Review: Game of Hearts by Cathy Yardley

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Title: Game of Hearts (Fandom Hearts #3)
Author: Cathy Yardley
Genre: Contemporary romance, Fandom, Cosplay, Bikers
Release date: 30 Jan 2018

Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter 
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My rating: 5 stars

Blurb

Kyla Summers has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime to get her cosplay business off the ground, and only one thing stands in her way. She needs someone to take over the auto shop, and there’s only one person she can think of to call…

Jericho Salomon hasn’t been back in his home town since he joined a biker gang and rode off nine years ago. When his best friend’s kid sister calls begging for help, he knows that he owes the family a debt and he intends to pay. This is easier said than done once he finds that the kid is all grown up…

She needs a pair of skillful hands. He needs to keep his hands off. When sparks begin to fly, can they keep things strictly business, or will their hearts get hopelessly tangled? No more games, it’s time to play for keeps.


Review

I really enjoyed this story. It's sweet and funny with unexpected depth and exploration of serious issues. It's a variation of the friends to lovers trope mixed with big brother best friend trope.

It had an easy flow and all the characters were very much likable. I loved the heroine who is wonderfully real and complex. She works as a mechanic (a bit reluctantly) running the family business with her bother after their parents retired.

Kyla is caring, strong, determined. I found it easy to relate to her reluctance to call for help, to rely on others (her brother has not being exactly reliable so far in their lives), she was used to being the one who always helped the other, who as always there to help when needed. 

Jericho was a great hero, complex on his own. I loved how he was a biker and rode with other bikers but theirs was more of a group of gearheads than a biker club of any kind. It's the discussion of the future of his group of riding budies that was part of the conflict of him. I appreciate that the story presented a different type of bikers - not criminals, brutal and violent, but rather people who love bikes and tinkering with them and riding them.

He had a difficult journey to go through - reconnecting with his estranged family, going back to his tribal roots. Jericho also had to deal with the sudden realization that he had more than friendly feelings for his best friends sister which led to him navigating a relationship for the first time in his life.

It all happens rather quickly at quite an inconvenient time for both. They are stressed and under a lot of pressure and getting together both added to that but it also prompted them to make some much needed changes in their lives.

I really, really like the positive fat representation of the heroine in this story. She is never described as anything but gorgeous in the eyes of the hero despite her own insecurities which showed up at times. It was lovely to see Kyla and her friends being passionate about their fandoms and cosplay. Introducing Jericho to the Game of Thrones was so much fun. 

Another aspect of Kyla's world and in a way it was reciprocated in Jericho's world, was the close circle of friends that had and the support they got from them. 

Overall it's light-hearted, funny story which touches on all sorts of issues without seeming overburdened and scattered. The romance was at the heart of it, with the initial hesitance and  shyness through getting to know the other person intimately, turning a brief affair into the possibility for something long term. Recommended read. 

Purchase links: Amazon

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