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  • Beautiful Game

  • Stag Brothers, Book 5
  • By: Lainey Davis
  • Narrated by: Nikola Muckajev
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Beautiful Game cover art

Beautiful Game

By: Lainey Davis
Narrated by: Nikola Muckajev
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Summary

Everything comes at a cost. Is love worth the price?

Hawk Moyer has it all: fame, fortune…the only thing missing from the pro athlete’s life is family. Half his identity is a mystery, and after a transfer to Pittsburgh’s soccer team, he’s determined to solve the secret of his origins. He just needs to stay focused on his game in the mean time.

The only problem? He met a woman who’s not that into him…and he can’t get her out of his head.

Lucy Nelson has everything to lose. She finally broke free from her son’s abusive father and is working to build a future that can’t be taken away. She’s got priorities, and they don’t include a cocky soccer player, no matter how charming. As far as Lucy’s concerned, he’s only good for one thing.

But Hawk’s a mid-fielder. He’s used to playing offense and defense, and he’s not afraid of Lucy’s baggage, especially with backup from a trio of brothers he didn’t know he had. Can Hawk convince Lucy he’s a team player? Will she ever trust him to be there for her amidst her custody chaos?

Beautiful Game is the fifth book of the Stag Brothers series, a stand-alone contemporary romance with crackling tension and sizzling passion. If you love meddling side characters, secret siblings, and workplace romance, you’ll swoon for the Stag Brothers and the women they weren’t expecting to love.

©2022 Lainey Davis (P)2022 Lainey Davis

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Awesome Listen!

Beautiful Game by Lainey Davis pulled me in from the very beginning. I love single mom/soccer player romances and this one hit it spot on. Lucy is a single mom with her priority focused on her son Wyatt. She meets another mom and they click as friends and doors open to advancing her career. Simultaneously she meets Hawk and has great chemistry with him, before encountering him professionally. I loved how the author wrote the story and developed the characters. I felt like I was watching it play out. Nicola Mucajev brought the characters to life through his distinguishable voices for the numerous characters. I could envision so many details with this book

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A truly amazing workplace/sports romance

Beautiful Game is book five in the Stag brother series and even though this book is part of a series it is a stand-alone workplace, sports romance that is not only smoking hot but also pulls at your heart strings and is full to the brim with amazing side characters who love to meddle and secret siblings with a flock of kids that will have you hooked from start to finish.
As a pro athlete Hawk Moyer appears to have it all, fame, fortune, a successful soccer career. However, family is a sore subject for Hawk. Having never had his father in his life part of his identity is a mystery and after a transfer to the Pittsburgh Forge soccer team in a $1 million deal, the initial fear he feels gives way to a determination to get to the bottom of the absentee father who makes up the other half of his gene pool. Hawk wants to concentrate on his work and not letting his new team down but before he can even kick a ball on the pitch, he meets single mum Lucy and her four-year-old son Wyatt and becomes besotted and protective with both mother and son.
Lucy is a survivor and a super protective mamma bear after finally breaking free from her son’s abusive father and the man who not only mentally and emotionally abused her but isolated her from everyone with his coercive controlling behaviour. Lucy is grateful to a beautiful stranger for not only going to her son’s rescue (who Wyatt aptly names She-Ra) when he was supposed to be under the care of his father but also being a saviour to her and giving her some semblance of a normal life again by introducing her to an incredible group of women/mothers who play soccer once a week. Lucy’s life is looking up and when she secures her dream job as a strength and conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Forge Soccer team it means she’ll not only be spending more time with the new all-star signing Hawk who has it bad for her, but she’ll also be getting up close and personal with him. Soon sparks are flying between the two, but it was Hawks relationship with Wyatt that had my ovaries exploding, plus I loved the way Hawks brothers not only embraced him but the way they help and protect Lucy and Wyatt is so beautiful it brought me to tears.
This book is narrated solely by the extremely talented Nikola Muckajev and he does an incredible job of bringing Hawk and Lucy to life as well as lending his voice to the many great side characters.
Nikola brought light and shade to the performance which helped to build the angst while showing the softer sides to the characters that built sexual tension that ended in a totally swoony HEA.
A truly wonderful sports romance that gave me all the feels. My very first Lainey Davis book and it certainly won’t be my last, I loved her storytelling. First on my list of more from this amazing author will be the spending some time with the rest of the Stag brothers as I enjoyed Tim, Ty and Thatcher in this book.

