Release Day Review: The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 1st 2015
Links: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

A beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.

NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friends. That ends now.

Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed.

Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away; they live vastly different lives in separate cities. And Dex is looking for a forever girl. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he’s her forever man.

Game On

My god. I don’t know how Kristen Callihan does it, but each book in the Game On series (easily one of the best NA series I’ve ever read) gets better and better. I didn’t think I could love anyone as much as I loved Gray from The Friend Zone (my review here), but oh, how wrong I was. Dex is just… perfection. An absolute wonderful hero I’ve fallen so, so, sooooo hard for. AH, I can’t even fully describe how much I love him! And this series!!! This is truly one of the top NA series that I’d recommend to EVERYONE. The lovable, mature characters, the fantastic writing, the humor, the heartache… Kristen Callihan mixes all of these into a potent combination that will steal your heart and take your breath away.

I see Ethan Dexter; he shines for me. And I burn hotter than the sun when I’m in his orbit.

We previously met Dex and Fiona in The Friend Zone, and they were quite the opposites. Dex is quiet and reserved, the go-to guy when his teammates need advice. Fi is an out-going, feisty girl who doesn’t hold anything back. He’s a virgin and a football player; she’s open about her sexuality and hates dating football players. Fi doesn’t really notice Dex, but he’s had his eye on her since the moment they first meet. And for two years, Dex has kept to the shadows, always watching her from afar, but one dare and kiss changes everything, and this sexy lumbersexual is determined to fight for the one woman he wants.

“You’ve ruined me, Fiona. I’m not sure I know how to live without you anymore.”

I’m just a pile of melted goo now, after finishing this book. Dex makes my heart practically SING – he’s romantic, sweet, thoughtful, patient. He’s just the perfect man for Fi, and she’s the perfect woman for him. Fi gets Dex to open up and show his true self only to her, while Dex gives Fi an anchor, a foundation. God, I seriously loved this couple. The two of them truly bring out the best and most out of each other. You can’t read this book and NOT smile and clutch at your heart at seeing them interact with each other, at them being TOGETHER. Oh, and did I mention how freaking HOT this book is!? You will seriously need a fan because the chemistry between Dex and Fi is off. the. charts. And Dex’s dirty mouth… *flails* I loved it!

“Being with you. Loving you—You make me feel everything.”

I haven’t rated a book 5 stars in quite a while, but what better way to get me out of my book funk than with Dex and Fi!? The Game Plan is another brilliant, heart-wrenching, utterly romantic addition to this series that I will forever adore. Fi and Dex’s story isn’t perfect, as they have their ups and downs, but their story was written perfectly and I couldn’t imagine it better. I honestly never wanted this book to end. And, another plus, we get to see the other couples from the previous series, and the new NFL teammates! The banters, the bromances, and the camaraderie were all a joy to read. Gah, this book. Just thinking about it makes me smile. I loved it with my whole heart – I can’t recommend it enough!

“I love you. I don’t say that enough. Just know that whatever I do, wherever I am, it is a constant refrain in my heart. You color my world, Fi.”

5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Game On series

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

#1 ~ The Hook Up: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Friend Zone: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Game Plan: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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Cover Reveal + Excerpt: The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

I’m SO incredibly thrilled to share the cover of The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan, out Nov. 1st! There’s also a fantastic excerpt below!

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 1st 2015
Add to Goodreads

A beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.

NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friends. That ends now.

Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed.

Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away; they live vastly different lives in separate cities. And Dex is looking for a forever girl. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he’s her forever man.

Game On

Buy Links:
Amazon • iTunes

Isn’t the cover just GORGEOUS!?

Now here’s an excerpt from The Game Plan! ❤

excerpt button

I grin up at him. “You know, before this, I’d have taken you for a hard rock, or maybe even a bluegrass fan.”

“It’s the beard, isn’t it,” he asks.

“And the man-bun.”

He laughs, a short rumble of sound. “Want me to let it down?”

Yes. Maybe.

