Playing the Game Review, Excerpt, Interview and Giveaway!



Playing The Game
York Bombers #1

Lisa B. Kamps

Releasing February 14, 2017
BimHaven Press

Harland Day knows what it’s like to be on rock bottom: he was there once before, years ago when his mother walked out and left him behind. But he learned how to play the game and survived, crawling his way up with the help of a friend-turned-lover. This time is different: he has nobody to blame but himself for his trip to the bottom. His mouth, his attitude, his crappy play that landed him back in the minors instead of playing pro hockey with the Baltimore Banners. And this time, he doesn’t have anyone to help him out, not when his own selfishness killed the most important relationship he ever had.

Courtney Williams’ life isn’t glamorous or full of fame and fortune but she doesn’t need those things to be happy. She of all people knows there are more important things in life. And, for the most part, she’s been able to forget what could have been–until Harland gets reassigned to the York Bombers and shows back up in town, full of attitude designed to hide the man underneath. But the arrogant hockey player can’t hide from her, the one person who knows him better than anyone else. They had been friends. They had been lovers. And then they had been torn apart by misunderstanding and betrayal.

But some ties are hard to break. Can they look past what had been and move forward to what could be? Or will the sins of the past haunt them even now, all these years later?


My shortest review ever:




Read Playing The Game now!

From the very first paragraph Lisa B. Kamps‘ writing grabbed me and held on. All of the characters, from Harland to Courtney to her mother, to her best friend, Beth, to Harland’s teammates, all of them just worked.

The story was never melodramatic, despite the fact that it could have gone there. It was well thought out and written with enough description that I felt like I was there. The situations had been considered and made sense! (It’s a pet peeve when characters throw everything away based on some idiotic thing that could have been cleared up. Fortunately, here, that’s not the case.)

I’ve never been a huge hockey fan, but I certainly could entertain being one thanks to Playing The Game.

But the best bit was Harland. While I’ve never been one for “book boyfriends,” Harland would certainly be at the top of the list if it existed. He’s sweet, caring, gooey-centered, sexy, and vulnerable. Kamps did a great job of bringing him to life for the reader.

Maybe it was the wistful expression on her flushed face, or maybe it was just his own sudden revelation–and the realization that it was nothing more than hopeless fantasy. Whatever the reason, he felt a sudden kinship with the girl. Two lost people reaching for something they could never have.

He leaned forward, caught her attention and offered her a gentle smile. “You deserve better, kiddo. He’s not worth the heartache.”

Beautiful writing! Love!

And, the scenes with Harland and Noah are some of the sweetest I’ve ever read and they are because it seems like Kamps isn’t trying to shove it in our faces that these are cute scenes. She just writes them and lets her characters do the persuading. Well, let’s just add that she makes it look so easy.

With this, Lisa B. Kamps has just become a must-read author for me because I can’t wait to see if her other books bring about the “feels” that this one did.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

rating: 5-butterflies5 out of 5 butterflies



Buy Links:      AMAZON | B & N | ITUNES | KOBO

lbkAuthor Info

Lisa B. Kamps is the author of the best-selling series The Baltimore Banners, featuring “hard-hitting, heart-melting hockey players” (USA Today), on and off the ice. Her firefighter series, Firehouse Fourteen, features hot and heroic firefighters who put more than their lives on the line. Her newest hockey series, The York Bombers, launches with PLAYING THE GAME in February, 2017.

In a previous life, she worked as a firefighter with the Baltimore County Fire Department then did a very brief (and not very successful) stint at bartending in east Baltimore, and finally served as the Director of Retail Operations for a busy Civil War non-profit.

Lisa currently lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons (who are mostly sorta-kinda out of the house), one very spoiled Border Collie, two cats with major attitude, several head of cattle, and entirely too many chickens to count. When she’s not busy writing or chasing animals, she’s cheering loudly for her favorite hockey team, the Washington Capitals–or going through withdrawal and waiting for October to roll back around!



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Interview with Lisa B. Kamps

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Honestly, it depends on my mood. But there are two that always seem to be at the top of my list:

Fight Song by Rachel Platten and…

Wait for it…

Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen!


Name three things on your desk right now.

  • A large bag of almond M&Ms (I won’t tell you how many are left in the bag)
  • Large mug of coffee (strong with cream and sugar if you’re really curious)
  • My planner and notepad, pens and post-its (yes, that only counts as one item in my world!!)


A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.

Okay, I’m really not that great at Twitter but I’ll give it a shot:

#secondchanceromance #steamyread #firstlove #nevergiveup #loveconquersall #hockeyromance #alwayshopeful #friendstolovers

Did I go over??

What do you do when you are not writing?

Plan for the next book? Seriously, my mind is always going: thinking, dreaming, wondering, planning. Doesn’t matter what I’m doing, there’s always something involving writing going on in my head.

Except when I go into total slug-mode, which does happen every once in a while. If that’s the case, I’m either literally doing absolutely nothing (I mean I literally turn completely OFF), or I’m either reading or playing SIMS. Hey, don’t judge me J!


Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

The best piece of advice I can give (and have given) any aspiring writer is one that’s been around for ages: Just do it. Don’t think about doing it, don’t talk about doing it, don’t dream about doing it. Just sit your butt down and get those words on the page. Talking is easy, but if you’re serious, stop talking and just write. You can fix it later, worry about it later, angst over it later. But you need to get those words on paper first. In this case, actions really do speak louder than words.


Don’t get so caught up in the rules that you end up hampering your creative flow. Yes, learn the rules, be aware of them, but don’t let them rule your writing (or your creative process). There are so many rules out there that “they” say can’t be broken. But guess what? They get broken all the time, and it works. Do what works for you, your story, your characters. Don’t let the rules silence your unique voice. (Note: I’m not talking about grammar and punctuation–those are important. It’s those other pesky rules, like don’t write in first person, don’t write about a sports hero, etc.)


Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

To my current readers and fans: THANK YOU so much for taking a chance and joining me on this wonderful journey! It really wouldn’t be possible without all of you! To those readers who haven’t yet read my books: don’t be afraid to take a chance! You might surprise yourself and find a new favorite author (if not favorite, then hopefully one you really like!).


Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My next scheduled release is PLAYING TO WIN, The York Bombers Book 2.

We met Jason Emory in Playing The Game and he seems like your typical jock who plays just as hard off the ice as he done on it. He’s single, hot, and completely free to do what he wants. And while he’s not exactly self-absorbed, he doesn’t really pay attention to what’s going on around him as well as he should.

Yeah…poor Jason has no idea what is about to hit him after one particularly hot night with a stranger who seems oddly familiar.

This one is a steamy twist on your one-night-encounter, with maybe just a hint of Cinderella thrown in! PLAYING TO WIN releases on March 21, and is available for pre-order now. You can find the link here:


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