Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: Purchased
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.
Isn’t it just yummy?
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I am a huge fan of sports related romance books, so when Jaci Burton announced her Play by Play Series, I was anxiously awaiting for each and little bit of information she threw our way. Once the cover was released, I feel instantly in love. That man is HOT! Like, unbelievably HAWT! Needless to say, I pre-ordered this and downloaded it as soon as it became available.
Mick is the star quarterback with the reputation of an absolute playboy, but when he meets Tara one afternoon, he finds himself attracted to her beyond anything he’s felt before. Tara wants nothing more than to focus on her up and coming career as an event planner and to be the best possible mother to her teenage son. So when Mick comes sniffing around, wanting to something with her, Tara is hesitant to give him more than just one passionate night together.
But Mick won’t take no for answer, and he pursues Tara relentlessly. He meets and even mentors her son. She meets his loud and wild family. Things move from casual to serious before either of them can bat an eye. But will Tara be able to deal with Mick’s lifestyle, in a forever kind of way?
I had horrible mixed emotions about this one. I wanted more than anything to absolutely LOVE this book. Hot guy, sports romance, smokin' scenes that Burton writes best? It’s the formula for greatness, but somewhere along the line it just didn’t make the cut for me.
The biggest thing I loved about this book: Mick. He was the absolute perfect hero. He was strong, sexy, a real family man, and an upstanding kind of guy. His interactions between his family and Tara’s son had me weak in the knees, and there wasn’t one single minute that I didn’t absolutely love with him in it. But he wasn’t without his flaws either. He seemed to know that the only thing he really wanted was Tara. However there were times he didn’t really take her or their relationship into serious consideration. He took her to meet his family, admitted how huge that was, but then kept trying to tell himself it was just a fun fling only? That didn’t seem rational to me.
I really wanted to like Tara, and at times I really enjoyed her character. She picked herself up from nothing, made a career and life for herself and her son. She too was a strong character, but there were things about her that just felt off to me for some reason. For example, I don’t know that I believe her character would really be ready to jump into a purely sexual relationship with such a prominent name in the media, especially with a teenage son. It just didn’t seem to fit with who she was as a character. Then after months of being with him, finding herself emotionally and physically attached to Mick, suddenly his lifestyle is too much to deal with and she can’t be with him? It just didn’t seem to be in line with my expectations.
While Mick and Tara’s relationship started as a bedroom only kind of thing, I found the smex scenes to be totally smokin, but also somewhat extensive. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Burton’s writing, and Mick and Tara really heated up the pages, but there were times when those scenes seemed to just drag on and on, without really moving the story further. I found myself skipping over some of them. *GASP!!*
The secondary characters, including Mick’s family and his agent, were fabulously done. I am anxiously awaiting the second book in the series as well, Changing the Game, featuring Mick’s brother Gavin and sports agent Liz. I’m hoping above all else, that Liz is able to redeem herself in this book, and reestablish her friendship with Mick.
So while I was hoping this would be a blow out, just like the cover, I have to say it didn’t live up to those hip bones. *drool*
All in all, I give The Perfect Play 3 out of 5 perfect quarterback heroes.