Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Game Maker (Game #2) by BJ Harvey - Review


From the USA Today bestselling author of the Bliss series comes a new spin off series featuring your favourite Bliss series characters who are yet to meet their match. This time it is Zach and Danika's turn.

I’m a gamer by nature and by profession. I’m all about strategy, performance, and coming out on top.

Five months ago I threw caution to the wind, and in the first miscalculated step of my twenty-one-year life, I made a move on my brother’s best friend.

The first mistake we made was keeping our relationship secret. The next was going off half-cocked when a train wreck of epic proportions hit us.

Now our secret is secret no more. As I struggle to deal with all of the swirling emotions, conflicted feelings, and the multitude of burned bridges that I need to mend, the one person who can help me through it all is the same man I need space from.

To fix it I’ll have to pull on my big-girl panties, focus on what I truly want in life, and put everything I have into winning the most important game I’ll ever play.

Life is a game, and it is what you make it.

Coming out unscathed is a whole other matter.

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2016.

Danika Roberts spent her a good deal of her adolescence standing on the sidelines idolising her brothers best friend Zach Cooper, from childhood hero to object of her affection, Zach caught her eye early on and she never out grew the swarm of butterflies in her belly when he was near. Danika isn't just Zander's little sister anymore, she's grown up in everyway possible, she's carved out a successful like for herself, with her dream job as a professional gamer and an apartment she loves and a friend and roommate she adores in Abi. Life is good, no scrap that, life is great, granted she spends more time at work than she should, and she doesn't really have a raging social life, and her love life is pretty much non existent... anyway Dani is happy with where she is and knows where her priorities lie, especially when the man she's always looked to as her ultimate doesn't look at her as anything more than her brothers little sister.

Zach Cooper is an inherently good guy, growing up a only child with a single mother he knows all about the bonds of family, when he met Zander Roberts they became firm friends, the brother he always wanted, with Zander came three sisters including the baby of the family, little Dani. When a kitchen fire brought him face to face with a career he never dreamed of he found his calling, for over five years he's been a fire fighter with the CFD, which pretty much guarantees that women swoon in his wake, unfortunately the girl who caught his eye he can't have.

"That's what makes it so hot. You have no f*cking idea how irresistible you are or what it's doing to me having you this close and not being able to touch you."

When Dani and Zach realise that they weren't alone in their mutual infatuation thing quickly heat up, starting something on such rocky ground could have dire consequences, sneaking around and basking in the joy and excitement of a new relationship is half the fun, but falling for the one person that's supposed to be off limits can be devastating.

"That's me, the cliché man falling for his best friend's baby sister. The thing is, I have no plans to stop doing it."

Game maker is the perfect blend of everything I adore about Rom Com's, Dani's voice is both young and vibrant, and yet at times she has a wisdom beyond her years, the characters in the Bliss and subsequently the Game series have wildly different voices, in what has become an ensemble cast creating clear and developed character's that don't bleed too heavily into one another is a feat not to be underestimated, getting inside the Roberts girls minds in this new series has been equal parts sweet and hilarious, the sassy no nonsense heroine's that Harvey seems to create somehow still feel fresh and new, never the author to write about the poor lost girl awaiting a big strong man to save them, she has instead created a slew of characters, both male and female that compliment each other instead of merely completing one another. Where Dani had a level of naivety that comes with age, it's Zach standing steadfastly beside her knowing what he has found, knowing how special a connection  like theirs truly is, despite the set backs, despite the fears and doubts.

Right now, I need to hear the words because I can't fight with only one hand while the other is desperately trying to hold onto the one thing I'm fighting for."

I expected a fun, sexy adventure, which Harvey never fails to deliver, but what surprised me was how earnestly I felt the fear and trepidation, the self doubt, the honeymoon stage of any relationship is always meant to be the most fun, but when obstacles stand in the way, whether imagined or created, the worry that hangs in the air shrouds that happiness and excitement over something new. There was a rawness here that I haven't often experienced, Game Maker felt real, dream jobs and fire fighters aside, watching the relationship bloom before my very eyes ensured I was invested, that I truly cared for Dani and Zach, it meant I felt what they felt, cheered them on, and rallied behind them when needed.
There's something exhilarating about diving into romantic comedy, it's akin to the flutters in the belly before something good happens, it's trepidation and excitement, it's familiarity and ease of contentment knowing that the authors KNOWS how to knock it out of the park, it's their wheelhouse, but most of all its turning the last page, smile wide, belly aching from giggling, sated and yet desperate for more that comes with BJ Harvey's words.

About BJ Harvey:

BJ Harvey is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Bliss Series. She also regards herself as a smut peddler, suspense conjurer and a funny romance thinker upper.

An avid music fan, you will always find her singing some hit song badly but loving every minute of it. She’s a wife, a mom to two beautiful girls, and hails from what she considers as the best country in the world—New Zealand.

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