Series: Play by Play #1
Author: Jaci Burton
Publication date: February 1st 2011
Source: I own a copy
Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game…
For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets and beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara’s not interested in getting to know football’s most notorious playboy any better.
As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara’s life is complicated enough without being thrust into the spotlight as Mick’s latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.
But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.
Just a quick note on the cover: I own the paperback of this and, dude, is it shiny, and has hot diggity dang as the image suggests, and man, it just makes a girl want to stroke it. Yeah, it was defo the cover that made me snap this one up.
I’m not 100% clear on my feelings about this one. To be honest, it was initially a bit of a surprise for me. But then I did my usual trick of not reading the blurb before heading in and didn’t realise I’d opened an erotic romance, LOL. Yeah, took me about 30 pages to figure it out.
Anyhoo, about my opinion. Did I enjoy the story? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t because I did. However, I sped through the first 100 pages, thoroughly engrossed—but then the pace seemed to slow pretty drastically, there were so many intimate scenes they seemed to become repetitive, especially as every time Mick and Tara met, they were shagging before conversations were even fully formed.
But that aside, I did like Tara as a character. She had just enough spunk (no pun intended) to be strong, yet just enough weakness to be vulnerable. Though I will say, I found her to be a little unreliable in her description of her son. In the beginning she made him sound like a total miscreant that no one other than herself, in their right mind, would want to meet. Yet, when we do meet him, I actually didn’t think he was very bad at all—certainly nowhere near as disrespectful as a lot of teen boys. And even on finishing the book, I have no idea if this misrepresentation was intentional or not—or if she really viewed this way.
Mick was pretty cool as a male MC, too. Not sure he turned me on exactly, because, dayam, these two never shut up during sex and it drove me nuts. But I did like him. A lot. Though I do have a gripe where Mick is concerned—because I went into this book thinking I was getting a romance that revolved around a sports player, thanks to the cover, and whilst I did get that, I was disappointed by how much of the sports side of Mick’s life we actually got to see. I wanted to see him play. Wanted to see his camaraderie with his team mates. Wanted to watch him build up his sweat and whatnot—so I was sorry when we didn’t really get any of that. Even when we finally get to see him in a game, it’s cut mega-short and written from Tara’s POV, whilst she watches with the other females in the family box. So, yeah, that lost it a star for me.
And whilst we’re talking about characters, It’d be amiss of me not to mention the supporting cast. Whilst we get to meet those in Tara’s life—I liked her son, Nathan, a lot, btw—I found the most vibrant of background characters to be Mick’s family. They were an adorable bunch. And I very much suspect they’ll be playing a part in following novels in the series.
So, long story short: I enjoyed it, but it didn’t blow me away.
Have you read this title? What’d you think?