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Change My Game: An Emotional Second Chance Romance Paperback – 7 January 2021

4.5 out of 5 stars 92 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08SB6S624
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Independently published (7 January 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8584834937
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.7 x 2.11 x 20.32 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92 ratings

About the author

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Kelsey Clayton is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance novels. She lives in a small town in Delaware with her husband, two kids, and dog.

She is an avid reader of fall hard romance. She believes that books are the best escape you can find, and that if you feel a range of emotions while reading her stories - she succeeded. She loves writing and is only getting started on this life long journey.

Kelsey likes to keep things in her life simple. Her ideal night is one with sweatpants, a fluffy blanket, cheese fries, and wine. She holds her friends and family close to her heart and would do just about anything to make them happy.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
92 global ratings
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Reviewed in Australia on 7 January 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 10 January 2021
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Reviewed in Australia on 8 January 2021
Reviewed in Australia on 10 January 2021

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5.0 out of 5 stars If I could give this book my than 5 Stars I would!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 January 2021
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2.0 out of 5 stars Where was the ending?
Reviewed in the United States on 13 January 2021
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K. Friend (The Romantic Rush)
5.0 out of 5 stars Jace is totally surprising!
Reviewed in the United States on 7 January 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jace is totally surprising!
Reviewed in the United States on 7 January 2021
Woah. I knew Change My Game would be intense- that this would be a painful and emotional ride. Kelsey has promised us a darker, more painful story- and we got it! But wow, this was not the journey I expected for Jace- it was even better. Jace had me all tied up in knots, and his love story had me in tears more than once. Turbulent, emotionally intense, and heart wrenching, Change My Game is a second chance love story about heartbreak and healing, a story both devastating and hopeful, a story that captivates and consumes. I could not put this one down.

Last we saw Jace, he was clearly in trouble- associating with shady people, angry and withdrawn, and at North Haven as the result of mysterious circumstances. We were right to be concerned- Jace is in a dark and scary place- even his light hearted best friend Carter notices. When their old best friend from childhood, Paige, also finds herself back home under painful circumstances, Carter sees a chance to help his friend- by reconnecting Jace with the girl that got away, the girl that ghosted Jace just as their love story was beginning. But this does not bode well, because Jace isn’t interested in reconnecting, and both characters are in so much emotional pain that things may very well backfire. Because the baggage is HEAVY.

Jace, oh my sweet, broken Jace. We’ve seen Jace at many phases- we’ve seen him through the eyes of others in high school and college- and we’ve slowly watched him spiral down a dark path. When we first see the college Jace, he’s not the boy we knew or loved- he’s a stranger. Practically a dead man walking- a shell of himself, clearly in pain, and clearly consumed by it. But we’d not been in his mind, we’d need seen his true heart- and here, we do. And he is devastating. Because Jace has a secret- one I never saw coming, and one that has fundamentally altered him. Kelsey does a beautiful job of slowly unravelling this character- letting us into his heart and mind as he vacillates between self-destruction and healing, between rock bottom and redemption. Of all her leading men, Jace has been through the most, and he may also be the most flawed- which makes for such a rich hero’s journey, because Kelsey gives us the most emotional range with Jace. We drown with him- even when he’s shut down and stoic, we’re overcome by his emotional trauma. The man behind all the pain is a beautiful soul- vulnerable, lonely, grasping for hope and connection. Jace has to come to terms with his past, with his worthiness, and he has to find a path to regrasp who he is. And his connection with Paige- their shared history, their beautiful and natural connection, is the perfect catalyst.

To be honest, I barely remembered Paige- but oh my, what a beautiful creature she is. Kelsey is giving us something totally different with her. This is a heroine who is more subtle- she’s calm, logical, admirably level headed despite all the stuff that is coming her way with Jace and her family. She’s so devoted, so patient and empathetic- making her the perfect match for Jace, a man who challenges everyone around them, a man who requires deep understanding. Of all of Kelsey’s heroine’s, she seems the most mature, the most grounded. She’s got some vulnerability, but she’s also sassy- and this girl is strong. She’s someone who sacrifices, and in this story, she sacrifices.

The connection between these two is so authentic- simple but somehow complicated, magnetic but also subtle. Kelsey builds a chemistry grounded in the years these two have known each other. We don’t waste time having them get to know each other- they DO already- this is more about them reconciling their past, and figuring out how to grow together instead of apart. How to empower each other vs. enable.

Their love story is really one about emotional baggage- about the healthy, or here unhealthy, ways we learn to cope and process pain, the ways in which we seek to protect our hearts from potential harm and the ways we try to heal it once it's been harmed. Jace and Paige have made real mistakes in doing that- out of fear, immaturity, insecurity, or even solitude. These two are characters who have faced or are facing intensely painful situations- ones that alter the course of their lives- and they are suffering. Part of maturing is learning that pain is inevitable- what matters isn’t avoiding it, it's how we handle it when it greets us. And Paige and Jace have a steep learning curve, because even when they find solace in each other, they aren’t yet healthily coping.

I love how Kelsey is distinguishing this series from the Haven Grace prep. Sure, this series is darker, the stakes feel higher and the drama feels more threatening, larger even. But thematically, I love how this is a series about maturity- about the delicate and precarious emotional evolution that happens when you go from being a kid to being an adult. Emotional intelligence, owning your “ish,” taking responsibility for yourself, becoming proactive in charting your own journey- this is a series about growing up in the face of intense adversity.

I can’t end this review without mentioning Carter. I know there are some real Carter fans, but I’ve always been on the fence about him. What Kelsey does with him in this story is beautiful- the man we see here is not the boy we knew. I love how Kelsey has been giving us parallel stories in this series so far- the love story of two lovers, and the love story behind this group of friends. Carter shows up in a big way- and I am not ravenous for his story. Just the brilliance of Kelsey- she keeps taking characters that we thought we knew and understood and helping us see them with fresh eyes. Our favorite high schoolers are adults now, and there are layers to them we can’t yet even begin to understand. But, we will- and I have a feeling Carter is going to blow me away.
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Keri Loves Books
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love that Wouldn’t Quit
Reviewed in the United States on 7 January 2021
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