Cover Image: The Only Game in Town

The Only Game in Town

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

What a fun little end of summer treat this one was! This author is new to me, and her world building, quirky characters, and fun plot immediately drew me in.

🛶Scavenger Hunt
🛶Opposites Attract
🛶Dual POV
🛶 Womens fic with romance back notes
🛶 Cute and cozy

Guys, I won’t give too much away. However, this is being marketed as “Sweet Home Alabama in book form”… which is completely accurate! Romance against the backdrop of a complicated and quirky small town. Exactly what I needed. Thank you NetGalley for approving my request for an honest ARC review.

Release Date: March 21, 2023

Heat Level: 🔥

Was this review helpful?

This was a fun one! The Only Game in Town is reminiscent of The Westing Game because of its premise, but the challenges here are wilder and funnier and guaranteed to make you fall in love with the people of Redford, GA. Waldon has created a wonderful cast of characters, and the varying points of view really help dig into the hearts, motivations, and secrets of the main cast. Jess and Carter are truly the leads, though, and their strangers-to-friends-to-lovers relationship is sweet, but can it survive the $5 million prize? If you’re looking for a fun read full of action, romance, and friendship, look no further than The Only Game in Town.

Was this review helpful?

The Only Game in town was a fun and witty book with a unique premise—in the land of novels it was fun to read a book with a trope that’s not tired and overdone. The characters were all a bit zany and quirky, and by the end of the book the reader felt like a resident of Redford. At times it was hard to keep track of each of the characters because there were several, but the humor was on point (especially Nikki, whose transformation was so well done). I loved the dialogue between Jess and Carter, and their chemistry was perfect. However, at times the tension between Carter and Jess felt a bit contrived since Carter didn’t need to win the competition. Overall, the book was the perfect escape with the epilogue delivering a lovely HEA.
*Thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity to read and review.

Was this review helpful?

I loved The Layover and From the Jump. I got so excited seeing a new novel by Lacie.

The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon was such a cute story.
This is an adorable romantic comedy set in small town Redford, Georgia.
Jess and Carter are simply irresistible. Their banter was both hilarious and sweet and the overall book energy was excellent.
The humor, the chemistry, the witty banter.... everything was just perfection.
Waldon's writing style is sharp, engaging and just so much fun!
I could not have loved this book more! Perfect for a beach read
This book was overall really incredible.
I love this authors work and can't wait to see what she comes up with next!
If you enjoyed her other two reads you'll love this exciting new story!

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

G.P. Putnam's Sons
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my blog, platforms, BookBub, B&N, Kobo and Waterstone closer to pub date.

Was this review helpful?

I fell in love with Redford! This book was exactly the uplifting story I needed. Not only is it a charmingly cute rom com, but the citizens of Redford reminded me how much good there still is in the world. If you need a pick me up, a laugh, or just need to escape for a little while, this book is for you!

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Jess is a small town girl, whereas Carter is a big city guy who seems very out of place in the small town of Redford. He’s back to fulfill the wish of his late relative, Jasper. Jasper has left behind a Will leaving his fortune to the winner of unknown games and challenges. He’s planned it all, from the teams to the games and how the winners will be chosen. Jess and Carter get closer as they try to win the game and the money, but only one of them can win.

I really enjoyed this romcom! It has a quirky cast of characters, a small town setting, and funny events as part of the competition. Jess is lovable and it’s impossible not to root for her. I really enjoyed her being paired up with Nikki, her enemy. The book also explores different types of love and relationships, which adds depth to the story. It’s definitely a slow burn romance but it’s also packed with hilarious moments, charm, and fun. I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy romantic comedy books!

Thank you to netgalley, Penguin Group Putnam, and Lacie Waldon for the arc in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and Netgalley for an ARC of this book! I’ve willingly read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.
This was a cute, fun read.
Less romance novel and more just generally HEA-all-around (the publisher’s description of WESTING GAME meets SWEET HOME ALABAMA was absolutely spot on). At times the cliché small town quirks grew annoyingly tired, but overall a very fun read. :) can’t wait to read more from this author!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

To call The Only Game in Town a romance novel feels a bit of a stretch. Yes there was a romance between two of the main characters, but with the focus on the game and the POV jumping to other parties, dubbing this a romance feels a little inaccurate. I see other reviews marking this book down for that reason, which is fair, but for me I’m so glad that I was tricked into reading it by it being labeled a romance because I probably would have skipped the book (or buried it in my TBR) otherwise. But I loved this book! I found the premise compelling, the writing engaging, and the story kept me flipping pages irrespective of whether it moved the romance forward.

