REVIEW: Back in the Game by Erin Kern



Stella Davenport wasn’t made for small-town life. Sure, teaching ballet in Blanco Valley, Colorado, is great, but she longs for the chance to perform in a big city. Stella swore she’d never let anything get in the way of her dream-until sexy, broad-shouldered Brandon West walks back into her life. Stella is determined to resist him, even if arguing with Brandon is sexier than any foreplay.
For Brandon, it’s always been just him and his son, Matt. Knowing that love only leads to heartbreak, he isn’t looking to expand his family any time soon. Stella, with her long, gorgeous legs and infectious laugh, is a breath of fresh air he didn’t even know he’d been missing. But when she’s offered her dream job in Chicago, will he be willing to put his heart on the line?



**Note: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is the 2nd book in the Champion Valley Series and I had not read the first book in the series. With that said, below is my review of Back in the Game:

I enjoyed this book for a lot of unexpected reasons, but it wasn’t a homerun.

First, I am a southern girl who loves football and spent years recovering from pointe shoes. It was as though this book were written just for me, when it came to the characters. There was nothing difficult about connecting with either of them on a superficial level. But even on deeper levels, Erin Kern made it easy to fall in love with the main characters as they danced around one another—for what seemed like WAY TOO LONG—until they finally realized they were a perfect match!

Something I especially liked about Back in the Game were the redemption stories that were weaved into both of the main character’s journeys. Each character was “broken” and challenged in a unique and unexpected way for a modern romance novel, and that made their journeys to new love very intriguing.

However, I felt like this book took a little too long to get to the Happily Ever After. It’s not a quick read, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, unless there’s not enough plot to keep the pages turning quickly. A long read can FEEL quick, if you’re flipping pages at a feverish pace, but if you’re finding yourself skimming pages to hurry things along, confident that you aren’t going to miss much, and only going back when you seem to, then the story likely could have been tightened up a bit.

Plus, for me, I felt like this particular story lacked some adequate steam. There were plenty of desirous, wanting, passionate THOUGHTS, but very few ACTIONS. With the exception of a couple of steamy kissing scenes, I felt like this book could have had a bit more. And ultimately, I think it also would have helped with the slower-than-usual pacing I wasn’t keen on mentioned earlier.  

All of that said, I enjoyed reading this book. I would most definitely go back for another Erin Kern romance, but I’d choose it as one of my laid-back reading choices. Meaning, that this one didn’t have me devouring the pages the way some others have lately. It was a good book to read in between the kinds of books that have me reading until the wee hours of the morning because I refuse to put them down, which meant it allowed me to catch up on sleep, because I was able to read for a while and then put the book down until next time. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I think by now you know that it’s just not what I prefer most of the time!

In fact, it’s one of the things I struggle with the most as both an author and a reviewer—the subjectivity of reading (and writing)—it’s really not personal, just personal preference. Erin Kern’s work is great, just not necessarily at the top of my list, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you. If you’re a reader looking for a slow, sweet, redemptive-love story, then this is your book!

You can purchase Back in The Game or preorder it (before October 31st) at any of the retailers below. PLEASE NOTE: as always, none of the links are affiliate links, and I do not profit from your using them.

AmazonBooks-A-MillionMidtown Reader ♥ Barnes & Noble ♥


If you aren’t ready to purchase Back in the Game yet, you can add it to your GoodReads list using the link below!

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