Games in a Ballroom

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Pub Date 03 May 2022 | Archive Date 17 May 2022

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London, 1815

Olivia Wilde has resigned herself to never finding a love match. Her father has insisted she marry a man with a title, if only to increase his own standing and reputation in society. But the men her father deems acceptable are, at best, boring and uninspiring, and at worse, are as brutish as her father, and are only looking to increase their own diminishing coffers. With her future looking dismal, Olivia decides to enjoy the last few months of freedom with her childhood friends, including the handsome Emerson Latham. His devilish smile and flirtatious teasing stirs up feelings she knows she cannot entertain.

Emerson is struggling to rise to his responsibilities after the death of his father. Though he might still be learning what he needs to do as the head of his household, one thing he knows for sure is that he wants Olivia Wilde to be his wife. Having grown up as childhood friends with Olivia, Emerson long ago had fallen in love with her quick wit, beauty, and passionate heart. However, without a title, he will never be permitted to court Olivia openly. But he has a plan that may give him a chance to court her in secret.

As the season kicks off, Emerson proposes a bit of fun with a playful game of tag. Olivia’s friends are delighted by the idea, though Olivia is more wary. After all, the game must be played in secret and they must be discreet when tagging each other at dinners and balls and the theater. As the romance builds between Olivia and Emerson, so does the risk of being discovered. Not only are their reputations at stake, so is their safety if they are caught by Olivia’s father, who has an explosive, and at times violent, temper.

Can their love find a happily ever after before the game ends?  
London, 1815

Olivia Wilde has resigned herself to never finding a love match. Her father has insisted she marry a man with a title, if only to increase his own standing and reputation in society. But...

Advance Praise

"Debut novelist Flint puts her own clever spin on the classic Regency romance-think Jane Austen meets the movie Tag-in this delightfully fun read that not only delivers a sweetly satisfying love story but also illuminates the important role friends play in life. Teen fans of Austen-era romances will be all-in for Flint's playful debut."


"Debut novelist Flint puts her own clever spin on the classic Regency romance-think Jane Austen meets the movie Tag-in this delightfully fun read that not only delivers a sweetly satisfying love...

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ISBN 9781629729930
PRICE $15.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 256 members

Featured Reviews

What an enjoyable read. I loved the core group of the 5 characters with emphasis on Liv and Emerson. My only complaint is with the rather abrupt ending. I would have liked to see the father get his due and for the Lord the father was backing to get some comeuppance of some kind.

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Games in a Ballroom by Jentry Flint is a wonderful, fun, and charming historical romance that had me feeling like a young adult all over again!

I loved this book! It is so unique and refreshing. Olivia and Emerson are childhood friends. Both have their own constraints and obligations. Both feel pressured, cornered, and unlucky. But what Olivia doesn’t know is that Emerson is totally smitten and in love. Through the ingenious plot of creating fun, games, and secrets, Emerson works to build trust, affection, and a relationship with Olivia all under the radar of the ever-sweeping family.

I truly enjoyed the banter, wit, snappy dialogue, sweet premise, and the pacing of the story. Throw in the wonderful character cast, the true chemistry, and matching of the main characters: Olivia and Emerson…and one has an excellent book.

Did I say I also loved the uplifting and heartwarming ending?!

Spot on.

I look forward to more from this author.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and Shadow Mountain Publishing for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately (as of 9/25/21 no BB listing has been created and review will be posted and links updated when title is added) and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

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This was my first read from the author, and for (I think?) her first historical romance... she did a pretty good job!

I'm not too big when it comes to the friends to lovers relationship - since it is never really done well - but this one I didn't seem to dislike it. I actually enjoyed it. It was sweet watching him attempt to woo her in 'games' than in a normal attempt of courting.

I also felt bad for the main character, because her father is an abusive male and she and her mother are left to his devices.

I also liked the friends of our hero? I felt that if the author wanted to write more stories that featured them she could. She did build them up to have relationships - one of which was his sister with the gruff and moody friend that did nothing but read.

The reason I did not rate it a full star is because I felt that it was a little odd that this game was even played to begin with? I mean, he said that the normal way of courting her wasn't working. However, I felt that I didn't see him actually attempt to court her. If he would have been honest about his feelings and actually let her know he loved her then I don't think this game would have even took place.

If you're looking for a sweet/cute historical romance, I'd recommend this book.

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A fun and quick read, with characters to root for and villains to despise!

Just reading the description alone had me excited to dive in. I was so very curious to see how this small group of ladies and gentlemen from the ton would go about playing tag of all things during society events! I have to give points on originality, I’ve read so many historical romance books set in the regency era and I’ve never come across adults playing tag! It was fun and investing. For a romantic male lead to use such a game as a chance to court the lady he loves. I thought that was interesting but as you begin to read more and learn about who these characters are… well then I found it brilliant!

