Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Book Review: She's Got Game

By Sara Steven

Travel blogger Gwen Williams is about to live the dream—competing in the annual American Board Game Championship. She’s up against some stiff competition, namely legendary gamer and four-time champ Cody McKay. The seriously buff hottie and shameless flirt is going all-out to seduce her. That’s when Gwen lays her cards on the table: She never, ever mixes gaming with romance . . . until resisting Cody becomes a losing proposition.

As Gwen gives in to temptation, everything’s in play for a major heartache. With the rounds heating up and players eliminated, she knows she’s gambling a lot more than a seat at the final table in Vegas. But Cody’s kisses promise more than a fleeting romance. If she plays her cards right, Gwen just might walk off with the championship and the man of her dreams. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

This is the first book I’ve read by Laura Heffernan, and my first venture into the Gamer Girls series, and while I’m not a self-professed gamer I do dabble with the occasional multi-player game board. Following Gwen’s steps while she works her way up to the American Board Game Championship reminded me of those nights in with my husband and his friends, the hours spent meticulously planning and strategizing, in order to come out on top!

Gwen’s personality is a contradiction. On the one hand, she’s fiercely independent and doesn’t want anyone or anything to stand in the way of that. Yet, there is a vulnerable side to her that craves affection and doesn’t want to be alone. Those conflicting emotions flare up when she runs into Cody. He’s a gamer, and she’s set strict rules on dating fellow gamers, yet she can’t help but feel drawn to him. I appreciated the back and forth where he’s concerned, how in one moment she can feel herself caving in on her rules, then reminds herself of the rules and backs out on making any sort of leap with Cody. I got the impression that Gwen is child-like in many ways, most likely a side-effect of the childhood she’s had and what she’s seen growing up. I think it’s hard for her to handle her emotions, getting the best of her at the worst of times.

I liked the two of them together, a couple of competitors who aren’t sure if they are willing to risk their dreams in order to take a chance on potential love. So often it felt as though Cody could do no right in Gwen’s eyes, but it was an obvious defense mechanism in order to protect herself from potentially making huge mistakes that might change the status quo of the life she’s used to, and the freedom and independence she desperately wants to cling to, another mode of protection. They are wonderfully flawed characters who jigsaw a beautiful picture when they come together, but it takes two to make it work, and it’s hard to know at times what that means for the both of them, either coupled or separately.

It was nice to see a gaming story from the female’s perspective, a viewpoint well represented by Gwen, and it was nice to hear that she wasn’t the only one showing up at the gaming table. Gwen introduces us to fellow gamers, male AND female, giving us the play-by-play with insight into a world that I don’t think a whole lot of people know about or understand. What I do know, is that there are other books in the Gamer Girl series, and I plan on playing my own cards right and checking them out!

Thanks to Laura Heffernan for the book in exchange for an honest review. She's Got Game can be purchased here.

More by Laura Heffernan:

No comments: