The Hard Count

The Hard Count

by Ginger Scott

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Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.

West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.

I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.

When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153048659
Publisher: Ginger Scott
Publication date: 07/15/2016
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 116,918
File size: 562 KB

About the Author

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Awards-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Wild Reckless, The Falling Series and The Hard Count. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. She has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for several years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at When she's not writing, the odds are high that she's somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork 'em, Devils).

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The Hard Count 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Crazycomma More than 1 year ago
Dear Ginger and potential reader, GGGGAAAAAHHHHHHH! I am a book a day reader in the summer, which has its downfalls when you run out of good books or start to see the same plot repeatedly. Well, potential reader, Ginger has out done herself and now raised my standards for a great book. I hope you take the time to read this book. It will surprise you in so many good ways. Ginger, thank you for this book and your commentary at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. Just wow. What an amazing story. The underlying meanings all portrayed through a football team. Oh, the football. My heart lives for football. As a coach's wife, I sympathize with the gut wrenching, nail biting highs and lows of football. There is nothing like it. And you capture it all so beautifully. The best books, in my opinion, are the books that allow you to visually picture each scene play out as you read the words on the pages. Not too many dragging details, but just enough. Just enough to give you the most beautiful picture and leave you hanging on every word. Leave you wanting more. And you, Ginger, nail it every time. I have loved every book you've written, but this one touches a special place in my heart. Black, white, green or otherwise. I can not wait to see what else you have in store for us. I know, as always it will absolutely rock! And for that.. Hoorah.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
This was an unexpected read. I saw a few friends had read this and really liked it. Even going in thinking I'm pretty sure I'll like it too, I was surprised with the effect it had. This is one of those stories that start out kind of slow and then it builds and builds until the end you when you finish and you sit back and think man that was really good! It's the kind of story that stays on your mind long after you finish reading it. This is YA story that deals with the struggle with quite a few issues. Our main characters is Reagan, a teenage girl from an all american family. Her dad is the private school's football coach. Her twin brother is the star quarterback and her mom is the stay at home mom who heads all the social parties. Then you have Nico. He's a scholarship kid who lives in a bad neighborhood. His brother got mixed up with a gang, got his girl pregnant and then said girl takes off and he isn't in the picture either. I won't say where he is since it's not revealed right away. Nico's mom is already a single mom but now she takes care of the granddaughter as well. Nico's family is Mexican. That shouldn't even need to be mentioned but it plays a role in some of the issues being dealt with in the story. With the little bit of background I gave you, you can probably already see the issues that will come up in the story. That may be predictable but there were unpredictable elements as well. I never thought about the issues the author brings to light that the teenage girl and her all american family dealt with because of her dad being a coach and the snobby women the mom has to deal with. The story really showed that no matter the race, rich or poor, we all have issues in our life that we deal with. Issues that shape and mold each and every one of us. One of the best things I loved about this story was how much good can come from these issues. Nico was an exceptional hero. His and Reagan's relationship was incredibly sweet and what we would want our children to experience in their lives. I've never read this author before and this book has me excited to see what else she has written. I listened to the audiobook and highly recommend it to audio lovers. The narrators were really good and did such a wonderful job putting heart into the reading of this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters ! Very multifaceted .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never written a review, but this story has lead me to write my first! This story is so many things....its inspiring and uplifting, it demonstrates forgiveness and exceptance, it shows the ugly side of people and the good, it flows of love and unfortunately tragedy, it is absolutely beautiful!!! Out of the hundreds of books I have read this is one of my favorites!
IsaLaCroqueusedeLivres More than 1 year ago
