Member Reviews

I wanted to love The Only Game in Town. I am a big fan of Lacie Waldon and her other books but this was a miss for me. The great parts were the small town and unique idea for the book. The grandfather and his playful spirit and love of Redford came alive through the pages even though he was deceased. The big gap was the cast of characters. They came off as a little one dimensional and immature at times. It’s hard to believe people would be making 6 sandwiches, taking shots and getting bangs when 10 million dollars were on the line. I didn’t buy that people would be so angry about the article and the connection between the scholarship and cheating seemed like a stretch. The ending wrapped up way too quickly and the speech to declare the winner seemed far fetched. I think sharing what kind of cancer Ross had would have added depth. Even though I didn’t love this book, I will definitely give this author another try in the future.

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The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon

This was such a sweet, small town, feel good comfort read. Jess lives in the small town of Redford where nothing much changes. When the town benefactor dies, he leaves 10 million dollars to the town. The only catch, you have to compete for it. Before he dies he created a series of challenges. Not only is Jess having to compete for the money, but she is paired with her high school nemesis. Everyone in town seems to be partnered with the one person they can’t stand.

Carter, a financial advisor and the benefactor’s grandson from Atlanta, is in town for the summer for the competition. When he meets Jess, sparks fly. Will he stick around once the competition ends?

I loved the premise of this story! The small town quirky characters were so fun and entertaining with their antics. I also loved that you got 4 different POV’s (One being Jess’ nemesis and partner, Nikki) Overall, such a fun and sweet read of a town coming together.

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One of my favorite books when I was younger and probably the first book I read multiple times was The Westing Game, so when I saw this book described as a combination of that story and a movie I also enjoyed, I knew I had to read it! There were endless antics, a few laugh-out-loud lines, and almost every kind of love you can imagine. The cast of characters was very colorful, and all told, this was a very charming story.

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Jasper Wilhelm, a multimillionaire and resident of Redford, Georgia, dies and leaves behind a competition in which the residents of Redford have to compete in team challenges at their chance of winning $10 million to split.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It's marketed as a romance, and to be honest I do not feel like this book was a romance at all. Yes, it does have a relationship between the characters Jess and Carter, but the main focus of this book was the relationship between the residents of this small town and the competition that they are in. The romance between Jess and Carter felt secondary.

If you are looking for more of a heart warming story with an adventure plot- then this book is for you. If you are picking this book up because you love romance novels, you may want to pass.

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

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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: 🔥

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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