the games. Can these two put their heads together that will benefit both?

This was my least favorite story. I never warmed up to either of these characters. Even though I knew her motivation for what she was doing, I always just felt as if I was just reading words on a page. Brandon was forgettable, even though I just read this in the last 24 hours, I truthfully can’t remember too much about him.

Rating: D

Author: Ana Blaze
Title: Worth more than Gold

This one had me from about the first page. It threw me for a second because the writing is different from the first three stories. Blaze did a lot with these few pages. This is the only story where I got my HEA and made the entire read worthwhile. Amy Pierce is big sister and manager to U.S. ice skater Lexi Pierce. Amy’s best friend wants her to branch out and have a little fun while they’re in the Olympic Village and Amy’s run out of excuses. On her first outing, she meets Norwegian ski jumper Erik Andresen.

Amy’s inner voice was fun. She had some hang ups that started when she got boobs at thirteen and realized that she wouldn’t be the athlete she was being trained for. So there was some lost dreams and aspirations but she bounced back from and still came out happy. She thinks that Erik’s totally out of her realm but he’s not convinced and thinks that Amy’s his good luck charm. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he can’t keep his hands off her. I would go on but it’s a novella and I’ll spoil it for you if I did.

Rating: B

These stories all had in common that the women adapt their ‘good girl, no fun’ status while away from home. Made me wonder how they’ll be once they returned to their previous lives. In the end, who knew the Olympics is a Mecca for sexual escapades!

Happy Reading Folks!

Overall rating: C

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Love and Other Games
by Ana Blaze, Aria Kane,
Kara Leigh Miller & Melinda Dozier
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance

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