Member Reviews

Oh my word! This was such a fun book!! The whole premise was great! A town wide game for millions of dollars, but partners have been chosen and you're pretty much guaranteed to not like your partner. Throw in an out of towner in a suit and you've got the best episode of Gilmore Girls you've never seen. Speaking of GG...
I got some definite Gilmore Girls vibes from several characters and the town itself. Jess reminded me of Lou from Me Before You, bright colors, big smiles and always looking for the silver lining.

The multiple narrators threw me off at first, but then I ended up really appreciating getting Ross' POV.

I'll definitely re reading this again!

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I literally worship at the altar of Lacie Waldon. She can really do no wrong. This book has all the best tropes in it and is told in such a light and witty way. I loved every second I got to spend with these characters. It felt like coming home.

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Such a cute story. Gave me a Hallmark movie vibe, with a little bit of Gilmore Girls mixed in. The characters are loveable and well developed. The plot is interesting but not overly predictable.

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After reading From the Jump by Waldon I knew this would likely be a slow burn closed door “romance” and it is exactly that. Knowing that up front is helpful in case readers are expecting something else. I put romance in quotes because Waldon builds up the story and the side characters relationships to MCs (who we also get some chapters from their POV) more than focusing on the relationship of the two MCs. Is there a romance element and an HEA? Yes. But the book reads more like general fiction…..

Ok now that I got that out of the way. I loved the premise of the small town and the Amazing Race/Survivor type contest to win the money of a recently deceased secret millionaire townsman. There were a couple plot points that fell a little flat or resolved too quickly for me… hello what happened to Lexi?! The book dragged a little around the 48% mark for me and then there was some information dumping in the last couple chapters that made the end feel slightly rushed.

Waldon is a great storyteller and I enjoy her writing. Her books are always on my shortlist of recommendations for friends who aren’t normally big readers that are looking for something to read on vacation or on a plane ride, etc.

The Only Game in Town is a lighthearted read with a storyline that will keep you hooked, captivating characters with secrets you have to keep reading to find out and an HEA that will leave a smile on your face and maybe a happy tear in your eye.

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Thank you to NetGallery and the publisher for this eARC.

A small town rich guy leaves his fortune to the people of Redford, but they'll need to compete for it in pairs. The catch, he pairs everyone up, and most of them, with their least favorite people in town.

This is my favorite book by Lacie Waldon. I loved the small town setting, which goes perfectly with my Gilmore Girl rewatch, cup of coffee, and fall scented candle. I loved reading about the small town coming together and competing in challenges, about friendnemies becoming friends, and the sprinkles of the sweet romance between the city boy and the small town girl.

Just a couple of minor things that I thought could be improved about the book. I liked the multiple POV's, but I wanted to read more from Nikki's POV. I hated her in the beginning as she's the resident mean girl, but by the middle/end I really started to lover her. Also, we're missing the resolution between Nikki and her mother. More on the multiple POV's. What was the point of Ross' POV? He was nice and all, but he was more of a side character, since he didn't even compete in the game. Plus he only had like 2 chapters of POV. I say, leave him in as part of Jess and Nikki's POVs but he doesn't really need his own. I would maybe have liked a little romance between Nikki and Bryce and if so, maybe adding Bryce's POV? Like where did Nikki's out of town boyfriend come from and why did they just drop him in at the end. It felt like there was a build-up of chemistry between Bryce and Nikki, so why not give the "second lead" romance?

Solid 4/5. Good fun weekend read.

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Small town millionaire Jasper Wilhelm passes away. He sets up a contest for the residents of Redford, Georgia. He laid up enemies and forces them to work together to try to win 10 million dollars.
I had high hopes for this book and it did not meet my expectations.
It felt like there were too many characters to keep track of. Reading the description of the book I assumed there would be some romance but there was little to none.
Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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I absolutely adored this from start to finish!
I’m a sucker for dual POV and this didn’t disappoint. The romance was sweet and built naturally, the side storylines really contributed well and didn’t distract from the main storyline, and I thought the underlying current about friendship, small towns, and family really worked for the story. If you’re looking for something super deep, this is not where you’ll find it, but this is sweet, simplistic, and a cute read

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What a fun time I had reading this bundle of charm. Jasper, a wealthy resident of Redford, dies and leaves his beloved small town a chance to compete for his fortune. Participants with grudges and bad blood between them are forced to work together. And sweet book editor Jess starts to fall for her competition—Jasper’s grandson, Carter, who has heard about Redford his whole life but is just now seeing why his grandfather found it so special.

