G. Bianco, 2019
In her debut romance novel, Getting His Game Back, Gia de Cadenet weaves together a wonderful love story while also racing head-on to talk about tough issues. Set to be released on January 25th, this novel shows both the ups and downs of a relationship and how the ones who truly love you are always there to lift you up.
Khalil Sarda went through a rough patch last year, but now he’s nearly back to his old self. All he has to do is keep his “stuff” in the past. Real men don’t have depression and go to therapy—or, at least they don’t admit it. He’s ready to focus on his growing chain of barbershops, take care of his beloved Detroit community, and get back to being the ladies’ man his family and friends tease him for being. It’ll be easy . . . until Vanessa throws him completely off his game. Vanessa Noble is too busy building a multimillion-dollar tech career as a Black woman before age thirty to be distracted by a relationship. Not to mention, she’s been burned before, still dealing with the lingering hurt of a past breakup. Besides, as her friends often remind her, she’ll never find a man who checks all the boxes on her famous List. Yet when she desperately needs a shape-up and happens upon one of Khalil’s barbershops, the Fade, he makes her reconsider everything. Khalil is charming, intelligent, sexy, and definitely seems like he’d treat a woman right… but he’s not Black. Vanessa may be willing to take a chance on Khalil, but a part of him is frustratingly closed off, just out of her reach. Will old patterns emerge to keep them apart? Or have they both finally found a connection worth throwing away the playbook for?
From the title and cover of this book, you would think it was a fun sports romance; however, you’d be wrong. Yes, there may be mentions of basketball scattered throughout the story, but this book’s main focus is on a growing relationship between two people who try to deny their attraction to one another initially and the ups and downs that relationship brings. This wonderfully-written novel focuses on not just a blossoming relationship, but what happens when that relationship is tested by outside forces.
Be warned: this book deals with some heavy topics like race, toxic masculinity, societal expectations, and mental health, but de Cadenet handles all of it with grace. The incorporation of the tough topics with Vanessa and Khalil’s romance is done very well and adds such depth to this fabulous story.
I legitimately binge-read this novel in a day and I adored it! Despite wanting more closure at the end of the story, I still enjoyed this book. To be honest, if the epilogue would’ve been just a little more robust, this would’ve been a five star read for me. However, I still highly recommend this fantastic and touching book to anyone looking for a potential top read of 2022!
*I received an ARC from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review.
Hi! My name is Elisa and my bookshelf is quite literally overflowing! Join me in my journey of reading as many books as humanly possible!