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Summary

A standalone steamy, angsty sports/medical romance from USA TODAY best-selling author S.M. West.

All my life I’ve been keeping score and living by the rules:

  1. Play it safe
  2. Stay out of trouble
  3. Hide who you really are

To win, I go unnoticed and it’s working.

Until my predictable, virginal life comes under attack.

Worst of all, I’m the threat.

An escape to the cottage is the answer.

Only, I’m not alone.

Matthew Carruthers is here.

Pro football player.

A six-foot-three slice of fun-loving sexy.

He’s everything I’ve never dared want and yet, I’m drawn to him.

Both faced with a major life decision, we vow to help one another.

Instead of sticking to the rules, I’m breaking them.

And being bad never felt so good.

But this dream world can’t last.

We have responsibilities, and honoring them means we can’t be together.

Yet I’m unsure how to go back to my rules or if I even want to.

Not when Matt could be the biggest win of all.

Contains sensitive and mature topics. Recommend for ages 18 and up.

©2021 S.M. West (P)2022 S.M. West

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Lovely characters

These characters are so likeable. With past trauma these characters need to work through issues together. This is a beautiful relationship. Well written and a brilliant performance.

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Loved

The dual narration of Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton, makes this a wonderful listening experience. Both of them bring out the characters and action.

Claire Raine is training in Ontario to become a surgeon. Matthew Carruthers is a Pro football player
The two of them met a few times over the years as Claire's older sister Pippa is the physio for the football team.
While taking time out for a elbow injury Matt and Claire end up at Pippa's Cottage , Matt's PA Britney turns up
Claire goes back to Ontario that is when Matt realises he wants to be with her.

Brilliant. Love the twists and turns .

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Fantastic Story & Listen🎧 Wonderfully Emotional!

S.M. West pens another wonderfully steamy and heartfelt romance novel. The story grabbed my attention right from the start and captivated it straight to the end. The characters are realistic, easy to relate to and connect with, they are likable and easy to care about, except for “it is all about her” Brittany. Matthew “Matt” Carruthers, a professional football player, has come to a crossroads in his career, his body is not bouncing back from injuries like it used to and his team may look to trade him. Everyone else tells him what he should do, but he is not sure and he goes up to his friend’s Drew and Pippa’s cottage in the woods for some alone time. But his annoying assistant, Brittany, joined him there, she is her sister’s friend, and he hired her because she needed a job, a job she is not even good at. But he is too nice to say anything and just writes it off as her being her. Dr Claire Raine, is interning at the surgical unit in the hospital, she has always been top in her class and number one in the intern program but an incident in the operating room has her questioning not only her skills but if she has chosen the right profession. She decides she needs time to reflect and takes some “me” for herself and escapes to her sister’s cabin in the woods. Except the cabin is not vacant, at first she thought there may have been a break in or there was a squatter, it turns out to be a friend of the family, Matt and who she thinks is his girlfriend, Brittany. It was great to watch Matt and Claire navigate around each other, both feeling an attraction, she fighting it because she thinks he has a girlfriend, him being his usual charming self. Matt finally explains who Brittany is to him, yet she still manipulates her way between them. This is a wonderfully written and plotted story, there is plenty of drama, a touch of angst, emotions that pour off the pages and straight into your heart, as well as steamy “two hearts beat as one” romance. S.M West, thank you for another amazing story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the amazing narration, S.M West could not have chosen a better cast to bring her story and characters to life. Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton are superbly talented narrators and versatile voice artists. They had a complete understanding of the characters they portrayed, giving each a voice that fit their character’s persona, sounding believable, and how I pictured the character to sound. Teddy Hamilton nailed it with Matt’s role, brining out the depth of his character with perfection, Jennifer Mack did the same for Claire, both brought out all their emotions and had you feeling every single one. They were great performing the roles of the secondary characters as well, Mack brought out all the stops for Brittany made her sound as annoying as she was. These entertaining storytellers are a pleasure to listen to and their narration enhances this already wonderful story to another level. Thank you for another exceptional listen.

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Emotional and Loving!

It's time to do some reflecting and decision making so what does SM West do? She takes us to a cabin to meet Matt and Claire where it is the perfect place to do it! Instant chemistry, these two dance around their feelings. There are life altering events that will change the course of each of their paths, so it's important to have everything in place before going on. Will it all work out? West creates a love story like no other. Relevant issues are brought to the surface in this one, written with grittiness and compassion to bring it to heart. I love the way she has melded these two together, the family bonds Claire has and he way Matt will do anything to keep her. It's real, it's beautiful, it's love.

Jennifer Mack is Claire, and with the many layers of this character, she shines. Each peel is torn off, letting us in to each facet of Claire and though her voice is easy to listen to, she makes her realistic and easy to relate to. Teddy Hamilton proves he is one of the best again as he brings Matt to life. Each part of this man's heart is revealed, and we feel his pain, his fury and his love. It's a fantastic team for this emotionally driven sports romance, and an amazing listen.

