Cover Image: Games in a Ballroom

Games in a Ballroom

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

it was super entertaining and definitely something to read when you just want something quick!! also great considering it was the author's first historical romance novel!
Was this review helpful?
A fun and lighthearted read with characters you can care about and root for!

As the opening line suggests, this was a fun read. I enjoyed the premise of the core characters playing an actual game in a ballroom, but I was sort of hoping for more development and overall hijinks from that. We learn fairly early on that Emerson is smitten with Liv, so I think knowing that sort of kills the tension between them a bit. 

Also, his character felt flat to me. I wanted to feel more depth in regards to how he felt about his father's death and the added responsibility. It is explored in a few instances, but I didn't emotionally connect as deeply as I did when this particular trope was utilized in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton.

I appreciated Liv's character development, but I wish she had handled her own conflict in the end. I understand that societal constraints likely would not allow for her to do so sooner than the "rescue," scene at the end, but I wished she was the one who had the moment with her father and not Emerson. 

This story was charming, I really love the hints of Arabella/Northcott (I'm hopeful we'll get a follow up with their love story), and I appreciated that this was a slow burn. It was just OK for me. But I acknowledge that writing a novel deserves praise due to the work involved and I think for a debut, this author can only improve/go up from here.
Was this review helpful?
What a fun Regency romance from a debut author. I really hope she writes more books about this amusing group of friends. Olivia doesn't think she'll ever be able to marry for love because her father, a self-made man, insist she marry someone titled. Emerson, a childhood friend of Olivia's, realizes his feelings towards her have changed and, with the help of his friends, he devises a way to let her know that by playing a game of "tag" at the various balls they'll be attending during the Season.

I felt so bad for Olivia. Her father is the type of man that lays down the law and you best do what he wants or else. The descriptions of her overdone ball gowns gave me a severe case of second-hand embarrassment on her behalf. How's this poor girl going to get her father to allow her to marry Emerson when he's set on someone with title? 

Emerson is still learning the ins and outs of running his family's estate when he decides he needs to let Olivia know he loves her. Following his playful nature, he comes up with the idea involving the game "tag" to get Olivia to realize his feelings for her run deeper than mere friendship. 

I loved the idea of this group of friends playing a discreet game of tag while at these hours-long social functions. I can imagine how boring it would be attending one ball after another during the social Season and I would need something to make it bearable. I love this group of friends--they sound like a lot of fun, and the incident with the pig and the waistcoat made me laugh. On the dend of the emotions spectrum, those kisses made me swoon. 

If you enjoy childhood friends to lovers and/or slow burn romances you should definited check out this delightful regency romance. I received a complimentary copy from the publisher Shadow Mountain via NetGalley. I also purchased a paperback for my personal library. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I thought this was a really cute and refreshing read. It was a unique story to tell in a regency period that I haven’t seen before. I loved the banter and the changing perspective as well. It was so sweet reading a regency where the man fell first too!
Was this review helpful?
*Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book for review, all opinions are my own*

I wish I could say that I liked this book, but I didn't.
I only finished reading it because I wasn't in the mood to read anything else, so I forced myself to read this book.
It's not a bad book, it just wasn't for me.
I didn't like how the whole book takes place in balls only, I also didn't like several attitudes of our love interest, the end of the book everything was resolved in a too easy way, I think the story is boring, the coolest part was the friendship among men, it's not something we see a lot in books of this type and I loved how the male amzied was crafted here.
I don't know if I recommend this book, but I think maybe I would read books by other characters in this story!
Was this review helpful?
This was such a cute fun read! I’m always looking for another cute regency romance and this one did not disappoint at all! Especially being Jentry Flint’s debut novel! I loved it! 

This novel features Emerson, a gentleman who recently inherited a failing estate from his fathers death, and is determined to marry Olivia Wilde, a long time friend who is off limits due to her fathers demands for a titled husband. Emerson is the cutest in this “guy-falls-first” long time pining relationship. He knows he can’t court her through the normal methods, so he gets creative and sets to woo her through childhood games played in secret with their friends. Ooooo it is so good!! 

I really loved the characters in this novel. They were all so much fun and had incredible personalities that you grew to absolutely love. The banter between not only the love interests, but also their friends kept you laughing through the whole book. There were so many witty conversations, fun pranks and secret games played throughout the book and I loved all of it. 

I loved all of it and was totally sucked in fairly quickly. Such a quick easy read that had me loving the whole thing. I can’t wait to see what else Flint writes for us in the future!
Was this review helpful?
I just couldn't get on board with this one. It just felt very silly and I never got in to it. DNF at around 35%. 

