The Perfect Play (Play by Play #1) by Katie MacAlister
Publication date: 01 February 2011 by Berkley
Category: Adult Contemporary Romance
Keywords: Romance, sports, Cinderella, fairytale
Format: Paperback, eBook
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.
I found this book on a friend's Goodreads to-read shelf and HELLO - who wouldn't want to read a book with this cover? I immediately went out and bought this book and looked up pictures of cover model Jed Hill. You want to, too. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Cover aside, The Perfect Play was a fun sports romance - actually the first sports romance I have ever read. Mick Riley, sexy superstar quarterback, is unexpectedly drawn to event planner and single mother Tara Lincoln. But what starts off as a one night stand becomes more when Mick pursues Tara.
This is the first Jaci Burton book I’ve ever read and I liked it a lot. It’s a bit on the racier side of what I am used to, definitely skirting the edge into erotica but isn’t too much that it would turn off regular romance readers.
I love the Cinderella-like concept of this book. A superstar football player falls for a “normal” woman. Tara’s swept away by Mick and his crazy lifestyle, which is so different than her own. Mick is great - intense and charming with a serious side and some demons in his closet. It’s kind of nice to have a story for once where the male is seeking a more serious relationship than the female versus the other way around. I liked Tara’s relationship with her son, Nathan. It felt realistic and I liked that Tara wasn’t your typical romance heroine in that she was a single mom who is very career minded.
Mick and Tara have great chemistry and take advantage of it often. While I love a good love scene, they did get a little tedious after awhile. There was practically a sex scene every time they got together and really, how many sleepovers does her kid go on? That said, they were incredibly hot scenes so I can’t complain too much.
My biggest problem with this book was Tara’s attitude. She’s extremely suspicious and doesn’t trust Mick. There is more than one instance of her prematurely jumping to a conclusion about a situation and freaking out. While I understood her wariness, at times I just wanted to smack her upside the head. While their relationship started off superficially, I did feel like it naturally progressed into something more as they got to know each other. It just took awhile for both of them to stop denying it.
Overall, this was a very fun, sexy read. Burton’s piqued my interest in her work with this book and I look forwarding to reading more. There is an excerpt for the next book in the series (Changing The Game) that features Mick's brother Gavin and his agent Liz, that is HOT.