Love and Other Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, Kara Leigh Miller
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Length: Full Length (242 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Hawthorn
LOVE AND OTHER GAMES is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and Kara Leigh Miller.
Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze
Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running.
Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium.
With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold.
Trouble with Gold by Melinda Dozier
US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers.
Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she’s not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way. A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult. Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?
The Girl behind the Gold by Aria Kane
Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans’ hearts.
“Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia.
The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want – but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need.
Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller
Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player.
Despite Brenna Jessup’s abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she’s hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team.
When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn’t want apologies — he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it — and her — in the process.
Although the most recent Winter Olympics are behind us, Love and Other Games is a fun read that will get you in the mood for some sweet, sporty action.
This new adult collection of four short stories is a quick read, but despite the stories being relatively short, they’re not rushed. The four authors managed to get their characters across well, with enough detail and development to sound real and intriguing.
My favorite story was Trouble with Gold because of the cute banter between Nadia and Ty. But the other three stories weren’t far behind. What I really enjoyed with this collection was that the authors showed the reader that while the athletes work hard for their success, they also know how to have fun. On top of that, the Olympic village being the setting adds an additional charm. The Olympics are the height of any athlete’s career so they are bound to involve tension and heightened emotions. All this was very obvious in the stories.
The stories are linked by a legend about a lucky torch that brings the gold medal to the athlete that finds it in the village. I felt that was a lovely touch that entwined the stories together. Also, the writing styles of the authors were similar enough so that the differences between them didn’t feel disruptive. The stories had enough conflict and drama to intrigue the reader but not too much for their length.
Love and Other Games was a nice surprise that has me craving more Olympics stories.