Friday, April 8, 2016

Review and Excerpt Tour: The Game Series by J. Sterling

Get ready for the best sports romance you haven't read and the hottest baseball player you haven't met... yet!  

This series has it all-  real life drama, angst, the value of forgiveness, the importance of family, friendship and one epic love story to span the ages. Come read the series with over half a million copies sold worldwide and see why people can't stop talking about Jack F'n Carter. 


TAGLINE: What happens when the hottest baseball player in college falls in love? Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful.

He's a game she never intended to play. 
And she's the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind... like getting Cassie to give him the time of day. 

They're both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together. 

Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful...

CASSIE'S POINT OF VIEW- Meet Jack F'n Carter
The deep, sultry voice stopped me in my tracks as my smile faded. I turned toward the source of the voice with revulsion. “You know, I don’t even like cats.” I lifted one brow and fixed Jack with a fierce stare.
“Actually, I didn’t know. But I’m glad I do.” He smiled and I swear part of my heart melted right then and there at the sight of his dimples.
I totally suck.
He fiddled with his baseball cap before putting it back on his head and tucking his dark hair underneath. I felt almost mesmerized as he ran his fingers absentmindedly across the white stitching of our school’s initials. I found myself noticing the way his dark blue shirt fit snugly against the muscles in his arms and shoulders. I hated how good-looking he was.
I tried to walk toward my best friend Melissa, who eyed me with piqued curiosity, but he stood his stupid gorgeous body in my path. I quickly moved to the right, but he hopped to his left to block me. I took another step to the left and he quickly moved too.
“What do you want, Jack?” I said, the anger in my voice taking us both by surprise.
“Are you always this hostile?” His smile told me he was teasing.
“Only to guys like you.”
“So tell me, Kitten, what’s a guy like me?”
“Not worth my time.” I shoved my tray into his gut and when he let out an ooof, I scurried past him, trying not to spill my soda.
“You’ll come around,” he shouted.
“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” 
I rushed to our table, throwing down my tray of food.
“Nice scene.” Melissa’s eyes were huge as she fought a grin.
“Look around.” She waved an arm, gesturing toward the crowd.
I glanced around at the other tables in the student union. All eyes were either on me or Jack. Great. The last thing I wanted was the entire school thinking I was Jack Carter’s latest conquest.
“Is he always that obnoxious?” I ripped the top off my raspberry yogurt.
“I don’t know, Cass. I’ve never seen him act that way before if that’s what you’re asking.”
“I don’t know what I’m asking.” Irritated and annoyed, I scanned the room for Jack’s face. He sat at a table surrounded by giddy girls, tossing their hair, pawing his muscles, and laughing obnoxiously at whatever he said. His eyes briefly met mine before I turned away, and I felt my heart beat a little faster.

I read this book back in 2013 and completely forgot to leave a review, not because I didn't love the book because let me tell you I LOVE it. Even three years later I remember the love/hate relationship I have with Jack F'n Carter . Yes, I know he's a fictional character but he owned my heart then and still does to this day.

Jack Carter is that guy. You know the guy I am talking about. The sexy, cocky, atheltic one that just has to smile at a girl and her panties drop instantly. Yep, that's Jack F'm Carter.

Cassie is the girl who doesn't open her heart up to anyone, or trust easily. She's been disappointed, she's been let down more times than she can count and has built up this wall around her heart keeping anyone out who could hurt her.

Together they are electric. The back and forth banter will have you laughing right along with them as brick by brick Jack starts to break down this fortress around Cassie's heart. Like all things in life relationships aren't perfect, there is going to be conflict at some point but J. Sterling completely guts you when the bomb is dropped. Three years later and I still feel the pain she inflicted on my heart when I think about it.

All in all this book is AMAZING, will have you laughing, crying and hoping that these two find their way back to each other.


TAGLINE: Getting your athelete is just the beginning. How do you stay together when the world is trying to tear you apart?

Jack appeared at my door last night after six months of no communication wearing a Mets jersey and holding a dozen red roses. He told me he was sorry, that he loved me, and that he would earn my trust again. It took everything in me to not fall apart at the mere sight of him. I wanted to take him back into my life, but I needed to know that this time it would be forever...

In J. Sterling's highly anticipated follow-up to her USA Today bestselling novel The Perfect Game, Jack and Cassie quickly realize that their new lifestyle can often be cruel and unforgiving. Their happiness is put to the test as the past is never truly far behind. 
How do you stay together when the world's trying to tear you apart? 

