June 26, 2013

Spotlight on: The Game Series by Emma Hart

Playing For Keeps (The Game, Book 2)
by Emma Hart
Genre:  New Adult Romance

Purchase Links:
Amazon US 
Amazon UK 
Barnes and Noble 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes the second book in The Game series, and the story everyone wanted after The Love Game.
She's in love with him. 
He's trying not to love her. 
One night changes everything.
Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper – not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he’d ever built and tear them down without even realising she was doing it.

Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn’t on Megan’s to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she’s come to know, she can’t walk away.

Aston’s childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it’s clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he’s buried deep down.

What he doesn’t want to face. What he’s fought against for so long.

And they have to do it all without Braden finding out.

Keeping a relationship secret has never been harder.

**This book can be read as a standalone novel, but reading The Love Game (The Game, #1) beforehand is advised.**


“You okay?”
I shake my head. “No. Every time. Every fucking time he brings her up. I thought he wouldn’t in front of you, but he did.”
“He has his own pain,” she says softly. “It doesn’t excuse it, but he does. He feels guilty for what happened to you – that he couldn’t stop it.”
My mind reels for a second and I look down at her. “He told you that?”
She nods, letting her hand drop from my back and standing in front of me. I stop.
“You’ve never let him tell you.” She reaches up and cups my face. “He hurts, too, Aston. You both hurt. It’s not something that will go away, but you can’t let it rule your lives. If you let pain rule you you’ll get lost in it.”
“What if I’m already lost?”
“You’re not lost. You’re hiding, but you’re not lost. I won’t let you get lost.”
I let my hands come up and rest on her back, pulling her into me. “What if there’s no map?”
“Then I’ll get lost with you,” she whispers. “I won’t let you let them win, Aston. I won’t let you get sucked in by those demons. I won’t let that happen. I care too much.”
And she does. I can hear it in her voice.
She wraps her arms around my neck, and I hold her to me tighter, our foreheads resting against each other.
“I’ll try, Megs,” I promise. “I can’t say I won’t, but as long as you’re here, I think I’ll be okay.”
“And you’ll talk to your Gramps? Just once?”
“I’ll think about it. How about we just focus on stopping me from getting lost for a bit?”
“You just need a place to aim for, that’s all. You need a place to go to.”
“Go on then.” I smile. “Give me a place.”
“Okay.” She pauses for a second, closing her eyes and chewing her lip.
“I’m waiting…” I tease her.
Her blue eyes open, shocking me with their vitality. “Aim for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“I don’t need to aim for the sky. The only star I’ll ever need is standing right in front of me.” I brush my lips over hers. “Maybe the place I need to aim for is nowhere other than where I am right now.”
“Maybe I’d go with you wherever you ended up.”
“Maybe I’d never ask that of you.”
“Maybe you wouldn’t need to ask. Maybe you’ll never need to ask me for anything, because I’ll always be here.”
Playing For Keeps (The Game, #2)Playing For Keeps by Emma Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well if I thought that I loved The Love Game, Book One in this series, then I am freaking obsessed with Playing For Keeps. This book took the high level of expectation set by book one and just blew it out of the water. It was just. that. good.

I am totally in love with Aston. In book one, the only side we get to see of him is the womanizing, arrogant, douchebag that is constantly sleeping with random girls, and outrageously flirting with everything that walks by. In this book, we see something else entirely. And it will break your heart and make you fall in love with him all at once. You see, Aston's whole persona is an act. A shield that is in place to keep anyone from getting too close to him and learning the truth about him and his past. However, he knows that Megan, his best friend Braden's best friend, is dangerous. He knows that she's the kind of girl that if he let get close enough would be able to tear down all of his walls and expose all of his demons. He knows that she would make him feel again.
Megan....The one girl that's dangerous. The one that could strip away my devil-may-care attitude and put me on my sorry ass. She's the one girl that could make me feel again. She's the one girl that could shatter what I've tried for so long to stick back together.
So all through book one we see the harmless flirting between Aston and Megan slowly take on a more serious tone. Their situation was left dangling at the conclusion of the book, with a big, fat "What If?"

Playing For Keeps picks up right where book one left off. Megan and Aston's best friend Braden is out of town with his girlfriend Maddie, and so the buffer that is usually between the two of them keeping them apart is suddenly gone. And consequently, they can't stand to be apart anymore. What they think is an itch that they can scratch with one night together, quickly turns into something so much more.
I know love and lust. I know the difference - and I know that for some strange reason, Aston is my storm calmer, my fire feeder. I also know it isn't the right time for us. It might never be. But, after last night, I'm not so sure I'm okay with that anymore.
After their first night together, they dive headfirst into a secret relationship that is so intense it consumes them. The depth of what they feel for each other right away should seem like corny insta-love, but somehow it doesn't. It feels real, and raw, and passionate. I was totally feeling it, and nearly every time Aston opened his mouth to say something hot and sexy to Megan, I melted a little bit more.
"And why exactly are you here?"
I stare at her, barely breathing, not moving, and the words burn their way up my throat with a feral need to get out.
"Because I need you. I need to feel you again. Once wasn't enough. Once will never be enough."
However, Megan's a smart girl, and she soon realizes that there's way more to Aston than meets the eye. He has some serious demons in his past that torment him, and she knows that if she ever really wants to have all of him, she has to make him trust her. She has to make him open up to her and let her in. But when he does, it is gut wrenching and heart breaking to see what he has been keeping inside his entire life.
"They were right. Every fucking one of them. I'm fucked up. I'm broken, a bunch of mismatched pieces stuck together in a shit attempt at being fixed.
Slowly Megan is able to breach his walls and wrap herself around his heart. He begins to trust her and shares with her everything about his past. She accepts him for who he is, and soothes the raw parts inside of him that have been ripped open ever since he was a child. At times, some of the stories he shared brought me to tears. It was beautifully written, and very touching.
For the first time I'm not thinking about sex. I'm not thinking about how I could rip her clothes off on this deserted beach and make love to her. I'm thinking that she's sliding between the cracks of me, gripping hold of the mismatched pieces and tearing them apart. She's studying them, getting to know them, to know me, and then she's carefully lining them all back up and holding them together. What she'll never know, is that she's the glue that holds it together. She's the glue that holds me together.
The only dark cloud over their relationship is that fact that they have kept it a secret. They both know that there will be hell to pay when Braden finds out that they are together. He is super overprotective of Megan and has made it clear in no uncertain terms that neither Aston or anybody else around is good enough for Megan. And if any of them dare to make a move on her, they will answer to him. So the real question becomes, what will they choose when Braden finally learns the truth? Will they choose each other, or go their separate ways so that they won't lose Braden?

