The Long Game: A Novel by Elena Armas

The Long Game: A Novel  by Elena Armas

Title:  The Long Game: A Novel 
Author: Elena Armas
Publisher: Atria Books 
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  384
Date of US Publication: 5 September, 2023
My Rating:  3 Stars

My Thoughts 

A sports romance between two couldn't be more different characters in a small town setting? Do tell me more. 

Described as similar to Ted Lasso, as well as charming, a meet awkward, enemies to lovers, lots of cute animals, cute kids. I'm interested. 

Unfortunately, the story itself fell flat for me. 

Cameron is a retired professional British MLS player taking a breather in a small North Carolina town and is coaching the town's elementary school age girls soccer team. Adalyn is the type A executive of the MLS team her father owns and runs. After a poor decision gets recorded, released and quickly goes viral the decision to ship Adalyn to another area for a charitable assignment away from the team is made, and the two have a seriously awkward and uncomfortable meet. 

I didn’t love either of the MC’s (I found Adalyn very immature and Cam was just … too much for my tastes), but the two learn, over time and much of the book, to work together for the good of the team. The wait for romance was long but this allows the reader to see the slow path to love. A lot of slow burn and some steam (much of which I personally found awkward - okay, it’s a lot of Can’s flowery try hard “sexy” talk that’s cringe). 

While this one didn’t work out for me, I still appreciated Cam’s encouragement and support of Adalyn and can  understand all the love that many reviews have for this title. 

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for the DRC


A disgraced soccer exec reluctantly enlists the help of a retired soccer star in coaching a children’s team in this smalltown love story in the vein of Ted Lasso and It Happened One Summer —from the New York Times bestselling author of The Spanish Love Deception.

Adalyn Reyes has spent years perfecting her daily routine: wake up at dawn, drive to the Miami Flames FC offices, try her hardest to leave a mark, go home, and repeat.

But her routine is disrupted when a video of her in an altercation with the team’s mascot goes viral. Rather than fire her, the team’s owner—who happens to be her father—sends Adalyn to middle-of-nowhere North Carolina, where she’s tasked with turning around the struggling local soccer team, the Green Warriors, as a way to redeem herself. Her plans crumble upon discovering that the players wear tutus to practice (impractical), keep pet goats (messy), and are terrified of Adalyn (counterproductive), and are nine-year-old kids.

To make things worse, also in town is Cameron Caldani, goalkeeping prodigy whose presence is somewhat of a mystery. Cam is the perfect candidate to help Adalyn, but after one very unfortunate first encounter involving a rooster, Cam’s leg, and Adalyn’s bumper, he’s also set on running her out of town. But banishment is not an option for Adalyn. Not again. Helping this ragtag children’s team is her road to redemption, and she is playing the long game. With or without Cam’s help.


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