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Hate the Game

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Talon Gold is a lot of things: good at football, bad at love. Obsessed with scoring, refuses to play by the rules. Cruel. Relentless. Brilliant. Intoxicatingly attractive. Despite his demanding reputation and propensity for being the most arrogant a-hole ever to strut Pacific Valley University’s picturesque campus, everyone wants a piece of him: coaches, scouts, and pretty Talon Gold is a lot of things: good at football, bad at love. Obsessed with scoring, refuses to play by the rules. Cruel. Relentless. Brilliant. Intoxicatingly attractive. Despite his demanding reputation and propensity for being the most arrogant a-hole ever to strut Pacific Valley University’s picturesque campus, everyone wants a piece of him: coaches, scouts, and pretty little campus fangirls with pouty lips and perfect top knots. But Talon … he only wants a piece of me. And four straight years of infuriating rejection means I’m almost positive he’d take a night with me over a national championship trophy. But I’m no fool—he only wants me because he can’t have me. And with graduation approaching, time is running out. He’s more desperate than ever, pulling out all the stops and doing everything in his power to get in my good graces. They say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” But to that I say, “Why not both?” I have my reasons ... Sorry, BMOC. This victory? Not going to happen.


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Talon Gold is a lot of things: good at football, bad at love. Obsessed with scoring, refuses to play by the rules. Cruel. Relentless. Brilliant. Intoxicatingly attractive. Despite his demanding reputation and propensity for being the most arrogant a-hole ever to strut Pacific Valley University’s picturesque campus, everyone wants a piece of him: coaches, scouts, and pretty Talon Gold is a lot of things: good at football, bad at love. Obsessed with scoring, refuses to play by the rules. Cruel. Relentless. Brilliant. Intoxicatingly attractive. Despite his demanding reputation and propensity for being the most arrogant a-hole ever to strut Pacific Valley University’s picturesque campus, everyone wants a piece of him: coaches, scouts, and pretty little campus fangirls with pouty lips and perfect top knots. But Talon … he only wants a piece of me. And four straight years of infuriating rejection means I’m almost positive he’d take a night with me over a national championship trophy. But I’m no fool—he only wants me because he can’t have me. And with graduation approaching, time is running out. He’s more desperate than ever, pulling out all the stops and doing everything in his power to get in my good graces. They say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.” But to that I say, “Why not both?” I have my reasons ... Sorry, BMOC. This victory? Not going to happen.

30 review for Hate the Game

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dilek VT

    An ordinary college romance with a bit of sports touch to it. ********************************************* The heroine, Irie, is kinda annoying. The hero, Talon, goes after her for 4 years. He chases her, asks her out and she keeps saying No to him, thinking he is a d*ck, an as*hole and a man-wh*re. He is not! Talon didn’t sleep with any girl in all those 4 years because all he wanted was her. She always rejected him and she was always so cold towards him. There was one incident on his freshman year; he got intimate with one girl but he could An ordinary college romance with a bit of sports touch to it. ********************************************* The heroine, Irie, is kinda annoying. The hero, Talon, goes after her for 4 years. He chases her, asks her out and she keeps saying No to him, thinking he is a d*ck, an as*hole and a man-wh*re. He is not! Talon didn’t sleep with any girl in all those 4 years because all he wanted was her. She always rejected him and she was always so cold towards him. There was one incident on his freshman year; he got intimate with one girl but he couldn’t go all the way, he didn’t have sex with her. And then, he never touched any other girl. He always wanted Irie, no one else. He kept hoping and hoping... And for all those 4 years, Irie kept rejecting Talon all the time, resisting her attraction to him. She dated other guys and slept with them but she never agreed to go out with Talon. She always made assumptions about him, never trying to get to know the real him. ********************************************* In the second half of their last year at university, they find themselves as study partners in a class they both take and she gets to know the real guy behind the star quarterback. Talon begs for one date… begs and begs… And finally, she says yes. It is an unforgettable date for her but she still says it was one date – no more! He begs and begs and then, she agrees to another date. He also has to beg some more to date exclusively until she finally says yes. It was annoying. She was annoying. ********************************************* Irie sometimes gave a few hints about her past and her mistrust in footballers in her chapters but all she said was that she had a footballer boyfriend in the past and she was hurt badly in the end so she didn’t want it any more but she never said it to Talon. She never talked about her past with him. He knew nothing about her past life or her dating life. He just felt she was hurt before and he took things slowly. They were dating but they didn't have sex yet. ********************************************* And one weekend, when they go to her hometown for her cousin’s wedding, they meet the “ex-boyfriend”, who is also invited to the wedding. Irie feels terrible when she meets him, she runs away crying and Talon runs after her. He tries to console her and finally she confesses what happened back then. I was waiting for a certain kind of story; I had my own assumptions, but I was shocked at the story Irie told Talon, and I was like, “WTF??!!” And I still ask, "What was the writer thinking?" I may sound like a judgmental b*tch here but I did cringe at what happened back then. So sorry but I still cannot digest it for many reasons. Here’s what happened: That’s a big spoiler if you want to read the book so be forewarned. (view spoiler)[She dated a guy named Trent for 4 years at high school. He was the star player at school and they were a popular couple. He was a quarter-back like Talon. On their fourth year, her boyfriend told her he thought it’d be hot if she had a four-way with him and two of his friends. And she thought it would be exciting and said yes. They did it and she enjoyed every minute of it. She had a great time. She felt so very desired, blah bla... Come Monday, she went to school and everyone was calling her a “slut” as her pictures from that night were going around! She thought maybe her boyfriend would find a solution but the as*hole just said she was dirty now and they were done. I didn’t like this plot detail, maybe because I was shocked and unprepared for it in my college romance or maybe because of how badly it all ended. I was pissed at her stupidity for putting herself in that situation. She shouldn’t have trusted a boyfriend who offers this kind of thing. If he wants to share you, that means he doesn’t love you. This plot detail kinda ruined the book for me because threesome or foursomes feel better to me when people do it with casual hook-ups, where there are no feelings but they are just after the experience and the adventure. However, when "the sharing" happens in a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, I can't help but cringe at it because in matters of love, sharing the person you love is not possible in my book. That's why I couldn't digest it because it happened in a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship, albeit in the past. (hide spoiler)] So, maybe you may not feel the least bit of uncomfortable about this plot detail but I didn’t like it, so just putting the info here for those who may feel like me... ********************************************* Talon never judges her; by the way, don't worry. He is an awesome guy. He always shows respect to her. He is angry with the ex-boyfriend. He even breaks his nose. Those bastards got away with what they did and it is infuriating and "a broken nose" is nothing near "good enough punishment" but it feels good because Talon did it. ********************************************* As I said, nothing changes Talon's love for Irie. He keeps loving her more and more. Irie was always annoying so I didn’t understand what Talon loved about her but well, to each his own, I guess. ********************************************* Well, after I got pissed and lost whatever interest I had in this book, I skimmed and scanned the rest of it. Here is what else happens: Talon does everything to keep Irie but she still wants to break things off because the contracts offered to them after the school ends are in different cities. There are some evil plans of Talon's parents and they cause a short separation between the couple. In the end, Talon persuades her to go with him and build a life together and she decides to leave her dream job for him. That was also an unnecessary plot detail that I didn’t like. Why did she need to do the sacrifice? Well whatever, I didn't care about the book anymore at that point... ********************************************* All things considered, I didn’t enjoy my time with this book. Hope you enjoy it more if you ever decide to read it. ********************************************* 223 pages Dual point of view Mediocre writing

