Monday, March 20, 2023

The Only Game in Town - Review

The Only Game in Town

By: Lacie Waldon

Expected Publication: March 21st 2023 by G.P. Putnam's Sons

416 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--One small town, one big prize, one handsome stranger...

Nothing ever changes in Redford, Georgia. That's what freelance editor Jess Reid loves about her hometown--and part of what keeps her from leaving. Content taking care of her father, a car mechanic who singlehandedly raised her after her mom skipped out, Jess is resigned to a safe, unremarkable existence...until Jasper Wilhelm, the town's eccentric benefactor, dies suddenly and leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime.

Financial advisor Carter Barclay has been too busy to visit his grandfather in Redford, but he's heard countless stories about the town and its zany residents from Jasper. A small, insular town in Georgia is the last place Carter expects to be spending his summer--but it seems his grandfather had one final trick up his sleeve.

At the funeral, it's revealed that Jasper has devised a massive, high-stakes game for the people of Redford, with the winning duo taking home his entire fortune. The catch? He's already taken the liberty of pairing them up. As tensions of all kinds rise between Jess and Carter, and the life-changing prize looms closer, the two must decide what they're willing to risk to change their lives. A love story full of spirit and hijinks, The Only Game in Town is a funny, quirky homage to the people we get to call home.

This is my 3rd Lacie Waldon book, and she is quickly becoming an author that I feel I can count on. Based on the description, I assumed Jess and Carter would be paired together for the game Carter's grandfather created. But my assumption was wrong. Here's the deal:

Jess had the opportunity to work at a larger publishing companies in New York, but she missed her dad, her home. She decided to move back and took a job with a smaller publishing company. Sure, the pay is less, but she's where she wants to be with the people she wants to be with. The only person that doesn't include is Nikki--a girl she went to high school with and who chooses to torment her at every opportunity. Jess meets Carter, and she gives him a tour of the town. They have a small connection, but Carter isn't planning to stay in town.

Carter has been helping his grandfather behind the scenes for many years. His grandfather was wealthy and enjoyed using his wealth to anonymously help people in his town. Carter thought his grandfather would leave his fortune to him so that he could continue the work they did together helping people. He now feels certain his mission is to compete in the game and win the money so he can do just that. He doesn't count on meeting Jess and developing a connection to her or the town of Redford that he tried to avoid for so long.

Through the course of the game many relationships are mended, and the town becomes a better place which was Jasper's ultimate goal. Of course, each character has an arc, and I appreciate that Lacie Waldon didn't just write from Jess and Carter's perspective. Nikki was a surprisingly likeable character, given how things started between her and Jess. I wouldn't mind exploring her story a little more, but maybe the wrap up was enough.

Favorite quotes:

-"I'd just like to congratulate you for doing such a great job with this distance plan of yours. You're really killing it."

-"You're not sliding back and forth between too much or too little. You're you. The perfect amount. And the people who are meant to be in your life will appreciate that, and they'll hold onto you. I know I, for one, intend to."

I highlighted a few other quotes , but they're spoilers. I also highlighted a quote about a character priding himself on his refusal to take instructions from anyone. And boy howdy did that one hit home! That's not me at all. I am a rules follower through and through. But I apparently married a man who can't stand being told what to do and birthed one too. And I've got to say that it's an annoying trait at times.

The Only Game in Town was a good book. I liked the premise. A benefactor throws an entire town into a game to see who might be the most worthy of his leftover wealth. Jess and Carter were so easy to root for. I hurt for Jess at times. I think I even got teary over her relationship with her dad. Nikki even turned out not to be so bad. And I enjoyed her additional narration. The Only Game in Town gets 4 Stars, and I can't wait to see what Lacie Waldon might publish next. Have you read The Only Game in Town? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday Post - 03/19/23

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Sunday night Baby Boy spent the night with my parents. Monday we got a message from our daughter's softball coach that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, but he still planned to be at practice Monday night. Husband and I decided to keep her out of practice. We're not "scared" of COVID exactly--not like we used to be. But who wants to risk getting sick right before spring break? We really thought it was a bad decision on the part of her coach to continue to practice. So we pulled her from practice, but we decided to take our son to his baseball practice (which is directly after Little Girl's practice). Little Boy was the 2nd batter and as soon as he got to first base we realized the coach on first base was wearing a mask. And once we noticed that we realized it was Little Girl's softball coach. And then he bent over directly in our son's face to tell him what to do next. We decided to pull him from practice. And we were even more frustrated that we weren't warned that he planned to be at baseball practice too. Tuesday, Little Boy and I went to get Baby Boy from my parent's house. Wednesday was a normal day. Thursday, I spent as much time as I could doing laundry and packing for Little Girl and Little Boy. We skipped Thursday night softball and baseball practice because the same coach was planning to be at practice again. Friday after I dropped the kids off at school, Baby Boy and I ran into Walmart to get some last minute things. Friday night, we took my parents and the kids to the SLE Rodeo. That's a long story, but basically, I had to redeem myself from an early teenage mistake with my dad. The kids had a blast. Then Saturday morning, my parents pick up the older kids to go to Gatlinburg for spring break.