Overall, I loved this book. It went so much deeper than book one, and seemed to have more "meat" to the story. Love, love, loved it. Can't wait for book three!

View all my reviews

The Love Game (The Game, Book One)
by Emma Hart
Genre:  New Adult Romance

Purchase Links:
Barnes and Noble 

His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.
Her challenge? Play the player.
Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he's everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn't she say no? She doesn't know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her - and he'd do anything to have her, hence why he's agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it's the only way he'll get what he wants. Sex.

But, as Braden discovers, there's more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined - and he can't help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn't just a walking erection - he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don't exactly hurt. That means trouble - but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren't so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they're exactly what each other needs.

The Love Game (The Game, #1)The Love Game by Emma Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was all kinds of amazing! I was expecting a cute little cliché story, but what I got was so much more. The premise of the book makes it seem like something that has been done to death - but Emma Hart actually takes it and turns it into something unique. Maddie's friends dare her to "Play the Player" by making Braden fall in love with her. When he does, she is supposed to hump and dump him, giving him a taste of his own medicine. Meanwhile, Braden's friends dare Braden to seduce hot, unobtainable Maddie, get her to fall in love with him and then love her and leave her. Maddie wants to teach Braden a lesson because he reminds her of everything she hates about her worthless, drug addict, brother. Braden just wants to make Maddie fall in love with him because that's the only way she'll have sex with him. Sounds a little bit silly, right?

However, the beauty of the story lies with the characters. Maddie is a very complex girl. She's not the typical carefree college girl bouncing around from guy to guy. In fact, she has a very traumatizing and depressing past that has her sort of living under a black cloud. She hasn't dated anyone since beginning college - in fact she hasn't even really socialized with boys. But that doesn't mean she's a prude or a goody two shoes. When her and Braden come together a whole other side of her comes out. She begins playing the game with the belief that she hates Braden and everything he reminds her of. He's a player who has an endless line of bimbos rotating through his bed. This disgusts Maddie.
I hated him on sight. I'm not a hateful person. In fact, I'm actually really friendly, but something about Braden Carter rubs me the wrong way, and has ever since I first saw him five weeks ago...Maybe it's because I'm attracted to him when I most definitely do not want to be, combined with the fact that he reminds me of everything I left at home in Brooklyn.
However, not long after the game begins, Maddie realizes that there is a lot more to Braden than meets the eye. He is sweet, sensitive, and caring. He listens to her and makes her feel safe. She quickly discovers that she is developing real feelings for him, but does her best to deny them.

Braden on the other hand, starts out gung ho with his seduction scheme. His end goal is simple: get Maddie underneath him as soon as possible. Since she hasn't shown interest in any of the other guys on campus, he knows she's not the typical easy college girl. He knows she'll only sleep with someone she's in love with, so he sets out to win her heart. The one thing he didn't count on was that in the process of making Maddie love him, he would fall just as hard in love with her.
I just wanna grab her. I wanna hold her tight and stroke her hair. I want to kiss the corners of her eyes and never let go of her. Because she's mine. Goddammit, Maddie Stevens is mine. And that's the bottom line. It always will be. She'll always be mine - and I'll always be hers.
The whole circumstance could have been very unbelievable and super cheesy, but instead it turned out to be really sincere, and sweet, and truthful. There were several circumstances where they had to deal with real stuff, and the emotions they were dealing with came across loud and clear. I believed that their game had changed into something meaningful - something that could be serious. But then the inevitable happens ... they both find out that the other was playing a game the entire time and their relationship is based on lies.
"The game has been played," she says acidly. "We both won, Braden, and now it's over." She sighs. "I don't know what I'm supposed to say to you. Regardless how either of us feel ... It's over. We are over. I'm not yours anymore. Do you get that? I'm. Not. Yours!"

"But I'm yours!" I grab her face and tilt her head back, making her eyes crash into mine. "I'm yours, Maddie. I always have been, and I always will be. Yours. Do you get that? Do. You. Get. That? I'll always be yours!"
The conclusion of the story felt just a little bit rushed, but partly it's because I wanted it to last longer. Braden and Maddie both have to do some soul searching to figure out what it is they really want. They have to figure out what was game and what was real, and if the "us" they thought they had together is worth fighting for.

View all my reviews

Author Bio:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

Find Emma online at:
Blog: http://www.emmahartbooks.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmmaHartBooks
Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor

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  1. I love the fact that all reviews I have seen for Emma's books have all been positive. Thanks for promoting her!


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