Cleary James – ARC The Endgame

I was curious when I received an ARC for this book. According to publication information, this book was originally published in 2015, and there are reviews on Amazon, so, unless this is a re-release, it seems odd that they are requesting more reviews.

That being said, I am THANKFUL that this landed in my email for review. The Endgame is the story of Marc, Lisa, and Grayson. Marc and Lisa are a couple invited to Grayson’s house for a dinner party. Marc has told nothing to Lisa about Grayson and his friend, Isabel, but Lisa is nervous as Grayson and Isabel are social elites. At the dinner party, it becomes apparent that this dinner is a secondary activity. Marc has decided to share Lisa with Grayson, while he engages in sex with Isabel. As an innocent, Lisa is shocked, but her relationship with Marc is fraught with abuse, so she endeavors to follow Marc’s plan, even to the detriment of herself. Sensing that Lisa did not understand the intent of the evening, Grayson pulls back and befriends Lisa instead. After this night, Lisa works harder to escape her relationship with Marc by engaging in a sexual relationship with Grayson for money. During the course of this relationship, Lisa and Grayson become enamored with each other.  Warning. This book does not end with an apparent HEA. However, James wrote a second book in this duo, Playing by Heart. If you leave the book feeling unfulfilled, then read the second book. That story will remedy the questions of the first story.

I loved this book. Cleary creates characters who are complex, and she writes about the truth of an abusive relationship. We see the devastation in Lisa’s life brought about by Marc, and we feel her desolation. We feel her pain when she is left with Marc, and his cruelty towards Lisa pains the reader. For me, feeling that pain is key to a great romance book. Grayson becomes Lisa’s emotional savior, as well as the impetus for leaving Marc. He is chivalrous, and it becomes easy to love him.

If you like an emotional read, this book is for you. My stomach was tied in knots throughout the story, and I was thankful for its ending, so I could finally breathe a deep breath again at its resolution.


In love and romance,

Professor A


I teach students to write for college. I love to read writers who write romance. Why not review and promote the writing of people who love to write romance? Win-win for me

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