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lien

    "This victory? Not going to happen." Famous last words, right? I knew it was going to happen. The pope knew it was going to happen. My nonexistant cat knew it was going to happen. We ALL knew it was going to happen. What I didn't expect was that it'll be so easy. I think I would have liked this book a lot more if the blurb said something like "... [he's] doing everything in his power to get in my good graces. And I'm starting to believe that he means it." or "And I'm starting to warm up to him." I don't know, anything other t"And "This victory? Not going to happen." Famous last words, right? I knew it was going to happen. The pope knew it was going to happen. My nonexistant cat knew it was going to happen. We ALL knew it was going to happen. What I didn't expect was that it'll be so easy. I think I would have liked this book a lot more if the blurb said something like "... [he's] doing everything in his power to get in my good graces. And I'm starting to believe that he means it." or "And I'm starting to warm up to him." I don't know, anything other than the last few lines. I won't lie, what drew me in was the last part and I'm not sure I would have read this book if the book description were different. And that was my main problem. The book didn't deliver what the blurb promised (or maybe what I expected?). This book is fine on its own. Setting aside my problem I'd say this book is a quick and easy read. Nothing too heavy and their relationship progresses quite naturally. But if you go in with the expectations that the heroine will resist and fight the hero every which way, you'll be disappointed. Everything was so EASY after the initial hurdle of getting her to go out with him (and I enjoyed that very much, thank you). But after that the heroine doesn't say no to him very often; she was more like a yes-sayer which I found rather disappointing. Didn't the description say something about her having reasons? (view spoiler)[(Ok to give her some credit, she did hold out on the sex though.) (hide spoiler)] Rationally, I know they have to get to know each other somehow, and this couldn't happen if the h didn't give in eventually. So I guess I'm a little conflicted. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't this. I think this is a decent-good book if you don't expect too much from the blurb. ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review. __________ For the people who've already read the book (spoiler!) (view spoiler)[I'm so not okay with her decision to give up her six-figure-dream-job-offer and go with him because she was the more "flexible" one jobwise. Yeah no I don't appreciate this. She was adamant about keeping their relationship uncomplicated, even said she'd be insane to walk away from her dream job for a guy but in the end the "romantic notion" won out and she gave it all up for him so he could have his career as a hotshot football player. Yeah, yeah trust in love and all that jazz but for me it's the same as tattooing the name of the other person on your body. I'd rather they try it long-distance for a while and see if this works. After all this IS a romance book so we KNOW they'll be each other's endgame, I think the author could have chosen another way to do this. (hide spoiler)]

  3. 5 out of 5

    London

    Decided to read it once someone clarified some of the OW sexual info for me. Hero has been obsessed with heroine since he first met her. The author doesn’t do a really good job of explaining why he’s so obsessed with her, could have used more relationship development. Anyway, it was sweet and he chases her from start to finish. It ends pretty quickly and I wish she hadn’t had to give up her career for him (even if it works out for her in the end) because ...I’m a feminist and I’d neve Decided to read it once someone clarified some of the OW sexual info for me. Hero has been obsessed with heroine since he first met her. The author doesn’t do a really good job of explaining why he’s so obsessed with her, could have used more relationship development. Anyway, it was sweet and he chases her from start to finish. It ends pretty quickly and I wish she hadn’t had to give up her career for him (even if it works out for her in the end) because ...I’m a feminist and I’d never do that. Lol. Safety details (view spoiler)[ he mentions that a few years back he was at a party and a girl gave him a BJ he didn’t want to sleep with her so he did finger her. Normally that would be the limit for me but I didn’t really care because he didn’t have any type of relationship with the heroine at all. He wanted her but she ignored him completely. Also, she’d slept with a few guys through her college years so I forgave his one sexual experience since she wasn’t celibate. That’s it. some OW drama nothing major just jealous catty girls that want the hero but he puts them in their places real quick. That’s it. None of the OW/OM sexual stuff is detailed it’s just mentioned in their inner monologue. (hide spoiler)]

