Cover Image: The Only Game in Town

The Only Game in Town

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Member Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed Lacie Waldon's first two novels and so I was excited for The Only Game in Town despite the fact that the plot did not appeal to me at all. Unfortunately, it turns out I should have gone with my gut based on the description. The novel was fine, I just don't particularly enjoy cute small town romances or overly gimmicky plot devices, and this novel has both in spades. Because I wasn't able to care about the main plot I had trouble caring very much about the characters or their relationships.
That being said, small town romances are very popular and I know of many people for whom this would be a great choice, and I will be sure to recommend it to them. It was cute and a little silly with a great cast of characters and engages with some more serious issues in a thoughtful way.

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Lacie Waldon is a sneaky romance author who seems to fly under the radar, but I've adored every one of her recent books! They always feature unique premises and she is excellent at bringing the story to life. The Only Game in Town is no different!

When a rich philanthropist from a small town dies, he leaves behind a "game" that every person in town can participate in...for a chance to win $10 million dollars!

Unfortunately, the teams are already picked and most of the townspeople find themselves with rivals, enemies, or former friends who no longer speak. Jess is paired with the woman who's tortured and bullied her her whole life. Lovely!

Carter, the man's grandson also finds himself as part of the game, and ends up shirking his responsibilities from back in the city. As he gets caught up in the game (and in Jess) he starts to wonder if his life in the city is what he really wants.

I just adored the wild and crazy events as part of the game and reading about all the different characters. This is heartwarming, sweet (with little spice) and just the perfect rom-com!

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Wow! The Only Game in Town was such a refreshing take on small-town romances. <3 Many thanks to Putnam Books for approving me to read an early review copy.

The POV layout of TOGIT was so different, given that it was a romance. The book consists of the POVs of the male and female leads along with the FMC's father and arch nemesis' POV. The book followed such an sweet and adorable storyline. The high-stakes game plot was executed perfectly in my opinion. I loved reading about all of the challenges. One of my favorite things about small town romances is the community feeling associated with them, and this book was ALL ABOUT THAT. All of the character we met added their own charm and quirks to the story in their own unique ways. I think one of the reasons why I loved reading The Only Game In Town so much was because of how much it reminded me of Stars Hollow, the fictional town from the TV show Gilmore Girls. :') So if you're a fan of the show, be sure to add this to your tbrs!

The romance between Jess and Carter was great too! I loved seeing them connect even though they had very different personalities. The book read more like a women's fiction than a romance, but I had no problem with that.

I cannot recommend this book enough!

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Heartwarming, quirky, and a speedy read with an adorable cast of characters and a fun premise. A great beach read!

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This was a lovely, unique story! Lacie Waldon always writes such interesting and original stories.
Carter and Jess's romance story was kinda on the sidelines of this small-town, character development, contemporary fiction story. I have a hard time reading different (more than two) points of view, but I appreciated getting in the head of characters I had a hard time understanding/liking from someone else's POV!
I really enjoyed the small town, the quirky characters and their path to understanding/redemption in the eyes of others, the tender romance, and the excitement/nerves around the big, town-wide competition for an eccentric old man's desired outcome for his inheritance.
Thank you for the ARC!!!

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The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon is a delightful and charming romance that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Set in a small town in Georgia, the story follows Jess Reid, a freelance editor who loves the safety and predictability of her hometown, and Carter Barclay, a financial advisor who unexpectedly finds himself in Redford to play a high-stakes game devised by the town's eccentric benefactor, Jasper Wilhelm.

As Jess and Carter are paired up for the game, they must learn to work together despite their differences and the sparks that fly between them. With the grand prize being Jasper's entire fortune, the tension builds as the deadline approaches and the stakes get higher.

Waldon has crafted a story full of heart, humor, and hijinks, with quirky and endearing characters that will make you feel like you're a part of the town. Jess and Carter's love story is sweet and entertaining, and the way they navigate their relationship amidst the chaos of the game is both realistic and satisfying.

Overall, The Only Game in Town is a fun and light-hearted read that will leave you feeling uplifted and happy. If you're a fan of small-town romances with a touch of humor, then this book is definitely for you.

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I loved this book. It reminded of YA books that just had a good story. I wouldn't go into it expecting a particular genre or trope. There is some romance, but it's not only romance. There's also family and friends and community and figuring out your place. And there's humor and connection and growth. There are also fun challenges and activities as the town competed for a crazy inheritance! It was such a fun read that had me smiling throughout.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy. All opinions are my own. I will keep reading whatever Lacie Weldon writes!!

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Unique take on small town romance novel. Loved reading about the Redford community and everyone’s involvement in the end. The romance in it is sub-plot. I was not a fan of the multiple POV, there was a lot of filler that could be condensed and still deliver the same message.

Overall, it was a decent family oriented bringing the community together book.

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I was really excited for this book. The premise seemed like so much fun; I loved the idea of a small town competition with the suggestion of a love story.

However, this was a DNF for me. The characters were very juvenile, the plot about the town abandoning their day jobs for the competition felt very unrealistic, and I couldn’t understand the MC’s subservience to her nemesis. Breaking into the bar to make sandwiches was one thing - but then when her nemesis - who is her age - starts hitting on the MC’s Dad, I was done. The hint of a romance for the MC felt like an after thought and therefore lost any build up. There was too much focus on the nemesis who just felt too ridiculous to be a real person.

It’s possible the book gets better, and maybe it’s just not for me. I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone else that might enjoy it more.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of the book. All opinions are my own.