Monday: Review of The Call of the Sea by Sian Ann Bessey (3.5 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Spring 2023 TBR List
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Sleepless in Dubai by Sajni Patel


Monday: Review of The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday?
Wednesday: Can't Wait for Wednesday?

Don’t forget to link up for the 2023 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15th, 2023 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!


No new books this week.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Can't Wait for Sleepless in Dubai

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

Sleepless in Dubai

By: Sajni Patel

Expected Publication: October 24, 2023 by Amulet Books

? pages

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--From the author of My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding comes this hilarious, smart, and swoon-worthy rom-com about two teens traveling to Dubai for Diwali

In this hate-to-love teen rom-com from the author of My Sister's Big Fat Indian Wedding, Nikki, an aspiring photographer, accompanies her family on a trip to Dubai to celebrate the five days of Diwali in style. It should be the trip of a lifetime, if Yash, the boy next door--with whom Nikki has a rocky history--weren't on board. Oblivious to the tension, Nikki's matchmaking family encourages Nikki to get better acquainted with Yash. Turns out a lot can change on a 12-hour flight beyond just continents. But can betrayals and conflicting ambitions be set aside long enough for the two teens to discover the true meaning of the Festival of Lights?

What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Top Ten Spring 2023 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week's topic is Top Ten Spring 2023 TBR List
  1. Spice Road (The Spice Road Trilogy, # 1) by Maiya Ibrahim
  2. Wyoming Wild by Sarah M Eden
  3. The Unassuming Curator (Georgian Gentlemen, # 5) by Sian Ann Bessey
  4. Beyond Boundaries by Dr John Townsend & Dr. Henry Cloud
  5. Rocky Mountain Rendezvous (Sisters of the Rockies, # 1) by Misty M Beller
  6. An Uncharted Devotion by Amanda Taylor
  7. Love Unseen by Rachel Kelley Stones
  8. Grace and Glory (The Harbinger, # 3) by Jennifer L Armentrout
  9. Sunkissed by Kasie West
  10. Happy Place by Emily Henry

Which books are on your TBR list for Spring 2023? Let me know!

Monday, March 13, 2023

The Call of the Sea - Review

The Call of the Sea

By: Sian Ann Bessey

Publication: November 1, 2022

272 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A Viking Historical Romance

On the eve of her betrothal to a nobleman she’s never met, Rhiannon seeks comfort on the shores of the sea she loves so well. But instead of offering peace to her uneasy heart, the ocean heralds doom with the arrival of dreaded Viking ships. A vicious raid leads to the death of her beloved father and leaves Rhiannon’s life in tatters. Heartbroken, she travels to Ynys Môn, where she takes up residence at the royal court of Owain Gwynedd.

Leif loves voyaging on the open water. As the son of a Viking chief, he’s accustomed to his people’s practice of plundering and looting. But when one of his companions ruthlessly kills an old man in front of the man’s beautiful daughter, Leif is haunted by the memory. Desperate to find forgiveness for the atrocity he allowed to occur, he’s offered a chance at redemption through the kindly teachings of an Irish priest and the unexpected arrival of a royal fugitive. Suddenly thrust into the midst of the Cymry’s political turmoil, Leif is reunited with the dead man’s daughter―Rhiannon. Forced to work side by side to uncover the truth behind the turmoil, they come to discover that love can grow from even the most tragic of beginnings. But with such incompatible backgrounds, surely a future together can never be theirs.

I've read a few books by Sian Ann Bessey. She's not quite an auto-read author for me (yet), but I've enjoyed her books. I've not read any romance books featuring Vikings, so I was intrigued and decided to check out The Call of the Sea.

The Call of the Sea was a slow start for me. Rhiannon is unlikely to forgive or trust easily after her father is murdered in front of her. Even though Leif wasn't the one who did it, he was present and a part of the group who raided her home. He was standing right there when her father was killed. He offered her words that didn't mean much to her at the time. She wouldn't lightly turn her heart toward him. So much of The Call of the Sea was story-driven, not relationship-driven. Leif and Rhiannon were at the heart of everything that happened, but there was so much time with them being apart.

The mystery/plot was interesting, and I was trying to figure out who was behind everything. Actually, that's not entirely true. I had a guess on the who, but the why was what I was trying to figure out. On one hand, I didn't really mind this part of the story, but when I look back I feel like the story dragged a little for me due to the focus on the mystery.

Favorte quote:

-"I should like to postpone being brave until the morrow"...

The Call of the Sea was a good read, but it didn't blow me away. I liked Rhiannon and Leif. I liked their individual stories and their path toward each other. Much of the feelings felt rushed to me due to the large portion of the book the characters spent apart. Thankfully, the book did allow for this by saying they wanted to know each other better. The plot and mystery drove the story forward, and I enjoyed it while also felt like it slowed me down. Ultimately, The Call of the Sea gets 3.5 Stars. Have you read The Call of the Sea? What did you think? Let me know!