Received an ARC from Netgalley. Opinions my own.
Was this review helpful?
What a delightful read! I so enjoyed the charming and witty characters. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
Was this review helpful?
This was such a unique book. I loved how the characters in the story managed to liven things up by secretly playing games when at formal events.
I loved witty banter and the crazy situations they got themselves into (the pig 😂). There were lots of light hearted, fun moments in this book but also a lot of realistic conflicts for the main characters.
I can’t believe this is a debut novel for Jentry- I can’t wait for more!
Was this review helpful?
It's not hard to see why I was initially drawn to Games in a Ballroom because of its cover, though I might have gone the extra mile to research "proper romance" before adding this to my TBR. For the uninitiated, "proper" is the historical romance equivalent of "clean" -- i.e., no sex. It's not a surprise from Shadow Mountain Publishing, which I later learned is an imprint of LDS bookseller and publisher Deseret. Curse me and my magpie tendencies...

The challenge of clean romance (I refuse to adopt the term "proper," which feels pejorative to bodice-rippers) in any genre, but particularly historical romance, is replacing moments of intimacy with equally character- and relationship-building scenes. Ballroom offers up a unique alternative: an elaborate game of tag.
It's a serviceable concept, but as repetitive as you remember from your playground days. 

Our main characters, Emerson and Olivia, don't offer much (anything?) in the way of character growth. He's determined to make her see him as more than her friend's older brother from the very first page, just as she's resigned to making a match chosen by her abusive father. Emerson comes up with the somewhat convoluted plan to draw Liv out of her shell (where "shell" means "self-protective behavior" but hey it's just semantics!) using an ongoing game of tag, which he's sure will result in her realization that he cares for her. If it all sounds a bit puerile, that's because it is.

Realistically, this book is perfect for readers who abhor smut but want to read a historically-set romance, and who don't care much about character growth. In my experience, contemporary romance is doing a better job of offering up clean or closed-door narratives that nonetheless evoke incredible depth of feeling (off the top of my head, Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan and Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer both fit the bill). Sex is just one way to portray intimacy -- but I'm fairly certain a game of tag doesn't count among the alternatives.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain for the advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
Solid friends to lovers romance. I love that Olivia and Emerson already have this lighthearted playfulness between them. However, I didn’t feel a ton of chemistry between the two. The side characters are interesting enough. I’d love to see a romance between Arabella and Northcott as it would be such a great opposites attract story. The new rival/villain was a bit mustache-twirly. There were a lot of plot threads that were left unresolved. I think an epilogue would have worked nicely so we can see how they are doing, but perhaps the author plans to write more books in this world. Overall, this was a really sweet story. 

Spice Level: G
Was this review helpful?
Such a sweet friends to lovers romance. I really enjoyed this book. The pacing was great, the story was perfect, and the characters were easy to get to know. It was a really nice read. 
It is a historical/fiction/romance, so if none of these are your thing, best to sit this dance out. Otherwise, highly recommend it. 
Will definitely be picking up more from this author in the future. 

4/5 stars

Thank you NetGalley for providing an ARC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
The writing/prose itself is nice, but there was something lacking throughout the story. It might have been a lack of plot elements outside of the romance, considering that the romance wasn't all that compelling. There's not a lot of tension or flirting, it's very slow burn, and for most of the book, one of the couple is completely oblivious to that the other person likes them.

The idea of the game, primarily tag, played in the ballroom was a good idea but I thought it was severely underutilized. Additionally, Emerson is frequently alluding to the fact that this game is somehow bringing them closer together and/or will bring Liv happiness, but this is a pretty tame game of tag, and I grew tired of his acting like it was gonna fix all their problems.

Not sure why the author named her MC "Olivia Wilde" and then proceeded to add insult to injury by having Emerson call her "Liv" all the time.

Not something I would come back to, but will definitely look for more of Flint's books and I love the cover!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

I love a good romance book so when I saw “Games in a Ballroom” I instantly knew I was going to read it. And for most part of the book I was really enjoying it. The book was written quite lightly and I have to admit that I laughed out loud a few times, especially when reading about our main male character's jokes and wagers. I was interested and invested in this story and was rooting for those two to finally be able to be together. And then. The being together part wasn’t exactly to my liking I have to say. It was like the author has put herself in a position where she couldn’t exactly do anything plausible to get them together. So she went for an exit to this book that I wasn’t particularly fond of. It shows the most, out of all of the other things, that it was a debut novel. But as it was, I’m going to judge it much more lightly than I would normally do. I would be looking forward to reading other books from this author as I see a great potential in her future romance novels.
Was this review helpful?
“She was forbidden to love him. He only wanted her heart. Can a childhood game bring them together?”

