by Jennifer Dawson
Series: Something New #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Some people follow the rules. . . A professor of forensic anthropology, James Donovan is the reasonable sibling among the passionate, impulsive Donovans. But there's nothing reasonable about his reaction to baker Gracie Roberts. She's all wild curls and mouth-watering curves, as deliciously tempting as the sugary treats she's famous for--and twice as irritating. But before long, James decides that getting a taste of her is one indulgence he can't pass up. . .
Some people play to win. . .Independent, smart, and sexy, Gracie's year-long dry spell has her itching for a man. Responsible, health-obsessed James? Not in a million years! She needs a guy who knows how to let loose! But when James sets out to show her just how satisfying a disciplined man can be when pleasure is at stake, she learns just how sweet--and spicy--he really is. Have James and Gracie found the recipe for love?
The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson is the third book in her Something New series and features a “haters to lovers” romance with a geeky professor who made me swoon. Dawson delivers heat and some role-playing that heated up the pages. Sizzling chemistry, humor and cupcakes had this reader melting.
It is important to note that while each of these stories features the romance of one couple, the small-town atmosphere of the series will be lost on those who read them out-of-order.
Coffee dates with The Name of the Game
- First Date: Right away, I like the tension between James Donovan and Gracie Roberts. These two will be spending a lot more time in each other’s company thanks to the upcoming marriage of Gracie’s best friend Cecilia and James’ brother Shane. The banter is delicious and had me giggling from the onset. She is a baker and he is a health nut and on the surface they are like oil and water, but things are about to boil and I cannot wait to see what they are cooking!
- Second date: They soon begin to realize that their issues stem from attraction and the games begin. Gracie tries to take control of the situation and Dawson had me laughing, sighing and falling head over heels for James. From his sexy professor attitude to his Doctor Who t-shirts, the man is a geeky god. I can just see him with his glasses and disheveled hair. He over analyses everything and I loved watching him fall. Time spent with the Dawson family as they celebrate the engagement of Celica and Shane added some nice touches. I enjoyed updates from earlier characters and we even meet new ones. James’ friends were hilarious and the conversations he had with them had me grinning. I loved all the talk about cupcakes, browncoats, and time lords!
- Third date: Heat, some role-playing and fantasy fulfilling added just the right amount of heat. Dawson has a thing for realistic Dom/sub relationships and we catch a glimpse here. We see some growing pains, and a few mistakes that lead to relationship turbulence but it was not overdone and kept me flipping the pages. Both Gracie and James are strong characters, and I loved the depth Dawson brought to them. We witness character growth as we learn more about James and see Gracie realize a few important things about herself. I didn’t want my dates to end.
My coffee dates with The Name of the Game ended much too soon. I loved this couple, the humor and all the geeky talk. As Good As New the fourth book in the series will release in March 2016. It will feature Evan Donovan and Penelope Watkins.
James’s gaze flickered over her body. “Gracie.”
She fought the urge to stiffen at his cool tone. It was a casual brunch, so she wore jeans and a black scoop-neck knit top that highlighted her blond hair and curves.
She’d made damn sure she looked good, covering the shadows under her eyes with concealer.
“Professor,” she returned before beaming at the boy.
The smile transformed into concern and he stood, walking toward her. “Are you okay?”
She nodded even as a swell of heat washed through her.
No. No. No. Not him. Anyone but him. He was all wrong for her. He was her best friend’s brother. He was secure and stable.
He was coming closer. Too close. Awareness flared, impossible to ignore. He was going to touch her.
A second later he gripped her arm and she gasped. “You’re as white as a sheet.” Her gaze snagged on his mouth, his full mouth, but instead of focusing on what a horrible kisser he’d be, she could see it. Feel his mouth moving over hers. She sucked in a breath.
Jennifer is a new author to me.
Good luck Melissa, either way I hope you try Jen’s books 🙂
I haven’t read anything by Jennifer Dawson before, but this sounds like an interesting series. Plus, I totally judge a book by it’s cover and my first thought when I saw this one was Molly Harper’s Jane Jameson series, and that’s some great recommendation right there. 🙂
Oh neat, and I happen to know Dawson likes Harper 🙂
Sounds interesting! I must add this series to my list!
I love this and her Undone series (which is a little more heated)
Ah my favourite trope! It’s been a while since I’ve read a contemporary romance! Will have to check this out soon. Awesome review, glad you enjoyed it!
This was such fun Cyn..you would love Gracie and James
Not yet, but I’d like to – I do love family series.
Good luck Diane! I hope you get to try Dawson and her books
haters to lovers … ha love the sound of this one but I’m taking your advice and starting at the beginning. At least it’s only 2 books 😉
They were both delightful Teddyree and each is different which I enjoy.