4/5 STARS THIS BOOK IS WHY I LOVE TO READ, WHY I LOVE THE ROMANCE GENRE Spoilerish The Hard Count is my second Ginger Scott book… And let me tell you: I enjoyed it even if I usually don’t do YA books (as a very grown up adult I’m a fan of Adult/NA/Erotica genre) But this book…. What a beautiful writing, Mrs. Scott… what a beautiful story, such amazing characters. You have a way with words… I enjoyed it all. It’s so much more than a YA /high school /football fiction… This book is about family, love, fighting against social barriers and prejudgments, about second chances, respect and not accepting the fate that is supposed to eat you because of the place you were born. And what can I say about the angst, the emotion, the love… I enjoyed this YA book as if it were a NA/Adult one. Nico and Reagan love story is absolutely beautiful, told in a perfect way, at a perfect pace. Beautiful, heartbreaking, realistic and with a very important message: The faith in good, the importance of giving a chance to people who, with a little help, can achieve so many and extraordinary things… This world need more Nicos, more Mrs Mendoza, more Izzies and Reagans, more empathy, more generosity… I have no words. Thank you Ginger Scott for this story, you really put all your heart in it!! And on a final note, THE COVER couldn’t be more perfect.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Where do I start with a novel like The Hard Count? Nico and Reagan's story is one emotional rollercoaster ride. Readers, this is Mature YA at its best, and this is why I love YA—when a story is written with so much heartfelt awesomeness. Ginger Scott knows the Mature YA genre. Scott gives the whole story around these two beautiful characters. It's more than just a touch-your-heart romance, or a football, sports romance between Nico and Reagan; it's about family—about different cultures, being poor or rich and how people will judge another person based on the neighborhood where they live. And this is just the tip of Nico and Reagan's story and what they have to face and overcome for their love. Reagan is the geek girl from the right side of the track and Nico is the good boy from the wrong side of the track, but everyone sees Nico as a bad boy because of where he lives. Nico is trying to change his life and not become another product of his environment: living in West End...with gangs, drugs, drive-by shootings. Even though Nico has earned a scholarship to the private prep school Cornwall, it's Reagan who opens the door for Nico to become the star quarterback for Cornwall Prep Tigers football team. But Reagan soon discovers it’s Nico, a boy from West End, that will become her Shining Light and give her the strength to stand for what she knows is right and the real meaning of family and true love. The Hard Count is told from Reagan's point of view, but the story is most definitely Nico's story, but as Reagan states, she is a part of Nico's story and he's a part of hers. Oh, how I love Nico. He is a gorgeous heart-throb. Nico’s tender and beautiful words of love to Reagan is so romantic that he swept me off my feet. The boy definitely has confidence and swagger when it comes to the ladies. He knows how to handle a woman as well as he handles a football. I can't express how deeply Nico and Reagan's story touched me, but I can say that you do not want to miss out on The Hard Count. I highly recommend as one of the most amazing and beautiful love stories I have ever read. Definitely a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Hard Count is another example of Ginger Scott's genius. The story is very well written and meaningful. Not only is it about football and a sweet love story, but touches base with racism, social politics, and gang related crime. Ginger never seems to disappoint when looking for a great read that really makes you feel apart of something. Especially with how the world is today, this really relates and holds no prisoners. I've read every single book by Ginger since I discovered her and highly anticipate her next addition. All of her stories deserve to be a movie. <3
sugarpine721 More than 1 year ago
An emotionally charged story that is so much more. It is about life, hard choices, stereotypes, bias, the real world at its worst. But even though the subject matter was difficult at times, it also reveals a ray of hope. Where loyalty, friendship, love and tradition play apart in bringing everyone together. Well done! Football was such a great way to bring this story alive!
EllieSewSweet More than 1 year ago
Ginger Scott writes the Sweetest Love Stories! She has fast become one of my favorite YA/NA Authors.I am in Love with her storytelling. Her characters are always full of depth and emotion. The ties between her characters are well planned and executed to help us fall in love with them. Nico Medina: I think Nico has many layers to his life and his emotions, but he is actually a very simple guy. He loves his family, is loyal to his friends, and he is determined to give himself and his family a better life situation. Then, he is given the chance to determine his future. He won't let his circumstances hold him back. He is strong in his heart, mind, body and soul. Reagan Prescott: We are painted a picture to life through Reagan's eyes. We see her life, her heart, her feelings and the emotions of a regular teenage girl. From the start of the book, I see her as very strong in character, her own person. She and her twin brother and close when it comes to the family passion, football, (dad is coach and brother star quarterback) but that's where the similarities end. We get to see the "game" the people and all situations through her lenses, her still and video cameras. I could easily say she has a very limited view of life, but she knows enough to seek out what she sees to be true and right. Her development through the story is simply beautiful. She stays true to who she knows she is and what she wants. The author has put so much more in the story than just what you read. She goes inbetween the lines to tell the story that is happening behind the scenes and off the field. Nothing in life is just as it seems, there is always something more to learn. Come and follow along with Nico and Reagan's sweet blossoming love story. The author truly put all of her heart into writing their tale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved how Ginger was able to write the micro and macro of dysfunction in a community ... first with where it begins, family, then how it ripples outward to affect the end, community. I also loved how a simple but beautiful love story weaves throughout the narrative, keeping the reading involved and looking forward to turning the page to see what comes next. It's a MUST read!!!