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I love this book so much!

I love this book so much! Matt and Claire are fantastic characters with an instant connection, undeniable chemistry, and a fierce passion. They have issues, decisions, and certain obstacles that need to be dealt with; there’s never a dull moment in this story. It’s a wonderful read that I’ll definitely enjoy again and again. I highly recommend it.

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  • BecJeanABN
  • 01-06-22

sweet romance!

I really enjoyed this story. The flow was nice and the main characters had great chemistry. I'm glad that they acted on their feelings for each other instead of dragging it out and denying them. The Brittney character could have ruined the story. She acted like an entitled brat and took advantage of her longtime friendship with Matt. Savannah also drove me nuts. Thankfully I was still able to enjoy the story. Teddy Hamilton is one of my favs and was great as always. Jennifer Mack was new to me but did great!

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  • crazy4k9s
  • 31-05-22

A lot to love about this story

There is a lot to love about this story. Matt and Claire had great chemistry and were very likable. Their relationship had a nice mix of flirting, humor, sweetness, sexiness, and banter. However, I got very irritated with both of their characters regarding how they let Brittany affect them, both as individuals and as a couple. That aspect of the story was a bit ridiculous, and borderline too far to be believable. Especially Matt’s cluelessness about Brittany’s true colors. That aside, the story is a good one. The challenges they each were facing in their personal lives added an interesting layer to the story. Teddy Hamilton’s narration was perfect, as usual. Jennifer Mack’s narration was excellent, although I felt like it was overdone in the opening dialogue and angsty scenes (it was a bit…”much.”) Overall, this was a good listen.

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  • Lisa Osborn
  • 19-05-22

A good story

Scoring the player by S. M. West demonstrates what everyone at some point comes to realize, and that is, you can’t live your life to please others, especially if you hope to be happy yourself. Matthew and Claire went through some very tough and trying circumstances, but thank goodness they had one another to depend on! Claire and Matthew soon learned that they were one another’s perfect complement despite the meddling from others in their relationship. What I found troublesome was how long it took both of them to grasp the truth about their problems before they sought out resolutions. Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton did a great job narrating. They really conveyed the emotional convictions of each character. Overall, this was a good story.

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  • Lisa G B
  • 13-05-22

Helping each other, finding Love

This is a great story about 2 people at a cross road in life and they help each other threw it, finding love along the way.
Standalone with no Cliffhangers.
Matt's life has been football but now he is thinking of a change. It will affect more than just him and everyone has an opinion.
Claire is in her residency of med school when her life she has safely planned changes. She needs to decide what's next for her.
They both head to the same place to think and that choice changes both their lives.

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  • Jocelyne
  • 13-05-22

Sweet Romance!

I loved Matt and Claire's sweet and emotional story. They are wonderful characters. Claire is such a beautiful and strong character. Matt is handsome, caring, and supportive. They are perfect together. I loved the family bonds in this story. I enjoyed it. Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton did an excellent job with the narration.

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  • Janine Birt
  • 11-05-22

Try to get away from life and find forever?

Second in the series but completely stands alone. I didn't feel like I was missing anything not having read the first book of the series.

Matt is an NFL player on break at the end of the season. He's contemplating what comes next for him in his career and his life. To do this he's getting away from everyone and everything by heading to his friend's cabin in Muskoka. Only he ends up with more company that the trees and the snow.

Claire is a surgical resident in Toronto and after experiencing an unexpected panic attack at exactly the wrong moment, she begs for time away from the program to get herself together so she can move forward. She doesn't tell anyone, but once she secures the time off, she books it straight for her sister's cabin to be away from everything. When she arrives, she finds Matt and a caring soul to help her piece everything through. Until she has to go back to the city and the life she claims to have always wanted. But is it really?

The audiobook was performed by Teddy Hamilton and Jennifer Mack. Teddy was terrific as Matt and made me feel all the emotions from from frustration with his future, to tender caring for Claire, to anger at his father and other things outside his control. Jennifer brought Claire to life for me with her panic and stress, her confidence and bravado, her vulnerability and innocence. Every twist and turn taken in this story was just so vibrant because of this pair. I loved every minute of it and will definitely listen again!

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  • Annaluvs2read
  • 10-05-22

Life choices

Claire and Matt have one thing in common and that is they are at point in their lives when big decisions to be made. Matt is a pro football player and needs to get away to do some thinking so he asks if he can stay at friend’s cabin. This friend just happens to be Claire’s sister Pippa. Claire is well on her way to being a surgeon when she has a terrible panic attack and decides she needs to get away from everything and everyone. She doesn’t want to worry anyone so she keeps the panic attack a secret but she decides to go away for a week to the cabin to clear her head. This just happens to be her sister’s cabin and the exact same place Matt is. These two have meet a few times and both were secretly taken with the other not ever knowing it. When they meet at the cabin, they share a wonderful week except for the fact that Britney which is Matt’s assistant and sister’s best friend who he just happens to feel the need to take care of her and look out for her. Well, you know the old saying twos company and threes a crowd…. Well, this makes for an interesting week.
This is a great story with a lot of tough decisions for both main characters. I loved the storyline and how this author brings real life matters into it. The chemistry between Matt and Claire is off the charts and you will just love this couple. This is my first time to read S.M. Wests books and I will most definitely be reading more from her. And as for the audible version of this book well let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed at all. I felt like Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton was great. I was honored to receive an arc copy of this book and I am voluntarily leaving an honest review. Thanks so much S.M. for allowing me this opportunity. 😊