A baker and a professor with sizzling chemistry? Yes! Sign me up! This definitely sounds like my kind of read, and loved your review. Hugs…Ro
Agreed. Hope you enjoy this one Ro 🙂
This is another series on the Kimba Recs list. 🙂 I’m particularly anxious for this one – although I’ll read them in order. 😉 I’m a sucker for a geeky professor and the opposites attract/haters to lovers trope is a fav as well. Dawson sure seems to write great characters. Hmm…Dawson or Meader first?!? #bookwormproblems
Both authors are awesome, Brandee.
loathing to love … my favorite. And a geeky professor to boot. Definitely my kinda read.
Oh yeah, you would love the banter. Getting inside Their heads was pretty funny too
This sounds like a really cute read. I just wish there was enough time to read everything I want to. Maybe someday, Enjoyed your dates 🙂
Yes..I feel the same Lorna. I need a time stopping device
I didn’t know about this one and I don’t remember about the others but it’s great that youhad such a great time with the story and the characters! great review!
They all work as standalone, so you can dive in anywhere
Michele at A Belle's Tales
You had me at cupcakes! Love the dates and the quotes, too! *hugs*
LOL, yes cupcakes are good 🙂
Oh how I love sexy geeks! I would give this high marks too just for Mr. Sexy!
It was a fun, sexy read Braine.
The Bibliophile Babe
Haters to lovers is almost as good as friends to lovers! Great review!
Oh I agree, my other favorite is the arrangement trope.
Sounds nice and steamy 🙂
It had some steam, but not too bad 🙂
It sounded really good and then I read the quotes and it sounded even better. Thanks for letting us know about this one. Putting it in my wish list for sure.
I really enjoy this author..and the Name of the Game was such a fun read
“James’s gaze flickered over her body.” — ooh, la, la! What a great word to use, “flickered.” Thanks for the post.
I liked that phrase too Angela
You’re killing me here! Yesterday it was the arrangement trope and today it’s geeky professors and hate turned to not so much. How can I resist that?? This sounds great!
LOL, two of my favorite tropes 🙂
Love the banter, and I would love to read this for the “geekiness.”
Yeah the Professor and the banter made this such fun.
This sounds like so much fun!! I love seeing fellow geeks as the main characters in books, it’s so rare that they pop up in contemporary romance. Geeks are sexy and authors need to get on this, lol.
Great review Kimba!
Yes, I do too Michelle and this was such fun!
Loved your review, Kimberly! You have me sold that I need to read this pair of opposites, but the small town backstory sounds good to so I’ll behave and snag them in order.
LOL, each book is different but all worth reading 🙂
Haters to lovers sounds nice
Yes it makes for great chemistry and banter 🙂
A baker and a health nut – it sounds like an experiment MEANT to get frothy and bubble over, lol 😀 Lovely review, Kimba.
Quinn's Book Nook
This looks like such a fun read. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I am adding this to my TBR, but it sounds like I should really read this series in order.
These will all work as standalone, although it is nice to get to know all the secondary characters.
I have debated picking this one up, thanks for the quotes, it sounds really good actually. Plus haters to lovers? yes please.
This was a lot of fun..and James 🙂
Okay so first I see the cover and think, hmmm, then I see the rating and think If Kim likes this I’ll like this then I see the heat rating and I’m letting my fingers walk right on over to the order page 🙂
Great review, I love the cover, the premise and the characters blurbs too.
LOL Debbie. This has such a great story and the added heat is a bonus!
Okay, this one sounds like a winner! Enjoy…and thanks for sharing.
It really was a fun one Laurel 🙂
I’ve been loving all my creepy scary Hallowen-y feeling books lately but you are making me want to cozy up to a good romance. 😉
Glad this worked so well for you Kim!
I like to read something lighter in-between the Fall reads Ali.
The quotes said it all for me. I’m in. 🙂
Anna from Elements of Writing
There is something about a geeky, up-tight hero that needs a woman to loosen him up that just calls to me! hehe I think this is the first time I’m hearing about Dawson’s geeky professor series, but I LOVE haters-to-lovers romances! I’m going to snap up book 1 right now! And those quotes! *swoon*
Each book is different in this series Sarah, but I loved them all. I must admit James made me swoon as I love geeky men
“Haters to lovers” is one of my absolute faves!! Also a geeky professor? Count me in!! This sounds fantastic!! 🙂
Yes, I wanted to do wicked things to the Professor..LOL
Enemies to lovers you say Kim? SOLD. That is my very favorite type of romance, so I need to read this immediately. Nothing makes me happier than banter in a romance:) Can’t wait to meet these two!
I love the trope too, especially if there is banter and off the chart chemistry
Yay, Kim! I had so much fun reading this one as well. I had a tough time putting it down. I loved Gracie and James together, but holy swoon! James was one hot geeky guy. I can’t wait for Evan and Penelope! It should be just as fun. 🙂
I am so glad you loved it Nick. Ah, James was swoon-worthy indeed.
Ok, you definitely piqued my curiosity, Kimberly! You know I can’t resist geeky talks 😛
Right…I am a sucker for it too Silvia
The baker and the health nut, that sounds like a fun combo! I know I loved the second book in the series and how well developed the characters are so I’ll add this one to my list.
Enjoy Trish. I loved the chemistry between Gracie and James