Published by Berkley in February 2011
The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn't intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Play by Play #1
The Story: The blurb does a good job of a very general outline. Mick and Tara meet at a team party that Tara plans. But her and Mick had a run in right before the party when she got lost in the team's arena. He was fresh out of the shower and she got quite an eyeful! So she thinks when she takes Mick up on his offer of some casual sexy-time that it'll be a one time thing. And when he says he wants to see her again, Tara tucks tail and runs for the hills. But Tara has her reasons. She raised her son all by herself from a young age and now she's concentrating on building her business. She doesn't have time for a relationship -or whatever it is that Mick wants- and she's mucho afraid of getting her heart broken. But Mick is persistent and he slowly breaks through Tara's walls.
**There will be some spoilers**
ames: All right Monroe, aren't you glad I recommended this book to you?
Monroe: Girl YES! The simple fact that the cover gave me the shivers itself was a clue that I was going to ADORE this book! You know what’s funny is I’m not drawn to his chest etc in the cover..but his hand on the ball..it's just so...manly. HA! ;P
ames: I have to admit, this cover totally sold me on the book. LOL I've read two books by Jaci in the past and loved one and was so-so about the other, so I was bit torn. That cover totally clinched it for me and I'm SO GLAD that it's as drool-worthy as it is, otherwise we both would have missed out on a fun book!
Monroe: See this is a TOTALLY new author for me. And you know how I love getting into new ones!
One thing that threw me in the book was the blurb..it made him out to seem like a total player STILL...and he isn’t in the book. Did you notice that about the blurb and the book? But then again it might not catch too many eyes if they said he was a “reformed” player.
ames: Well I think it goes to show how he appeared to everyone else. And come on, the beginning, the way he came onto Tara at the football team's party, it's totally set up to look like he is a player. But I did enjoy that he was the one who kept going back and pursuing her. She was up for a fun one-night stand but he wanted more. I liked that!
Monroe: I guess you’re right...everyone did think he was even though he wasn’t. And I have to agree with you about him pursuing her. I love that about a man!
I was about to say he knew what he wanted and went after it but really he kind of didn’t know what he wanted...at least not in the long run. I loved that the “real” relationship stuff didn’t come up until the end. They were just in the moment at the time and didn’t think about the future.
Ugh ok...let’s talk about his PR agent Liz. You hated her, I already know this...and honestly I didn’t like her much at all with stepping in their relationship SO MUCH! And I kind of hated how hot everyone thought she was (Gavin, his brother, and him…). But the things she did...I’m wondering if people will find it hard to like her in her book (book 2). Like is she redeemable???
ames: I know what you mean about him not knowing what he wanted. I liked that, here are two mature adults with careers and responsibilities and they're together while it's fun but they're both afraid to think of the future - because they were. She was worried about the football season starting up and her party planning career finally taking off. And that's why this book worked for me, because this is stuff people worry about in real life.
Liz. Ugh. I do not think this character is redeemable. For those of you who haven't read this book - Liz is Mick's PR agent. She always set him up with some hot actress who needed a date for a movie premiere kind of thing. And she kept trying to set Mick up even after he told her and showed her that Tara was in his life. Let's just say she took things a bit too far and hurt Tara, her teenage son and Mick with her actions. I just don't like characters with blind ambition like that. I guess I'll wait to see what others think of her book (she's the heroine for Mick's brother's book) before I think about reading it.
One character who's book I want to read is Mick's sister's book! She's such a kick-a$$ character!
Monroe: Lol BUT BUT BUT at the end of the book she realized that she was taking things too far...and does a ballsy move and kisses Gavin, Mick’s brother she’s crushing on...that TOTALLY made me want to read her book. Even if she is a little bitty.
Ya I think Mick’s sisters book will be cool. I wonder if she'll meet maybe one of Gavin’s teammates or something!??! I love the fact she has piercings and tattoos and runs their bar...yet is beautiful.
