The Only Game in Town
Warning: the romance in The Only Game in Town is very much secondary to the It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World-esque subplot featuring many small-town characters getting involved in a huge contest that will determine their future wealth and the health of their wacky small town. I enjoyed the quirky small-town feeling of it all, which is why I’m recommending it, but the romance is not a central fixture of the narrative.
Freelance editor Jessica Reid is forging her own pathway in her rural hometown of Redford, Georgia. She likes her job, the people who live there, and her gruff mechanic dad – but her orderly world is thrown into chaos out of the blue.
That would be because the town’s richest and most eccentric citizen, Jasper Wilhelm, has passed away and willed his fortune to the townspeople, if they’re willing to compete for it. Enter Jasper’s big city-living grandson, financial advisor Carter. The last thing he wants to do is dictate the game-playing and how it will go, but as Jasper’s next of kin, it falls to him to guide the situation. The inhabitants of Redford split up into teams and compete for the million plus dollar prize, and all the while, Jess and Carter begin to fall in love. But what will happen when the last contest is finished and it’s time for Carter to go home?
What makes The Only Game in Town work are its sense of character, humor and adventure. There are rivalries here – friendships, too – that are decades old and the background is the romance between Jess and Carter, both likable individuals whose slow road toward each other makes sense. I related deeply to Jess and her love of her rural home town and desire to (and convergent wish to never have to) leave it.
You’re bound to get involved emotionally here – in the challenges at hand and in the lives of the characters we meet. You’ll have a favorite team and root for them to come out on top, even when the odds feel like they’re at their most impossible.
While The Only Game in Town isn’t a genre romance novel, it definitely has some romance thrown in – and along the way you get to meet some awesome people and laugh yourself sore as they try to gain a lucrative foothold in the world. It’s a fine little novel, and quite easy to like.
Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local bookshop
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Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
|Review Date:||March 23, 2023|
|Book Type:||Contemporary Romance|
|Review Tags:||Georgia | small town|