Review: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

Publisher: Berkley
Where did you get the book: Purchased
Release date: Out now

Blurb taken from Goodreads:

“The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom.

Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.”

First off, I have to mention the sheer beauty that this book has for a cover. I’m not one for lusting after man titty ahoy covers, but holy moly! I admit I’m probably not the only one who has had the inappropriate urge to lick this smacking-abs cover.

The Perfect Play is an erotic romance about Mick Riley, who is a big time football player, and Tara, who is the owner of an event planner company and also a single Mother to her teenager son, Nathan. When Tara and Mick meet at one of the events that Tara has put on, sparks fly between them, and Mick goes after Tara with a determination. She’s not one of the usual woman he dates and feels refreshed by her candour, and by her not dropping into a puddle of drool at the sight of him. Tara quickly comes to like Mick when he talks to her and shows he’s not an empty headed jock with no brains. And when Mick takes Tara up to a room, she goes willingly. They have hot smoking smexy times, but when morning comes, Tara has disappeared, leaving Mick out of sorts. Mick knows he wants to see more of Tara, and orders his agent, Liz, to track down Tara. Liz does that, and soon enough, Mick is at the offices of Tara’s event company, and is in for a shock when Tara tells him she doesn’t want to see him anymore and gives him the brush off.

Tara feels that she doesn’t fit into the life of a hot star football player, and with a teenager son, she thinks that Mick would run away in the other direction. But Mick proves difficult to push away, and soon enough (the the help of Tara’s matching making friends) they embark on a relationship.

I admit straight away. I haz sads. I like the cover more than the story itself. Mick and Tara are engaging characters, but I found the story to be quite average.

I think from the outset it was obvious to see that Mick was a pretty decent guy who not only treated Tara with respect, but he was also very kind and decent to her son Nathan. So I found myself getting irritated with Tara who refused to trust Mick, and after a while of that repetitiveness, I found myself getting bored. And while they were engaging characters, I didn’t feel the emotional connection. The smexy scenes were well done, but I found myself skipping over them because I felt they were verging on the almost clinical sense. And the dirty sex talk after a while became stilted for me because it didn’t change when Tara and Mick grew closer.

There wasn’t enough excitement for me in this book, and even towards the end, I found myself feeling very meh on how Tara and Mick would close the gap and finally be together.

But another factor in Mick and Tara’s relationship was Mick’s agent Liz, who I greatly disliked in this book. Talk about a hard nosed bitch. I didn’t understand her hostility to Tara. I felt that there was no redeeming qualities about her — especially what she did at the end. I don’t understand why she was such a bitch in the first place. Simply because she was a businesswoman? She came off as a ball stamper, and any desire I had to read the next story in the series about Mick’s brother Gavin was quickly stamped down when I saw Liz is to be the heroine.

Overall I found The Perfect Play to be an OK read. The smexy scenes were done well, but I wanted more emotion out of this story and the characters.

I give The Perfect Play a C-.

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