"Fanning the flames of a decade-old crush is a recipe for disaster."
The Game Changer Book Cover The Game Changer
Lana Ferguson
July 9, 2024
Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook

A hockey player and a baker shoot their shot in this steamy new romance by Lana Ferguson, USA Today bestselling author of The Nanny. When a very public breakup becomes a PR nightmare for Ian Chase's team, he hopes to focus on his game, but that suddenly seem less likely than a hat trick. With his career and the team’s image in jeopardy, Ian is surprised to find a solution through none other than Delilah Baker, his best friend and teammate's little sister…who isn’t so little anymore. Delilah Baker is known as “the darling of baking” on her local cable show, and being in the public eye is her bread and butter. But with her numbers dwindling and her producers turning up the heat, Delilah offers up the half-baked idea to collaborate with her brother’s team to entice the hockey fans of Boston to tune in to her show. Delilah thinks it will be a piece of cake—until the team sends Ian Chase, her brother’s best friend and the object of a decade-long crush that she’s never quite gotten over. Delilah's and Ian’s teams think it’s a true win-win situation—gaining higher numbers for Delilah’s show and casting Ian in a more positive light. And viewers are eating them up like a cupcake, sparking the idea to play up their relationship for the goal of good press. With more than just their careers on thin ice, the line between what’s real and what’s for show begins to blur, but one thing’s for certain: This PR stunt will either be a total game changer—or leave them both totally pucked.

Lana Ferguson – Coloring Outside the Lines

Lana Ferguson refuses to be put into one particular genre box.

Her first novel was a contemporary romance that touched on a salacious romance between a nanny and her employer. After devouring that debut novel, I eagerly went to add her next announced book to my TBR and what do you know? Her next novel was a paranormal romance with werewolves and knotting. Knotting! From someone I believed to be a contemporary romance writer with beautifully illustrated discreet covers. What is she playing at writing paranormal romance with werewolves? Get out of here.

Welp, having finished (read: devoured) “The Fake Mate”, I thought to myself, ‘self, ok, if Lana Ferguson wants to write Paranormal Romance, I’ll be here for that, too’.”

THEN this delightful creature announces her third book, and we’re BACK to contemporary romance with my absolute favorite things – a baker, a hockey player, and fake dating. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

Lana, “The Game Changer” was a gift to me, and me alone, but I’m happy to share it with the rest of the world. I encourage it, in fact.

Can’t take the heat? Get out of the Kitchen

Lana Ferguson provides the perfect recipe for Val’s Favorite Romance.


1 Cup of Hockey Romance/Brother’s Best Friend

1 Cup of Baker/Chef

1/2 cup of Friends-to-Lovers

1 Heaping Tablespoon of Fake Dating

2 Lusty POVs

A dash of “We Shouldn’t Do This”

Combine together with an excess of sexual tension. Serve chilled to combat all subsequent blushing.

“I’ve just… Before I knew what it even was to feel something for somebody, I felt things for you. Whether it was just feeling safer when you’re around, or looking for you when I enter a room, or doing whatever I could to make you smile because it made ME smile when you did… it’s always been you, Ian.”

Lila, “The Game Changer”
Photo by Sara Cervera on Unsplash

There’s an inevitability emanating from these two throughout the entire story. Lila has loved Ian since she was young, and Ferguson writes the lean into the fake dating situationship so easily. Ian, on the other hand, is somewhat blindsided by his newfound attraction to Lila, which Ferguson handles beautifully by balancing the past with the present.

Lila and Ian’s history and shared experiences, combined with clear mutual attraction, makes for the perfect set-up for these two adorable fools to fall for one another.

“You won,” I tell him, beaming. “You’re supposed to be celebrating.”

His smile makes my chest hurt, but his words make it feel like it’s too full. “You’re the only person I want to celebrate with.”



“The Game Changer” by Lana Ferguson

Final Thoughts

I’m definitely in my Hockey Romance era, and “The Game Changer” was excellent. It’s binge-worthy, spicy, steamy, and also adorable. The moments where Ian and Lila bake together are flirtatious and charming. The undercurrent of sexual tension runs non-stop. These two make you want to keep turning pages until there are none left to turn.

Needless to say, Lana can write whatever she wants and I’m going to read it. She wants to write about sasquatch? Here for it. Aliens? Beam me up, Scotty. Mermaids? I’m ready to hold my breath. Luckily, her next book is already announced. I can’t wait to see how she handles the Loch Ness monster in “Under Loch and Key” which will be out in December!

This book was provided in exchange for an honest review graphic