Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

Title: The Perfect Play
Author: Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2011

Mick Riley is an all-star football player for the San Francisco Sabers. For years he’s been happy to take advantage of the lifestyle made easily available to him, including a different woman for every occasion. But when he meets a determinedly single mom everything just might change…

Tara is an event planner, with her own business, and a fourteen year-old boy. It hasn’t been an easy road for her to get where she’s at, providing a stable life for both her and her son, but Tara’s never regretted a moment – and never looked back. So when she meets Mick at the party she organized for the Sabers, and ends up in his bed for a night of unforgettable sex, Tara quickly relegates it to one-night-stand territory.

What she doesn’t know is that Mick’s determined, and plans to resolutely pursue and win her, with the perfect play.

I’ll admit, I’ve been eyeing this cover for months now, waiting for the book to come out so I could own it, even though covers like this don’t generally draw me. Definitely a win on the cover.

I was really looking forward to a good sports romance, and I definitely was not disappointed here. Jaci Burton definitely knows her football, and it showed in almost every detail. The world really came alive and felt very real to me.

I really enjoyed Mick and Tara’s story. I thought that they were well matched, and I really enjoyed the growing relationship between all the characters, including Tara’s son Nathan and Mick, as well as Tara and Mick’s family. The issues that created problems for Mick and Tara, I felt, were extremely realistic and handled really well.

I had a few issues while reading, that ultimately didn’t take away a lot of my enjoyment of the book, but they were things that pulled me out of the story and I want to mention them. Throughout a good half of the book Mick is comparing Tara, favorably of course, to his past ‘flings.’ I can understand and get the point of this, but I felt that it got a bit old. Tara was so much better, more real, etc, etc, etc…

One of my hot-button issues is the ‘Big Misunderstanding’ so I’m perhaps a little overly sensitive to it. There was a misunderstanding issue about midway through that was really quickly resolved, and I loved how that was handled, because there was no time for it to become this big thing. Tara even admonishes herself for not trusting Mick, but just a few chapters later she’s doing the exact same thing. She doesn’t even ask him, or try to talk to him, just gets upset and storms out not wanting to talk to him.

The Perfect Play is an incredibly incendiary read. The really nice thing, I thought, was that it was all in line with the story and characters – it didn’t just feel like it was thrown in there to make the book hotter. Mick and Tara are both ‘talkers’ in their love scenes and after something in their words started to not feel right to me, though I still can’t lay my finger on what exactly. But, again, that did not diminish the sexiness of these love scenes, nor how extremely well-done they were.

I greatly enjoyed The Perfect Play and look forward to reading the next book in the series, Changing the Game which comes out August 2, 2011.

Grade: B-

Book Link | Amazon | Kindle | nook | kobo | Borders eBook | Sony | Book Depository | Berkley Heat

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