Member Reviews

Small town romances are usually too Hallmark for me. However, the competitive game aspects really drove it home. Throw in some opposites attract main characters in Jess & Carter and you have yourself a winner.

Lacie Waldon should be really proud of this book. Its made me reconsider my general malaise over stories involving millionaire benefactors.

Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for providing an eARC for a honest review.

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I was really excited about it because I like when the main location is my home state! Georgia!
This was an amazingly sweet reading! And perfect for those who like small town romances. The Povs of this book were interesting and unique. You could read not only thoughts of main characters but her father, too! The story is not only focused on the love of the main characters, but it is also a story about a small town, their society, their life, what problems they face. From the first pages, the book seems interesting and addictive with its narrative. I read this book in just a couple of evenings and am very happy that I found it. Jess and Carter are doing completely different things and they don’t have a lot of common interests, they are complete opposites but attracted like magnets. Jess is a cute and witty character that immediately attracts you to her. I really enjoyed this book. It was light, nice, cute, sweet and will improve your mood. Also, an important part of the book is devoted to games (look at the title) at the end of which some residents will receive money. It was not a bad idea and it was interesting to watch. Also, a very important part of Jess is her relationship with her father. I like it when the book focuses on the relationship of children and parents, because this is an important part of our life. I really laughed many times while reading this book. I highly recommend it to you!

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I loved this book. I've read a lot of books where we get the POV from one of both main characters and this was the first time I've read anything that included a couple of side characters as well. There have been several times while reading books that I've wish that I could read what other characters were thinking or feeling so I absolutely loved that this book gave me exactly that. The part with the Barbie jeeps was probably one of my favorite parts. This is the first book I've read by Lacie Waldon but I look forward tor reading more from her.

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Lacie Waldon has joined some of my other favorite authors who have recently taken the risk of breaking the typical romance mold, and I am INTO it.

His grandfather's death bring Carter to Redford, GA for the funeral and the non sequitur game Jasper orchestrated for the town with a grand prize of ten million dollars. Quirky Jess is a lifer in the small town who just got a serious dose of motivation for winning the prize. Their attraction is immediate, but is all fair in love and war?

The Only Game in Town delivers a small town, feel good romance and so much more. It's sweet, it's funny, it's tender, and it has major Gilmore Girls vibes... what more could you want?

Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for providing me with an advance reader copy to review! I loved it.

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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.

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I absolutely loved Lacie’s first two books, so I was looking forward to this one. This entire books takes place around this inheritance game. There were four POVs which kind of threw me off. I was expecting a fun romcom, but instead it was more of a contemporary fiction book that happened to have a romance at the end. This does not fit the normal mold for a romance book. It was a fun book, but didn’t meet my expectations.

Thank you GP Putnam and Netgalley for my early copy in exchange for a honest review.

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I picked this one up because the plot sounded amusing, and Lacie Waldon had some avid Goodreads fans. But while I enjoyed the potpourri of townspeople, the storyline wasn't as engaging as I'd hoped, and the romance felt flat.

I think a lot of people will enjoy this story. There are some madcap moments in the game set up by the town's recently deceased millionaire philanthropist, and the cast of characters is fun — from main character Jess's snarky partner Nikki who has been terrorizing her since an incident when they were teens to her witty single father.

Waldon sets up a lot of highly emotional issues in the book (alcoholism, cancer...) that somehow never had the gut punch that they could have and were not satisfactorily wrapped up in the book's abrupt ending. Some of the road bumps the characters face felt contrived.

I did appreciate that this was a closed-door romance and that there was lots of real getting-to-know-you conversation between the love interests.

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2.5 stars. I wanted to like this book- I have really enjoyed her previous books but this was too much quirky side characters, too little romance for me. It was really focused on the outlandish game more than the romance and it didn’t feel believable. I don’t necessarily need a book to feel believable to like it but it needs other elements for me to be able to move past that.

This book had a lot of “small town hijinks” that made the story feels a bit forced. The romance lacked the chemistry needed to make it a good romance. I didn’t feel a lot of the characters were realistic. For example, Nikki tries to make Jess’s life miserable for a slight in high school which was 8 years ago. I just don’t buy holding such a big grudge that long after the fact, it seemed completely unbelievable. I am sure some people are that immature at 26 but most really aren’t.