I absolutely loved this book! I’m calling this the buddy movie of the Regency novel world - or the action adventure angle that Jane Austen didn’t know she needed! 😂 The idea of playing tag throughout regency ballrooms is so fresh and totally works! 

Things I loved:

♠️ Emerson, his loyal and kind heart, and his ardent and unabashed love for Olivia. 
♦️ How Emerson called Olivia “Liv” Wilde - encouraging her to embrace her freedom and to live on her terms. 
♠️ The camaraderie among Emerson, Bradbury, and Lord Northcott. (I, as I’m sure were many others, was intrigued by Lord Northcott, and can’t wait to hear more of his story!)
♦️ Arabella’s and Olivia’s constant use of Shakespearean quotes in their dialogue. 
♠️ The strong family relationships: between Liv and her mother; between Emerson and his mother; and the references to Emerson’s beloved late father- that he had encouraged Emerson to follow his heart and that he had shared true love with Emerson’s mother. ❤️

I appreciated the gravity that the villainous acts of certain characters added to the book. And I, of course, being one of the worlds greatest fans of all things porcine, loved the cameo of a corseted pig in the story! 🐖

The love story between Emerson and Olivia was authentic and sweet, not forced or contrived. My favorite scene was the one in the orangery. 🍊What a magical place! I loved how this scene involved the senses. I now want one in my house. 

I also loved the dedication at the beginning of the book. It’s one of the best things I’ve read. ❤️😂

If you’re a fan of regency romance, this is a must read! Go grab it now! ♠️♦️♣️❤️
Was this review helpful?
What a fun book that brought life to what can sometimes be a boring and routine event - ballroom dances. This was Jentry’s debut novel and it was such a creative idea to have friends play tag whilst attending balls during the ton’s season! It was full of humor, fun, and a very fancy dressed up pig 🐖 🤫🤫🤫

I couldn’t find a pig for my photo, but I saw this gorgeous white baby grand piano while on vacation and realized I HAD to us it for my pictures!! 

If you love regency, but need a little “rom com humor” in your life, this is your next read! (And I’ve heard she’s got more to the series coming out!)
Was this review helpful?
I thought this was a fun historical romance. Emerson is in love with his childhood friend, Olivia, but because of her father and her station doesn't have much of a chance with her. He initiates a game of tag between them and their friend group in order to have chances to get close to her in hopes that she will fall in love with him. I really enjoyed the friend group and the unique twist on a regency romance. I thought it was sweet, but would have loved a bit more tangible chemistry between the main characters. I would read more by this author though. This was a fun read.
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

Games In a Ballroom caught my attention with its unique plot in a genre that is packed full of sameness (and its fun cover). The friend group was one of the best parts of the book. They were so diverse, but complimented each other very well. I felt bad for Olivia with her awful father, and appreciated Emerson for trying to make some of her misery lighter. His games weren’t just to make a friend happier as he hoped she’d see that he liked her much more than a friend.

I would have liked more detail at the end about what happened to several of the characters, but it did have a happy ending. I would read more from this author, especially if it is about the supporting characters.
Was this review helpful?
If you enjoy Regency, you will like this book. It was a well-written, typical Regency romance with the story being driven by the romance and the strategies of getting two people together rather than plot. Flint's writing style was good, and engaging. There were, however, some elements of the book that to me were foreshadowed and never came to resolution, such as the friend's explosion about Emerson wanting to get married, and the real effect of the abusive father.
Was this review helpful?
Games in a Ballroom by Jentry Flint is such a unique and fun regency romance! As you can guess from the title, games were involved! Honestly, I wasn’t sure how the secret game of tag that all of the friends agreed to play at dinners and balls would work, especially in a regency novel, but it ended up being a really fun element that added to the story. I also enjoyed the banter between Emerson and his friends and their antics, especially the end scene where Emerson finally got Olivia. My only complaint, and it’s a small one, was the friends to more relationship between Emerson and Olivia, while it was satisfying, I felt it needed a bit more romantic tension. 

This is such a good debut novel that I will definitely be looking forward to Jentry Flint’s next story. I am hoping we get to read the stories of Emerson’s friends and his sister! 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This is a clean read. 4 stars.
Was this review helpful?