Back to Tara...I love she had a older son. And I loved that Mick was into him so much. One thing you KNEW was coming I'm sure (b/c I'm me) I wanted her to get preggers but danged if he didn’t pop a condom on EVERY TIME. Lol
ames: I'm dead set against Liz right now. LOL That's why I like Mick and Gavin's sister. She's ballsy, she's rockin' the tattoos, she has real attitude. And I think she might be a bit biased against jocks. So I think her book will be interesting because yes, I want her to fall hard for a football player. :P
Tara. Tara was a good character. I liked that she had a teenage son, even though she's quite young still and that's part of what I liked about her. She clawed her way out of an extremely bad situation and you have to respect a character like that. She didn't let the bad stuff drag her down. Mick also hit the nail on the head when he told her to quit apologizing for her son. I liked that about him too. That he knew she came with a son and he embraced both of them and they fit into his life so well. I like how he did all these things like taking her home to meet his parents without second guessing himself. He just did what felt right.
And LOL at you wanting her to get preggers. She will...probably in one of the later books - once her party planning stuff is more secure.
Oh, remember the island getaway he won? Man I loved how hot this book was! It was the perfect contemporary, don't you think?
Monroe: YES it was the perfect contemp. And WOOWEE when they were on that island I drooled the entire time! Lol
What about Mick’s past...did you see that one coming? I can HONESTLY say I didn’t. What did run in my head was like omg...he’s ALWAYS using a condom and he has a secret...he has an STD…AIDS idk. Ya I was WAY OFF!
ames: LOL Yeah you were! I kinda figured it out, what his past was. Seriously though, I'm glad they always used protection. Nothing drags me out of a story faster then unprotected sex. Because I'm always thinking of STDs and pregnancy.
Monroe: You know what I TOTALLY loved about this book...they didn’t do the typical pro athlete proposes at a game after a win or in front of a tone of people like sports books do all the time. It was all low key...LOVED that it wasn’t corny.
ames: Oh I know what you mean! I liked that too. And as much as I love sports romances, I glad that the football aspect of this was in the background. Like he was in training, not into the season yet.
Monroe: YES! Although we did get a little of it and I loved that she got to meet the team's wives etc.
ames: Yes, I liked that part too. I hope we see more of Tara and Mick as the series goes on.
Ok, so now we have to talk about what I didn't like about this book. I felt like Tara judged Mick too quickly a few times and she annoyed me just a wee bit. You?
Monroe: She did yes...BUT I would too and I also think she just had a lot of insecurities too. I mean hes a pro ball player…he’s in the public eye and always has some hot young miss priss on his arm. But at the same time she needed to let go of those thought and enjoy the relationship. So ya I see where you’re coming from. Don’t you think he accepted her apologies too easily?
Hmmm...what I didn’t like about the book...not much really. Honestly I’m stretching to find something but I can say that I thought it was unrealistic for her to get mad at Mick about the whole drinking thing. Mick picking her son up from a party drunk...taking him home...how is ANY of that his fault? I understand her being upset at herself for not being the one to be there (even though that wasn’t her fault) but Mick did the adult thing. Took him home etc...idk kinda silly.
ames: Yeah, I agree. Like she was looking for things to go wrong with Mick and getting mad at him for things he had no control over. That's part of my annoyance with her. She was afraid of getting hurt and she was trying to keep him at a distance. She wasn't doing a good job of it though. LOL And that's the only problem I had with this book.
Even Liz. Yeah she ticked me off, but it made what happened with her all the better. She got what she deserved.
I'm evil. LOL
Monroe: You are…and just because you hate Liz I shall love her! I think she'll be a diamond in the rough.
ames: She's a dang snake in the grass!
Monroe: She's reformed now...get over it already! Lol I wouldn’t doubt if Mick hires her back.
ames: No he won't. She broke his trust. All right then. What grade would you give this book?
Monroe: A- I guess…or B+…nah…well what's better A or A-
ames: I'm giving this a B+. :)
Monroe: Ok I'll go with A-...everyone knows I'm the softy ;)
ames: Yeah, it was a good fun book, if the heroine didn't annoy me i'd have given it a higher grade too. :)