  4. 5 out of 5

    Myla

    Talon, a star quarterback, has been smitten with Irie when he first laid eyes on her during there freshman year but she won't give him the time of day. Now that they are about to graduate, Talon is more than ever determined to ask Irie why couldn't she give him a chance.  Irie has been focused to finish college without any distraction named Talon. She's convinced that Talon only wants one thing from her that's why she ignored him ever since. Until that one fateful day, when they became a study partner. Final Talon, a star quarterback, has been smitten with Irie when he first laid eyes on her during there freshman year but she won't give him the time of day. Now that they are about to graduate, Talon is more than ever determined to ask Irie why couldn't she give him a chance.  Irie has been focused to finish college without any distraction named Talon. She's convinced that Talon only wants one thing from her that's why she ignored him ever since. Until that one fateful day, when they became a study partner. Finally, Talon has his opportunity to be near Irie and ask her out. "Give me one date and if it's the worst date of your life ... I'll never bother you again," he says. "I swear on my life. On my career." What happened next is something I did enjoy between these two. The storyline was well-written and had a good amount of romance. I fell completely in love with this story. Winter Renshaw is an author who writes books with engrossing characters and this book was no exception. I'm thoroughly entertained by Talon and Irie's story and if you want romance this is a must-read. Note: ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lydia

    Manho of sorts. That wasn’t even my biggest issue. My biggest issue was the heroine that gave up her six-figure dream job to follow the hero to another town to play football. I thought it was selfish of the hero to asks her of this than once. And I thought it was very stupid of the heroine. He kept saying he couldn’t turn down his offer, like his job/dream was more important than hers just because he would be making more money. The dude was already rich, he didn’t ev Manho of sorts. That wasn’t even my biggest issue. My biggest issue was the heroine that gave up her six-figure dream job to follow the hero to another town to play football. I thought it was selfish of the hero to asks her of this than once. And I thought it was very stupid of the heroine. He kept saying he couldn’t turn down his offer, like his job/dream was more important than hers just because he would be making more money. The dude was already rich, he didn’t even need the million dollar contract and let’s not forget that he didn’t even like football anymore, but the heroine was excited and loved where she would have been working And her boss. When is a guy going to give up his dream to follow a girl? because this patriarchal stuff his bs most of the time.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nova Brantley

    Not bad but not great either. What’s new? Hard to find a great one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bookgasms Book Blog

    Hate the game was a deliciously sexy NA football romance with all the feels. I enjoyed Talon and Irie's chemistry and loved how relentless Talon was in getting a chance with her. This story was sexy and engaging and I could not stop reading! Star Quarterback, Talon Gold has always wanted a chance with Irie Davenport but his four year pursuit of her has always crashed and burned. But as new study buddy partners, Irie is forced to see a new side of Talon she never expected. But with sec Hate the game was a deliciously sexy NA football romance with all the feels. I enjoyed Talon and Irie's chemistry and loved how relentless Talon was in getting a chance with her. This story was sexy and engaging and I could not stop reading! Star Quarterback, Talon Gold has always wanted a chance with Irie Davenport but his four year pursuit of her has always crashed and burned. But as new study buddy partners, Irie is forced to see a new side of Talon she never expected. But with secrets in her past and a tight fortress around her heart, Talon will have to pull out all the stops to win his forever girl. I really enjoyed this story. The banter was great and I loved how determined Talon was in winning over Irie. He was swoony and sexy and just the most delicious thing. All together this was a fun and flirty first book in Renshaw's new standalone Love Games series! 4 stars! ~Ratula 

  8. 5 out of 5

    Coco.V

    New release! Hate the Game is on sale for $0.99 (regular price will be $4.99) on Amazon today (9/25/2019)💞

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I really liked this story. I really liked how firm she was about not dating Talon. It was a well developed story with great characters. I really understood her stance once the whole story comes out. It seems real. Acquiring athletes for the NFL is not accurate but I overlooked it. I just really liked how this all played out and the extended HEA was cool.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Snow

    Hmmm... I love sport/college NA growing up kinda storylines...LOL (it's my weak spot I guess, right after the "enemies to lovers" trope LOL) cause well, there's a "prooved-safe" outline for them all - a guy wants a girl, she doesn't want him, or she plays it hard to get, he's a manwhore, she's practically a virgin, nerdy shy (or she's sassy and stubborn and stands for herself thus making her very appealing to the guy as he sees her as a challenge) there's push and pull, bickering Hmmm... I love sport/college NA growing up kinda storylines...LOL (it's my weak spot I guess, right after the "enemies to lovers" trope LOL) cause well, there's a "prooved-safe" outline for them all - a guy wants a girl, she doesn't want him, or she plays it hard to get, he's a manwhore, she's practically a virgin, nerdy shy (or she's sassy and stubborn and stands for herself thus making her very appealing to the guy as he sees her as a challenge) there's push and pull, bickering and banter, romance follows then angsty stuff is intricated cause well, there always should be some spicy, heart-beating-fast moment that will lead to some explanation and groveling then HEA AND that's absolutely fine for me, I know what to seek and I know what I'll get...here, I got some of it but not really, there was smth missing, like all the parts mentioned above were misplaced during the story telling and didn't have the full impact on me...*sigh* So, all in all, it could gave been better, but still enjoyable, light...