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  • AEW
  • 09-05-22

Fun and Emotional Sports Romance

Scoring the Player was another great story by S.M. West. Matt and Claire are both at a crossroads in their respective careers and have escaped to a cabin to determine the direction of their futures. Secretly, they both have been crushing on the other and the forced proximity of the cabin will bring those feelings to the surface.

Matt was such a sweetheart. While he was strong, determined and knew his own mind, he took care of those around him and took on unneeded responsibilities because his heart was so big. I loved how he took care of Claire and forced her to confront her fears.

Claire had a huge, caring heart, but she was suffering from a childhood trauma that made her suppress her true wants and feelings. She was always determined to be the best and not to cause any trouble or be a burden to anyone.

I loved Matt and Claire together and watching their friendship grow and change. They were both so supportive of each other and talked through their fears and concerns regarding the decisions that they had to make. Plus their banter and chemistry was electric. They were better together than apart.

Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton provided the narration for the story. Their nuanced performances were perfect for Matt and Claire. I had read the story previously and their performances drew me into the story even more so I felt it on a deeper level.

Scoring the Player was full of humor, heart, friendship and so much emotion. I was drawn into Matt and Claire’s world and was so invested in their relationship. They had a difficult road to travel, but it warmed my heart how they were able to find their paths in life together.

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Bette
  • Bette
  • 08-05-22

Fantastic Story & Listen🎧 Wonderfully Emotional!

S.M. West pens another wonderfully steamy and heartfelt romance novel. The story grabbed my attention right from the start and captivated it straight to the end. The characters are realistic, easy to relate to and connect with, they are likable and easy to care about, except for “it is all about her” Brittany. Matthew “Matt” Carruthers, a professional football player, has come to a crossroads in his career, his body is not bouncing back from injuries like it used to and his team may look to trade him. Everyone else tells him what he should do, but he is not sure and he goes up to his friend’s Drew and Pippa’s cottage in the woods for some alone time. But his annoying assistant, Brittany, joined him there, she is her sister’s friend, and he hired her because she needed a job, a job she is not even good at. But he is too nice to say anything and just writes it off as her being her. Dr Claire Raine, is interning at the surgical unit in the hospital, she has always been top in her class and number one in the intern program but an incident in the operating room has her questioning not only her skills but if she has chosen the right profession. She decides she needs time to reflect and takes some “me” for herself and escapes to her sister’s cabin in the woods. Except the cabin is not vacant, at first she thought there may have been a break in or there was a squatter, it turns out to be a friend of the family, Matt and who she thinks is his girlfriend, Brittany. It was great to watch Matt and Claire navigate around each other, both feeling an attraction, she fighting it because she thinks he has a girlfriend, him being his usual charming self. Matt finally explains who Brittany is to him, yet she still manipulates her way between them. This is a wonderfully written and plotted story, there is plenty of drama, a touch of angst, emotions that pour off the pages and straight into your heart, as well as steamy “two hearts beat as one” romance. S.M West, thank you for another amazing story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the amazing narration, S.M West could not have chosen a better cast to bring her story and characters to life. Jennifer Mack and Teddy Hamilton are superbly talented narrators and versatile voice artists. They had a complete understanding of the characters they portrayed, giving each a voice that fit their character’s persona, sounding believable, and how I pictured the character to sound. Teddy Hamilton nailed it with Matt’s role, brining out the depth of his character with perfection, Jennifer Mack did the same for Claire, both brought out all their emotions and had you feeling every single one. They were great performing the roles of the secondary characters as well, Mack brought out all the stops for Brittany made her sound as annoying as she was. These entertaining storytellers are a pleasure to listen to and their narration enhances this already wonderful story to another level. Thank you for another exceptional listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa X
  • 07-05-22

I really love Matt! So great to see him again.

What a nice story! I really loved Matt previously and I am so glad he gets his story! Meeting up with Claire is wonderful. I enjoyed their time together, falling in love and then working out a few issues. That Brittany! I just wanted to slap some sense into that girl! She definitely adds some crazy moments to the story.

Overall this is a good read that kept my interest. Primary and Secondary characters are well built and easy to identify with and like. I did listen to this on audio. Teddy Hamilton and Jennifer Mack are the narrators. They both did a wonderful job. I think this is my first time listening to Ms. Mack and I would not hesitate to listen to her again.