5 Stars / Contemporary / Review / Romantic Comedy

Audiobook Review: Game Changer by Sylvie Stewart 🎧

There are three things I know about New York so far: everybody is late for something, nobody has a freakin’ clue what sweet tea is, and King Kong himself is still alive and well and has taken the form of a growly blacksmith named Mac.

This is no shifter story and I’m not his prey, although I wouldn’t say no if he asked for a little taste. I’ve been saddled with interviewing the beast to secure my new dream job in publishing, but his intense stares and monosyllabic responses are making my job impossible. I just need to get this over with and move on to navigating my new life and career. I’ve got this, right?

But my professional and personal challenges are proving bigger than I realized, and Mac might be the only one who truly understands this game. He’ll be my biggest ally if I let him—and the way he keeps saying my name makes me really want to let him. The thing is, this city is known for breaking hearts, and it doesn’t care if you’re the new girl in town or the beast who calls it home.

Title:Game Changer
Author:Sylvie Stewart
Narrator(s):Meg Price
Pages / Length: 412 / 10 hrs 50 mins
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Romantic Comedy
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Fish out of Water
Point of View:First Person, Past Tense, Single Viewpoint (h)
Narration Type:Single Voice
Location:New York & Georgia, USA
Release Date:15th November, 2019
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Fun, love and emotion

5 stars

I’m having the best time reading (listening) my way through Sylvie Stewart’s back catalogue. Game Changer is a standalone novel and not connected to any other of Ms Stewart’s books – although I wouldn’t be averse to reading more from other people from this group, especially Poppy’s sister.

Poppy is a magazine editor who has just landed her dream job in New York. She loves her small Georgia hometown and her tight-knit family and friends – but she feels she has to spread her wings in the big city. In order to fit in, Poppy finds herself toning down her Southern-ness, and struggling to fit in, while also struggling with the big, broody and maddening Mac, the reclusive star she has to interview in order to keep her job.

I have to start with the narrator of this story as she is absolute perfection in her role. Now I’m not American, so I can’t really testify to the authenticity of her accent, but she sounded exactly what I would expect a southern gal to sound. Meg Price also really adds the sass and spark of Poppy, and her character just shines through. To be honest, I could have listened to Ms Price’s voice forever. Glorious! The book is also written solely from Poppy’s point of view, which means more from Meg Price, and I don’t have to complain about one narrator reading both points of view.

With the story only coming from Poppy’s point of view, it also lends itself to the mystery of Mac. We only ever know what Poppy knows which is great for the slow burn, gradual build of feelings and chemistry between her and Mac. It’s hard, then, to describe Mac as a character except to say he’s a beast of man – burly, grumpy, brooding and suspicious, especially of Poppy and her motives. But he was also tenacious and his blindsiding of Poppy as the pair start to date, was unexpected and adorable. And extra points for all the handholding in the book. There’s something surprisingly arousing about a grumpy man enjoying the simple connection of holding his sunshine’s hand. Sigh.

“Meg Price also really adds the sass and spark of Poppy, and her character just shines through.”

As the story builds, there’s a nice amount of heat with our couple and I really felt the developing relationship and feelings between them. I also enjoyed the story thread running through the love story. It was interesting and while not a big mystery, I didn’t see the outcome of that coming. I also liked the way Poppy’s feelings about her move from a small town to big city, and missing her friends and family, was handled. It was emotive but not too heavy; it felt exactly right.

There were also a good amount of secondary characters. None that overshadowed our main pair or their story, but they just added something extra. Naveed and Poppy’s sister are definitely worth a mention. Oh and Poppy’s grandma and her pearls of ‘wisdom’ before each chapter.

As always with Sylvie Stewart’s stories we get a whole heap of humour added in with the romance. I laughed out loud on so many occasions and generally had such a good time listening to this story.

Although I’m giving this 5 stars, I do have one teeny tiny complaint. Mac is of Scottish origin and speaks Gaelic to Poppy on occasion. I don’t speak Gaelic myself, so I can’t say whether it was correct, but I do know that the narrator continually pronounced it like you would Irish Gaelic, rather than Scottish Gaelic. Just a quickie that someone should have picked up on (or checked) before production. But I know that it doesn’t affect the story and my Scottish ass is just over-sensitive about these kind of things!

Anyway, with that said, this is another fun and delicious story from Sylvie Stewart and one that I very much enjoyed getting stuck into. Definitely a recommended read/listen and very worthy of 5 full stars.

5 stars

USA Today bestselling author Sylvie Stewart is addicted to Romantic Comedy and Contemporary Romance, and she’s not looking for a cure. She hails from the great state of North Carolina, so it’s no surprise that most of her books are set in the Tar Heel state. She’s a wife to a hilarious dude and mommy to ten-year-old twin boys who tend to take after their father in every way. Sylvie often wonders if they’re actually hers, but then she remembers being a human incubator for a gazillion months. Ah, good times.

Sylvie began publishing when her kids started elementary school, and she loves sharing her stories with readers and hopefully making them laugh and swoon a bit along the way. If she’s not in her comfy green writing chair, she’s probably camping or kayaking with her family or having a glass of wine while binge-watching Hulu. Or she’s been kidnapped—so what are you doing just sitting there?!!

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