  11. 5 out of 5

    April Symes

    Hate the Game by Winter Renshaw is a deliciously tempting college romance full of angst and drama, feels and sweet. Without giving anything away, Talon and Irie are both just amazing characters who will have you rooting for them together and separately. Talon is a hot jock with a jerky attitude , determined to be the top dog on and off the field while Irie's the quiet girl- the one interested in finishing college and starting her career as an interior designer.  Theirs is a slow dance yet i Hate the Game by Winter Renshaw is a deliciously tempting college romance full of angst and drama, feels and sweet. Without giving anything away, Talon and Irie are both just amazing characters who will have you rooting for them together and separately. Talon is a hot jock with a jerky attitude , determined to be the top dog on and off the field while Irie's the quiet girl- the one interested in finishing college and starting her career as an interior designer.  Theirs is a slow dance yet it's so worth it because Talon and Irie had so much chemistry and connection. Their journey towards a relationship ends up being the best read. Irie's past will pull on your heartstrings yet the HEA that comes together in this story is amazing!! The characters, plot and feels are fantastic! My Rating: 4.7 stars ******

  12. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Ugh the chick irritated me through the entire book. She was arrogant and condescending and just a bitch. I literally felt 0 connection with this couple and her past discrepancy was gross and completely not believable especially her attitude about it 👎🏻

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    I really liked it, it was cute and easy to read. There wasn't much romance built up, there wasn't much character development either, at least that's how I felt it; The book could have been so much better, sooooo much more, but somehow I still liked it a lot, I mean it... a lot, so a 4 star reading to me. Me gustó mucho, incluso cuando le faltaban tantas cosas y pudo haber sido mucho mejor. No sé cómo, but aggg lo disfruté mucho. I love aunt Bette “What is it ab I really liked it, it was cute and easy to read. There wasn't much romance built up, there wasn't much character development either, at least that's how I felt it; The book could have been so much better, sooooo much more, but somehow I still liked it a lot, I mean it... a lot, so a 4 star reading to me. Me gustó mucho, incluso cuando le faltaban tantas cosas y pudo haber sido mucho mejor. No sé cómo, but aggg lo disfruté mucho. I love aunt Bette “What is it about me that sends you running?” “Everything. “We can't be logical with an emotion that knows no logic.” Talon, si si si si si... Book boyfriend

  14. 5 out of 5

    Whoo Gives A Hoot

    * Read more of my reviews at Whoo Gives A Hoot * Hate the Game by Winter Renshaw is a beautifully captivating slow burn new adult sports romance that had my heart all twisted up. Talon Gold and Irie Davenport were complete opposites, even if he knew she was the one that kept getting away. With college graduation upon them, neither one of them expect thiclass="gr-hostedUserImg">Hate* * Read more of my reviews at Whoo Gives A Hoot * Hate the Game by Winter Renshaw is a beautifully captivating slow burn new adult sports romance that had my heart all twisted up. Talon Gold and Irie Davenport were complete opposites, even if he knew she was the one that kept getting away. With college graduation upon them, neither one of them expect things to suddenly change, but one they did...there was no going back. Winter Renshaw's storytelling ability always manages to captivate my attention and her character development makes me feel immediately connected to them. The love story of Talon and Irie made my heart ache from all the excitement and I was definitely rooting for these two right from the start. The chemistry between them was heartwarming and the build up towards their happily ever after was full of angst. Oh and the sweetness factor was on point, which had me swooning! There hasn't been a single Winter Renshaw story that I haven't loved yet and this book was no exception! I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on her next story because I am ready for more!

  15. 4 out of 5

    ☆☆Hannah☆☆

    This was a good read. Irie and Talon are in college. She continuously rejects him. However, one night she starts to see he isn't the person everyone thinks he is. They end up dating but it's one of those short term because I'm leaving and you can't change my mind things. Once you read about her past it will be understandable. Although, his family life is messed up too. The important thing is in the end they get their HEA.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    2.5. This was a quick easy sweet read. Not complicated, not a lot of intensity or angst. I was thinking there would be more push-pull and a deeper emotional connection but it was relatively smooth sailing after the initial hurdle. There were some surprises and disappointments. Otherwise enjoyable but somewhat forgettable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ilaria 81

    Nice and refreshing college romance Hero ❤❤❤❤ Heroine❤❤❤(no V card 🙂) but first nerdy then involved in the past in a foursome .. well contradictory Plot ❤❤❤❤(evil step father quite a cliche ) Steam ❤❤❤ Really cute read she is not insta loving the big guy in college and he do not give up Not predictable Nice and refreshing college romance Hero ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Heroine❤️❤️❤️(no V card 🙂) but first nerdy then involved in the past in a foursome .. well contradictory Plot ❤️❤️❤️❤️(evil step father quite a cliche ) Steam ❤️❤️❤️ Really cute read she is not insta loving the big guy in college and he do not give up Not predictable

