ummmmm....that's quite possible one of the BEST COVERS EVER!!! *fans-self*
I love the premise, too. Something to look forward to :D
You can’t deny…this sport-themed contemporary has one of the hottest romance covers. EVER. But I actually enjoyed the story, too, despite occasional irritations with the heroine.
First off, I’m not huge American football fan. I only enjoy high pressured games towards the end of the NFL playoffs, and I occasionally get excited about the Superbowl matchups. But like author Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars series, The Perfect Play had just a small sprinkle of football scenes & lingo. This book remains focused on the developing romance between San Diego Sabers’ star quarterback Mick Riley and single mom and “event planning” business owner Tara Lincoln.
Mick comes from an Irish family that’s blessed him with an irresistible combination of jet black hair and gorgeous blue eyes. He’s nearly 30 years old, just like Tara, so he’s feeling the pressure of the new young and eager backup recruits just salivating
at the opportunity to step in. His aggressive but talented publicist Liz (more on her later), has been throwing models & actresses at him for years. The photo ops get him on magazines and help fill those stadium seats, but Mick’s sick of the meaningless relationships and he’s yearning for something more.
Within the first chapter, this story jumps in with Mick’s seduction, something he’s not accustomed to. He begins flirting heavily with Tara while she’s overseeing the Sabers’ team party. With all the more glamorous beauties in attendance, she can’t quite believe he’s even attracted to her, so it’s a big ego boost any woman would enjoy. Tara does her best to keep it professional that night, but when Mick surprises her by waiting hours for her – until all her job duties are complete and even all the hired staff have gone home- the chemistry and conversation continues upstairs in his suite…Later, Tara pulls a gangster disappearing act in the morning that had me cheering :)
Tara’s had her one fantasy night with a hot NFL star – and even though it was the most incredible night of sex in her life – she wants nothing more from him because she’s afraid Mick will quickly get bored or toss her aside once the regular football season kicks in. But like his athleticism, Mick’s persistence pays off. He begins inserting himself into all aspects of her life, even developing a relationship with her teenage son, Nathan. Tara’s doubt and hesitancy continue to plague the relationship. But you have to cut her some slack as a protective mother coming from rough beginnings. She’s never before introduced a man she’s dating to her son. And the almost hero-worship her son feels towards Mick is enough to make any woman nervous. Breakups are bad enough, but when your son's heart is clearly involved? Even worse.
My annoyance with Tara came from her blaming Mick or her relationship for ridiculous things – like her son getting drunk at a party. Tara’s line of thinking and her often brash reactions irritated me, but Mick’s patience and just general yumminess more than made up for it. He’s not a selfish lover – which is what you’d expect from a star athlete who never has to work for it. I would say the length and style of these love scenes falls somewhere in between romance and erotic romance. Not quite 15 pagers or anything like that, but they do escalate in boldness as the story progresses and the scenes were evenly spread throughout :)
My only complaint with Mick was him making one too many comparisons of Tara and the other women he usually dates. Don’t get me wrong – it’s about how Tara’s different in a good
way and all completely complimentary. For Mick, it’s usually shallow women chasing him and relationships just for show and PR (beneficial to both sides he admits). With Tara, she’s a competent, independent business woman who isn’t even interested in a relationship with him. Still, there was just one too many comparisons to past lovers/dates. Women don’t like to hear about how they compare to other women you’ve dated…even if it’s good.
The best part about this story was that Burton convinced me that this hot shot athlete had really fallen in love and wanted to settle down. As a bonus, we get to know the series’ next heroine, Liz, who has a bitchy, cutthroat exterior but some depth lurking underneath. The preview contained in the back of this book was very hot and explicit and one of the biggest TEASE
teasers I’ve ever read. I can’t believe she stopped there! I’m definitely continuing this series with Changing the Game.