This is post number 19.
This is part of series of romance novels by Melissa Foster.
Plot:Dex Remington reunites with his long time friend and first love Ellie Parker. With the stress of his new game launch and her escape to his city, can the couple leave the past behind and stay together?
“He saw it in her eyes. She was sliding back into that silent place. Goddamn it. “Ellie.” He reached for her. She took a step backward. “Ellie, I’m sorry. Don’t go reticent on me, please. This is so hard. I’m trying. I’m really trying to stay with you, to stay with us, but I don’t know what you expect of me. I hurt, Ellie. Every fucking time that you clamp down on your feelings. Every time you shut me out, it’s like a gunshot to my heart. A man can love a woman for only so long without it being reciprocated. On some level you must know that.” Just as I know it’s a fucking lie. I’ll always love you. She nodded.”
Spoilers/Opinion: So first things first, Dex is supposed to be hot even though he is a computer programmer, and I have a hard time buying that. In STEM when it comes to finding a man, the odds are good but the goods are odd. Especially in computer science/engineering. I will give the author a pass because she mentions the stereotype, so she is self-aware. Dex often broods over the fact that he makes video games for a living, which annoys me. If he really hated the fact that kids enjoy video games more than their education, he could easily get into teaching or programming software to help kids with homework. Ellie is the first person to bring the idea of creating an educational game, and he acts like he never thought of such a thing before, which also annoys me. He’s supposed to be the CEO of one of the most successful video game companies in the nation, yet Dex lacks the foresight to see the market for educational programming. I don’t buy it.
Ellie is more believable as a teacher wanting to work for low income and at risk youth. The only part of her job that was strange was her interview with Maple Academy. She brought up the fact that she left her previous job because she found out that she was dating a married man, yet the principal welcomed her with open arms. Interviewers don’t ask about age let alone want to know about the candidate’s sex life, so I had a hard time believing the principal would still be on board. Speaking of Ellie’s ex, he only makes an appearance twice in the story, one of which was nothing more than him passing by. He was not necessary, and I think the story would have been more streamlined without him.
The romance itself is just okay. Ellie has commitment issues that stem from being in the foster system and sexual abuse at the hand of her foster father. Dex has trust issues from Ellie leaving him when they were in high school (not her fault) and during college (actually her fault). At first, I understood where Dex was coming from because she did leave him high and dry without so much as a toodle-lo. After several chapters of him not trusting Ellie when she made the effort to stay, he should have gotten over it. They show affection with more than just sex, which is nice.
Ratings: This is a romance novel, so the rating will be as follows:
Relationship drama: 2/10
Romantic Development: 5/10
Hot love interest: 2/10 or 7/10*
Overall I give Game of Love a 5/10. Not a bad book, but a few unrealistic situations where realism would have made for a better story.
*Depends on whether or not you believe hot programmers exist