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Sweet and Heartwarming!

This is the fifth book in the Stag Brothers series, a Sports Romance. Hawk and Lucy's story is sweet and heartwarming. The storyline is interesting, and filled with drama, secrets, and twists and turns. Hawk is handsome, charming, supportive and caring. Lucy is smart, strong, and determined. I loved to follow them in their journey to love. Lucy's son Wyatt is so cute! I loved Hawk's brothers. They are handsome, and supportive, and I would love to know more about them. Nikola Muckajev did a great job with the narration. I enjoyed it.

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What a beautiful story!

This was definitely a whirlwind of emotions. I was definitely on the edge of my seat throughout!

Before I get ahead of myself though... First things first, ‘Beautiful Game’ is book 5 of ‘Stag Brothers’ series but can be read as a standalone.

Here, we meet our main characters, Hawk Moyer and Lucy Nelson. After a transfer to the soccer team of his birth city (Pittsburgh), Hawk decides to finally find out more about the other half of his family whom he never knew. Whilst there, he meets Lucy, a single mum, who recently broke free from her ex-relationship and who now works closely with Hawk. With all that going on, this new attraction forming between them is very complicated, and Lucy feels that her other priorities should take precedent over any possible budding romance between herself and Hawk.

This book was so unexpected for me. All the characters were so loveable, and I especially loved the chemistry between our hero and heroine. It was *chef’s kiss*. I could definitely feel the attraction, and later, the love he had for her, and vice versa.

This book also covered heavier topics in the form of Lucy’s ex relationship. It was hard, but interesting, to see all that she had to go through with that situation. But I’m glad she persevered, and I loved how Hawk was there for Lucy when she needed him the most.

I also loved Hawk’s friendship with Lucy’s son and how her past didn’t deter him. Plus, I really enjoyed the new forming relationship that Hawk had with his brothers.

I honestly cannot think of much that I disliked about this book. Well, except maybe that I wished it was longer; I loved these characters so much, I wanted to see more. But I guess that’s a good problem to have.

I listened to the audio version of this book. Narrated solely by Nikola Muckajev, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the narration as much as I did. But, I truly loved it! Muckajev did such a fantastic job at both the voices of both main characters, as well as, all the other side characters. I also felt the emotions within the book was conveyed very well. It was excellent!

Honestly, this book is soo good and I recommend it!

I was provided a free advanced audio copy of this book. However, all opinions shared are my honest thoughts about this book.

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Secret brother!

We were supposed to be done with the Stag brothers after four books–one for each brother, plus a Christmas special–but the author brought a secret brother!

Hawk is a soccer player who never knew his father, just that he had to stay away from Pittsburgh where he might still live. Until he’s traded just there. Expected to be the new star in a troubled team, his personal struggles affect his game. And due to the fact that he was raised by a single mother who was taken advantage by a man, he’s avoiding serious relationships, until he meets Lucy and her little boy.

Lucy has been abused–not physically though–by her ex-husband with whom she has joined custody. But he doesn’t leave her alone. She has anxiety, she doesn’t trust, especially men, and lives solely for her son. Until an unfortunate incident brings her back on the turf in an amateur all female soccer team. All of a sudden, she’s getting support, opportunities, and a love interest.

I liked that, although Lucy’s and Hawk’s lives change after they meet, it happens independantly of each other. They have barely any influence on each other’s lives, really, though they provide support and comfort, and sometimes protection. They grow by themselves, but together.

The main theme of the book is clearly fatherhood, more specifically bad fatherhood. Between Hawk’s absent father and Lucy’s abusive ex-husband, we get a couple of examples, making by contrast Hawk’s relationship with Lucy’s son even more #fatherhoodgoal. Plus Hawk gets some closure for his own daddy issues, thanks to his half brothers. Really family, what it should be, and what’s considered a bad one, is at the center of the story.

There’s some sexy time, but it always involve deeper feelings which was kind of nice.

The narrator did good, though I wasn’t a fan of his female voices. The various voices were mostly recognizable, and the proper emotions and emphases were present.

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