Today is my stop on Emma Hart’s The Love Game book tour and I shall be giving you my review of this amazingly brilliant book.
If you click on the banner, it will take you to the GoodReads page of The Love Game for you to add to your TBR list 😉
So without further ado, here is my review 🙂
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 about Braden and Maddie. They have only been in university for a couple of weeks, but Braden already has a reputation for leading girls on, sleeping with them then dumping them straight after. But it doesn’t stop them coming back for more.
He’s everything Maddie hates.
So one night at the guy’s frat house party, and after watching girls ogle at Braden, the girls challenge Maddie to stop the playboy antics and make Braden fall in love with her in a month. Sleep with him then dump him. Getting a taste of his own medicine. She reluctantly agrees.
Over the other side of the room, Braden is watching Maddie and he’s wanted her in his bed for weeks. His friends also challenge him to make her fall in love with him in a month, and sleep with her then dump her. He also agrees.
What neither of them anticipated was that the more time they spend together, the more they share with each other, the more the rules of the game are being blurred from just being a game to win, to falling in love with one another.
But what happens when it’s all out in the open? They both played the game, they both hurt one another but can they get past that and be together once more…for real this time though?
The first page. THE very first page and I knew that I couldn’t put The Love Game down. The first book I read of Emma Hart’s was Never Forget and when I read the synopsis for this one of Goodreads, well, I just had to get this book in my life asap. Receiving an Advanced Copy to review as part of the book tour, I gobbled it up in less than 24 hours. Seriously, that is how hooked I was because I needed to know how it ended. If it did, indeed, end badly or happily. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book based on a story like this. Where a girl plays the player to get him to fall in love, have sex than dump him and a boy plays to get her to fall in love, have sex then dump her. They pretty much are playing the same game, but they are both are oblivious to it. I loved this concept and desperately needed to finish the book as soon as I started it.
Emma’s writing style is flawless. The Love Game had me captivated from the first page. It was of pure brilliance and I was feeling all sorts of emotions throughout the book. Happiness, sadness, anger. It had me laughing, crying, shaking my kindle at the pair of them, wanting them to stop with the games and confess. Confess the game they were playing, confess how they both ended up falling for one another. Books that evoke such emotion, in my eyes, are the best kind.
Maddie is a great character. She moved to California from Brooklyn for school. That and to try and start afresh from the pain in her past. But no matter where you go, the past has a way of following you in some way. She was such a strong person, determined not to let Braden get to her, to hump and dump him, hurt him, like he has done with so many people. She truly hated everything he stood for as he reminded her of her brother. But throughout the book, you find out that although shes a strong character, she is also vulnerable, still in pain over the distress of her past and the present, in the form of her brother’s presence. I really liked the fact that although she was playing Braden, she seemed to trust him enough to tell him about her past and her fears. I felt that was so brave of her to do that.
Over the course of the book, she blossoms. She blossoms from someone who was mildly timid, not wanting to get drunk or swear, as it reminded her of her past, to someone who was out-going, who tried not to let her past define her. She grew more confident in herself and the game/her feelings to realizing that Braden isn’t like her brother at all. They are nothing alike and being scared of that fact was nothing but a blip because Braden was always there for her, through everything that happened. Throughout her pain, her feelings were pure. And the game just made her realize that she needed to let someone love her; let someone into her life and trust them.
Braden had me going in round-a-bouts. We first meet him, he’s flirty, cocky, the playboy of the university and he wants Maddie in his bed badly. When he wants something badly, he always gets it. At times I hated what he was doing. He was very clear with his feelings over the game but then I thought about how I liked Maddie but she was doing the exact same thing to him. Hypercritical? Yes, but I made myself believe she was doing it to stop him sleeping around and he was only doing it for a shag. Then at other times I completely loved him. He was realizing just how hard playing this game was. It truly was a dilemma but one I bloody loved reading.
It really was a bad and forth love/hate with Braden but he showed the true Braden. That there is more to him that his status. He’s caring, protective, funny and will do anything for his friends. I wanted to hate him near the end, but I just couldn’t. He wore his heartbreak on his sleeve and I just needed everything to be okay, for him to stop the moping around and win back the love of his life. Although the game started off as a game, it truly was a face for both of them because everything they did with one another, that was pure.
I love, love, love dual POVS. Especially in this book and what it is all about. Playing a game. It was brilliant to get into both Maddie and Braden’s heads and see exactly how they were both playing each other and completely oblivious to one another’s games. How they both thought they had one another wrapped round their fingers. But I also liked how you went through a journey with both characters in the POV. Following them down a path of realizing this wasn’t a game anymore and their feelings for one another were changing but they had to keep the feelings inside and keep up an appearance for their friends. I thoroughly enjoyed their journeys into the unknown, into wanting more from each other than what they initially thought they wanted.
I pretty much fell in love from the word ‘get go’ with Kay, Lila and Megan. HOLY CRAP, these girls are amazing. The lines they come out with, ohhh, they had me in stitches, so much so, I was highlighting every single line I loved from them. They are funny, sarcastic, and supportive and their closeness was lovely to see. To watch they be there for one another, especially Maddie when family and Braden problems arise. They are the kind of friends that I would love to have (and I do, to some extent). They are pure brilliance.
I’m going to share a few lines that I LOVED and had me laughing so hard:
Lila: “Knock knock on your cock”
Kay: “Lurking outside girls’ dorms isn’t a good look for you.” And “You have a stalker down here” (About Braden)
Megan: “The way to Braden’s heart is through his dick.”
That is all you are getting, because seriously, you have to find and read these lines by yourself. They were just a little teaser as to what you’ll expect from these girls!
The love Game from me gets 5 stars. I was like a fish getting caught in the waters. I fell for this book hook, line and sinker. It’s a journey of love, game playing, heartbreak, trust and growing up. You see each character grow up in their own way; you see how love conquers all even when you don’t want it to and that the two people who just wanted to play one another, are really the two people who are meant to be together.
I DEFINITELY recommend The Love Game.