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Hinson

    "Over the years, this has become a sort of game between us. Cat and mouse. Offense and defense. He’s tried every strategy in the book, but I’ve managed to stick to the one that always works— cold, coy, aloof, and uninterested." You know when you see an author's name and just know they write good stories? Thats what I thought the moment I saw Winter Renshaw's name.... and how RIGHT I was. This was my very first read by her (I don't know how I've missed her up until now) and it has landed on both my TOP reads of 2019 "Over the years, this has become a sort of game between us. Cat and mouse. Offense and defense. He’s tried every strategy in the book, but I’ve managed to stick to the one that always works— cold, coy, aloof, and uninterested." You know when you see an author's name and just know they write good stories? Thats what I thought the moment I saw Winter Renshaw's name.... and how RIGHT I was. This was my very first read by her (I don't know how I've missed her up until now) and it has landed on both my TOP reads of 2019 and FAVS of ALL TIME. Not to mention, Talon Gold has fought his way up the book boyfriend list to the coveted Top 3. I am still in shock because sweet romance is not supposed to get me like this. Yet, this one totally did. “You really think I’d rather be in there sucking Patron from some freshman’s belly button than sitting out here with you? Under the stars?”“Duh.” He brushes his shoulder against mine. “You’re out of your mind, Irie Davenport.” Told in dual POV, this sweet standalone tells the story of the star QB with a pro future and the lucky lady who has been the center of his focus since the moment he first set eyes on her. Its a slow burning romance with a HEA (and extended epilogue). It contains no "dark" elements. "Just as he has his reasons for wanting me, I have my reasons for not wanting him …… and my reasons are rooted deeper than he could possibly begin to understand." Irie Davenport only has four months standing in the way between graduating and accepting her dream job in Malibu. Four more months of dodging the advances of the one guy on campus every girl wants, Talon Gold. He's "IT" on campus, the star QB with a Pro future and the most gorgeous man she's ever seen. She's been successful at turning him down for the past four years, what's a few more months right? Especially when her past has taught her all about his type and judging from what she's seen around campus, he's no different. He wants her because she is the only thing he can't have...... and she plans to graduate without giving in. But when they are partnered up in class, it is just the opportunity he needs......one she knows he's going to take FULL advantage of. “Someone else?” he repeats harder, as though my suggestion disgusts him. “Irie, there is no one else. There’s only you. There’s only ever been you.” From the outside, Talon Gold has it all.....popularity, the looks, the money, and a $35 million Pro contract waiting on him. He has girls lining up to be with him, but there is only one for him.....Irie Davenport. He'a spent FOUR years chasing after her, but he's about to up his game. She thinks he only wants one thing, he is going to prove to her just how wrong she is. He just wants one chance, one date. One unforgettable night...... that's all it will take to show her that he's worth the risk. And if he gets that chance? Well, hes in it for the long haul......to show her playing in the pros won't be enough if she's not by his side. “Tell me what it’s going to take to tear down this fucking fortress you’ve built around yourself,” he says. “And while you’re at it, tell me who put it there so I can kick his fucking ass.” But can Irie get past her reservations and give him a chance? And can he prove to her he isn't like all those other players? “You make it sound so nice,” I say. “But there’s still a missing piece to all of that.”“You don’t have to love football now. You can learn to love it again.”“That’s not what I’m talking about, Irie,” I say. “You’re the missing piece in that beautiful picture you just painted.” Let me just tell ya'll, Winter did a PHENOMENAL job with this book! From the plot, to the characters and their backstories; to their slow burning romance and the obstacles in their way......its all so perfectly written! She is able to create an authentic chemistry and connection between these two before they ever think about a sexual encounter. When authors look up the perfect example of slow burning romance, this should be right there! Its that GOOD! “You drive me wild.” Talon’s lips curl into a smile against mine. “And I love every fucking minute of it.” But my fav part of this book? Talon Gold. Whatever you expect from his character, throw that out the window. He is everything I typically don't like in a male lead (sweet, gentleman, etc) but my God did he steal my heart and reduce me to a puddle. He is perfection in every sense of the word, and perfect for Irie. I haven't been this enamored with a male lead since Knight Cole (from Broken Knight) and they couldn't be more polar opposites. “My entire life, I was told to be a good ball player. You’re the only person who’s ever pushed me to be a good human being.” Overall, this is an absolute MUST READ. From start to finish I couldn't get enough of these two. I found myself actively looking for something to reduce it to a 4 star read, but I absolutely could not. Its such a social read, one that will teach you all about the risks worth taking and following your heart even when the ride might be totally different than you planned. About misconceptions and judging a book by its cover. I LOVED it.....these two will hold a special place in my heart for a long time. “I love you more than I’ve ever loved anything in the world,” I say. “And yet you barely know me.”“I know enough,” I say. “And imagine how much more I’m going to love you when I get to know the rest of you.” I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeeves Reads Romance

    I’ve gotta admit... this book is nothing like I expected it to be, but I loved it. Winter Renshaw’s writing is always great so I knew I was in for a good read, but this book is sweeter, cleaner, and lighter than I’ve come to expect from her books. It’s a New Adult romance with a hero you can’t help but fall for and I loved the journey. The story follows a college senior and the star quarterback who has been pursuing her relentlessly since freshman year. Irie knows Talon only wants her I’ve gotta admit... this book is nothing like I expected it to be, but I loved it. Winter Renshaw’s writing is always great so I knew I was in for a good read, but this book is sweeter, cleaner, and lighter than I’ve come to expect from her books. It’s a New Adult romance with a hero you can’t help but fall for and I loved the journey. The story follows a college senior and the star quarterback who has been pursuing her relentlessly since freshman year. Irie knows Talon only wants her because he can’t have her, so she feels no remorse continually turning him down despite her attraction to him. But when they take a class together in their last semester of college, everything changes. Irie starts to realize that Talon is one man on the surface and a completely different one when you dig deeper. Along the way, Talon and Irie discover that they have more in common than either could’ve expected. I loved Talon; he makes this story what it is. His pursuit of Irie is so fun to read, because he knows that it will all be worth it once he succeeds. Sure, it started with him wanting to sleep with her, but you don’t pursue someone for four years without getting to know more about them and Talon likes everything he sees. It’s a slow burn, emotional romance that’s hard to put down. If you’re looking for a book that has a little of everything and a couple you can root for, I’d definitely recommend giving this a try. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout (then purchased it for my collection) and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sbell