I had such a good time reading this book. It has multiple POVs, which at times made the pacing feel slow, so it took a bit for me to get fully invested. Once I did, it was truly a pleasure getting to know each character, their backstories, and what drives them to win the money. I found myself laughing and smiling through all the small-town shenanigans that (as I’m sure many readers might recognize) is reminiscent of Gilmore Girls. There’s something about a small town that feels so warm and inviting. The humor is quirky. The characters are endearing. Nikki was a surprise favorite character for me despite the terrible first impression she made.

I would recommend The Only Game in Town to readers in the mood for a sweet comedy filled with heart. If you’re looking for a straight-forward romance, this is probably not it. While there is a romance that’s charming and sweet, it certainly isn’t the main element of the book, which is more about friendship, family, love, and community. I’m also not a huge fan of multiple POVs but it’s done relatively well here.

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for the ARC in exchange for an honest review 😊

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This was my first book by Lacie Waldon and it did NOT disappoint. The Only Game in Town was a cute Rom Com with Small Town Romance. I enjoyed Jess’s love for her hometown and how she knows everything about everyone.

This book begins with an eccentric millionaire passing away and leaving his fortune to two lucky citizens in Redford, Georgia. He was seen as the Mayor and everyone adored him. To receive the money, people are paired up and are expected to compete in different competitions until one team is declared a winner at the end. Most of the teams are made up of those who either dislike each other, have had issues in the past, or just for random.

Carter Wilhelm is the eccentric Millionaires grandson and Jess’ love interest in this book. This was such a cute book that I can’t wait to dive into the other two she has out currently.

Would I read this again? Yes. Would I recommend it to my followers? Absolutely.

Thanks again to Netgalley and Penguin Group Putnam for the early arc!

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This is one of the most exciting books I've read in a while! The story line drew me in and held my attention until the end. I could see a few things coming before they happened, but it didn't take away from the story. I would highly recommend it to friends.

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lacie waldon <3 how you own my heart. i’ve loved every book she’s put out and it hasn’t stopped here. instant 5 star as per usual. loved the story, loved the characters so much

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Lacie Waldon is a breakout author in my books. Her 3 releases have been nothing short of stellar, and I'm definitely rearranging my top authors list to include her in the mix. The Only Game in Town was fun, tender, unexpected, and exactly what I needed as a weekend read. I'm a sucker for small town romances, and I don't know how someone could read this and NOT picture this book being set in a Stars Hollow-esque town with all the quirky side characters and charming shops. When I first started this book I wasn't sure that I would like all the perspectives (we follow quite a few contestants in the game), but I actually really enjoyed learning more about every character's motivations and personalities, and it didn't feel like it detracted from the romance or intrigue of the main characters. I say it about every title Lacie releases, but people should get their hands on this one the second it releases. It's just that good.

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DNF at 31%. I was expecting a fun adventurous romance book about two people unexpectedly pushed together... this is not what I got. The romance definitely took a backseat two two girls dealing with unresolved beef from years ago. I didn't really like the small town vibe, it felt like there were too many people to keep track of. I just felt confused and the book just isn't for me.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and G. P. Putnam's for the ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.
2.5 stars
First of all, this is absolutely not a romance novel! There is an on-page kiss 3/4 of the way through the story. This is basically Gilmore Girls residents on a scavenger hunt. It's cute, it's sometimes funny, but it is in no way romantic, hence the low rating - if it's advertised as a romance, that's what I want to read. I was expecting so much more. There is a major health issue with one character that is magically resolved off-page. And that epilogue - my gosh, why didn't ANY of that happened during the book? I loved this author's previous work and will definitely read her future books, but this fell flat in too many ways.

