Book Review: The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon

Posted March 31, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 20 Comments

The Only Game in Town
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Lacie Waldon
Publication Date March 21, 2023
Published by Penguin
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Small Town & Rural, Fiction / Southern
Pages: 416
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

One small town, one big prize, one handsome stranger...

Nothing ever changes in Redford, Georgia. That's what freelance editor Jess Reid loves about her hometown—and part of what keeps her from leaving. Content taking care of her father, a car mechanic who singlehandedly raised her after her mom skipped out, Jess is resigned to a safe, unremarkable existence...until Jasper Wilhelm, the town’s eccentric benefactor, dies suddenly and leaves behind the opportunity of a lifetime.

Financial advisor Carter Barclay has been too busy to visit his grandfather in Redford, but he’s heard countless stories about the town and its zany residents from Jasper. A small, insular town in Georgia is the last place Carter expects to be spending his summer—but it seems his grandfather had one final trick up his sleeve.

At the funeral, it’s revealed that Jasper has devised a massive, high-stakes game for the people of Redford, with the winning duo taking home his entire fortune. The catch? He’s already taken the liberty of pairing them up. As tensions of all kinds rise between Jess and Carter, and the life-changing prize looms closer, the two must decide what they’re willing to risk to change their lives. A love story full of spirit and hijinks, The Only Game in Town is a funny, quirky homage to the people we get to call home.

The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon is a funny, romantic comedy, set in a small town, that made me laugh.  

Story Recap:

Redford Georgia is a quiet small town until its benefactor, Jasper Wilhelm, dies and leaves behind an opportunity for the residents.  Jasper has devised an exciting high-stakes series of games where the winner wins Ten Million Dollars!  The catch is that Jasper has already paired up the contestants, and nobody is happy with their partner.  

Carter is Jasper’s nephew, and he arrives in town to coordinate and officiate the games to ensure his grandfather’s wishes are granted.  He’s heard stories of Redford but never expected to spend a summer there to execute his grandfather’s will.   Jess is a freelance editor who grew up with her single dad, Ross, a garage mechanic.  Nikki is Jess’s arch enemy and mean girl and Jess’s partner in the games.  

My Thoughts: 

This book is just good old entertainment from cover to cover.  I was immediately drawn into the book and I had a great time until it was finished.  I loved the characters, the plot, the games, and the small town of Redford, Georgia.  

I’m not sure that the plot is a believable one, but that’s just fine with me!  I just went with it and so should you, otherwise, you’ll miss out on a delightful, funny, heartwarming story.    I loved how the teams were already formed by Jasper, who must have delighted in teaming up with the arch-enemies.  I imagine his only regret is that he couldn’t see the results of his machinations.  

There are four points of view in the story, but they are well-marked and I never felt like I was confused.  I liked how the different POVs gave me more insight not only into their character but all the characters in the story.  


I highly recommend The Only Game in Town to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Lacie Waldon

Lacie Waldon is a writer with her head in the clouds—literally. A flight attendant based in Los Angeles, Waldon spends her days writing from the jump seat and searching the world for new stories.

Her best-selling debut novel, The Layover, can be found in bookstores all over the world (and not just because she uses her flight benefits to sneak signed copies onto shelves.) It has been featured by USA Today, Buzzfeed, PopSugar, Frolic, and many others, and was voted a most-anticipated book by librarians across Canada.

Her second novel, From the Jump, lands on shelves this summer and has been deemed a “winning friends-to-lovers romance” by Publishers Weekly. Like The Layover, it promises a tropical escape and is best paired with a fruity drink and a beach towel.

Have you read The Only Game in Town?

20 responses to “Book Review: The Only Game in Town by Lacie Waldon

  1. Sounds entertaining and a great deal of fun even if one needs to suspend disbelief a bit. Wonderful review, Wendy 🙂

  2. It’s been some time I come across a book full of entertainment cover to cover. ‘m sure i will enjoy this. Amazing review!

  3. You make this one seem like a good time. I like that it isn’t necessarily believable but still highly entertaining. I wasn’t expecting you to say there were 4 POVs either. Great review.

  4. Great review, Wendy! This really seems like a fun read (just as the cover would suggest!) and sometimes good old entertainment is just what you need from a book. The plot doesn’t have to be the most believable thing for me so I think this would be so great to read!