Review: Playing the Game by Lisa B. Kamps (York Bombers #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

His mother walked out on him when he was just a child and he walked away from his the only girl he's ever loved three years ago, believing persistent whispers that she had been cheating on him. Now, Harland Day has been relegated to playing in the minors after letting his game suffer for the past year. From the Baltimore Banners to the York Bombers, Harland is still struggling to find the passion for both the game and his life. Being back in town has him in closer proximity to his ex, Caroline Williams, but she doesn't want to have anything to do with him anymore, not after he turned his back on her and their future together. Then Harland learns the secret that Caroline chose to keep from him for three years, a secret that forces him to either man up and take responsibility or just walk away.

Playing the Game is my second Lisa B. Kamps read and its the first book in her new York Bombers series, which also happens to be a spin-off of her Baltimore Banners series. This was a strong start to the series, with most of the focus on Harland and Caroline's second chance love story while giving us peeks at the other potential characters of interest within and outside of the team. The secret that Caroline is keeping from Harland is easy enough to figure out since it's the usual go-to when it comes to these things, but with the way their relationship ended, Harland making amends while still holding on to his desire to fight for what he knows is right while Caroline wants to protect herself and the life that she has while also acknowledging that she can't keep denying him his own rights.

There's a fine balance her between the story outside of the rink and inside of it and in the locker room. Harland is a shadow of the player he used to be and finding out what it is that's led to his downward spiral is one of the things I anticipated most while reading this book. I wouldn't exactly call this a heavy drama, but there is angst and certainly lots of drama, but there's a bit of lightness to it, especially as Harland and Caroline rekindle their friendship and try to move forward. The past has a firm grip on both of them--Harland more so than Caroline--and while I won't specifically mention the secret, I will say that Harland's encounters concerning it were among the most touching in the story. With Playing the Game, you get the sport and the romance and in well-written fashion. It gets 4.5 stars. ♥

Date Read: 15 February 2017

Learn more about Lisa B. Kamps.

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