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Set in in a small town in Georgia, The Only Game in Town centers around a scavenger hunt arranged by affluent resident Jasper Wilhelm. Upon Jasper's death, residents learn of the scavenger hunt, which leads to a $5 million dollar prize for one winning pair. Assigned with Nikki as her partner, the main character Jess navigates the clues while being bossed around by Nikki, who has held a years-long grudge against Jess.

The summary of this book sounded great--a romance that involves a town-wide scavenger hunt with a big prize. Alternating POVs between Nikki, Jess, and Jasper's grandson Carter, it was hard to get through this book because Jess had no backbone when it came to Nikki's insults and bullying throughout the book. She and Nikki are in their mid-20s and have the maturity level of high schoolers. I didn't find it realistic that Carter would be interested in such a weak pushover unable to defend herself from such a vindictive woman. As such, the rest of the story took a back seat to my disbelief and I give the story 3/5 stars.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Group Putnam for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinions.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Group Putnam, and Lacie Waldon for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

This was a quirky, unique, easy-to-read and fun romance! Jess is from the small town of Redford and Carter is the grandson of Redford’s own Jasper Wilhhelm (who is essentially the really hold rich guy of said small town). When Jasper passes away, Carter returns to Redford for his grandfathers funeral and to handle his estate, meeting Jess. However, Jasper has one last game in store for not only his grandson, but the entire town of Redford. His Will states that his fortune, of 10 million dollars, will be left to the winners of a final competition. The only snag? Your partner is the one person in town you hate. Meaning every small town rivalry is brought to the forefront, including Jess’ when she is paired up with Nikki, who has made her life awful since high school. But Carter is also tossed into the ring when he is paired up with a local person to compete for the prize money as well!


I loved this book! I found it super cute and fun to read. I loved getting several points of view throughout the story. I thought the premise was unique, silly at times, but still had just enough romance to keep me intrigued. The small town dynamics were perfectly displayed. Carter and Jess were lovely characters. I loved that they didn’t always react they way that I expected them to, instead surprising me along the way. I also liked that Nikki found a father figure in Jess’ dad instead of a love interest! Overall, this isn’t a top tier romance book for me, but it was a cute and quirky read that I really enjoyed! It was also a closed door romance for those who wish to keep things clean!

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Thanks netgalley for letting me read this book, it was a fun and uplifting boom and was pretty enjoyable

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Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book was, in a word.... fine. Nothing really stuck out about it, the romance isn't particularly compelling, and the characters are (for the most part) a bit one dimensional. It's not spicy, which is fine, but it's so cloyingly, Hallmark movie sweet that even I was turned off by it.

Also, the main character doesn't have much personality beyond being quirky and different" She's essentially Jess from New Girl, but she's... Jess from Redford. Actually, I'm pretty sure she's just Jess from New Girl.

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📖 THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN by Lacie Waldon 

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  

💕I like Lacie Waldon's previous books, and I was really looking forward to reading this one. Romance, puzzles, and adventure? Yes, please! 😁

At first, I had a hard time getting into this book, but somewhere in the middle it finally gripped me. This small-town novel is a fun story with cute, embarrassing moments. My only wish is for it to have more romance. It felt more like lighthearted women’s fiction or maybe just general fiction. I liked all the characters (even Jess’s nemesis Nikki and all the quirky ones), but I think four POVs was a bit too many. 

I'm looking forward to reading more books from Lacie Waldon.

Thank you NetGalley and Putnam for the ARC copy.

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Thank you NetGalley and Putnam for the ARC of The Only Game in Town. The premise of this story is really fun. A town comes together to win a prize left by a beloved community member. Despite there being some good opportunity for drama, the story was pretty even keeled and perceived drama was resolved quickly. I enjoyed the multiple POV and thought that added depth.

I had a hard time getting invested in this book and until about 45% I considered DNF, except I really wanted to know what happened. I stuck with it and the story was sweet. The culmination was a bit anticlimactic but rewarding. The dialogue was strong but there was what felt to me to be a lot of superfluous background and detail.

I recommend this for lovers of closed door, sweet romances with a fun story and low drama.

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