I quickly became enamored with the characters introduced in this story. From Emerson and his sister Arabella to Emerson’s friends Lord Bradbury and Lord Northcott and oh how my heart ached for Olivia Wilde and her circumstances! I think that’s what’s important in books like these, to have characters that grip your attention and heart so that they don’t blend in with all the other stories out there.

I think my only complaint about this book was that it left me wanting more, like an epilogue, a few more details after all the high drama towards the end of the book would have been so appreciated. It felt a tad bit abrupt as is. My hope is that the reason I didn’t get an epilogue was because there will be more details with a future book set in this universe. One focusing on Arabella and Lord Northcott perhaps? Or one of the anti marriage- Lord of charm, Bradbury? Basically I want more of this universe and i definitely want more games (played discreetly) in the balls and events of the ever prim and proper ton.

I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this book!

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Over the course of his life, Olivia Wilde's dad worked hard and became very rich, and the only thing he lacks is a title. Olivia is in her second Season, and he expects her to marry. Emerson has been friends with Olivia since childhood, and he loves her vivacious spirit. He hopes to marry her, but is saddened when her vivacious spirit is snuffed out by her overbearing (and aggressive) father. Emerson decides to start a game of "tag" that their group of friends can play at balls as a way to interact with Olivia and to coax some spirit back into her.

When I first read the summary, I was skeptical that it was going to be anything other than majorly cheesy and awkward. While I still think that Emerson simply talking to Olivia about his feelings would have been the most reasonable course of action, Flint somehow made the game of tag work. While still a little cheesy, it was whimsical and romantic, and she did an admirable job of providing Emerson's reasoning for why he felt the game was necessary. Olivia and Emerson are fabulous characters, and I loved Emerson as a romantic lead.

I would not hesitate to recommend this to reader who enjoy a clean period romance. It was a light and fun read that I looked forward to picking up each evening.

I received a free, advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion and review.

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This is my first experience with a novel written by Jentry Flint. I enjoyed the story ands found it to be an easy and intriguing read. I look forward to reading more of her novels.

Olivia Wilde knows she must obey her sometimes violent father's wishes and marry whom he chooses. She must protect her mother. When childhood friend Emerson Latham encourages the group of friends play some games, like tag, secretly during society events, Olivia knows she should avoid playing. If her father were to discover the games, she and her mother would be in trouble. But she decides a little bit of freedom and fun may be just what she needs before she is committed to her fate. What she didn't plan on, is falling in love with Emerson.

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Not my favorite, but not my least favorite. The romance was so one-sided for most of the book that it threw me off when Liv began to reciprocate. Also, reading elaborate descriptions of pranks is never actually very fun (certainly not as fun as watching or participating!), and I found that the whole pranking thing to be more of a distraction than anything.

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'Games in a Ballroom' is mostly a cozy, entertaining read, but this is unfortunately one of those books where the supporting cast is much more interesting than the two main characters. Emerson is infatuated with Olivia from the very beginning but I don't think the book does a good job of explaining why, when or how. Maybe flashbacks to their earlier friendship would've helped with this while also developing Emerson and Olivia more. Emerson's also too controlling for my liking (this is probably supposed to be seen as romantic and persistent), which is odd if he's supposed to be a foil to Olivia's domineering father.

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Games in a Ballroom is certainly an interesting and original idea for a historical novel. I was very intrigued when I first saw the book's description and was excited to read it. Now, having read it, it reminds me of a movie I saw a preview for about a group of friends that play tag as adults, so not sure if this in the inspiration for the novel or not, but it seemed very similar.

Oftentimes, historical novels describe how restricting and judgmental society could be, so livening things up with a secret game amongst friends sounds like a good idea. The game is suggested because Emerson wants to court Liv, but I don't see how the game really helped him with his pursuit of her heart. Certainly, the game helped bring a little bit of the "old Liv" back, who she was before her father tried to form her into the perfect daughter worthy to marry a titled Lord. But again, I don't know how her risking her father's ire to play a game helped her develop or recognize feelings for Emerson. Despite the odds of them finding a happily ever after together, you were rooting for them to succeed and find love.

As far as the characters go, both the main and side characters were all interesting and I enjoyed reading about them and their addition to the story. They are each unique and seemingly burdened in their own way and I can tell they have a story to tell and had just hoped to learn a little bit more about them. I certainly hope they get their own books and space to tell their stories. There was a little bit of immaturity involved with the games and pranks that f