Thursday, July 11, 2013

Book Review: Playing to Win by Jaci Burton

Playing to Win
Author: Jaci Burton
Publication: Berkley Trade (September 4, 2012)

Description: Someone’s going to have to let down their guard… 

Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) Southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.

When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.

My Thoughts: PLAYING TO WIN was another hot sports romance in the Play-by-Play series by the talented Jaci Burton. This one stars Cole Riley who is a talented football player but not a talented teammate or team player. His public image which he has burnished by saying the first thing in his head and by being totally uncooperative with the press. He has been let go by a number of NFL teams despite his talent and the St. Louis Traders are his last chance.

Savannah Brooks is the image consultant who has been hired by the team to remake his attitude and image. She takes a look at him and is immediately attracted but determined to keep the relationship professional. Cole is determined to make the relationship as personal as he can—and still go his own way with the team and the press.

Savannah has a hard task ahead of her which is complicated by her feeling for Cole. She had a miserable childhood and is determined to focus on building her career. Any kind of personal relationship with Cole could wreck her plans. 

What I like about this series is the strong family relationship between the Rileys and the strong friendships between the female characters who fall in love with them. Building relationships is one of the things that Savannah needs to teach Cole about his professional life. He already has the strong relationships in his family life.

The love scenes were hot and spicy. The characters were well-developed. The writing didn't get in the way of the story. This was a great romance. 

Favorite Quote:
"Did I treat you badly tonight?"

"No, but that's not my point. My point is you're reactionary. Instead of calmly discussing an issue, you get angry and perceive an insult where there might not be one."

"And you accuse instead of asking for an explanation."
This one is from my TBR Mountain. You can buy your copy here.

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