    Uggg....this book frustrated me. I did like our hero Talon. He was sweet and only ever wanted Irie. He was diabolical in his pursuit of her and I really liked that. He never gave up. Irie was so frustrating, that I had a really hard time liking her. She was wishy washy and boring, and really unbelievable as a character. What makes me really not like this book was Irie's big reveal....what has molded her into the woman she is today. The big secret Uggg....this book frustrated me. I did like our hero Talon. He was sweet and only ever wanted Irie. He was diabolical in his pursuit of her and I really liked that. He never gave up. Irie was so frustrating, that I had a really hard time liking her. She was wishy washy and boring, and really unbelievable as a character. What makes me really not like this book was Irie's big reveal....what has molded her into the woman she is today. The big secret that stops her from having a relationship with Talon. Drumroll..... she had a 4 way with her ex, he took pics, and dumped her. Then in FINALLY explaining to Talon, she says she loved it, made her feel free and loved, but she was mad how it turned out, and he is like ok, I want to kill him, and that was it. I mean the author I think threw this in for shock value, or so that we could see Irie was so sexually liberated, but it was stupid and did not fit her character at all. I hated it and the only reason I gave this a 2 is because of Talon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Mrs B's Books)

    **My thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review** This is almost like a coming of age book where both characters have had hardships in their life, they just mask it to the world. Irie has been hurt in her past by an ex-boyfriend who was on the football team, therefore when Talan showed an interest in her her Sophomore year she new that she would never reciprocate. Fast forward to four months until the end of college and although Talan has al **My thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review** This is almost like a coming of age book where both characters have had hardships in their life, they just mask it to the world. Irie has been hurt in her past by an ex-boyfriend who was on the football team, therefore when Talan showed an interest in her her Sophomore year she new that she would never reciprocate. Fast forward to four months until the end of college and although Talan has always tried to make advances she has always turned him down. Talan has always had an eye for Irie and when he finds that he has a class with her he manages to be her partner and keeps pressing for more until she gives in. Talan shows Irie what it is to be loved, he protects her and is there for her even when she wobbles. Both characters are strong, but together make each other stronger. The ending is wonderfully optimistic and shows what can be done if you give in to trust the right person.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anne OK

    Quick, easy college sports-related romance that pits two strong-willed college seniors against the other. He's all about the word "yes" and she's a definite "no" -- but wait a bit and it may turn into a "maybe." The norm college star quarterback on his way to a multi-million dollar NFL contract and the odd duck girl with a chance for a different life upon graduation -- one that doesn't include him. It's a wild romp with a little blast of angst and heartbreak -- a broken nose and a stepdad from h Quick, easy college sports-related romance that pits two strong-willed college seniors against the other. He's all about the word "yes" and she's a definite "no" -- but wait a bit and it may turn into a "maybe." The norm college star quarterback on his way to a multi-million dollar NFL contract and the odd duck girl with a chance for a different life upon graduation -- one that doesn't include him. It's a wild romp with a little blast of angst and heartbreak -- a broken nose and a stepdad from hell. Yeah, it kept me turning the pages. And as you can probably surmise all on your own, the girl lets him catch her! Fun read with two really adorable main characters and a little auntie with a few tricks up her sleeve, too. Extra bonus with a fab Epilogue wrapped in a perfect HEA.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lula Pantoofle

    So Irie is never ever going to go out with college quarterback star Talon. Nope. Not ever. Ever I tell you. Then she does. The end. This was a slightly angsty, college sports romance. Talon is the cocky jock. Irie is the not impressed studious geek girl. He chases her and persuades her to date him which I enjoyed. It was very readable. Each character had their own history which was revealed over time and brought them closer together. I would say it lacked that lighthearted, college feel. These t So Irie is never ever going to go out with college quarterback star Talon. Nope. Not ever. Ever I tell you. Then she does. The end. This was a slightly angsty, college sports romance. Talon is the cocky jock. Irie is the not impressed studious geek girl. He chases her and persuades her to date him which I enjoyed. It was very readable. Each character had their own history which was revealed over time and brought them closer together. I would say it lacked that lighthearted, college feel. These two had enough baggage to fill a U-haul. Why only three stars? Well the lack of actual sport in the book is one bugbear. I love the team camaraderie and the sporting lingo. I love their love of the game. Not really present here. It also lacked the college feel of young people enjoying themselves. But the real kicker is that I hate a storyline that involves the heroine compromising on her future because of a guy. Dick move. Not my thing. It did however have a good HEA so it’s not all bad. It was an easy read at the end of the day which I enjoyed. I only knocked off stars for the few reasons above which probably wouldn’t bother everybody.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    This one was a cute football romance. Quarterback falls for the girl who never gave him a chance. It was pretty predictable but it was light hearted and fun! Steamy for sure! I think if your looking for something light and sport related and you don’t mind steamy sex then you’d love it! Steam 🔥🔥🔥.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Timmons

