ARC Review: The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan

1 Nov 2015

Book Title: The Game Plan
Author: Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #3
Release Date: November 1st, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports
A beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.

NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friend. That ends now.

Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed.

Dex is looking for a forever girl, but they live vastly different lives in separate cities. Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he's her forever man.

Game On



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The Game Plan is the third book in the Game On Series, each one focusing on a different football athlete. I'd not read the first two books in the series as they can be read as standalones. In a lot of ways, however, I wish I would've at least read Gray/Ivy's book. I think it would've given me more background to the couple in this story and I wouldn't have had the "insta-love" mental alert as I did here.

Ethan Dexter has had his eye on Fiona Mackenzie for as long as he's known her sister Ivy (fellow football player's wife and his co-agent). When they both plan a quick trip to San Francisco to see Ivy and Gray's new baby, they find themselves seeking quiet solace in the same pub one evening. Fiona barely recognizes the guy with the full beard, longish hair with the hottest man bun around. They start catching up since the events of Gray/Ivy's wedding- one thing leads to another. Loose lips, thanks to alcohol, where she admits she will never date an athlete and how clean-shaven men are her thing..... He offers her a feel of his beard and the rest we'll say is history....or so their story begins.

All in all, The Game Plan was an enjoyable read rather low on angst, focusing on a couple trying to make things work with a long distance relationship with fame thrown into the mix. It has a plot device- virgin hero- that I don't see often and I LOVED it. Though I'm a bit reluctant to believe that lengths that he goes to deal with his chastity. Pain- piercings and tattoos. I think if the author had expounded more on the events causing his psychological trauma and ensuing lack of sex, I could believe better the need for pain to overcome horniness. Just, a virgin at his age, famous athlete and all- with genital piercings seems extreme to overcome urges from lack of sex. But I'm not a man. I guess urges can be that strong. Maybe. Not buying it though.

Anywho, I do know that I'm going to venture backwards and read the first two books in the series. I'm especially interested in Gray and Ivy's book. My interest in piqued.

Advanced copy received by author in exchange for my honest review.


Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she'd rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer's Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine's Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher's Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading. 

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