Back in the Game

Back in the Game

by Erin Kern

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WHEN YOU PLAY FOR LOVE, YOU PLAY FOR KEEPS 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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455535996
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Series: Champion Valley , #2
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 948,711
File size: 526 KB

About the Author

Erin Kern lives in north Texas with her husband, two kids and their dog. She loves BBQ, Texas sunsets, antiquing and high school football games. TheChampion Valley series was inspired by Erin's love of Texas football, small towns and happy endings. When she's not at the computer working on her next tale, she can be found spending time with her kids or curled up with a good book.

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Back in the Game 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
rlmanuel71 More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book a lot. I loved the vulnerability of Stella and Brandon. Stella had gone on a date with Brandon once before... and it ended in disaster. Now she finds Brandon back in her life and she can't help but think WHAT IF? Brandon has always had a thing for Stella, who cares if their date didn't go perfectly, she still had that something that he was drawn to. The thing is, he knows she's not in their small little town to stay or is she? The two fight against their attractions, knowing that there will be an end. But can Brandon convince her to stay and will she want to for him? I loved the give and take between these two. They both had pasts that neither seemed to be able to shake. This was the first read for me from this author and I most definitely will be reading more in the future!
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
Chemistry abounds between two unlikely people! A sassy connection between a single dad and the local ballet teacher makes for a really fun read! They bounce witty comebacks off each other every chance they get, and when they finally decide to give in to the attraction they feel, sparks ignite! The characters are easy to like, and although the romance is slow to happen, it's a nice build up throughout. I enjoyed their story! Stella Davenport never expected to find herself teaching ballet in a small town in Colorado at this point in her life. She craves the big city dancing lifestyle she used to have in Chicago and hopes her dream of being invited back to choreograph will one day come true. Living here with her Mom crowding her space is slowly driving her insane! Brandon West feels like he's spent his entire life looking out for his son, and he's not about to start now just because he's soon heading off to college. His one chance on love came back to bite him good, so he isn't too up on trying that game again ... but he can't deny he's drawn to Stella in a way he hasn't felt in a long time ... maybe ever! Can two wounded hearts find a way to overcome their obstacles to be together?
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
the champion valley series continues with back in the game, and has single dad brandon figuring out his slow burn romance with ballet dancer stella. after their disastrous first date where stella ended up throwing up all over brandon's shoes, they'd spent most of their time avoiding each other. but when brandon's son matt learns that taking some ballet lessons might help him with his footwork on the football field, stella finds that she can't help herself from running interference. i'm still kind of confused as to who had to convince who and who was willing to do what, but the point is that brandon and stella have to spend time together, and neither of them is all that upset about it. because even though stella has these big plans to leave town for an opportunity with her old dance company, she find herself more and more tangled up with brandon. and she's happy to be tangled up with him. he's the first guy in a long time who respects her hang-ups and is interested in helping her through them. not that brandon is perfect in the relationship department. his wife walked out on him and left him with an infant to care for, and that abandonment cut at him deeply. brandon worries that he'll never be enough for stella, not when she had big dreams. so he doesn't ask her to stay because he's not willing to put his whole heart on the line. both stella and brandon need to take risks and let go of some control if only to see where things go. there is so much potential between them. even when they are constantly bickering they are super entertaining and clearly meant for each other. i think of this series as a sports romance, but brandon and stella actually have very little to do with football. the high school football season still plays out against the backdrop here, but sport is not at the front and center of this story. and that's fine. it makes sense for these characters. **back in the game will publish on october 31, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/grand central publishing in exchange for my honest review.
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
Brandon and Stella are so absolutely adorable together. They have the steam and the sass and all the feels that you could want! Brandon found himself a single dad at way too young and while he is a fabulous dad his past has left him with some trust issues when it comes to women. He can’t handle being left again and with Stella’s plans to go to Chicago that’s exactly what will happen if he lets himself get involved. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the two can’t fight their attraction and he starts to fall, regardless of how hard he fights it. Stella has her own trust issues thanks to her nomadic upbringing and the revolving door of men in her mother’s life (especially one in particular). She’s trying just as hard as Brandon is to resist the pull between them but the man is just about perfect. How can you turn away from someone with that much patience, that much understanding, and that much sexiness?!? Kern does a wonderful job of addressing both Brandon and Stella’s issues with the consideration that they deserve. She never glosses over their feelings and reactions, giving readers great back and forth between the two without getting overly dramatic. She so great at drawing you in with the heartwarming emotions, entertaining you with the perfect amount of humor, and keeping you turning pages with characters that you can’t help but love. I am SO looking forward to what she has lined up next! *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Single dad Brandon West likes the simple and peaceful life he has created for him and his son, but when beautiful ballerina Stella Davenport breezes into their quiet world, everything starts to take on a lively approach. She is energetic, full of big dreams, sassy, and she pushed his buttons every chance she gets, and as much as he hates to admit it, he thoroughly enjoys every minute of it. And just when things start to go well between them, and head into heated and oh so sexy territory, she announces that she has just been offered a job miles away in Chicago. As much as Brandon wants to support her and her following her dream, he can't help but feel like he is being left all over again... and it hurts like hell, he should have known better than to fall for another woman! Everything in Stella Davenport's life revolves around dancing... that is until brooding, and ridiculously sexy Brandon West walks back into her world. Ever since she was child she has had dreams of dancing in the big city, under the bright lights, but so far her dream hasn't came close to becoming a reality. Which is why she is still stuck in Blanco Valley teaching ballet in a little studio, and helping foster many of girls dreams of becoming a professional dancers, and helping athletes refine their footwork. When Brandon's son wanders into her shop and asks her to teach him, she can't help but want to do all she can to help him, but there is one thing standing in their way... his father. She knows convincing him to sign on the dotted line is going to be hard, good thing she has plenty of tricks up her sleeve... Back In The Game is a heartwarming story of second chances with loads of wit and red-hot feisty banter mixed in here and there... it was such an enjoyable read!! Having been my second visit to the series, I couldn't wait to revisit and meet more of Ms. Kern's endearing characters and let them take me on a little literary adventure, and I have to say it was quite a memorable one! The story line pulled me in, had me completely absorbed in a matter of minutes and that was all she wrote... I devoured this one in one sitting...and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! If you like small town romance stories, loaded with humor, heart, and emotion, then I highly suggest you check this one out, you will not be disappointed with what you find!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this title.