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Changing the Game by @LauraMBaird is a KU Event pick #newadult #romance #ku #giveaway


Changing the Game


Laura M. Baird


New Adult Romance

Book Blurb:

In high school, I was the nerdy guy. The nice guy. The chubby guy. I didn't know crap about athletics or girls. But I had my eye on Lidia Hightower. She was kind and smart and beautiful. And with the wrong guy. Nothing I could do about it since she'd never look at a guy like me. Even after I saved her from a grave mistake. Years later with my transfer to Thackeray College comes a second chance I never thought I'd have when Lidia's here, too. Well this time I'm not going to blow it.

In high school, I was the popular girl. The society girl. The one who had it all. I even dated the wrong guy because it presented a better image. But I was done with that. I was over doing what was expected and ready to do what I wanted. Who would have thought what I wanted was Cooper Stevens, the sweet boy who championed me when my friends abandoned me? The cute high school boy who grew into a fine college man but probably wouldn't look twice at me now. Only one way to find out...


This standalone novella is part of a multi-author new adult steamy contemporary romance series set on a college campus in New England where twelve couples will fall in love at first kiss.


"Dude, let's move it." Van pops his head inside my room. "Cal told me about a new barista at the shop and I wanna see if she's there this morning." He waggles his eyebrows while grinning.

"Like you need another woman in your harem. How the hell do you do it?"

"Do what?" He straightens and leans against the door jamb. "Juggle multiple girlfriends?"

"Yeah. Are they all aware of each other?" I sit on the edge of my bed to slip on my shoes while he keeps smiling.

"Sure. I don't lie or hide it. I'm too young to settle down right now but old enough to know my limits."

"Really? And what's your limit? Five? Because you've got four already."

"Jelly?" he teases.

"Hell no! One's plenty."

"Dude, you don't even have one! You've been here over a year and still no girlfriend. Why?"

I stand and try not to show my annoyance whenever the topic of girlfriends comes up. "I'm here for school, not to socialize, not to get tangled up with someone. I'll leave that to you."

He shrugs and pushes away from the door, spinning toward the common room. "Suit yourself. More for me."

We exit our dorm, cross North Campus Drive into the main quad, and head toward the student union building. It doesn't take long until we're walking through the doors, surrounded once again by warmth along with heavenly aromas as we approach the coffee shop. With my reformed diet, I avoid most sugars and processed foods, but Friday is the day I allow myself some leeway if the week has been productive and gone well. And this week has gone extremely well.

Van advances to the counter with me hanging behind him as I fish my wallet out of my bag.

"Welcome, beautiful barista," he croons, making me roll my eyes. "Why no name tag? How else am I gonna know how to address my future wife?"

Jesus, he's really laying it on thick. First he says he's too young to settle down, now this. If the girl has half a brain, she'll be rolling her eyes as well. I don't hear any giggles or laughter as I finally pull out my wallet and slip my card from its slot. I have yet to look at the girl, but after an awkward silence, I hear Van chuckle.

"Well, that's a shame Ms. Lidia I'm-not-your-future-wife. You're missing out."

My head whips up just as I see Lidia – my Lidia – smirking. She's holding a piece of paper in front of her as if it's her name tag and it reads exactly what Van just said: Lidia I'm-not-your-future-wife. "Maybe, but–" She gasps when she looks over Van's shoulder, her wide-eyed gaze landing on me.

Does she really recognize me? After seven years? I don't look anything like I used to in high school.

"C-Cooper?" The whisper of my name from her causes Van to whip his head around to me. His curious stare toggles back and forth between me and Lidia.

"You know my boy, Coop?"

I'm instantly lost in those caramel eyes that still threaten to turn me into a blubbering idiot. So I remain quiet as I look her over, and damn, she's even more beautiful than I remember. Her shiny brown hair is much shorter than in high school, barely reaching her shoulders. The cut looks really good on her; sleek, I guessed I'd call it. Her dimpled cheeks grow pinker with each passing second. My eyes lock on her tongue moistening her plump lips; lips I've only dreamed of tasting.

Before any fantasy can materialize in my mind, Van startles me with a slap on my shoulder.

"Coop, buddy, you been holding out on me. You said you didn't have time for a girlfriend."

Lidia's eyes widen as her lips part before swiftly closing again. I break the tether between us by facing my roommate. "I, uh, I..."

He gives my shoulder a squeeze before dropping his hand. "Hey, I get it. A lady as lovely as Lidia, no way I'd share either."

"Van." I grit my teeth but get no further when he turns to Lidia and places our order. It takes her a moment before she's ringing it up, blinking rapidly and shaking her head. Van pays for both of us then steps to the side to wait. I feel his stare in our direction, but my view doesn't waver as I keep my eyes on my high school crush.

My body reacts on its own before my brain engages and I step to her, needing to be closer. Only two feet of counter space separates us and it's still too far. Lidia tips her head up to look at me as I smile down at her.

"Cooper Stevens," she whispers again.

"Lidia Hightower."

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What makes your featured book a must-read?

Young love is sweet; the wonder and discovery of it. But when it's squashed before it really begins it can be heart breaking. This is a second-chance romance between Cooper and Lidia as they reunite in college in their mid-20s. It's fun and steamy; and satisfying novella that takes you back to your youth. Well, if you were in your twenties in today's world!

Enter to win a $21 Amazon gift card:

Open Internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US or Amazon Canada account to win.

Runs November 9 – November 17, 2021.

Winner will be drawn on November 18, 2021.

Author Biography:

Laura's living life in the Pacific Northwest, enjoying family and the chance to make her author career soar. A veteran and semi-retired dental hygienist, a wife, mother, and grandmother, and an experienced mover, having traversed the country from the East Coast to the West, she sprinkles her experiences into her writing. She also writes about adventures she may not otherwise experience herself. Her goal is to provide laughter and swoon-worthy moments, as well as captivating stories in which the reader can lose themselves.

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1 Comment

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N. N. Light
Nov 13, 2021

Thank you, Laura, for sharing your book in our KU Event!

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