While the game, characters, settings, and relationships still had a hint of that unrealistic vibe that I see all too often in romance novels, the people and relationships had a lovely depth to them. The relationship between Jess and her dad was so loving and supportive and I loved the facets of Carter. Seeing the characters interact within the bounds of the game was lovely, but I was also continually interested in how the game would unfold outside of the romance. While I did love the romance between Jess and Carter, it felt secondary at times. This usually would make me dislike or DNF, which I think shows how enjoyable I found the book to be that I was hooked despite the reduced screen time the romance received. I do wish the author leaned a little more into either, in balancing the two plots, both felt surface level to some extent.

My only real gripe is that the main character was an editor and she occasionally pulls in narrative parallels between the story and the books she edits. If there ever was something I could banish from books it’s tying the plot of the book to books. It’s too wink wink, nudge nudge and makes me annoyed.

All told 4/5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, from PENGUIN GROUP Putnam and #NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to preview and review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.

Riviting characters, charming plot, I wanted more!

Was this review helpful?

This was absolutely delightful. The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were charming and witty. I highly recommend this fun and quick read! Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

Was this review helpful?

Omg this book was Fabulous. With a chapital F. The characters were enjoyable and the plot made me want more. I finished this book in one sitting. The author did a great job grabbing your attention from the first page.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it. And this is coming from someone who didn't love Waldon's previous books.

The Only Game in Town feels quite different from her other works. I fear it might be judged a bit harshly because it's not totally in the box as far as romance novels go. I think it feels similar to Christina Lauren's Something Wilder, which is really more of an adventure than a love story.

This book is also written from multiple POVs. This makes it feel fresh and different from many dual POV books. But early in the book, it's hard to keep track of who's who. Because of the multiple POVs, I found myself really liking some of the minor characters like Nikki and Ross, but also feeling like they didn't get quite enough time in the spotlight for their stories to feel complete. And also having these multiple viewpoints nearly always makes the endings feel rushed.

Overall, I found this novel to be fun and would be a real breath of fresh air to someone who reads a lot of romance novels that can, at times, feel very similar.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for making this ARC available.

Was this review helpful?

The cover and title and everything about this one was SO CUTE. It is perfect for a crisp fall or summer day.

Was this review helpful?

A huge thank you to Lacie Waldon, Penguin Group Putnam, and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. The Only Game in Town comes out March 21, 2023.

When requesting this title I was drawn in by the quirky premise, basically after a millionaire's death he decides to offer his fortune up to the town he loves. The catch is that they have to compete in a competition, and the twist on that is they have to compete with another person and for a lot of the teams it's the person you wouldn't choose in a million years. Our main players are Jess, a woman who grew up in Redford and has such love for the town and its people. We also have Carter, grandson to the millionaire, a man not from Redford and really doesn't have roots anywhere. These two are drawn to each other from the moment they meet, will they be able to get over the fact that they are competing against each other.

So yes I originally requested this for the premise, this book ended up being so much more than just quirky. There are such beautiful themes of found family, putting down roots, and teamwork. Even though Jess and Carter are kind of the main characters, I would be remiss to not mention Nikki, a woman who honestly I hated in the beginning and at the end I absolutely loved her. Also Ross, Jess’s dad, was such a gem of a human being that I just wanted a hug from him. I honestly loved all the side characters in this book and thought they added comedy and warmth. I loved reading this book so much that when I was reading the last chapter I couldn't help but tear up first because of how sweet the ending is but also because I was genuinely sad about leaving the characters. I will be recommending this book to whoever will listen to me!

Was this review helpful?

The Only Game in Town was a cute, fun read.

Beloved resident of Redford, Georgia Jasper Wilhelm has died. Rather than bequeathing his fortune in a typical way, he put together one last hurrah in his will and engages the entire town in a game with $10 million at stake for the winners.

I have enjoyed books from author Lacie Waldon in the past, and look forward to more books from her in the future.

Was this review helpful?

i YELPED when I got approved for this arc. I have adored Lacie Waldons previous stories and this was no exception. I loved the small town vibes and "strangers" to lovers. I loved being able to get POV's from more than just the love interests. I felt it added additional depth to the story. It was just a feel good rom com and I adored it!

Was this review helpful?

After reading the book blurb, I really hoped I’d be given the opportunity to read this book now, and the publishers were kind enough to extend one to me.