Stephanie12 More than 1 year ago
Ginger Scott writes emotional and sometimes gut wrenching books. I had to take my time with this one because it kept tearing me up. It is beautifully written and very technical at times (I don’t know all of the ins and outs of football). Ginger Scott has definitely poured her heart & soul into this book. The Hard Count is a story about circumstances. The story revolves around two families and a football team at a prestigious private school – Cornwell Prep. But the circumstances that surround all of that is layered and layered throughout this story. The circumstances are everywhere. It’s the coach fighting for his job because the wealthy alumni wants to take it for his nephew. It’s the Cornwell Prep students who are thought to be “at risk” because there are scholarship kids in attendance. It’s the 11 miles that separate the wealthy and privileged from the poor. It’s about class, pride, racism, ugliness, winning, losing and most of all appearances. This book was heavy and intense. Reagan Marie Prescott is many things. She’s smart. She’s the coaches daughter, a twin to her brother Noah (the “star” quarterback), and her mom is the head of the booster club where throwing parties and looking pretty is her job. Nico Medina is a fighter. He is street smart, driven, compassionate and a family guy. Family is not always blood. His mom is a single parent, working hard. Living day to day. Raising Nico’s niece while his brother is in Afghanistan. Nico is at Cornwell on an academic scholarship. Reagan & Nico have been sparing and debating academically for 3 years. A twist of fate has Reagan asking Nico for help. The harsh reality of their different worlds comes at Reagan like a slap to her face. “What’s his name?” he asks. “Nico Medina,” I say. “Scholarship kid,” my dad nods. I nod back. “Soccer?” my dad asks, his head tilted to one side. I pause a little thrown by his question. My brow pinched, I shake my head no. “He’s in honors. He’s probably going to be our valedictorian,” I say. My dad nods, still lost to his thoughts before answering. “Wow, good for him,” he says. My chest starts to tighten, but I don’t let the words come that I’m thinking. My dad isn’t a racist, but I feel a little ashamed right now. …….”He’s really smart. And not all Mexicans play soccer,” I say. This book is intense. I love the relationship that develops between Nico and Reagan. It will make you feel. As Ginger Scott says in her acknowledgments: “Ugly doesn’t have a color. It lives among selfishness and hate. And as much as this story is about football…it’s also about that.” So, if you are looking for an intense, angst filled, happy, sad, story….this would be it. 5 emotional stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the way this book is not only about love and football but also about how everyone and everything around you can make up who you are and what you become. Ginger Scott has truly outdone herself and I can't wait for the next book from her to come out.
missaretha More than 1 year ago
Dear Ginger, If you're going to continue to write FIVE STAR books that do things to me like make me cry, make me root OUT LOUD for your characters, and make me suffer a FIVE STAR book hangover, begging for more, then I'm going to have to THANK YOU for every heart-tugging word you put on every page! Thank you, Ginger, for giving Nico and Reagan to the world. For allowing them to know who they are and for making them willing to overcome their own fears, to go against the grain, and to fight for themselves and for each other. Thank you, Ms. Scott, for tackling the issues of racism and classism with fearless abandon, a tender hand, and at the same time, without being preachy. The careful grace and excellence you've availed in this book is unmatched. Thank you, fearless Head Ninja, for making it close to impossible to pick ONE favorite of your books. After finishing The Hard Count I have decided that ALL of your books are my favorite, each for a different and specific reason. Thank you, Ginger, for giving readers this priceless piece of art and for pouring your heart into it with reckless abandon. It's absolutely obvious that you poured your whole soul into this. Congratulations Ginger! You've penned the quintessential YA novel. With love, Your "always here to read, blubbering like a baby, nose-blowing, ARC reading" chick from Philly, T~
stylnunicorn More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love all books by Ginger Scott. She has a great ability to tell a story without having to rely on sex to sell it. Her characters are well defined and capable of grabbing the reader and holding them hostage from beginning to end. I loved the character of Nico he was given three dimensional qualities and seeing a boy who grew up in a part of town that labels people based on social income he grew up into a man of great substance. It only takes one person to give that person a chance in order for them to FLY. I would love to see more regarding some of the secondary characters. Ginger Scott has been known to write her series books that way but allowing them to be read standalone. I would highly recommend this and any book written by her. Great job Ginger Scott.
