Aug 03

Winning With Him by Lauren Blakely Review


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Resisting the shortstop has never been my strong suit. I failed at it during my first spring training. It sure as hell looks like I’m about to fail at it again.

The sport I love playing with my very soul hangs in the balance. But everything my heart craves lies with the guy I’ve got to resist.

A guy who’s asking me to make the toughest choice ever.

But how do I become the man I want to be…with him or without him?

Trouble is, I can’t seem to get Declan out of my head, even if I stand to lose everything I’ve worked for my entire life…

Winning with Him is book two in the utterly addictive Men of Summer series, and should be read following Scoring With Him. This romance between two professional athletes spans five epic years.

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I’m going to say right off the bat that Lauren Blakely’s Men of Summer series is my most anticipated read of the summer. Based on my reading experiences with Blakely’s other M/M romances, I had very high hopes for this series, and now, two books into it, and I can say that it’s an epic love story that has surpassed my expectations. After that cliffhanger ending in book one, Scoring With Him, I could not wait to dive into Winning With Him. It’s important that readers know going into this series that these are not standalone romances and these books must be read in order. Also, Lauren recently announced that she wasn’t quite done with Grant and Declan’s story, and she’s releasing a third book in this series, All In With Him, very shortly.

Winning With Him picks right up at that heartbreaking, gasp-inducing moment where Scoring With Him ends. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but Scoring With Him is the beginning of Declan and Grant’s story. Two professional baseball players, one is a rookie and the other a rostered player, on the same team. The tear-your-clothes-off, can’t-keep-away-from-each-other chemistry between them sizzled and was the perfect kindling to their fiery forbidden romance. Genuine feelings build, and in the throes of those beginning stages of new love, they begin to make plans. But a cold slap of reality forces the painful realization that they’re in a right person at the wrong time scenario.

In Winning With Him, Lauren takes her readers on Declan and Grant’s independent journeys through the next five years. These two characters grew and matured tremendously during their time apart, both personally and professionally. The thing is that neither of them has really moved on or truly gotten over the other. Their paths crossed on occasion, they still share a group of friends, and when it did, that spark was still very much there. Five long years later, it is finally their time, and the absolute gloriousness of that reunion brought me to tears.

The emotion in this story did a number on my poor little heart—I absolutely ached for these two. Winning With Him, the second part of Declan and Grant’s romance, was definitely one of Blakely’s most angsty love stories. There was so much emotion here, so much longing, but Lauren rewards her readers for all this heartbreak and angst with richly developed characters whose stories and histories I was completely invested in. For all the struggle and pain she put them – and me – through, she wasn’t greedy with the payoff. Declan and Grant’s reunion was one of the most rewarding second chances I’ve ever read from her.

Spanning five years, Winning With Him was the culmination of an extraordinary romance. Full of feels, hard fought, sweet and tender and a bit tragic, Declan and Grant did the work on themselves individually and found their way back to each other. It’s a painful twist of fate to meet your perfect person at the wrong time in both of your lives, and Blakely did an incredible job taking me through those emotions. I loved, I longed and I lamented right along with Declan and Grant, and when it finally was their time, I was as ready for their second chance as they were. A beautifully told, immensely engaging love story, I was all in from the very beginning of their journey. Blakely may have left readers hanging a bit in Scoring With Him, but she more than made up for that in Winning With Him. This series was my most anticipated read of the summer for good reason. Blakley surpassed all of my expectations by penning an utterly consuming, moving and memorable love story. Five smooches from me for Winning With Him by Lauren Blakely!

~Danielle Palumbo




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