WHEN YOU PLAY FOR LOVE, YOU PLAY FOR KEEPS
Stella Davenport wasn't made for small-town life. Sure, teaching ballet in Blanco Valley, Colorado, is great, but she longs for the chance to perform in a big city. Stella swore she'd never let anything get in the way of her dream--until sexy, broad-shouldered Brandon West walks back into her life. Stella is determined to resist him, even if arguing with Brandon is sexier than any foreplay.
For Brandon, it's always been just him and his son, Matt. Knowing that love only leads to heartbreak, he isn't looking to expand his family any time soon. Stella, with her long, gorgeous legs and infectious laugh, is a breath of fresh air he didn't even know he'd been missing. But when she's offered her dream job in Chicago, will he be willing to put his heart on the line?
Kern's middling second Champion Valley contemporary (after Winner Takes All), set in a small town in Colorado, has likable, relatable protagonists but is marred by lackluster writing. Construction contractor Brandon West unexpectedly falls head over heels for Stella Davenport, his son's dance teacher, and is smitten even after she throws up on his shoes on their first date. Brandon, 37, has endured 18 difficult years as a solo parent, and he's ready to enjoy some time of not being intensely focused on anyone else, but Stella has him reconsidering his aversion to commitment. The two spend a lot of time trying to resist the inevitable in a most endearing way. Just as they finally give in, she gets a great job opportunity in Chicago, and Brandon refuses to leave Colorado. Kern's uninspired prose style is the major drawback of this otherwise sweet story.
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BACK IN THE GAME
Chemistry abounds between two unlikely people! A sassy connection between a single dad and the local ballet teacher makes for a really fun read! They bounce witty comebacks off each other every chance they get, and when they finally decide to give in to the attraction they feel, sparks ignite! The characters are easy to like, and although the romance is slow to happen, it's a nice build up throughout. I enjoyed their story!
Stella Davenport never expected to find herself teaching ballet in a small town in Colorado at this point in her life. She craves the big city dancing lifestyle she used to have in Chicago and hopes her dream of being invited back to choreograph will one day come true. Living here with her Mom crowding her space is slowly driving her insane!
Brandon West feels like he's spent his entire life looking out for his son, and he's not about to start now just because he's soon heading off to college. His one chance on love came back to bite him good, so he isn't too up on trying that game again ... but he can't deny he's drawn to Stella in a way he hasn't felt in a long time ... maybe ever! Can two wounded hearts find a way to overcome their obstacles to be together?