The Love Game – Emma Hart

ImageAuthor: Emma Hart

Rating: 3/5


His challenge? Make her fall in love with him.
Her challenge? Play the player.
Until life changes the rules of the game.

Maddie Stevens hated Braden Carter on sight. Arrogant, egotistical, and the playboy of the University of California, Berkeley, he’s everything her brother Pearce has taught her to despise. So why, when the girls challenge her to play the player, doesn’t she say no? She doesn’t know either.

Braden wanted fiery little Maddie the second he laid eyes on her – and he’d do anything to have her, hence why he’s agreed to make her fall in love with him. After all, it’s the only way he’ll get what he wants. Sex.

But, as Braden discovers, there’s more to the girl from Brooklyn than he ever imagined – and he can’t help but care about the broken girl behind those pretty green eyes.

Maddie finds Braden isn’t just a walking erection – he actually has feelings. He can be sweet, funny and his good looks don’t exactly hurt. That means trouble – but when her brother Pearce turns up in Berkeley begging for her help, she realises Braden and Pearce aren’t so alike anymore.

And maybe, just maybe, they’re exactly what each other needs.


This is the typical player story where girl decides to play the player. It reminded me a bit of John Tucker Must Die. Usually, these plots are all dried up and everything has been done, even this.

I liked it, though. I read it in one night last week and haven’t had time to write a review til now, so here it goes.

We meet Maddie, a college freshman that has moved from Brooklyn to Berekley to start over. One night at a frat party Maddie is coerced into teaching Braden Cater, resident playboy, a lesson in love. Hump and dump. Make him fall in love with her, and crush him. Meanwhile, Braden has his own ploy with his friends to gain Maddie’s love and bed her before casting her aside.

There were some instances where I laughed in the dialogue, especially by Maddie’s friends who used rather… creative… ways to describe things.

“Did you, you know, blow his whistle?”
“Did you suck his lollipop?”
“Well, did he bite your burger?”
“What, on earth, is that?” Kay tries and fails to get the words out,
“It’s, licking, um, y’know.” Megan shakes her head and laughs.
“Okay, so was there bean flicking?”
“Did he play with the bait while he went fishing?”

However, there were other instances where I would’ve punched Braden in the nose.

“These might be sweatpants, but they happen to fit you really well, especially around that ass… so if we stop, it won’t be for fucking McDonalds.”

*le sigh*

I felt the bet was out of place. Maddie hated Braden for sleeping with girls all the time because her brother broke her best friends heart? Uh, I’m pretty sure all the girls sleeping with Braden realize that he’s a manwhore – it’s common knowledge on campus – and still line up to him. But she also mentions once she respects that hes a man that knows what he wants? Oy.

And Braden! He’s a player, yeah okay, but an honest one. He never lead anyone on – everyone knows he has a different girl in his bed nearly every night. And it seemed spiteful that he’d lead Maddie on and hump and dump her when she’s never done anything to him.

And I’m surprised with the whole ‘diff girl every day’ thing. Is everyone immune to diseases or just don’t give a damn?

There’s no major conflict, and there was moments that really bugged me. I’m in college, and even I can’t skip three weeks of class unexcused and still manage to pass, and I doubt a student at Berkeley would do that. Furthermore, there were only a handful of moments when anyone actually WENT to class.

And going to see her dad and it was like a 3 hour plane trip, tops?  Uhhh… obviously Emma didn’t understand layovers and all that, because even without one, you can’t get from Berkeley campus to Brooklyn in a couple hours, not to mention having to buy a plane ticket, etc and that it was a random decision and there might not be flights she can take happening the minute she gets there.

A lot of little things, really, that bugged me. Stuff that could be easily researched on the internet.

Overall, it’s a decent story. I can’t say I expected much, when I wanted a easy read. But if you want something with lots of substance and originality, look elsewhere.

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