Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review Tour: The Hard Count by Ginger Scott

Welcome to THE HARD COUNT review tour with Ginger Scott, hosted by Wordsmith Publicity. Be sure to check out all the participating blogs, reviews and enter the tour giveaway!

Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
Release Date: July 15, 2016

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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.



1 signed copy of In Your Dreams, $10 Amazon gift card
Open International



About Ginger Scott

Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she
often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 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).

Connect with Ginger


Honor, brotherhood, tradition. These are words that inspire great triumph and mold the future success of the football team at Cornwall. They also instill fear and desperation to meet incredibly high expectations. At this private school, there's no room for error, no second chances. Winning and being on top of the competition is considered a frantic goal that must be met. Though on the surface, smiles are pretty and generous, underneath the plastic veneer are predators ready to attack the weak.

We don't talk about things that are broken. We eliminate them.

Reagan has become accustomed to living with the rigid set of expectations along with her family. Her father is the team coach, and her mother soothes the vultures with an endless amount of alcohol and cocktail parties. Her brother is the golden boy of the team-at least as long as he's bringing them to victory.

Nico is from the other side of town, the West End. A place where you don't walk the streets at night and there are bullet holes in the walls of homes. He grew up without the financial advantages of the other kids at Cornwall, but his academic brilliance gained him entry into Reagan's private school. He has the love of football running through his blood, but wants no part of the game that this school plays. When Reagan's brother is unable to lead the team to glory after an injury, tensions flare, and the stakes are raised. Reagan seeks out her family's one chance at survival.

I love that Reagan and Nico start out the book as enemies. They were competitive and fought to one-up one another in debate class. Nico was the maddening boy with the smirk who took delight in pushing all of her buttons. There was hostility but also a grudging respect.

"Make me earn it," he says, pausing again to take my top lip between both of his. "I'll earn it. I'll never stop trying to earn earn you."

They discovered that the differences in their circumstances that seemed so enormous weren't enough to curb their growing feelings for one another. Nico was one of the sweetest heroes I've read in a while. Though they faced racism and prejudice, he was never afraid to stand boldly next to her and show everyone she was worth it.

Reagan dreams of getting into film school with the documentary she's making of the dark side of the football fairytale that no one is allowed to see. She struggles against the injustice and the fear that has broken her family into a shell of what it once was. But the school doesn't want honesty, their lofty "tradition" will hold strong, whatever the cost. These people were absolutely vile and ruthless, it was disgusting to see how they treated Reagan and her family. The pressures of Nico's family situation weighed on them as well and there was one particularly heartbreaking moment that I really hurt for him and what he had to overcome.

My only reason for lowering my rating a little was that the middle dragged somewhat for me. This is not the type of sports romance that is short on the actual sports. Football played an integral part to the story and as someone who isn't necessarily fascinated by the specifics of the game it slowed the pace for me in areas.

Overall, this was such a beautiful story. I love Ginger's books, and I think she did an amazing job bringing these characters to life. I loved Nico and Reagan's best friends! They were the kind of support system them these two needed to weather the hard times.

If you're looking for a YA book full of bright hope and a brave young love, this book could be the one for you.

Nico is the twist in the tale. He's the element of good. He's what humanity should be-the lesson to be learned. He is hope.


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