Joint Review – Holiday Games by Jaci Burton

Holiday GamesPublisher: Penguin
Publish Date: Out now
How we got this book: NetGalley

A Riley wedding is in the works, a Riley Christmas means a house full of family, and baby making is on Liz Riley’s mind. Chasing Gavin around and meeting in dark closets can be fun, but Liz is more than a little determined. Even with family in every corner of the house, Gavin is more than ready to do whatever Liz wants—especially when sex is involved. It’s a Riley family Christmas.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

MinnChica: This sports series is by far my favorite from Burton, and in the top three of sports romance series. I love the way Burton showcases not only the love of sports, from both the male and female perspective, but I also love the way she goes into the brotherhood of the players, the family dynamics outside of the team, and the struggles that come with being a professional athlete. Getting a sneak peek back into Gavin and Liz’s life is so amazing. Add in a Riley family Christmas celebration and wedding, and Burton has knocked this one out of the park!

E: It was great getting a peek into the life of the Rileys around Christmas. I do have to say that if you haven’t read the other books in this series you will miss a lot of the references. And you really should read them because they are good! I enjoyed seeing how she included friendly rivalries, arguments, love, and the essence of each previously met character. I had the feeling that I was watching an actual family not just a scripted set of scenes. As a result I loved this novella and didn’t find myself wishing it was a novel.

MinnChica: I agree completely. Usually when I read a novella, I find myself desperate for more! However, with this story, it was the perfect amount of story to whet my appetite. I thought it was hilarious that Liz was so fixated on getting pregnant that she was willing to go at it anywhere and everywhere she and Gavin could get some alone time. 🙂 These two were extremely sexual in their own full length novel, however I loved the fact that even Gavin was amused by how much Liz wanted to attempt making a baby. I do have to say though, for someone who was trying so hard to get pregnant, for someone who was constantly thinking about it, she was pretty oblivious to the signs. 🙂

E: I agree. I guessed much earlier in the story but Liz was rather distracted at the time. I thought Liz’s mission to become pregnant so reminiscent of her personality throughout the entire series. I thought it was great to see that marriage and her hopes of pregnancy had not altered her in that regard. Speaking of Gavin he certainly was a willing participant and I loved his lines towards the end regarding Liz and their frequent activity. It was such a great relief to see that he wasn’t tired or exasperated by her drive. I also loved the closeness and inclusion between all the ladies. Really spoke to how close they became throughout the series.

MinnChica: All in all I thought this was such a great treat to the Play-by-Play series. I adored the chance to see all the heroines together, and the bond of sisterhood that connects them. Likewise it was fun to watch the heroes band together during all the family festivities. This is a book that should probably NOT be read as a stand-alone, but when the series is as great as it is, you might as well just buy all the books if you haven’t. 🙂
I give Holiday Games an A-

E: I thought this was a lovely way to start off reading holiday stories because of its very completeness. It brought me right back into their world and reminded me of why I enjoy this series so much. I love how Burton is able to blend family with sports and keep the feeling realistic complete with inner-family rivalries. Now I really want to reread the series so if you haven’t started yet this is a perfect excuse.I give Holiday Games an A-

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