The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson

September 29th, 2015 Kimberly Review 70 Comments

29th Sep
The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson
The Name of the Game
by Jennifer Dawson
Series: Something New #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

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?

FED-THE-NERD hot nomnom smartfunny

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.

Oh no.

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.


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

70 Responses to “The Name of the Game by Jennifer Dawson”

  1. Judith

    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. 🙂

  2. Cyn

    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!

  3. Teddyree

    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 😉

  4. Ro

    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

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    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

  6. Lorna

    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 🙂

  7. Melliane

    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!

  8. Mary Kirkland

    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.

  9. Katherine

    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!

  10. Michelle

    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!

  11. Sophia Rose

    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.

  12. Ramona

    A baker and a health nut – it sounds like an experiment MEANT to get frothy and bubble over, lol 😀 Lovely review, Kimba.

  13. 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.

  14. Lily B

    I have debated picking this one up, thanks for the quotes, it sounds really good actually. Plus haters to lovers? yes please.

  15. Debbie Haupt

    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.
    I’m sold!

  16. kindlemom1

    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!

  17. Sarah

    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*

  18. Lisa

    “Haters to lovers” is one of my absolute faves!! Also a geeky professor? Count me in!! This sounds fantastic!! 🙂

  19. Jenny

    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!

  20. Nick

    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. 🙂

  21. Trish

    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.