Winner Takes All

Winner Takes All

by Erin Kern

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"A vibrant, fast-paced story. Sassy wit, likable characters and breathtaking sexuality... Fans of Friday Night Lights titles will love this one." --Library Journal

Money. Fame. Endorsements. Blake Carpenter had it all -- before his professional football career spiraled out of control. Determined to rebuild his life, he takes on coaching the high school team in his Colorado hometown. Despite a few fumbles, Blake knows he can lead these boys to victory. As long as he can keep his eyes on the prize and off the team's distractingly gorgeous physical therapist.

Annabelle Turner knows all about the scandal that cost Blake his NFL career, and she'll be damned if she's going to let his mistakes hurt her team. What she doesn't count on is the intense attraction that turns every heated run-in they have into a wildly erotic competition. Point by point, play by play, kiss by kiss, they try to keep things professional for the good of the team. But when the score is this close-and the passion this fierce-it's anybody's game . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455535989
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 08/30/2016
Series: Champion Valley Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 815,081
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Erin Kern lives in north Texas with her husband, two kids and their dog. She loves BBQ, Texas sunsets, antiquing and high school football games. The first book in the Champion Valley series, Winner Takes All, was published in August, 2016 and was inspired by Erin's love of Texas football, small towns and happy endings.
When she's not at the computer working on her next tale, she can be found spending time with her kids or curled up with a good book.

