April 30, 2015

REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Changing His Game (Gamers #1)

Welcome to my stop on Megan Erickson's CHANGING HIS GAME review tour! Read on for my review and an excerpt from the book, then enter the giveaway to win a signed copy (INTL)!

Changing His Game (Gamers #1), by Megan Erickson
Published April 28, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre:  adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iBooks

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) He controls the game, but she’s rewriting all the rules…

Marley Lake is no stranger to awkwardness, but getting caught watching a dirty GIF by the company’s hot new IT guy exceeds even her standards. That is, until she realizes he's as turned on by it as she is. But with a big promotion on the line, she refuses to let her current dry spell be her downfall. Maybe.

Austin Rivers has no business lusting after the irresistible editor of Gamers Magazine. He's a secret partner in the business—and technically Marley’s boss. One look at that GIF, though, and he’s ready to install a whole lot more than just software…as long as she never finds out who he really is.

But reality’s not as virtual as it seems, and when Austin’s identity jeopardizes Marley’s promotion, he has to change his game or risk losing the only woman with the cheat code to his heart.

A hot romance about gamers - you wouldn't think it would work, right? I mean, let's face it. When most of us think about the typical gamer, it's a nerdy guy who's stuck in his parents' basement with very little social skills and absolutely no game (pun intended). Well, then I guess Austin isn't the typical gamer. And neither is Marley. 

Marley is the head copy editor at Gamers magazine. Faced with a serious IT problem one night, she calls for help, and what she gets is the hottest IT guy she's ever seen. Unfortunately, he fixes her problem easily and sees the sexy and edgy animated GIF she had been looking at before her computer went haywire. It intrigues him more than he thought it would, and he needs to know more about this girl. But, he conveniently leaves out the fact that he owns the company she works for, and when his position threatens a promotion she's been wanting, Austin might not be able to salvage things 

I loved how Austin and Marley both were their own brand of weird. And, together, they were perfect. Austin is like the typical gamer in that he's pretty anti-social. He doesn't like being around lots of people. His role in the magazine Marley works for and in the creation of the hottest game in the world is secret to spare him the attention. Having already experienced one failed relationship, Austin isn't looking for another one, but he does think that perhaps Marley can scratch his particular brand of itch. 

Marley is weird by the simple fact that she is a woman working in a man's world. She loves video games and is good at what she does, yet she has to work twice as hard as her co-workers to maintain her position in the company. I get why Marley just wants to find a guy that she can completely unplug with - let him take complete control so that, for once, she doesn't have to work hard to get to the finish line. Sounds like heaven to me too. 

Austin and Marley were perfectly suited for each other. He gave her what she needed but couldn't find anywhere else. She gave him someone genuine to talk to and someone to exercise his sexual proclivities with without judgement or fear. There was plenty of give and take, except where Austin's secrets were concerned. How many times have we kept a bad thing to ourselves, fully intending to come clean but only once the solution has been made clear? Yeah, that was Austin's philosophy too. 

Marley's brother and sometimes roommate Chad provided some awesome comic relief throughout the book. He's a total cornball and not only gave me some laughs, he served as Marley's sounding board when she needed one. 

I hope this isn't the last we've seen from this world that Megan Erickson has created. It's so much fun, super hot and sexy and was so satisfying for my inner nerd. 

The lights dimmed, and Austin straightened as the previews started. Most of them were for action movies, although a couple were comedies. Austin sat silently, gaze on the screen. And Marley swore he didn’t even crack a smile.

God, she wanted to see his smile.

When the movie finally started, the screen showed a montage of a younger Aric, chained to a cell as his wife was ripped from his arms.

Marley tried to lose herself in the story, but it was impossible with Austin this close. Sitting in a theater in jeans wasn’t comfortable so she had worn a simple sweater dress. She crossed her bare—now shaved—legs so that her foot brushed Chad, not Austin.

She kept her face turned toward the screen but her gaze strayed. Austin’s palms were flat on his thighs and his legs were spread. His pinkie on his right hand was close, oh so close. If he extended it an inch or two, he’d brush her bare thigh.

She wanted him to. God, she wanted him to. Her back was tense, and she squeezed her legs together, wishing she’d done something last night to relieve this ache. She hadn’t, conflicted with guilt and unease over fantasizing about a coworker. But now, with his scent surrounding her, his soft voice in her ears, she told herself to get a grip.

What was wrong with her?

And then Austin leaned over, and she closed her eyes as the heat of his breath touched her ear. “Aric’s motivations are interesting, aren’t they?”

She didn’t answer, just nodded, because she didn’t trust her voice.

“He tracks down every last one of his enemies,” he continued. “His goal isn’t to rescue his wife, Evelyn. It’s to exact revenge, which makes the game aptly titled.”

Aptly. He’d used the word aptly in a sentence. Why was that hot? Did she have an SAT fetish? Heat pooled in her belly and a bead of sweat dripped between her breasts. They ached with fullness, and she knew her nipples were hard.

The soft, seductive voice didn’t stop. “He becomes so entrenched in his mission that he becomes a monster, not unlike his dragons. It isn’t until he’s reached the wife of his enemy and has a chance to take her by force, that he realizes he’s become exactly what he hated.”

She turned her head, so that her lips were an inch away from his. Those eyes flickered in the light of the screen. She somehow found her voice and forced it through her vocal chords. “That’s the turning point in the game, when he changes his mission of revenge to one of rescue. He takes back what’s his.”

His chest rose and fell. “And do you think that’s appropriate?”

She could close the distance, just an inch, and those lips would be on hers. What would they feel like? Would he kiss hard or soft? Would he grip her jaw and direct the kiss? “Do I think what’s appropriate?”

He licked his lips and she felt the wet heat of that tongue on the edge of her lower lip. “That he takes what’s his.”

Megan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she's not tapping away on her laptop, she's probably listening to the characters in her head who won't stop talking.


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