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

The Only Game in Town really was like a mashup of Sweet Home Alabama and The Westing Game, a combination I didn’t know I needed, but very much enjoyed. It was sweet, not spicy, and the town of Redford becomes a character too.

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This was cute! Women’s fiction with a side of romance. The story with the game was fun. I ended up switching to the audio and enjoyed it. I would round up to 4 stars.

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⭐⭐⭐⭐

𝙊𝙣𝙚 𝙨𝙢𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙩𝙤𝙬𝙣, 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙗𝙞𝙜 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙯𝙚, 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙧...

📍 Read if you like:
• Small Towns
• Opposites Attract
• Adventures
• Father/Daughter Relationship
• Closed Door Romances

This is the third book I have read by Lacie, and honestly, they were all so incredible. To all my romance lovers or those wanting to get into the genre, I would highly recommend checking out her books. They always take you on an adventure around the world.

I LOVED the small town setting and in this case the genuine relationships between the characters. We got multiple povs in this book - not just the hero and heroine - we also got some of the side characters’ povs.

Jess and Carter are complete opposites, but they make the perfect match:

~ 𝐉𝐞𝐬𝐬 left her editing job in NY to care for her father. The father/daughter relationship in this story was so strong and wholesome. I loved Ross and his genuine personality.

~ 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐫, on the other hand, is a financial advisor with a very corrupt family empire, except for his grandfather Jasper. Suddenly, Jasper passes away and leaves his will to the town people… but there’s a catch - they must compete in various challenges. The last duo will then split the money.

Oh man, this book was entertaining ASF. I loved each of the challenges the characters had to go through, especially the racing in Barbie cars. Also, the scavenger heart was so fun. Unfortunately, Jess is paired with Nikki - a bully who embarrasses Jess in front of everyone. She gave me 𝐌𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐆𝐢𝐫𝐥𝐬 in a sort of 𝐇𝐮𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫 𝐆𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 setting.

I really think Bryce’s character was so underrated. He was definitely one of my favorite side characters, alongside Ross. He is paired with Carter and he’s just so entertaining.

The Reford setting was so well described and I loved the games these characters had to play to win the ultimate prize. I do wish the story itself focused a bit more on the romance - but hey, that’s just a me thing. The book itself was such a joy of a ride. Jess and Carter were great characters and I loved their chemistry so much. Highly recommend this book!!
Thank you Putnam and NetGalley for the free gifted book and PRH Audio for the ALC in exchange for my honest review, all thoughts are my own!

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This was really cute! Having spent time in small town Georgia, I could easily picture Redford with it's main street shops and colorful characters. Jess is your predictable sunshine heroine and Carter is not really a grump, but definitely on the stoic side of the spectrum. Of course, being in Redford with all of these people (and Jess!) will unlock his sunny side in due course.
The games set forth by the deceased (Carter's grandfather) weren't anything tricky or elaborate, so if your looking for an "Inheritance Games" type of story full of puzzles with romance added in you can keep looking. They are enough to keep the plot moving along and keep Carter in town long enough to get to know everyone.
I enjoyed Waldon's writing and felt like I had a good image of all the characters in the story. A fun and funny closed door romance.
Thanks so much for the ARC!

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this was beautiful and so amazing especially as a daughter who was super close to their father but recently lost them to cancer this really struck a cord with me and was just overall super beautiful

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Thank you to Net Galley for an advanced reader copy of this book.

This was a very sweet book. If you enjoy the occasional Hallmark type movie this book is really for you. The characters were very likable, it was set within a small quaint town, and there were lots of interesting townspeople featured through out. I enjoyed the premise of the book and found it to be very satisfying in the end.

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This is my first Lacie Walden book and I am officially in love!

She created such a beautiful and funny story that you can’t help but be sucked in. I am a sucker for small towns - especially with mountains and the image she created for “The Only Game In Town” made me wish I could visit and meet all of the locals!

This was written with multiple POV - our two main characters, Carter and Jess, along with Jess’s dad, Ross, and her nemesis, Nikki.
It was interesting seeing all the different thoughts and to see how they perceived what was going on around them. All four had a distinct voice and I think it definitely helped to push the story forward!

If you love small town romance, family dynamics, feuding towns people, and an eccentric millionaire who dies and leaves everything to the town he loves? This book will make your week!

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you know, I don't think I love Lacie Waldon books. I've tried a few, but I cannot connect with them like I can other authors. It feels like I'm just reading to read the books and not reading to enjoy the story and get caught up in it. Basically, this book took a while for me to finish as I just didn't connect with it. Nothing particularly wrong, but definitely better books out there.

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I loved this book! It read like the perfect Hallmark story of the town I would LOVE to live in with people I would love to be my neighbors!

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The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon took a minute to pull me in. I was expecting a romance, but quickly came to realize that this book is more about the town than the relationship between Jess and Carter. While both Jess and Carter grow through this book, it’s the town with its quirky characters and humorous stories that was truly the star of the book. Overall, this was a fun story, filled with funny moments and ridiculous challenges; however, it was not the romance I was expecting.

Note: this book has some innuendo, but is closed door.

*Thank you to Netgalley, and the author and publisher for an e-arc of this book. All opinions are my own.

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This amazing book was a great mix of The Amazing Race meets Big Brother challenges meets Hart of Dixie super cute small town! Being from a small town myself, I loved the setting and side characters with all the background!

The love between a dad and his daughter, the mean girls from high school, the gossip, and most importantly, the big move back to her hometown, was all so reminiscent of my own story and all the memories my own hometown brings each time I go back!

This story was truly a gem!

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