Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Review: A Different Game (A Wrong Game Novel) by Charlie M. Matthews

Book: A Different Game (A Wrong Game Novel)
Author: Charlie M. Matthews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 30th January

Add to your reading list now: Goodreads


You know that saying: One man's trash is another man’s treasure.
I found out that it was true. At least, that's what I’d thought a year earlier when a few stolen moments with this one, unexpected girl, turned my heart to mush.
I thought she was different.
I thought she was special.
But it turned out I was wrong.
I was the kind of guy who learned from his mistakes quickly, so I moved away, threw myself into my budding football career, and I was determined to make something of myself and focus on my future.
And it worked, despite me missing her.
For a short while, I had everything figured out again.
Then, in one split second, it was all gone, ripped out from beneath my feet.
An injury forced me back home to Winslow to face the world I’d left behind.
But I wasn't the same man when I returned.
I was different now. Too different for everything to go back the way it was before.       

I wasn't the relationship type. I was the girl who mothers warned their sons about. I was the local piece of trash.
At least, that's what they all thought.
None of them ever really knew me at all. None of them except him.
And then he left me… alone and confused. He forced me to hate him, to hate them all. I wanted to drift away. Leave Winslow far behind me and start afresh someplace else. Someplace new. Somewhere I could become anything and anyone I wanted to be.
But then he came back, dragging with him every moment, every explicit memory I had of us together and dumping them unceremoniously at my feet.
I wanted to keep hating him.
I wanted to resist.
But he was different now.
So cold, so angry, and sexy as all hell.
He’d changed, and all my plans for a happy ever after were shattered the moment he made the decision to return and show me exactly what I’d been missing while he’d been gone. I was screwed.

My Rating:

My Review:

The story for A Different Game continued from the first in the series, The Wrong Game, but could easily stand-alone.  The premise was interesting and the storylines featured a mercurial and atomically sensual relationship between two unlikely former college lovers with an unfortunate history, as well as uniquely dysfunctional family dynamics in both households.  The family drama had understandably resulted in significant and long-term damage to all parties.  While it was well-written, I struggled with this book as I am just not a fan of constant conflict and this story was a full-on angst-fest.  I was further hampered by my difficulty in scraping up an appreciation for many of the characters as they were not easily likable and more than a bit obnoxious and prone to immature and selfish behavioral patterns.  Yet Ms. Matthew’s unique brand of storytelling and compelling narrative held my attention and I couldn’t seem to put my Kindle down, despite my desire to growl and sigh despondently at the characters’ toxic and melodramatic train wreck displays.  Craftily written from a dual POV, I found considerably more enjoyment and appeal in the characters’ inner musings than in their interpersonal interactions.  Melanie was my least favorite of the cast with her past behaviors, which were briefly recapped from the previous book, being highly promiscuous as well as maliciously vile and toxic; and although she believed herself to have “changed” after college graduation, those behaviors were not all behind her as she could still switch on the vicious and cruel harpy and spitefully lash out at will.  Yikes.  While this one may not have been tailored to my personal preference, if you feast on angst, emotional conflicts, and relationship dramas, then this is the book for you.  

Empress DJ

About the Author

Charlie M. Matthews is a hopeless romantic, lost in her own world of fairy tales and adventures. A lover of art and painting, she’d happily trade in her everyday clothes in exchange for a paint smudged shirt. In the confines of her attic room, she is able to create a world that is unlike no other. Mixing fantasy and fiction to generate a piece of work that she could so easily lose herself in. With her wild imagination and passion for reading, Charlie stumbled upon a new love.


What started as a distraction from the crazy little thing that is ‘life’, it soon became all too real. She no longer dreamt about the day her words would be published for all to see because that day had finally come true. It 2015 she released her first novel and hasn’t looked back since.

Charlie is a mum of three beautiful children, living in a small village on the outskirts of Oxfordshire, England. Born and raised in the busy town of Reading, she switched the bright lights and traffic jams for a quiet life in the sticks a little over eight years ago.

Between school runs and generally just doing the whole ‘mum’ thing, you’ll most likely find her slobbing out on the sofa, shouting at the tv screen while her favourite football team (Arsenal) are tearing up the field. And yes, no doubt there will be beer involved, or if she’s feeling extra girlie, maybe even a glass of vino.

Connect with Charlie on social media

Twitter: @C_MMatthews

Other books in the series
The Wrong Game

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