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Winner Takes All 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Warning: Drug Abuse I am very conflicted over this book and really waffled between 2 and 3 stars, ultimately settling on 3 since I did finish the book and I plan to read the next. There were instances that felt like this book had split personalities. A fade-to-black romance with some very dirty thoughts throughout. Blake, himself, was a bit of a throwback with his subtle chauvinism. He respects Annabelle but he also believes that it’s inevitable that he’ll have her and that she can’t resist him. There’s also a lot of references to needing to be manly, or do manly things and not being weak or a “pussy”. Now people do talk and think this way so I understand it’s too be expected in a sense, but it occurred enough that it became noticeable and somewhat annoying. Blake has a very sexy demeanor toward Annabelle and he loves teasing her. Even though he says he’s not in it for the long haul he takes to courting Annabelle like a pro. I also found it interesting that both characters acknowledge to themselves that they are in love before they ever sleep together. I will say that this is a fade-to-black romance, which doesn’t bother me but may bother others. I must admit, I didn’t really connect with Annabelle; she’s too focused on being in everyone business and being a bit of a know-it-all. She does recognize this trait about herself but still. I just struggled with liking her. I also enjoyed some of the side characters (Stella, Brandon, & Cameron) who will surely appear in their own books in the future.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Winner Takes All is the story of two broken people that find happiness with each other. Blake is a disgraced, former NFL quarterback who left the sport due to a knee injury and the rumors of illegal drugs. He has grown bored in retirement and started a new job a the coach of a high school football team. After he start coaching he meets Annabelle,a physical therapist who runs a pt clinic and volunteers helping the high school program. Blake doesn't trust physical therapists and doesn't want anything to do with her. Annabelle won't go away and eventually Blake sees her value. They begin to grow closer and their chemistry is explosive. As the season continues, Blake and Annabelle grow closer and a personal relationship develops that is both complex and entertaining. Overall I would recommend this book to fans of small town and sports romances. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
Kern delivers a small town romance that is the perfect kick-off to a new series. There’s the perfect balance between the romance between the main characters and the introduction of other people who are sure to find their way into their own story. Nowhere did I feel that she short changed either one, giving readers a sweet & fun love story while creating an anticipation for what comes next. I loved the interactions between Blake & Annabelle. He’s gruff but loves the boys on his team. Tries to be a bit of a hard nose but doesn’t always succeed, especially when he comes into contact with Annabelle and her spunkiness! She’s not taking any of his attitude lying down and gives back just as much as he dishes out. They might try to fight their attraction but it’s a heck of a lot of fun watching them lose :) There are a few loose ends that I’m hoping Kern will tie up in other installments. And there are also some great secondary characters who will hopefully continue to provide lively entertainment in the books to come. It’s one of the great things about new romance series – all the possibilities that could be, the people you hope to get to know even better and the opportunity to see favorites again & again. And Kern gives us that beautifully. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
winner takes all kicks off the champion valley series, which i suspect will follow the stories of blake carpenter, brandon west, and cameron shaw, who were the last champions of high school football that blanco valley ever produced. blake carpenter rose the highest, until his career in the nfl was sidelined by knee injuries and accusations of doping. after taking a year off to sulk he returns to football, not quite triumphantly, but it is still the game that he loves. and high school football is better than no football. sparks fly when blake meets annabelle turner, a physical therapist and divorcée who ignores his hostility and makes a point of working with the kids on the team on stretching and conditioning. blake has good reason to be wary of therapists, since he was thrown under the bus by his team and the therapists there in an effort to do everything and anything it took to win and get him back on the playing field. but annabelle is incapable of taking a step back from someone who needs her. she's already spread thin running her physical therapy practice and being the primary caregiver for her ailing mother, but she can't stop herself from helping the kids who need her expertise. and she can't keep away from their coach who is obviously still in pain and who she can't stop staring at. eventually it's more than their eyes that they can't keep off each other. but blake is dealing with a lot of baggage. his knee injury is still plaguing him, and he's somehow ended up addicted to oxycontin. annabelle forces him to confront his issues. and she does this in the best possible way, she's never preachy or judgmental, she is compassionate and understanding, but she doesn't shy away from speaking hard truths. and as she helps him, she begins to realize that perhaps she's taken on too many responsibilities in her life and maybe by not trying to control everything, she can be a happier person. the story unfolds over the course of the high school football season. even though this story is set in colorado and not texas, football is what blanco valley lives and breathes. the author gives some hints of where there may be some future stories with some of the secondary characters, and i'm interested to see who is next up in the series. something tells me it will be brandon and stella. **winner takes all will publish on august 30, 2016. i received an advanced reader copy courtesy of netgalley/forever (grand central publishing) in exchange for my honest review.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I was so excited when I saw that Erin Kern had a new book coming out and she didn't disappoint! This was a great story with clear concise writing, intriguing characters and a nice easy flow. This is the first book in what should be a fantastic new series. Blake Carpenter finds himself back in his Colorado hometown coaching high school football. After his pro football career went off the rails amid a huge scandal he needed to start over and this is where he landed. The school's football program hasn't had much success as of late but he knows that if he stays focused he can lead them to a winning season. So getting distracted by the team's sexy physical therapist just won't do. Annabelle Turner may be more distraction than he can handle on and off the field!! I definitely recommend this one, I can't wait for more!
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Blake Carpenter had it all a NFL career on the rise, money, fame, and then it was gone, and he was left a broken man with no clue what to do with his life. After an knee injury, rumors of a drug habit, he was left jobless and his only opportunity back on the field again was to take a job in coaching. He knew the minute he returned home to take on the job as head coach for a high school football team that all eyes in town would be on him, wondering if he could pull it off, or if he'd fail and be labeled just another has been. The price to succeed is high, and he is up for the challenge, helping his team bring home the championship trophy is the only option... what he doesn't account for is a irritatingly beautiful physical therapist fighting him every step of the way! Physical Therapist Annabelle Turner wants to see the boys on the team bring home the trophy this year, and with their new coach she thinks they might just have a good shot, but the problem is he's not willing to take any of her suggestions when it comes to their conditioning and physical therapy. It irritates her to no end that he isn't willing to listen to what she has to say, or apply her lessons it to the boys training, she is only trying to do what is best for the team and keep them safe, but he's too stubborn to take anyone else's advice. From that point on the two continually butt heads, heated banter ensues, and the sparks start to fly... the question is can the two of them stop fighting long enough to find common ground, and finally give into the flames burning between them? As soon as I read the synopsis for this one I knew I had to read it, first because it involves one of my favorite sports, and also because it sounded like quite an entertaining read, and I am happy to report that my initial thoughts were spot was SO GOOD!! Annabelle and Blake were a true match made in literary heaven, their smoldering chemistry burned up the pages, and the feisty banter they shared had me grinning like a fool the whole way through!! Ms. Kern totally won me over with this one, her creative story line, endearing characters, and witty one liners treated me to one very exceptional reading experience! This is one read I think everyone should add to the top of their reading lists, Annabelle and Blake's story is sure to warm your heart, have you laughing, and leave you with a smile on your face!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Forever - Grand Central Publishing in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
“He knew exactly what it meant to her, because it meant the same to him. That this was anything but casual. The very thing he’d tried so hard to prevent, he was now smack in the middle of.” Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. It was fun and sweet romance. I loved the feel of this story, it made me want to keep on reading and get to know these characters. I really liked the writing style and found the characters impossible to not love. I loved the push and pull between Annabelle and Blake. They had an excellent pull and the whole will they, won’t they quality working for them. I really enjoyed their flirty banter and was excited to see how their story/relationship would progress. If I had any complaints about the story, it would be that I felt the pacing was too slow. I felt like it took a really long time to get to the heart of the story and at times it just dragged. I kept waiting for the pace to pick up, but it never really felt like it did. From a romance stand point, if you know me, then you know there is nothing better than a slow building romance. For this book though, it was just too slow. Yes, there were some sparks along the way and a steamy kiss here or there, but nothing really progressed between these characters until 60% of the story. Now, that may not be an issue for some, but for me, I was just left wanting more; more sparks, more connection….just more. Winner Takes All is my first book by this author and while it was not a 100% hit for me, I do feel that there is a lot of great potential here, and would open to checking out something else from this author in the future.
Peachey04 More than 1 year ago
An interesting start to a new series and I'm glad I didn't miss it! I found this to be well written, detailed and full of characters that have great interactions. Both Annabelle and Blake have relationship issues as well as personal ones. They make an intriguing couple as they look for happiness and find love. Wonderful story! Received a copy from NetGalley for an honest review.
RomanceNovelGiveaways More than 1 year ago
Awwww!!! I really enjoyed this clean romance. It's "clean" in the sense that there are no love scenes, only kissing, but bad words are perfectly sprinkled throughout, which makes the narration and dialogue very realistic. Although, I will say, those kissing scenes really sizzled! The book deals with some pretty heavy issues that many people face every day, and reading how Annabelle helped Blake work through his was very endearing. I liked Blake from the beginning. He was brooding and had a tough outer shell that he used to try to push people away. Good thing Annabelle is about as stubborn as they come. Their interactions were very entertaining, and the tension that built between them was absolutely delicious! I flew through this book. It was well-written and a very easy and enjoyable read. I'd love to read more books by Erin Kern! ***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
Blake had big plans. Become famous doing what he loved was just the beginning to what he saw as his long term goals. When an injury derailed his football career and left his good boy rep destroyed, his big dreams imploded and left him on the outside looking in. Winner Takes All is an all too familiar scenario. Life not working out according to plan is a format that every person has faced at one time or another. What Blake has to learn is that upsets help a person discovery their inner strength. Sometimes setting them on the path they were meant to be on instead of where they hoped to be. Winner Takes All wears many hats. Returning home gave Blake the chance to see that he could make a difference in the lives of the home team he coached, helped him reconnect with friends and discover his true purpose. It only took a determined young woman to wake him up to all the possibilities. Hope and faith are the greatest weapons in an individuals inner arsenal, they keep us going in the hardest of times.