Desert Isle Keeper
The Game Plan
Last year, Kristen Callihan won the best New Adult Romance category in AAR’s annual poll with The Hook Up. As good as The Hook Up was, The Game Plan takes it to the next level with The Wise One’s story, ending the Game On trilogy on a high note.
Fiona “Fi” Mackenzie has carried a torch for her brother-in-law’s teammate Ethan Dexter since they met. Unbeknownst to her, the feeling is mutual. When Fi gets a break from school, she decides to spend time with her sister and new nephew. Much to her alarm, Dex chooses that week to visit his former teammate, Fi’s brother-in-law.
Fiona tries to play it cool, like it’s no big deal her crush will be spending the week under the same roof. But Dex is hard to resist, so when a makeout opportunity presents itself, she takes full advantage of it. This presents a problem though. She and Dex live thousands of miles apart and now that she’s had a taste, she wants even more.
Dex is my favorite kind of hero. He’s strong and steady, dependable to a fault. He wants Fi as much as she wants him, but he knows it could become complicated and awkward while staying with his friends Ivy and Gray. He’s respectful of Fi and her boundaries, even while wanting as much as she will give him. And did I mention he’s a virgin? Past experience has left him unwilling to engage in intercourse with just anyone. Fortunately, Fi isn’t just anyone and there’s a deflowering scene that nearly melted my ereader.
Fiona proves to be a great match for him, providing a nice counterpoint for his strong, silent type. When the levee does finally break with Dex, Fi gives him space then returns, proving she’s in for the long haul as much as he is. New Adult is a subgenre that can sometimes be filled with over the top drama and self-loathing characters. Reading a book where the characters, while young, behaved and communicated in a mature manner was a welcome experience for me.
It’s not unheard of for me to finish a book and doubt the HEA. Sometimes I’m unconvinced the characters have grown enough personally to sustain a relationship or have fully worked through the conflict they face. The exact opposite is true here. I felt like Fiona and Dex were not only real people, but they could make it through whatever hurdles life may throw at them. For me, that is what a great romance is all about.