The Hard Count by Ginger Scott



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.

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.Joint Review-0015starTracy
It is no secret Rebecca and I are HUGE Ginger Scott fans.  It didn’t matter that we were both on vacation while reading this one, we were constantly messaging each other talking about Nico and Reagan. What made this book even better was it’s not just another amazing Ginger Scott story that addressed some very important subjects, it was also football!

Tracy and I saw Ginger at a book signing back in March and she gave us a few hints about this book. When she told us it was about high school football, I literally got chills. Having grown up in Texas, where football is more of religion than a sport, I could not wait to read this book. Ginger Scott is not only a talented author, but she’s a sports enthusiast, and I was confident she would bring her story to a new level. The Hard Count is one of the best sports related books I’ve read, ever. It’s also arguably Ginger’s best work to date, and one of my top books of 2016.

Ginger knows football.  While I was reading the football games in this book, I actually felt like I was there.  That alone made me love this book, but it was SO much more.  This book addressed some pretty serious issues, including racism and falling in love with so many obstacles and prejudices all around.

I agree, Tracy. Football is the centerpiece, but there are so many complex layers that unravel throughout the book. I especially enjoyed the familial aspect and the relationships between Reagan and her parents and brother. On the outside, they appear to have everything, but we are given an emotional experience at how looks are deceiving, and often times those that appear to be perfect are not. Nico completely stole my heart, and his intensity and affection for Reagan was so heartwarming.

“Don’t let someone else dictate how your heart feels about someone.”

This book definitely addressed the idea of family and not just the blood kind.  It was also seeing beyond the stereotypes and Nico personified that.  I loved him from the prologue, and even though we got very little of his POV, his character was amazing.  It’s hard to pick a favorite part of this story, but I have to say I loved their interactions in class and how GS made their conversations and banter exceptional.  Reagan and Nico fed off of each other’s strengths and strived to make themselves, and eventually each other better, even if they drove each other crazy doing so.

Their banter is priceless and it gives a much need comic relief for all the intense moments that exist throughout the book. I don’t think we will ever be able to convey how special and multifaceted this book truly is. It will consume you from first pages until the last.

I think our best advice is to just get this book and read it.  It’s a standalone, so no crazy cliffhanger. It is just amazing!  It’s a story of love, it’s a story of family, it’s a story of overcoming adversity and becoming your best.  It is written with characters that will steal you heart.  I cried and I laughed.  It will put you in a total book hangover.



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Meet The Author-001GS photo

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).

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