Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Inside Game by Collette West Blog Tour

Third baseman Drake Schultz is the undisputed bad boy of the New York Kings. So it's no surprise when Major League Baseball suspends him for taking performance-enhancing drugs. Furious with their superstar, the front office issues an ultimatum: either work with their sober companion or kiss the rest of his quarter-billion-dollar contract goodbye. Cocky and arrogant, Drake resists being saddled with a live-in babysitter—even one he's insanely attracted to.

Drake is Eva Sloane's first celebrity client as a substance abuse counselor, and she knows she's in trouble when he starts tempting her at every turn. The way he looks at her is as hot as sin, but she refuses to become his new drug of choice. Slowly, she helps him realize he has to face the demons from his past and heal his tortured spirit before he can even think about satisfying any craving he has for her.

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But she doesn't turn the light on. Instead, she shoves the covers aside and crawls into bed next to me. I don't move because she's not here for anything more. I'm on top of the comforter, and she's underneath it. There's a barrier separating us from doing something I'd later regret. Not that I don't want to be with her again. It's just that I feel so unworthy of even touching her right now.

She rolls over onto her side, and I'm still sprawled out on my stomach. We're facing each other, but we don't say anything. We just lie here together in the silence, her hair spread out across my pillow. My bandaged arm is between us, a reminder of the tragic turn of events of the last few days. We stare into each other's eyes until I see the worry lines around her mouth begin to relax.

"Will you go somewhere with me tomorrow?" she asks on the verge of sleep, her eyes half closed.

"Where?" I mumble.

"Somewhere that feels like home."

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

New York King's third baseman Drake Schultz is known as the bad boy. He's always picking fights within his own clubhouse, calling other players out. Mood swings like no other. I couldn't wait to read his story. He has the best in-depth backstory I have read in a while.

Drake was involved in the take down of Terry Bloom the former GM who was supplying players with PEDs. He gave information he thought that information was destroyed but it wasn't and now is going to be used against him. After a particularly bad on field performance an unexpected blood test was waiting for him. It proves, what he has been trying to hide. He's been taking PEDs.

Drake is assigned a sober companion and an eighty game suspension. Neither Drake is too happy about. Eva Sloane is a fan of the Kings and something in her is drawn to Drake. Whether it's her desire to help the underdog kick a habit or if it's the man that Drake has the potential to be but something about him calls to her and always has.

When Drake and Eva are thrown together for three months secrets and both of their pasts are exposed. Can Eva help keep Drake on a drug free path back to the big leagues? Will Drake be able to survive without a little pharmaceutical help?

I loved Inside Game. The way Ms. West wrote Drake's character was fantastic. He's hard, edgy, but underneath he's a completely different man. He can become the man he wants without losing that sex appeal he has. Loved the chemistry between Drake and Eva, the buildup was worth it.

This definitely has easily become one of my favorite baseball romances! Highly recommended!

This is one of those books that you sort of know you should not approve of, you should not like the lead character and you should not wish him well – yet it is so cleverly written that it would be incredibly difficult to do just that if you read right to the end. I have a feeling that there will be people who don't get it, who maybe have been affected too closely by the issues in the book, that they struggle with it – but I found it to be thoughtful, thought provoking and a really good read.

It is also a beautiful love story, which is rooted firmly in a shared past, and a hope for a shared future. I found it to be all too believable, and really objected to work intervening in what was an excellent read. In rebellion I thought about it pretty much all day, until I could get back to it!

Another great addition to the New York Kings series – but that is what we expect from Ms. West after all!

Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

She is the author of NIGHT GAMES and GAME CHANGER.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Inside Game by Collette West to read and review for this tour.

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