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
Exceptional Young Adult Fiction! The Hard Count by Ginger Scott is a chaste YA sports romance, but the romance is secondary to the sports and private school politics in the story. Nicholas (Nico) Medina is hungry. He is hungry to escape the poverty and violence of his wrong-side-of-the-tracks neighborhood. His hunger motivates him. It drives him to work harder at everything he does. He is an excellent student and a natural athlete. His family faces a lot of challenges, but they’re good, down-to-earth, and gracious people. Reagan Prescott is also driven; she is driven to find a place for herself in the world besides being the star quarterback’s twin sister and the football coach’s daughter. The Prescott family teeters on the crumbling edge of the private school socio-political precipice. Every decision, every action, every loss is judged, and in a world filled with wannabes and legacies, the pressure to perform can break you. “My film is about the legacy of this program, but also about the pressure it puts on people—on families.” --Reagan While Nico and Reagan attend the same school, they travel in different circles. Their interactions are solely heated academic debates in class until one night Reagan captures Nico on film. “Exceptions are responsible for pivotal moments in history.” –Nico That night the stars aligned to produce some major game changers for Nico and the entire Prescott family. These changes push some rather negative things into the limelight. Drugs, prejudice, bullying, and backstabbing each play a role in The Hard Count. Thankfully, family, honor, respect, and acceptance ultimately take the field as well. The stress and increasing plot tension is palpable with each turn of a page. Ms. Scott’s depiction of the delicate dance between a football coach and the school board is excellent. I felt Coach Prescott’s ulcers burning as he struggled to make the right decision regardless of the probable repercussions. The main characters are all strong and empathetic. I cared deeply for each of them. Nico is a particularly endearing character—his manners, grace and mature intellect make him a demi-god. The type of nearly perfect young man you trust with your daughter and your football team. Ms. Scott’s storytelling is artful and eloquent; she richly captures each subtle nuance of the high school experience. In addition to a charming romance, lessons in football, and a family drama, The Hard Count perfectly highlights the blatant and subtle fears, prejudices, and responses that arise when agendas and cultures clash. **While The Hard Count is a chaste romance, it does contain themes that may be too mature for some younger readers (drugs, gangs, violence).
MoriahALeisureMoment More than 1 year ago
**This review will also appear on A Leisure Moment** I’m starting to think that I have a weird fascination with sport romances. Ginger Scott brought a wonderful, descriptive story. I felt like I was at the games, that I could smell the grass and sweaty players, that I was in the locker room with Reagan Prescott as she recorded it all for her documentary—the pep talk, the Tradition’s chant—from the safety of her camera. Football? In this town, it wasn’t just a sport. It wasn’t just a way of life—football was a religion. The rough, honest writing was reminiscent of Friday Night Lights, from the coach’s daughter’s perspective. Reagan had always been the coach’s daughter. Living in a town that cares so much about football, that meant that when things went sour for her dad, the whole family suffered. Her twin, Noah, had to earn his spot on the team, too, prove to everyone that he didn’t have his position because his dad happened to be the coach. Reagan and her brother did not share many similarities. Noah’s part in the story was integral to the game, but not to Reagan. She took pride in her smarts and her love of film. I loved her character. When she could no longer hide behind her brother and father, and the documentary that needed both of them to keep focus, her real self came out. Her spunk was contagious, and her love for her family—even when everything went insane—was commendable. She had a passion for something that separated her from the life that everyone thought she lived. Nicolas Medina had always been the thorn in her side. I fell in love with Nico after the first chapter. His brilliance and quick wit struck a cord with Reagan, but things changed when she realized that he could throw a ball. The best things about Nico weren’t his throwing arm or his sixth sense when it came to the game, but the scholarship kid that knew the worth of everything. He valued the moments, the time that he spent with his family, and Reagan. When things started to heat up between them, I could barely contain my excitement. If you’re looking for a book that will make you swoon, a book that you’ll barely want to put down, if it’s got Nico in it, grab it. Their romance had some difficulties. The boy from West End and the coach’s daughter didn’t quite fit. I rooted for them, even before their story had begun. Even when others cared about their differences, Nico and Reagan never let which side of the bridge they grew up on get in the way of things. Thing just were a certain way, and they loved each other anyway. This is the first book I’ve read by Ginger Scott and could not stop talking about how good—I mean great—I found it. I want to read more of her romances and have already added them to my TBR shelf. I devoured the tone of the romance, the depth of the characters, and the style of her writing. The Hard Count is a romance worth reading, and Nico is a man worth falling for. **I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review**