Thursday, December 17, 2015

review || GAME WINNER { blog tour } by Collette West

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Self-Published | December 4, 2015 | Sport Romance
New York Kings, book 6


Playing center field for the New York Kings, Jake Woodbury has one of the most prestigious jobs in all of sports. To the world, he's the good-looking, soft-spoken minister's son who’s survived celebrity without a hint of scandal. But, inside, he's reeling from a secret that seems destined to haunt him forever.

Scarlett Moore is one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, famous for singing about her celebrity ex-boyfriends. The CEO of her record label has carefully honed her provocative image since she was fifteen. Sex sells, and Scarlett’s well aware that it takes more than talent to stay on top.

One thing is clear: She’s the last thing Jake needs. And he’s the do-gooder jock she should avoid at all costs. But when the game begins, all bets are off.
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{ about collette west } .

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at

She is the author of the New York Kings series which includes: NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER, GAME ON, PERFECT GAME, INSIDE GAME and GAME WINNER.

{ excerpt } .

Jackson and Colt are wrong. The reaction I had to her voice was akin to something holy. Yeah, I’ve had strong feelings for a girl before, and I’ve been burned badly because of it. But there was something so remarkably pure and genuine about the whole encounter with Scarlett that I refuse to see it tainted.

I take a knee and face the outfield wall.

Bowing my head, minister’s son that I am, I begin whispering the quick prayer I always say before the start of every game.

"Dear Lord, please protect me and my teammates from injury and help us to play to the best of our ability in the field and at the plate."

But, tonight, I don't stop there. I add in one last request.

"And, God, if you really did send Scarlett Moore into my life for a reason, please give me a sign that she's someone worth taking a chance on.” I release the breath I was holding. “Amen."

I raise my head and immediately notice that Scarlett's on the big screen again, only she's somewhere in the stands this time, ready to watch the game. But, as the camera pans away, I put a hand down on the outfield grass to steady myself.

Turns out she's sitting directly behind home plate, right next to Roberta.

{ review } .

First -- definitely one of my favorite non-just-naked-male covers in the sport romance genre. I don't know what it is about the diamond and the couple... but the cover is gorgeous to me. I also love that the models fit the characters.

Second -- I haven't read anything by this author, so it's safe to say this was the first I'd heard of the New York Kings baseball team. I rather like this group of men... Well, for the most part. Some of the bachelors of the team have some growing up to do.

As for this book? This one deals with one of the few bachelors on the team, and his desire for more -- a better batting average, a better life, a better girl. He's done the 'regular' thing, but she left him for the pitcher, and Jake "Woodchucker" Woodbury has been in a slump.

Now Jake... he had his country bumpkin moments for me, and they were generally all laced with "preacher's kid" moments. He didn't often scream 'alpha' to me, but he was an enjoyable male lead (and I loved him in the epilogue). I love that when he first notices Scarlett, it's when she's singing the National Anthem. He's one of those players who you watch during the anthem -- standing still, maybe mouthing the words, but beyond that, full respect for the flag. His being drawn to the voice, him turning his head when he didn't normally? It was as if something was drawing him toward her (if Jake would tell you, he'd likely say it was God, both during the anthem and after he'd asked for a sign).

This was a cute story. Some of the ball players were more high school than annoying jock, but other than those few times, the players were definitely falling in the stereotype. I found Jake to be a bit more naive than his character truly called for, but he was still fun to read. Then there was Scarlett, who made an image for herself -- an image that definitely doesn't go along well with preacher's kid turned All-American baseball player, but these two were definitely the right mix for one another.

{ giveaway } .

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