The Love Game || THE college love story

the love game.jpgTitle: The Love Game

Author: Emma Hart

Genre: NA Romance

Status: Standalone



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, why 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.


It’s actually been a while since I’ve read this book, but I really want to review it.

The downfall of loving NA and reading a lot of books from the category is that, after a while, it becomes hard to pick out the good ones. I knew when I read the synopsis that I would like this one. And I was right

The Plot

We’ve got Braden who is the typical hot, popular, player living in a fraternity house. Have I grown bored of the stereotype? Yes. But when a book works it well and doesn’t simply add the cliched things, I’m game. There’s more to Braden, obviously. What I loved most about him was his personality barring the “player”. He’s a really sweet and caring guy.

On the opposite side we’ve got Maddie who hates guys like Braden who play with girls and their hearts. This hate comes from watching her brother Pierce break her best friend’s heart. It’s like she’s taking out her hate for her brother on others.

When their respective friends dare them against each other, they immediately accept. Maddie has to make Braden fall in love with her and break his heart after a month, hence playing him like he’s plays other girls. Braden has to make Maddie fall in love with HIM, and this is considered a challenge because Maddie doesn’t usually date and hates guys like him. He, also, has a month.

Both of them play each other, and also get played themselves along the way.

The Characters

  • As I said, I really like Braden‘s personality. And I love him as a boyfriend even more. That ish is perfect. 
  • Maddie is a spunky girl who has some family issues, and a past she’s been unable to forgive. It’s not a “dark” past, in case you tend to stay away from those.
  • I also really liked Maddie’s friends, especially Megan. Pretty sure the sequel is on Megan, and I kind of want to read it but I don’t really like the male lead (whom I’m guessing based on clues in this book) so I’m not sure.
  • Braden’s friends were.. okay. I liked one of them, but mostly they’re college boys who are careless with others’ feelings.

The Romance

The was the initial chemistry on both sides, but they refused to act on it because Braden stays away from the “forever” girls and Maddie, as explained above. When they finally got together, it took a small while to go from casual to something real, and I really liked them as a couple. They just fit and you, as a reader, can FEEL it. You can feel that this is it.

Both of them try to deny that they’re falling in love, but it can’t be stopped now, can it?

The only issue I had was that it was shown as if they had fallen way too much in love with each other, in the short one month. Especially on Braden’s side. I would have preferred if the feelings of heartbreak weren’t made to show this deeply because they were together only ONE MONTH. I’m someone who loves relationship growth and I that part slightly put me off.


I really liked it! It was a short, fun read with all the college elements I wanted. I love reading romances set in college, and this one was written well. If you’re looking for an NA book to read in (probably) one sitting, which doesn’t have any dark/trigger elements, this should do well.


3 thoughts on “The Love Game || THE college love story”

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