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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review: The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson


Ahhhh!!! I LOVE this series to death! I can't believe I've never picked it up before now! So much goodness packed in each book!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: September 29, 2015

Some people follow the rules. . .

A professor of forensic anthropology, James Donovan is the reasonable sibling among the passionate, impulsive Donovans. But there's nothing reasonable about his reaction to baker Gracie Roberts. She's all wild curls and mouth-watering curves, as deliciously tempting as the sugary treats she's famous for--and twice as irritating. But before long, James decides that getting a taste of her is one indulgence he can't pass up. . .

Some people play to win. . .

Independent, smart, and sexy, Gracie's year-long dry spell has her itching for a man. Responsible, health-obsessed James? Not in a million years! She needs a guy who knows how to let loose! But when James sets out to show her just how satisfying a disciplined man can be when pleasure is at stake, she learns just how sweet--and spicy--he really is.

Have James and Gracie found the recipe for love?


Forensic Anthropology professor James Donovan is the calm, reasonable sibling in the loud and passionate Donovan clan. His devotion to his health and fitness is well known among his inner circle but to baker Gracie Roberts it’s one trait in a list of things that annoy her about him. Unfortunately, with his sister married to her best friend, James and Gracie see each other a lot. And every time they do, they can’t help but argue like two five year olds who haven’t had their naps.

With a wedding coming up, James and Gracie decide to spend some time together to try and at least come to an understanding, instead, the clothes start flying off and to both their surprise, they seem to get a long quite well. But with their history and differences, neither thinks it can last forever.




James and Gracie were so much fun to watch that I breezed through The Name of the Game in a matter of hours. It was a verbal tennis match between these two for the first quarter of the book and while their friends and family might have found it exhausting, their constant bickering made me laugh. Where James was socially repressed, Gracie was outgoing. It was a great reversal in my opinion and gave a new perspective on the sexual tension between the two.

I don’t know if I would call The Name of the Game a small town romance since some of the characters live in Chicago and some live in the small town of Revival but they are an interesting bunch of characters whose lives are intertwined with each other in an interesting way. There’s Maddie Donovan, James’ sister who is married to Mitch Riley, Gracie’s best friend. Mitch’s sister Cecilia is engaged to Shane Donovan who is James’ oldest brother. Maddie’s best friend Penelope has a thing for the youngest Donovan brother, Evan. Revival’s sheriff, Charlie is friends with Gracie but used to date her as well and Gracie’s brother Sam? Well he owns Revival’s only bar and has yet to show interest in anyone. Got all that? It’s why James and Gracie just had to stop bickering, they were going to be seeing each other a lot!

James and Gracie’s relationship while smoking hot, also had a lot of development in it. They went from antagonizing strangers who didn’t understand each other, to lovers who didn’t know how to handle each other out of bed, to a couple who didn’t think they’d last. Their relationship was something I enjoyed. Every part of, the bickering, the confusion, the sexual tension, the longing, made for one really enjoyable ride. And when James finally loses his cool? So sexy, every single time. If you’ve got a “stern professor” fantasy, James certainly fulfills it! I’ll never dismiss another hero who is a professor again.

Really though, I had fun with this one. There was just enough snark, sex and good times to keep me up reading. Jennifer Dawson is a new to me author and I almost passed this book over but I’m glad I didn’t because The Name of the Game was such a good time that I had a hard time saying goodbye to it! The great news is that it’s not the last book in the series. There’s another brother and I’m hoping Gracie’s brother Sam and her ex-fling Charlie get a story of their own as well as Maddie’s other childhood friend Sophie.

Final Verdict: I can’t wait for the next book. It’s going to be an eternal test in patience…




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