Despite all these shortcomings- I did really like the 2 main characters Jess and Carter. I would have loved more of them and less of everything else.

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I’ve enjoyed Lacie Waldon’s earlier books and was excited to dive into this ARC. The story was sweet and the small town setting was charming, but I struggled to connect with this one as much. It felt like all the right components to a romance but with a forced start or unrealistic characters. It may have been the alternating POVs that made it hard to connect. Thank you for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This book was everything I wanted it to be. It had me turned pages without even realizing. It was so good!

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Thank you to NetGalley and PenguinGroup Putnam for an ARC of this book!

This book is like one big hug. It will make you smile, laugh, and even cry. I did not want this one to end, but I could not put it down. I really wish this was a first in a series, because I would love to read stories about all of the town folk. Lacie Waldon did an amazing job making the reader feel like part of the family. The characters came to life from the pages, and I found myself rooting for different characters and relationships every step of the way. I don't give out five stars unless a book really gave me all the feels, and this one did just that.

When a wealthy old man dies in a small town in Georgia, everyone shows up to pay their respects including the man's grandson from Atlanta, Carter. Although Carter has heard all the stories about Redford's crazy residents he has never seen it in person until now. To everyone's surprise, the old man has devised a game in order to give away his fortune of $10 million. He pairs up residents plus his grandson to form teams and compete for their chance to win it all. The catch - he pairs up people who have had conflict with each other. Stroke of genius or madness? You decide! The story mainly follows Jess (paired up with Nikki, her high school nemesis) and Carter (paired up with the local bartender, Bryce), but the reader gets to meet and know (and love - except for Lexi) all the residents of Redford!

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What would you do for 10 million dollars? The Only Game in Town, is a wonderful blend of Romantic and wacky comedy. It features a grieving Grandson and a small town Book Editor who compete to win the grand prize while falling in love. You’ll love the eccentric townsfolk and strange ways the competition unfolds. I loved this book and urge you to seek it out. Five Stars.

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I absolutely love books that take place in small towns and this was the perfect small town. Every person had a small business that if they took the day off that business was simply closed for the day. To me that sounds like a perfect simple life!

The one millionaire, Jasper, who lived in Redford recently passed away and decided to give away 10 millionaire dollars. The town was to compete in a series of activities with a partner. However they didn’t get to pick their partner, Jasper added a wrinkle to the competition by pairing everyone up with their town enemy. So two people who dislike each other had to work together to win competitions in the hopes of winning.

Carter, is an out of towner who is visiting for his grandfather Jasper’s funeral and discovers that he is also competing for the 10 million dollars. Jess, is a Redford lifer who is bubbly and Carter is instantly drawn to her. They are not on the same team but we get to see their relationship grow throughout the book.

We also get the insight of Ross, Jess’s dad and Nikki, Jess’s partner and enemy. I wasn’t sure how I would like seeing 2 more viewpoints but they helped show more insight to their actions. I truly enjoyed this book however I didn’t like that it was labeled a romance book. Carter and Jess do start to fall for each other but we don’t see it. It is such a small part of the book it could easily have been taken out. But if you love small town stories this was worth it, just don’t expect romance.

Thank you @netgalley for the arc!
Release Date: March 21, 2023
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
🔥 Scene: this simply was not a romance book

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Thanks to the publisher (Penguin Group Putnam), author, and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Jess is a small-town girl who's independent and quirky in her own way. Her lovable single father raised her. She comes across as a pretty sweet character. Carter, our other main character, is a big city guy whose family's high expectations for him, drove him away , Enter Jasper Wilhelm, Carter's eccentric late grandfather, who, upon dying instructed that his fortune of 10 million be distributed among the residents of Redford, but there's a catch; they must engage in a series of games in teams, and there can only be one winner.
I enjoyed reading this book. I honestly love Small-town settings, one of my favorite shows being Hart of Dixie. This is what drove me to request this arc in the first place. The slow0burn romance between Jess and Carter is cute and worth reading about. I also loved the small-town quirks that were shown throughout the book.

