Review – Game On by Tracy Solheim

Untitled-1Publisher: Berkley

Publish Date: May 7th

How I got this book: NetGalley

 

With a reputation for fast moves on the gridiron and even faster moves off the field, Shane Devlin was a player in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, his bad-boy persona has made him a risky prospect as a quarterback, and only the Baltimore Blaze are willing to give him a chance. And he’s about to take a hit he never expected.

Working for the Blaze, Carly March knows too well how jocks think—and what they think with—so she’s always made a point of keeping them at arm’s length. But when she shares a kiss with the devilishly handsome Shane, she finds it hard to play by her own rules—and even harder to resist him.

Can a football hero and a business-minded beauty take it all the way? Or will their mutual attraction cost them the big game?

*Blurb from Goodreads*

 

I’m always on the lookout for new sports romance books, so when I saw that debut author Tracy Solheim was coming out with a series about football stars, I immediately went to get my hands on this book, and I’m glad I did!

Shane has a little bit of an attitude problem, and when he is let go from his contract, he worries if he’ll ever play in the NFL again. He gets picked up by the conservative Blaze, and is expected to follow their up-standing values and morals, if he wants to ever play. When he first met Carly, he had no idea she was a Blaze employee, and after he learns the truth, the attraction between them is still strong, despite Shane’s intentions.

Carly has always wanted a family of her own, and getting to spend time with her half-sister and her family has been a godsend. Shane’s advances are doing fabulous things to her libido, but she isn’t sure her heart can take another beating from a jock. Despite the walls Carly is building, Shane breaks them all down and worms his way into her heart. But as their lives swirl around them, will Shane and Carly actually be able to make their romance work in the long haul?

I really liked the beginning of this book. It was fun and sexy and had a really great premise. I was excited to turn each page as the story unraveled. I thought the first half had a quick-moving plot, although as the story developed more and more plot points were added and the book got a little bit convoluted. There were so many things that kept getting added in, and while it all fit nicely within the story, it did bog down the plot a bit.

I adored Carly. The poor woman had been through so much as a child, then as an adult. She lived her life in the spotlight of the media, and hated every moment of it. All she wanted was to find a family, especially since the one she had growing up was practically non-existent. The relationship between her half-sister and her family was one that Carly lived for, that and her job. Her relationship with Shane as one that she wasn’t even sure wanted, however, as she fell for him she realized just how special they could be together.

Shane was a little more difficult to like as a character. He had his great moments, and yet other times he drove me absolutely bat-shit crazy. He felt so abandoned by his father that he let it cloud the rest of his decisions in life. His wild ways, his drive to beat any and all NFL records, his reluctance to form any kind of bond with anyone, all because of the way his childhood went.

The relationship between Carly and Shane was one that started purely sexual and developed over time. They had to keep things on the downlow because of Carly’s position with the team, and the past that each of them brought to the relationship. The tension in their romance was increased as Carly’s personal life took an unexpected turn, and Shane was forced to face aspects of his past that he was desperate to run from. I liked the slow build up to the emotional aspects of their romance.

As for how things got a little complicated, there was just so much going on. Solheim seemed to add more and more to the book, and for me, things just got to be too much. There was a stalker, a death in the family, and a surprise family member that were all thrown in with the general angst of a relationship between two people who are scared to fall in love. While I really enjoyed this book, I could have done without some of the added external drama.

All in all I really liked this book. The characters were fun and engaging and exciting. The romance was sexy and well developed. I’m really excited to read the next book in the series, as the heroine was a character I really enjoyed in this book. Despite the ongoing drama that was a bit overdone, this was a wonderful debut novel.

I give Game On a B-

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