Author: Karen Erickson
Series: Game #2
Release Date: October 28, 2013
My Rating: 4 Stars
Willow Cavanaugh would be happy if she never saw cocky football star Nick Hamilton again. Sure, their fling was the hottest she’d had, but he’s way too much of a playboy to settle down with one woman. Plus, she’s got her heart set on a piece of real estate for her catering business—and Nick owns that property.
Nick may be at the top of his game, but all he wants is a second chance with Willow. When he offers to sell her his commercial space if she agrees to a series of dates with him, their chemistry is so scintillating that jumping back into bed seems like an inevitability. But Willow’s decided all’s fair in sex and blackmail. Little does she know, Nick’s playing to win…and she’s the prize.
“But...wherever you wanna go, darlin’, I’m game. My treat. You could order fifty lobsters for dinner, and I won’t protest.”
She grimaced. “I hate lobster.”
“You do not,” he said, frowning. “You grew up here. You can pluck a lobster straight out of the ocean from your dad’s deck.”
“Just because I grew up here doesn’t mean I have to love seafood.” She scrunched her nose. How she hated explaining this. No one ever got it. “I’ve never been a big fan. Lobster’s sorta freaky. Crab is too much work, not enough reward. I don’t mind shrimp, though. You can just pop them in your mouth and eat them.”
“I’ll take you out for all you can eat shrimp, then. You can stuff your face until you wanna burst,” he suggested eagerly.
Laughing, she shook her head. “I don’t think so. I’d rather stay in tonight with you.” She sobered up quick. The more they stayed in the better. This so- called relationship needed to stay quiet. One mention of it to the media, local or bigger, and all hell was going to break loose. As in, her father would have an epic freak-out.
“We always do that, though. Stay in.” He scowled. “Aren’t you getting bored?”
Oh, no. “Are you?” God, he was already tired of her. Really, she shouldn’t care. She should be glad. The faster she got rid of him, the better.
“No. Hell, no. Anytime I’m with you is good, Will.”
He reached for her, settling those big hands on her hips. Dipping his head, he bent his knees a little so he could peer directly into her eyes. “Are you getting sick of me yet?”
She pressed her lips together to keep from saying what she really wanted. I could never get sick of you. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
“No. Well. Your constant sweet talk is getting sort of old.” She rolled her eyes, putting on an act. Nothing Nick did when they were together was getting old.
His mouth curved upward. “What are you talking about?”
“All the darlin’s and the sugars and the princess remarks. I think you say that sort of thing so you never have to worry about the name of the girl you’re with,” she teased.
His face turned frightfully solemn. “You really think that?”
Uh oh. She shrugged. “I’ve wondered.”
“Really.” His fingers bit into her flesh, he held her so tight.
“Maybe?” He had her doubting herself. How did he do that?
Dope. He constantly keeps you on edge.
“Trust me, I always know who I’m with when I’m with you.” He kissed her—the softest, sweetest kiss ever. So soft, so sweet, she immediately wanted to weep when he pulled away to murmur against her lips, “Willow.”
He never called her Willow. Ever.
Game for Trouble has it all. Hot professional football player? Check. Second chance romance? Check. Crazy, passionate chemistry? Double check. In Game for Marriage we met Willow Cavanaugh, Sheridan's best friend, and Nick Hamilton, Jared's teammate and friend. There was some hint at a deeper past between Willow and Nick but, it never came to light in the first book. Game for Trouble picks up more, or less, where GfM left off. Willow and Nick have been spotted smooching a few times but, Willow is dead set against allowing it to happen again. Instead she has decided to throw herself into her work and finally lease out a storefront for her business. Little does she know that Nick owns the building she is trying to lease. Nick is fine with the monetary aspects of their contract but, he wants more from Willow. He wants a second chance at the relationship he was forced to throw away years ago.
I am such a huge fan of second chance stories. I love that the characters already have a history and we can jump into the meat of the problems without the whole getting to know you bit. Especially with Willow and Nick, these two just start out with banter and laugh out loud interactions. I could tell from GfM that Willow was a little hellion, and she definitely solidifies that role in Game for Trouble. She tries so hard to resist Nick but, neither one of them can squash their lingering feelings. Willow stood up for herself in every aspect of this book, she is definitely not a wallflower just waiting to fall back into Nick's bed. Nick on the other hand, is pulling out all the stops to get Willow back in his life for good. Nick and Willow definitely have an "I hate you, I love you" relationship. They push and pull until they eventually collide and decide to come to terms with their past and their present situation.
I couldn't help but cheer for this couple. While they haven't necessarily lived tragic lives, they haven't had the easiest ones either. In Game for Trouble they have to defy the odds that everyone else is placing on them as well as the obstacles they create for themselves. It was not an easy journey for these two but, I definitely think it was worth it in the end. We get to see more of Willow's sensitive side in GfT that we weren't privy to in GfM, and we also get to delve deeper into Nick's character. Nick, for me, is basically the perfect man. He's sweet and caring but also goes after what he wants, and let's not forget the hot factor, because he has that in abundance as well :) I really can't wait for another book in this series. Karen Erickson has a penchant for creating such lovable characters that you cannot wait to read more about. Her books are equal parts hilarious and steamy and I have yet to find one that I could put down! Game for Trouble is out TODAY (10/28) so make sure to pick up a copy!!
*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
Links to Buy:
Connect with Karen: