Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Back in the Game (Champion Valley, #2)” as Want to Read:
Back in the Game (Champion Valley, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Back in the Game (Champion Valley #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  26 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
"A vibrant, fast-paced story. Sassy wit, likable characters and breathtaking sexuality... Fans of Friday Night Lights titles will love this one." --Library Journal on Winner Takes All


Stella Davenport wasn't made for small-town life. Sure, teaching ballet in Blanco Valley, Colorado, is great, but she longs for the chance to perform
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Forever
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Back in the Game, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Back in the Game

Community Reviews

(showing 1-46)
Rating details
Sort: Default
This one really surprised me! It wasn’t so much a sexy book as a true exploration of a relationship. I kind of liked that after a lot of racy romances recently. It was nice to focus on the relationship instead of the physical stuff. I really liked Stella and Brandon. They had great chemistry and the dialog between the two was fantastic! They both have baggage and history. Most of the book involves exploring that baggage and trying to move through it and into what they want for themselves. And it ...more
Kimmy (Sinfully Snarky Reviews)
4 Back in the Game Stars!

Back in the Game was the first book I've read by Erin Kern and I really enjoyed this book. The chemistry and banter between Stella and Brandon was amazing.

Stella is a former ballet dancer who had to give up dancing due to a knee injury. She now teaches ballet in Blanco Valley to younger dancer and help out the local football players with foot coordination.

Brandon is a local single father who had to give up his dreams of football and college to raise his son, Matt. Aft
Elizabeth Zane
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book for a lot of unexpected reasons, but it wasn’t a homerun.

First, I am a southern girl who loves football and spent years recovering from pointe shoes. It was as though this book were written just for me, when it came to the characters. There was nothing difficult about connecting with either of them on a superficial level. But even on deeper levels, Erin Kern made it easy to fall in love with the main characters as they danced around one another—for what seemed like WAY TOO LO
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I am a sucker for a good contemporary romance and this one looked too adorable to pass up. I was so excited to read a single dad romance with a dance teacher in their small town.

Stella Davenport had grand dreams of being a professional ballerina in Chicago. She was living the dream, until an accident left her unable to dance professionally. Stella powered through, though, and dreamed of choreographing back in the big city instead. She let her chance go for a guy once and promised herself never
Heather andrews
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brandon is always finding ways and excuses to argue with Stella, "his pupils filled his coffee-colored eyes. “Didn’t say I had a problem with it. But you slap a pair of spandex on legs like that, and men will take notice.” Brandon is always willing to give his girl some new experiences, “now that we’ve got that straight.” He started walking with her hanging on to him. “Let’s go find a tree I can back you up against.” I really enjoyed this book, I loved the relationship Brandon and his son had.
Rather Be Reading
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review for:

Back In The Game

By Erin Kern


Friends tormented by their pasts learning to find their way to each other and realizing that they loved each other from the start.

Review by Jen M.
Bec - Book Magic: Under a spell with every page Reviews

Stella Davenport has dreamt of returning to her life as a ballerina performing in a big city, but with her injury, it's not likely she'll ever get the chance. However, when an opportunity arises and she's offered her dream job, Stella decides that nothing and no-one is going to stop her from accepting it. Yet, the more time she spends with Brendon West, the more Stella finds it hard to stay away. But with both their pasts leaving it hard for them to put their full trust in someone of the opposit
Misty (Red's Romance Review's)
Single dad Brandon West likes the simple and peaceful life he has created for him and his son, but when beautiful ballerina Stella Davenport breezes into their quiet world, everything starts to take on a lively approach. She is energetic, full of big dreams, sassy, and she pushed his buttons every chance she gets, and as much as he hates to admit it, he thoroughly enjoys every minute of it. And just when things start to go well between them, and head into heated and oh so sexy territory, she ann ...more
books are love
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Erin Kern followed up the first book in the Champion Valley series with a bang.

Brandon is the sexiest guy and that beard yummy. He is also a awesome dad. You see that he loves his son and will sacrifice anything for him but is afraid of his son making the same mistakes he did at his age. Sometimes his fear makes him overprotective but it is understandable. His ex really left him with some trust issues and with the help of his friends and Stella.

Stella is sweet and feisty. She, like Brandon, hav
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by JoAnne
Book provided by Netgalley
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Kern is a new to me author and I don’t know how I’ve missed reading any of her books before now. Back in the Game is the second book in the Champion Valley series and I need to read Winner Takes All the first book and book 3, Changing the Rules when it’s released next March.

High School football is a major part of the story along with ballet and lost and second chances. Stella and Brandon have chemistry that
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

Back in the Game by Erin Kern is a somewhat angsty romance between two protagonists who are both carrying A LOT of baggage. This second installment in the Champion Valley series can be read as a standalone but the failed date between the couple in this outing occurred in the first book in the series.

Respective events from both Stella Davenport and Brandon West's pasts continue to affect them well into adulthood. Stella's childhood with her flighty and inattentive mother and a traumatic
Romantic Reads and Such
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brandon and Stella are so absolutely adorable together. They have the steam and the sass and all the feels that you could want!

Brandon found himself a single dad at way too young and while he is a fabulous dad his past has left him with some trust issues when it comes to women. He can’t handle being left again and with Stella’s plans to go to Chicago that’s exactly what will happen if he lets himself get involved. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the two can’t fight their attraction and he starts
Melody  May (What I'm Reading)
Posted on What I'm Reading

When I started Back In The Game I wasn't sure what to expect. From the blurb it sounded super cute and the cover was cute too, so I figure I would take a shot at reading this story. The story was an all right read. Stella and Brandon have an interesting relationship. Brandon doesn't want to get close to Stella, because he's fearful that she would break his heart. Stella has some personal issues. She would fall into a category a fictional character who would benefit from
the champion valley series continues with back in the game, and has single dad brandon figuring out his slow burn romance with ballet dancer stella. after their disastrous first date where stella ended up throwing up all over brandon's shoes, they'd spent most of their time avoiding each other.

but when brandon's son matt learns that taking some ballet lessons might help him with his footwork on the football field, stella finds that she can't help herself from running interference. i'm still kind
Lynn Brooks
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Chemistry abounds between two unlikely people! A sassy connection between a single dad and the local ballet teacher makes for a really fun read! They bounce witty comebacks off each other every chance they get, and when they finally decide to give in to the attraction they feel, sparks ignite! The characters are easy to like, and although the romance is slow to happen, it's a nice build up throughout. I enjoyed their story!

Stella Davenport never expected to find herself teaching ballet in a smal
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Stella Davenport gave up her dream job as a dance instructor once before , but she’s determined to never make that mistake again. Brandon West knows better than to expect a woman like Stella to stick around a small town when she has dreams to chase and big cities to live in. Neither Brandon nor Stella are ready for the attraction that flairs between them and yet, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

Back in the Game is a wonderful second chance romance story with two strong, compelling character
Jackie Wright
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Erin Kern is a new author to me but after reading Back in the Game I will be looking at her other books especially book 1 in the Champion Valley Series of which this story is book 2.
Second chance romance and single dads are everything I love in a book at the moment and this book did not disappoint.
Single dad Brandon West is happy with his life, he is not looking for a relationship, he likes the life he has built for him and his son Matt. Stella Davenport is happy teaching ballet in Blanco Valle
A Book Lover's Emporium Book Blog
Erin Kern did an amazing job writing this story; it is the first book I have read from her but I think I will be reading more.

Is it a good idea for a dance teacher to teach a football player ballet, when she's attracted to his Dad? Well that is what happened when Matt walked into Stella Davenport's studio.

I liked how Matt thought he could sign up for ballet lessons without his dad's permission. Brandon West didn't understand why his son needed them and I loved how Stella cornered Brandon to ta
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It was all about the romance and though it had its heated moments it was a pretty clean read. This book focused on getting Brandon who has some serious abandonment issues and Stella who has major trust issues plus some together. I really liked that we were more focused on these two working things through and dealing with their problems. The tension is off the charts and the sexual tension was through the roof. Brandon knows how to make things difficult for himself and Stella i ...more
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it

Writing two people who have been hurt in the past and unable to let go and trust again could have fallen into a morose story. While both Matt and Stella do ruminate about their pasts, Kern blends happy times and gives them both a sense of humor as they battle their inner demons. She tells a really fun story.
Catherine  Wright (Cat's Guilty Pleasure)
I enjoyed this heartwarming and very well written book. It was complete with lots of banter between the two. The characters were just amazing and very lovable. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Noreen Fredriksen
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I read it in one day.
Logan Hr
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I was not impressed by this book at all..
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This review was originally posted on Latte Nights Reviews.

Back in the Game is the second book in the Champion Valley series, but can be read as a standalone. There are a few things brought up at the beginning that felt like they were part of the first book, but the characters talked about it enough to understand what happened.

This book follows Stella and Brandon, two individuals who care about each other, but try to stay away because they've been hurt in the past. Stella was a professional balle
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read my review on by clicking on the link below:
Jennifer Wolfel
rated it really liked it
Aug 21, 2017
marked it as to-read
Aug 21, 2016
Bette Hansen
marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Tonya Smith
marked it as to-read
Aug 23, 2016
Sara Clarkson
marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2016
marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2016
Brenda Knight
marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2016
Susan (susayq ~)
marked it as to-read
Aug 30, 2016
Tina "IRead2Escape"
marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
Diedre Smit
marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2016
marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2016
J Collins
marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2016
marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2016
marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2016
marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2016
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
I started writing back in 2004 and six years later self-published the third book I wrote. Two years after that I landed a contract with Grand Central Publishing.

Now I'm just chugging along, spitting out books faster than my kids can turn my living room into a disaster zone...

Actually, that's not entirely true. I only wish it were true.

But in all seriousness, I write sassy and sexy contemporary rom
More about Erin Kern...

Other Books in the Series

Champion Valley (3 books)
  • Winner Takes All (Champion Valley, #1)
  • Changing the Rules (Champion Valley, #3)