    I loved Talon Gold! I want him as my friend. Not a boyfriend because he's perfect for Irie! Lol. And Irie? Damn, she was awesome. I totally get why she was reluctant to date Talon when she tells him what happened in her past. I loved that Irie had lasted nearly 4 years without giving in but also happy that she gave him a chance and that he never gave up on her, even when she pushed him away time and again. I would have liked a bit more of a showdown with Mark but it was just enough to satisfy me I loved Talon Gold! I want him as my friend. Not a boyfriend because he's perfect for Irie! Lol. And Irie? Damn, she was awesome. I totally get why she was reluctant to date Talon when she tells him what happened in her past. I loved that Irie had lasted nearly 4 years without giving in but also happy that she gave him a chance and that he never gave up on her, even when she pushed him away time and again. I would have liked a bit more of a showdown with Mark but it was just enough to satisfy me. I loved the epilogue but I wanted more. Didn't want to finish this book. It was so good!

  26. 4 out of 5

    kk

    2.5 ⭐ I read this book in one sitting, it was quick and easy to read. But it was also really boring. I kept waiting for something to happen but no such luck. There was no connection between main characters. Irie was judgmental and completely unlikable. I didn’t buy into Talon pining for her for four years. Once she agreed to go out with him everything was easy and predictable. I was really expecting more based on the blurb. The only thing that surprised me was her secret from high school. Bu 2.5 ⭐️ I read this book in one sitting, it was quick and easy to read. But it was also really boring. I kept waiting for something to happen but no such luck. There was no connection between main characters. Irie was judgmental and completely unlikable. I didn’t buy into Talon pining for her for four years. Once she agreed to go out with him everything was easy and predictable. I was really expecting more based on the blurb. The only thing that surprised me was her secret from high school. But even then, what happened to her didn’t fit at all into the storyline. Her attitude about it also wasn’t really natural and believable in my opinion.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Madeleine East

    Loved Talon and Irie's story. Every word drew me in deeper. I love Winter's writing and this book was amazing.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy Dickinson

    Overall Grade: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Winter Renshaw is one of those authors that I want to fight for. I don’t think her following is huge, but her books are pure offerings of characterization, and her readership knows this. Her latest offering is no different. Hate the Game is the tale of a reserved, studious college girl and the hot star quarterback for their university. Irie is simply biding her time until graduation. She has spent four years, flying under the radar, standing in her individuality. She exists f Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Winter Renshaw is one of those authors that I want to fight for. I don’t think her following is huge, but her books are pure offerings of characterization, and her readership knows this. Her latest offering is no different. Hate the Game is the tale of a reserved, studious college girl and the hot star quarterback for their university. Irie is simply biding her time until graduation. She has spent four years, flying under the radar, standing in her individuality. She exists for her self and her great aunt whom she cares for, and that’s enough for her as she pursues the goals for her future: to become an interior designer. Talon Gold is the star quarterback of Pacific Valley University. He comes from a privileged background, and his future of NFL stardom is right in front of him. Unfortunately, there are two problems: he’s been infatuated with Irie since freshman year and she has no interest in reciprocating his interest; and, while raised wealthy, that life brings him no real joy. As the story progresses, we find that football, the center of his life, is conflated with stress and unhappiness. Unbeknownst to each other, Talon and Irie find themselves as students in an anthropology class. Talon takes the opportunity to essentially woo Irie, even though she tries hard to resist him. Irie’s past is also complicated and informs her decisions about Talon. Will Talon’s efforts pay off? Will he win the heart of the girl whom he has obsessed over since freshman year? That is the core of this story, and it’s a beautiful one. To be honest, when I first read the blurb for Hate the Game, I thought for sure that Talon Gold was a player, and I believed the story would develop with Irie, the perfunctory strong heroine, reforming the “bad boy” hero. Boy, was I wrong. That is not this story. Instead, Renshaw alludes to the treasure of Talon Gold in his name. He is a “gold” character in his ardent interest in Irie. This story is insightful in its illustration of labeling and preconceived judgments about people. This finds the most purchase in the characterization of Talon. He has every characteristic to be a playboy, “big man on campus.” To some degree, he fits the latter identity. However, the belief Irie holds about him is far from the truth of him. If you love a hero who adores the heroine to his soul, who will move heaven and earth to be with her, and who will sacrifice himself for her, then you should be reading Hate the Game. Talon Gold is a revelation of a hero in this story. I kept waiting for his evolution into d*uchebaggery, but it doesn’t happen. Instead, Talon Gold embodies his name with his heart of “gold.” The difficult character of this story is Irie. At face value, Irie is strength personified. Yet, this strength is held together with fragile bands and a cracked wall. Her past, unfortunately, informs her perception of Talon, and it shows how wrong people can be about others based on other people’s perceptions. This is a running theme in Hate the Game. Nothing is as it seems; the truth is hidden behind shabby facades. With the right swing of the hammer of truth, it all falls down. This happens more indelibly with Irie’s character. She makes the greatest journey of growth in the story, even though she is initially the most resolute image of strength. That Talon’s love can transform her so distinctly is the beauty of Renshaw’s romance. It’s the reason why I started this book in the morning, not believing I would finish it the same day. And I did. I simply couldn’t put it down to its beautiful end. Through Renshaw’s masterful storytelling, using a typical romantic trope, she made me fall in love with Talon and Irie’s story. Like the characters at the beginning of the story, I thought I knew what Renshaw was going to offer initially, and I was reticent to begin. I didn’t really want to rehash the standard trope of the heroine saving the “bad boy” hero from himself. But like Irie, I was completely wrong. Instead, Renshaw grabbed me by my heart and reminded me that preconceived judgments are reductive and incomplete. Talon and Irie’s story is another reminder that we never really know a person unless we take the time to do so. And if we don’t, we potentially miss out on a big kind of transforming love.

