Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: Changing the Rules

Changing the Rules (Champion Valley - Book 3) by Erin Kern

Publication Date: 03/27/2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Imprint: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from Forever via Netgalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Erin Kern on the WEB: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

1.) Winner Takes All 
2.) Back in the Game
3.) Changing the Rules

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from Changing the Rules, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


This alpha athlete is about to meet his match...

Cameron Shaw knows exactly what he's doing when it comes to coaching high school boys on the football field, but caring for a six-year-old girl is a whole different ballgame. When a gorgeous, highly opinionated woman shows up with his niece in tow and claims he's Piper's new guardian, Cameron's first response is "hell no." But he can't abandon a little girl who just lost her mother....

Audrey Bennett wasn't planning to stick around town, but Piper's gruff, way-too-good-looking-for-his-own-ego uncle clearly needs help. The longer she stays-watching Cameron teach Piper to make pancakes and tie her sparkly pink shoelaces-the harder it is to leave. Especially when he stops arguing and gives Audrey the most toe-curling kiss of her life. But just as she thinks he might be the one, a secret he's been keeping threatens to tear apart their happy little family.


Erin Kern returns to the Champion Valley series with her third book about football, family and love. Changing the Rules is an excellent feel good novel that readers won't have any trouble relating to. Cameron is the perfect bachelor, but can he be the perfect guardian for a little girl, who's lost her mother? Audrey knows a lot about this little girl but what is she to do with a sexy assistant football coach? Readers will fall in love with these two very different people who bond over the love of a child. 

What I liked:

Piper has lost her mother to Cancer and now she has to leave her home to meet a guardian and uncle she's never known. That's a very heartbreaking thought to me. And when I first started the novel I wasn't sure how things would go for this little girl. I liked the fact that Kern did not make Piper and afterthought in this story. Piper was a very real character who had feelings and thoughts, just as the main characters did. I thought Kern did an excellent job of incorporating family moments into the book that included Piper and made her part in the story central to the plot. 

Cameron was one foxy football coach. Everybody knows that Texas and football go hand in hand and Kern really played that up in this book. I think there will be tons of readers who not only appreciate Cameron and his vocation but who will also appreciate Kern's understanding of the culture. Cameron is a bachelor. What's he going to do with a little girl? That's what I was asking myself as I read this one. But sometimes you meet someone who has never really been around kids, who is just a natural. That's the way Kern portrays Cameron. He is just good at it and everything else... 

Audrey was spunky. She was a bit wary of Cameron and his flirty ways. She was devoted to Piper and making sure her mom knew what she was doing by making this handsome guy her guardian. I liked that she stayed the course to find out if this was right for a very impressionable and sweet little girl. Falling for Cameron was not what she had in mind. Kern writes her as having lost at love more than once and readers will be rooting for her finding her happy ever after from the start. 

What I didn't like:

There wasn't too much I didn't like. I'm not always a proponent of books where the hero or heroine is thrown into a situation beyond their control from the beginning. With this one, that situation was a child, which was daunting. I wasn't sure Kern could pull it off but I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. There were a few moments when I could't help but feel like it was all a little too perfect. Too cookie cutter familiar. But it passed quickly because of the superb characters and very well written romance.

Bottom Line:

This is the third book in the series but can easily be read as a stand alone. I thought the characters were well drawn and had very good chemistry from the start. Cameron was the hometown hero who had a big heart and Piper just seemed to fill a spot he didn't even realize needed filling. Audrey was a perfect match for his candor and openness. She was wary to start with and caution can make for some really good tension. Kern plays up the Texas, football and family angle and comes up a winner!

Changing the Rules is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Erin Kern lives in north Texas with her husband, two kids and their dog. She loves BBQ, Texas sunsets, antiquing and high school football games. The Champion Valley series was inspired by Erin's love of Texas football, small towns and happy endings.
When she's not at the computer working on her next tale, she can be found spending time with her kids or curled up with a good book.


holdenj said...

Of the recent books, this one is probably the one I would like best. Mostly just wanted to stop and wave hello!
Happy reading as always!

justpeachy36 said...

Thanks holdenj ! Always a pleasure to hear from you...