I sensed Jack watching me from the bedroom doorway we shared as I tossed pieces of clothing into my open suitcase. Deliberately, I forced myself not to look at him. He could take the broken parts of me and shatter them even further. If I looked at his perfect face, I’d question everything. He could make me stay and I desperately needed to go. After adding two pairs of shoes, I zipped up the suitcase and lifted it from the bed.
“Let me help you,” he offered from behind me, his breath gliding across my back.
“It’s fine. I have it,” I said tightly, refusing to face him.
“How long will you be gone?” he asked, his tone desolate.
I shrugged, unsure of my actual plans. “I don’t know. A few days. A week, maybe. I’ll text you,” I offered with a glance in his direction.
Jack’s face turned sullen as the color drained instantly from his cheeks. He reached for me, his fingers tightening around my wrist, stopping all forward movement. “You are coming back. Right, Kitten?” A look of powerlessness covered his face.
My stomach dropped to my feet with his question. I took a few short breaths before responding, “Yes, Jack. I’m coming back.”
It wasn’t a lie, but the truth was almost as painful. Of course I would come back, but I wasn’t sure what I’d be coming back to. “I have a job here.”
His eyebrows pinched together, tears filling his eyes as he dropped his grip on my arm. My phone rang, breaking the sorrow-filled heaviness in the room.
“I need to go.” I leaned toward Jack and planted a soft kiss on his cheek before turning to walk away.
He gripped my wrist from behind and yanked me around to face him. “Get over here,” he said roughly as he pulled my body effortlessly into his. Before I could situate my arms, his were wrapped around me, pulling me tight against his heaving chest.
Oh my God, he’s crying.
“I love you more than anything. You need to know that before you walk out that door.” The warmth of his breath fluttered against my skin. My eyes met his and the tears that rolled down his cheeks caused my heart to shatter and turn to broken pieces in my chest.
“I love you too.” My current dysfunction had nothing to do with my feelings for Jack. I loved him more than I ever thought possible, but sometimes love isn't enough.

To say I was afraid of this book after how The Perfect Game ended is a huge understatement!

While reading The Perfect Game my emotions were toyed with in the absolutely best was possible, in the most heartbreaking way. Jack F'n Carter is back and ready to win Cassie over for good. Cassie on the other hand is having a one step forward, two step back approach to Jack, and let me be honest when I say I wanted to strangle her for it. I know, I know, she had all right to feel how she felt and to have doubts but come on! It's Jack F'n Carter.

Love is not always hearts and flowers, it is littered with pain, hurt and insecurities, where both make mistakes but grow from them, and in the end they come out better people and a stronger couple. This describes Cassie and Jack perfectly. They may not be perfect but they are perfect for each other.

We get to see those side characters that we loved in The Perfect Game but are introduced to new ones who we will love, and others who will test our patience. J. Sterling again hit this book, this story, these characters out of the park.


TAGLINE: When Jack loses baseball, will he lose the love of his life as well?

This is the third (and final) installment in Jack & Cassie's story! 

“It’s one hell of a sledgehammer to the chest when your baseball career comes to an end. It’s like you finally realize that baseball never loved you back. All the sleepless nights, the hours spent at the gym trying to stay fit, the conditioning, the training, the mental preparation, the holiday’s missed, the birthday’s passed, the memories you didn’t get to make with your family…all for what? It’s not like baseball lost any sleep over you. She didn’t stay awake for nights on end trying to figure out how to make you a better player. She didn’t care. Baseball’s a business. A sport. A game. And as much as my entire life has been wrapped up in it, it’s time to let it go.” 
- Jack Carter

The next morning, I woke up with a back sore from sleeping on the couch two nights in a row. The constant barrage of conversation surrounding me reminded me that my brother and Melissa were here.
It had to be clear to everyone that I was avoiding my wife. My mind was spinning out of control with thoughts I never imagined having. The idea of my baseball career being over wrecked me.
Literally fucking ruined me.
I couldn’t function like a normal human being anymore. The thought turned me into an unrecognizable asshole. And the worst part was, I knew it. I was completely aware of my behavior, but I couldn’t stop it. My head would tell my mouth not to say what it was about to say, but my mouth would say it anyway.
And even though I wanted to take it all back, I didn’t. It’s as if I started digging a hole and once I got in it, I couldn’t stop digging. I wanted to get low enough so that I could bury myself inside and never see the light of day again. That was what losing baseball felt like.
“Hey, asshole,” my little brother’s voice called out and I cleared my throat.
“What do you want, dick?”
“I want to sightsee and you’re taking me,” he demanded.
I almost fucking laughed. There was no way I was going to let Dean boss me around. “I’m sure Cassie would be better at that sort of thing.” Even that sentence came out sounding like a slam against her.
“I’m sure she would be too. But I want you to take me. You need to get out of this house. And you look like shit.”
Melissa laughed and I shot her an evil look. “Shut up, Fun-Size. Why are you even here?”
“Fuck you, Jack. I’m here because you’re being an asshole to my best friend. And someone has to give a shit about her.”
Her words stung, but I pretended not to be fazed. Each breath I sucked in pierced my heart more deeply. I had to stop hurting Cassie, but I couldn’t. Why couldn’t I just fucking stop? Pushing up from the couch, I glared at the three of them sitting at the table, then growled at Dean, “Be ready to leave in ten.”