This book was fun, engaging and pretty sweet. It's an easy read that anyone who enjoys romcoms would definitly love to pick up.

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Inheritance Games meets small town rom com? Yes please! When the small town of Redford’s fun loving and (quasi-secret) philanthropist, Jasper, dies, the whole town is offered to compete in an attempt to win a huge sum of his fortune. The catch: most of the residents are forced to compete alongside their rivals as teammates. Bright and sunny Jess befriends Jasper’s big-city business grandson, Carter as the competition progresses. But will their connection survive the competition?

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Usually I devour a book with multiple POV, but with this book it was hard to keep everyone straight. The third person narrative along with multiple characters had me rereading lines and double checking chapter beginnings to remind myself who’s view I was reading. The overall pace of the story was slow and I did lose interest during multiple occasions. I wanted to love this book because I’ve enjoyed previous books by this author, but for me it was missing a spark that the other books had. I think if the book was told from first person narrative since it had multiple characters it would have greatly helped the flow of the book.

Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons and NetGalley for this ARC

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Gilmore Girls, but if it took place in the south. That is the best way I can describe this book! It had such a fantastic interesting cast of characters that you wanted to root for (even the resident 'mean girl,' Nikki) and the whole competition felt like a quirky event that would happen in Stars Hollow.

I love books that center on romances, but I quite enjoyed how the main focus of this book is the competition and the town of Redford over a relationship. You get so wrapped up and invested in everyone's feuds and their own little quirks and backstories and, in my opinion, making the relationship the focal point would take away from all of that. Jess and Carter are really cute together and their banter was fun to read! But the game was a refreshing way to get to know a whole cast of fun characters, with a slow-burn romance thrown in the mix. I think the competition even strengthens their relationship, as well as how we view it as readers. Through the lens of the competition, we get to see their motivations, where their loyalties lie, their vulnerability, what Jess and Carter's limits are, etc.

In the same vein, I loved the multiple perspectives used here. I think it would've gotten boring had we only been in Jess' head, or even Carter's. Utilizing multiple POVs was a smart way to keep up with the competition's momentum and maintain reader interest.

There is just one very small thing that bugged me and hindered my ability to give a 5-star rating. I love when food allergies get represented in books because I have a lot of them and rarely see them pop up in literature. However, I was kind of disappointed in the allergy rep here. When one of the characters goes into anaphylactic shock, there is mention of incorrect EpiPen use: administering in the arm (wrong), rather than the outer thigh (correct). In the grand scheme of things, it isn't a big deal, and it might have even been a joke. But since food allergies aren't talked about a lot, using inaccurate descriptions for administering EpiPens could end up harming someone in real life. I wasn't a fan of that.

Otherwise, though, it was a lot of fun to get to know the whole town of Redford through the eccentric competition games/rounds! I don't know how to explain it, but this book just felt like the transition between summer and autumn, and I am so grateful to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC!!

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The Only Game in Town is another 5⭐️ Lacie Waldon book for me! This novel veers a bit away from her typical contemporary romance genre but I loved every minute. There is definitely a rom com element but this book is so much more. It explores life in a small town, finding yourself, the impacts of our upbringings, and the beautiful connections we can make in our lives.

This book is described as The Westing Game meets Sweet Home Alabama and I couldn’t agree more. There is a quirky game element to the story that brings all of the characters together on a huge adventure. It had a unique feeling and the way it was set up made me think of a rom com movie in a picturesque small town.

There are multiple POVs which adds a lot to the story as well. I laughed, cried, and couldn’t put down this book. It was sweet, funny, and so heartfelt.

I received this as an arc from NetGalley and GP Putnam’s Sons but all opinions are my own.

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What another cute and funny story. Love the characters and the plot . This author is quickly turning to a auto buy for me!

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This was my first Lacie Waldon Book, I have her other two on hold at the library. This book was very sweet and wholesome. The town was a cute setting and all the characters were life like. I would have liked more of the Romance, but it was still a good cute fall read.

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