  29. 4 out of 5

    B.

    A Solid Jock Romance, Yet Talon Is Not Quite The Typical Jock! Irie Davenport, twenty-two, likes to go against the trends. She once lived to please others, to earn their attention. Having been passed around like a hot potato to relatives during childhood - because she never knew her father and because her own mother was too busy living in a commune to be bothered - she never had a true sense of home or love. She learned the hard way that she needs to be true to herself. She remains guarded, b A Solid Jock Romance, Yet Talon Is Not Quite The Typical Jock! Irie Davenport, twenty-two, likes to go against the trends. She once lived to please others, to earn their attention. Having been passed around like a hot potato to relatives during childhood - because she never knew her father and because her own mother was too busy living in a commune to be bothered - she never had a true sense of home or love. She learned the hard way that she needs to be true to herself. She remains guarded, but is refreshingly unpretentious and unexpected. Beginning the second semester of her senior year at Pacific Valley University in Southern California, and on the verge of earning her degree in interior design, she remains focused on her studies. She has had a few boyfriends during her college years - nothing serious - but she doesn't do hookups. Her Great Aunt Bette, eighty-three and a real firecracker, pays her tuition and provides a room in exchange for being a caretaker. This is the first time she has felt like she has a home, but it all ends in four months. Talon Gold, a senior and PVU's star quarterback, is a ladies' man extraordinaire. King of Dicks. He was born with a silver-spoon, but money doesn't buy everything. His father died when she was six, and his mom is a ghost of the person she once was. His step father has pushed him relentlessly, to the point that he began to question why he even played football. If there is one thing that defines Talon, it is that he is a winner. He sets his mind to something and works at it until he gets it. It serves him well in football, but the one thing he wants the most seems immune to his charm. He has been trying to hook up with Irie Davenport since fall semester of freshman year. He has repeatedly asked her out, but is rebufffed each time. It is a game the two play now. Her strategy is to be cold, coy, aloof, and uninterested, but she hasn't perfected her poker face. He sees that part of her wants him, too, so he doesn't give up. When fate puts Talon and Irie in a class together during their last semester at PVU, Talon's tenacity finally begins to wear down Irie's resistance. But they have plans following graduation that will take them in opposite directions. With only four months left, Talon must earn Irie's trust and convince her to take a leap of faith. Talon and Irie's sweet story has you rooting for the couple as they face their families and struggle to decide what is truly important to them. Talon's strength and resolve are remarkable. You can't help but swoon as he fights to win his girl. The couple deserves their HEA! This book is well-written. The plot is complex. The characters are well-developed. Great Aunt Bette is a memorable supporting character! It is delightful to read as Talon's character unfolds and he is more than just a jock. The POV alternates between Talon and Irie. I rate this book 4.5 stars. I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Pierson

    I went back & forth about this rating, even though Winter Renshaw is normally a perfect rating every time with no thought at all, there were just a few things that kind of messed with me, but I can't even type them up or it ends up with spoilers. Now, I'm not saying that I had a hard time staying immersed, because as usual, I couldn't put it down. It's the story of Talon Gold, the all star QB of his college with a ticket to the NFL. He could have any girl on campus that he wanted, except one I went back & forth about this rating, even though Winter Renshaw is normally a perfect rating every time with no thought at all, there were just a few things that kind of messed with me, but I can't even type them up or it ends up with spoilers. Now, I'm not saying that I had a hard time staying immersed, because as usual, I couldn't put it down. It's the story of Talon Gold, the all star QB of his college with a ticket to the NFL. He could have any girl on campus that he wanted, except one, so she's the one that he just has to have. Of course, it looks like the chase is the attraction in all honesty, which really has him all jacked up with his best in it to win it attitude, since he's never had any girl reject him like Irie has for 4 years. For 4 years, he's been hitting on her, and she's been turning him down, not because they didn't have some chemistry, it was more about her believing it was just about the chase to him, that he would just drop her if she gave in, not to mention, she wasn't that type of girl who hooked up with dudes. She's actually that rare responsible girl who doesn't go wild in College, but one who is obsessed with her grades. Sure, she's had a relationship or two, so she's not anti-relationship, just anti star QBs who can have anyone girl they want. But now they're in their last year in college, so Talon is upping his game, and it only gets worse when they have a class together. And finally, he got her to say yes to a date. This is the part that starts getting iffy for me, because until she gives in, she never, not once gave him his way, but once that first date happened, it just seemed like she stopped being that sassy girl who was 100% independent at that point. I'm not saying they didn't have their moments where it seemed perfect, and when the sexy times finally commenced, they were HOT HOT HOT for NA. I guess I just wanted that sassy girl to remain who gave him a run for his money at all times, that's all. There's another big issues that stems from that, but I won't go into detail but just know, it just confused me. But at the end of the day, it was the addictive Winter Renshaw, so I was all in until there was no more book left to devour & have complicated feeling over. So, if you want to know what happened, what I was talking about, and just a very addictive read despite any issues I had, then one click this bad boy ASAP! (Hint hint; please please think about another book so I can see if anything changed as they got older.) Anyway, it may just be me, as there are times when my opinion doesn't match up with everyone else, so please decide for yourselves! HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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