Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review: Play by Play by Kate Donovan

Title: Play by Play
Author: Kate Donovan
Series: Playmakers, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 9 September 2013
Source: Beyond the Page Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Former college football star Jake Dublin’s wildly popular sports blog also details his personal life. And lately it’s all about Sophie, the pretty young woman who just moved into his apartment building. His readers know her only as “Elevator Girl,” and they’re all rooting for Jake to score.

The blog posts and banter with his followers are all in good fun, and he fully intends to come clean with the woman he’s wooing and wowing. That is, until she confides that she grew up in a house full of jocks and even dated a few. Her verdict? Never again!

Jake knows he needs to confess. But somewhere along the line he fell in love with Sophie and can’t stand the thought of losing her. So he procrastinates, and blogs, and digs himself deeper into a hole, until it all leads to a showdown that’s so nail-biting, not even the best play-by-play guy could ever have seen it coming.

I could have sworn I'd read something by Kate Donovan at some point before, but Goodreads tells me no. This is a novella (my Kindle says the story ends on page 65 of 86) that's fairly nicely put together - surprising, as novellas are usually a hard sell for me. It doesn't feel too long, or too short, though I do wish I had gotten to know Sophie, the heroine, a bit better.

For the most part Sophie just came off as a very talkative person - almost to the point of being a nervous talker. The contrivance of Jake not telling her was nearly as much her fault as it was his. At some point he should have just taken her shoulders and said it, but honestly, she should have stopped interrupting him and saying he could tell her later, too! After a while, I have to admit, it got old and I just wanted it to come out.

Of course, eventually it does; in the worst way possible. That heads into spoilery territory so I'll leave it there. Onto our hero...

Jake is adorable! I loved him from the start. He's got this great sense of humor that comes through in his thoughts and writings. His blog posts were lots of fun to read, and the comments were just as much. Another surprise for me, because I usually don't like tactics like that in books. Also, though there's a lot of suggestion, everything fades to black.

Again, color me surprised, because I liked it that way. It fit the story that was being told. I like when authors tell the story as it's meant to be told.

Play by Play is a cute, funny - made me laugh-out-loud more than once - and sweet romance. Kate Donovan has definitely put herself on my radar with this quick, fun book. I'll be looking for more from her. Apparently, there's actually a sequel that was just released - a full length novel - called Playing for Keeps. I think I'll go grab it.

Grade: B-

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