I am in awe at how much I love this series, not to mention it was an amazing Christmas present.

J. Sterling takes you on a journey that spans years. We get to see Jack and Cassie change as people and evolve as a couple. You are taken on a funny, emotional, anger inducing journey that keeps you flipping the pages to find out how Jack and Cassie's story ends.

I am sad to see this series come to an end but I couldn't be happier with how it ended.


TAGLINE: You thought you knew everything there was to know about Jack & Cassie's story... but you were wrong. 

From NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author J. Sterling, we dive headfirst back into the epic love story that started it all, The Perfect Game, but this time from Dean Carter’s point of view. 

Freshman Dean Carter is the younger brother of campus hotshot Jack. Abandoned by their parents when they were young, Dean and Jack have a bond that most brothers only wish for. As Jack follows his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, he falls in love along the way with aspiring photographer Cassie Andrews. We see Jack get the girl—then lose the girl—and we follow his painful journey through it all via the eyes of his adoring younger brother, Dean. 

With never-before-seen scenes and fresh new dialogue, Dean’s point of view is an emotional journey through relationships and the trials that test them. This isn’t the same old love story…but you will still fall. Let the gang steal your heart all over again in The Other Game.

Melissa and I headed outside, following Jack toward a cement bench where he pulled his baseball hat even lower over his eyes. Then he sat down and looked up at us, his eyes all but hidden.
“What are you doing?” I asked, expecting him to get up and continue walking back to the student union with us.
“For what?”
“Cassie's class to end. I’m going to ask her out in front of everyone. She won’t be able to say no then,” Jack said with a big grin.
“Make sure you show those.” Melissa pointed at the pair of dimples on his face, and his grin only widened.
“I knew you secretly liked me. But I know you like him more.” Jack nodded toward me, and Melissa scowled.
“Don’t listen to him.” I threw my arm around her shoulder and steered her back toward the student union. “See you at home, brother.”
“‘Bye, you two lovebirds.”
“You’re so little.” I looked down at Melissa and smiled, wishing for once that I’d been born with at least one dimple for her to admire.
She scowled again. “I’m not that little.”
But she was. I was six feet tall, and she might hit five feet if she stood on her tiptoes. I towered over her, and I loved the manly feeling it gave it me.
“Do you have any more classes today?” I asked.
“Nope. You?”
“Just one.”
“Only because it’s not the class I have with you,” I said with a smile, and she swatted my shoulder.
“Dean Carter, did you just feed me a line?”
I chuckled and stopped walking. “No. Did it sound like a line?”
“Yes.” Melissa smiled, but kept walking.
I watched as her perfect little butt moved with each step she took, her entire body sashaying like it couldn’t help it. She stopped and turned around to catch me staring.
“What are you looking at?”
Terrified that she might think I was some sort of pig like my brother, I practically stuttered. “Uh, nothing.”
“Uh-huh.” She waited as I hurried to catch up to her. “So, do you want to maybe study together sometime?”
I cheered inside my head, and had to stop myself from throwing my fist in the air and doing a victory dance.
“Definitely. I could use the help,” I said, trying to keep my voice even. I knew damn well that I was doing perfectly fine in that class, but if she thought I needed help, she wouldn’t bail on me.
“Okay, good. I always do better if I have a study partner.”
My mind whirled at her words. How many study partners had she had? How could I convince her to only study with me?
I could have sworn that before Jack’s antics with her roommate that Melissa and I were on track toward something. I couldn’t help but want us to get back on that road, wherever it was leading.
“Can I get your number?” I asked while I still had the nerve.
“Oh yeah, of course.” She recited her phone number while I tapped it into my phone. “Send me a text so I have yours too.”
I did as she asked.

Dean: Hi. It’s me. You know, Dean. The other Carter.

When her phone pinged and she read the text, she laughed. “Got it. I’ll just put you in here as the Other Carter.”
“Or the only Carter you like,” I suggested with a smirk, and she smiled back.
“That’d work too.”
“All right. I’ll talk to you later. You know, to set up studying and stuff,” I said, stumbling all over my damn words.
“‘Bye, Dean.” Melissa laughed as she sashayed away.

Wow! The first chapter pulled me right back into a world that felt like home. Instantaneously I was overcome with the love and emotions I felt while reading the rest of the series.

We all either loved or loved to hate Jack Carter, I personally loved him. I love that we get to relive Jack and Cassie falling in love from a different perspective. I adored Dean while reading The Perfect Game and I loved getting to know him more. Dean knows Jack Carter, not Jack the baseball play but the real Jack. They have this bond that is unbreakable and that withstands everything.

There is something about the Carter brothers that make you fall absolutely head over heels in love with them.

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