“Not necessary. Man-buns are hot. I blame Jason Momoa. There was only so much watching him bang Khaleesi the female population could take before they wanted their own Khal Drogo.”

Shit. I really don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Because it sounds a lot like flirting to me. Instinct tells me flirting with Ethan Dexter isn’t something to do lightly. And there’s the fact that I don’t go for athletes. At all. I don’t care how fit they are. Or how confident. I don’t like sports. Football bores me. Oh, I know tons about the sport—kind of impossible not to in my family—but I don’t want to pretend that I care when I’d rather talk about other things.

Dex’s eyes crinkle again, and he turns toward me, leaning an elbow on the table. “Doesn’t Momoa have a beard?”

I wave my hand. “Who has time to look at his beard when his muscles are on display?”

I most certainly do not look at Dex’s phenomenal arms.

“So your stance on beards is?” His gaze so strong I feel it in my toes.

My breathing picks up. “Don’t particularly like them.”

It’s the truth. And yet I can’t help but look at his. It’s dark, framing his mouth, which should be a turnoff for me. Only it draws all my attention there. To the shape of his mouth—the upper lip a gentle curve, the lower lip fuller, almost a pout. There’s something slightly illicit about the whole effect.

I clear my throat, glance up, and find him watching me through lowered lids. He doesn’t seem particularly put out by my frankness.

“What don’t you like about them?”

Is he serious?

He stares at me.

I guess he is.

Taking a quick sip of my drink, I search for an answer. “They’re just so…fuzzy. Prickly.”

He moves in, not crowding me, but putting himself at arms’ reach. He smells faintly of cloves and oranges. It must be his aftershave or cologne, but it works for me.

I’m distracted by it and almost jump when he speaks again. “Do you know this based on experience, or are you making an assumption?”

My gaze narrows. “Aren’t you the philosopher.”

“You didn’t answer the question.”

“Fine. Assumption.”

His lips quirk. “You should find out if your assumption is true before you condemn the beard.”

“Is this some sort of creepy way to get me to touch your beard?”

A challenge flashes in his eyes. “There are a few guys at the bar sporting beards. You could go ask them. But I figure since we know each other…”

“Not that well.”

“You’d rather ask a stranger?”

“You’re assuming I care enough to ask, Slick.”

His teeth shine white in the shadows of the club. “I know you’re curious. You’re fairly twitching with wanting to know.”

I flatten my hands against the table and glare. Is it just me, or is he closer? Close enough that I can see his eyes are hazel, lighter around his cornea with a starburst pattern. I wish I could see the colors, but he’s painted in shades of blue and gray right now.

And he’s watching me. Patient. Calculating. Tempting.

“It’s always the quiet ones,” I mutter before taking a breath. “Okay, I’ll pet your fuzzy face.”

“Hold up.” Without hesitation, he reaches for my drink and takes a sip. “Liquid courage.”

A strangled laugh leaves me. “Because I’m sooo scary.”

“You have no idea, Cherry.”

I think I growl at him. I definitely want to give his precious beard a good, hard tug. But he simply lifts his brows at me. “Get on with it, then.”

This cheeky bastard is totally playing me. And here I am falling into his trap. Because I cannot look away from his beard now. More specifically, his lips, which are parted just slightly. An invitation. A dare.

Shit. I’ve never been very good at ignoring a dare.

I hate that my hand trembles as I reach up to touch him. He stays perfectly still, his arm casually slung on the edge of the booth behind me, his body turned toward mine. But I don’t miss the way his breathing has kicked up just slightly.

I hesitate, shy almost. Hells bells, I’m only going to touch a bit of facial hair. Why does it feel like we’re two kids tucked in a dark corner, playing a game of “I’ll show you mine”?

Annoyed with myself, I close the distance between us.

Reading Order: Game On series

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

#1 ~ The Hook Up: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Friend Zone: My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Game Plan: Ebook • Goodreads (Nov. 1, 2015)

about the author button

Kristen CallihanKristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. She is a three-time RITA nominee, and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads


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