Review: The Hard Count by Ginger Scott

Mature YA Contemporary Romance-Stand Alone
Release Date: July 15, 2016
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🏈 What it’s about 🏈

Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.
West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another.  And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.
I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family. Life on top.  Lies.  My world is the ugly one.  Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
I hated him before I
needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was
almost too late.
When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.

🏈 Review 🏈

☆☆☆5 stars☆☆

The Hard Count by Ginger Scott is a chaste YA sports romance, but the romance is secondary to the sports and private school politics in the story.

Nicholas (Nico) Medina is hungry. He is hungry to escape the poverty and violence of his wrong-side-of-the-tracks neighborhood. His hunger motivates him. It drives him to work harder at everything he does. He is an excellent student and a natural athlete. His family faces a lot of challenges, but they’re good, down-to-earth, and gracious people.

Reagan Prescott is also driven; she is driven to find a place for herself in the world besides being the star quarterback’s twin sister and the football coach’s daughter. The Prescott family teeters on the crumbling edge of the private school socio-political precipice. Every decision, every action, every loss is judged, and in a world filled with wannabes and legacies, the pressure to perform can break you.

“My film is about the legacy of this program, but also about the pressure it puts on people—on families.” –Reagan

While Nico and Reagan attend the same school, they travel in different circles. Their interactions are solely heated academic debates in class until one night Reagan captures Nico on film.

“Exceptions are responsible for pivotal moments in history.” –Nico

That night the stars aligned to produce some major game changers for Nico and the entire Prescott family. These changes push some rather negative things into the limelight. Drugs, prejudice, bullying, and backstabbing each play a role in The Hard Count. Thankfully, family, honor, respect, and acceptance ultimately take the field as well. The stress and increasing plot tension is palpable with each turn of a page. Ms. Scott’s depiction of the delicate dance between a football coach and the school board is excellent. I felt Coach Prescott’s ulcers burning as he struggled to make the right decision regardless of the probable repercussions.

The main characters are all strong and empathetic. I cared deeply for each of them. Nico is a particularly endearing character—his manners, grace and mature intellect make him a demi-god. The type of nearly perfect young man you trust with your daughter and your football team. Ms. Scott’s storytelling is artful and eloquent; she richly captures each subtle nuance of the high school experience. In addition to a charming romance, lessons in football, and a family drama, The Hard Count perfectly highlights the blatant and subtle fears, prejudices, and responses that arise when agendas and cultures clash.

**While The Hard Count is a chaste romance, it does contain themes that may be too mature for some younger readers (drugs, gangs, violence).


1 signed copy of In Your Dreams, $10 Amazon gift card
(Open International)


About the author:  Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless and In Your Dreams.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she
often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the
stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and
towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Stalk Ginger: 
 Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube | Google |  Goodreads




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