“The Only Game In Town” was exactly what I was hoping to read, and more. I’ve read many books where the POV switches between the male and female protagonists, but Waldon surprised me by including a small handful of chapters told from the perceived antagonist’s and Jess’s father’s POV! It was quite the clever way to add some extra depth to the story.

I could easily see this turned into a movie. (Hey Hallmark, please option this!) The story provides the perfect amount of quirk with the town’s recently-deceased philanthropist and benefactor bequeathing his fortune to one lucky duo who succeeds in winning a series of challenges. As other readers before me have mentioned, the toy Barbie Jeep race was hilarious. Lacie writes in such a way that I could easily picture the entire silly scenario.

If you’re looking for a book that will keep you both entertained, and satisfied with good writing, look no further than “The Only Game In Town.”

And, to those of you reading this review: this is the first ARC I’ve read that I’ve given a five-star rating. I haven’t been reviewing for long, but I promise, that’s saying something.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

To say I am in love with this book is an understatement! I was immediately captured by this small town and the people in it. Jess was such a bubbly character. You couldn’t help but love her and feel warm and welcomed by her existence. Her relationship with her dad, Ross, was to die for! I felt like I was a part of their little family. I do wish there would have been more father daughter scenes because it was such an important part of Jess’s character, but I savored every second of them together. Carter was the sweetest. I loved his energy and banter with Jess. Their relationship felt more ‘friends to lovers’ rather than ‘strangers to lovers’ even though they’d just met, and I wish I would have felt a little more tension leading up to their inevitable love. Nikki was such a complex character and I loved her spunk. She is such a down to earth, relatable character once you get to know her and she deserves the world! I do wish the author would have went more in depth with her. We learned small pieces of her life that was never really explained or resolved and I would have loved to see more of her. There were a few characters I felt we didn’t get enough of or that was underdeveloped that was important to the story. But overall, I loved the plot and the atmosphere that was set. I loved how competitive everyone was and how everyone fought for each other even when they were fighting against each other. It really built a sense of family and community. We do explore loss, grief, failure, self worth, and self discovery but in a lighthearted way that wasn’t too heavy. I laughed so many times while reading this and I couldn’t put it down. I would 100% read this one again!

Was this review helpful?

The Only Game in Town is a fun and dynamic story brimming with charm.

Beloved resident of Redford, Georgia Jasper Wilhelm has died. Rather than bequeathing his fortune in a typical way, he put together one last hurrah in his will and engages the entire town in a game with $10 million at stake for the winners.

There is a lot happening here - we get romance, adventure, baking rivalries, friendship drama, and more as the people of Redford (plus Jasper’s grandson who lives in Atlanta) compete in pairs for the life-changing prize!

We are treated to several points of view including Jasper’s grandson, Carter, and ray of sunshine/romance book editor, Jess.

The romance is cute and is one of several enticing plots. Pick this up is you want a cheerful read about a small town and many of its whimsical inhabitants. Think Bluebell, Alabama from the TV show Hart of Dixie.

Thank you very much to Putnam Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy.

(Also, am I the only one who detected some chemistry between Nikki and Bryce?!)

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and Netgalley for an ARC of this book! I’ve willingly read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.

Fans of quirky small towns and their even quirkier residents will love Lacie Waldon’s THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN.

Following the death of multimillionaire/philanthropist Jasper Wilhelm, Carter, his grandson, arrives in the small town of Redford, Georgia where he made his home, thinking that he has inherited Jasper’s fortune in order to continue their shared passion of giving it to those who need it or deserve it most. One of whom was Jess, a color-loving woman who Carter meets in the local bar and immediately likes, despite their differences. However, the town—and Jess and Carter—soon learn that his jokester grandfather has devised a series of team challenges with the victors winning $10 million to share. But the predetermined teams are made up of pairs who, for whatever reason, have become enemies over the years.

I loved reading about the challenges Jess and Carter, along with their partners Nikki, Jess’s high school (and current) bully, and Bryce have to conquer (children’s rideable Barbie Jeeps play a huge role in the most hilarious!), but each character’s reasons for competing in the game were what made this book relatable and truly gives the reader an insight into who these characters are.

Though I do feel as if the quirkiness of the town could have been amplified a bit, and the story could have gone deeper and explored certain characters and their relationships more fully (I would have loved more from Jess’s dad Ross who seemed like the kind of dad every kid needs), THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN was a fun read.

Was this review helpful?